Best Cycling Shoes
Cycling has gained popularity over the years for a myriad of reasons. It is a cost-effective way to travel, eco-friendly and promotes the concept of sustainable development. It also ensures that you get quality exercise that is highly rewarding. Proper cycling equipment should consist of headgear (a helmet), cycling gloves, cycling lights, a horn, and cycling footwear. For whatever reason, and for the average cyclists, cycling shoes do not see to get as much attention as they should. Improper cycling footwear could lead to injuries. Check out some of the best on the market today below.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research
- Shimano SHR065
- Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex
- Giro Men's Treble II Bike Shoe
- Shimano SH-RP2
- Fizik Infinito R1
- Tommaso Montagna 200
- Louis Garneau Men's Tri X-Lite
- Five Ten Men's Freerider Elements
- Fizik R5 UOMO BOA
- Pearl Izumi Tri Fly
- Giro Empire SLX
- Tommaso Pista
- Gavin Velo
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Shimano SHR065
Size is slightly small (you might want to go for one size bigger than your normal size
Designed for comfortable and efficient peddling, Shimano’s SHR065 one of the most important partners that you could have as you cycle away furiously during training, or leisurely cycle away over the weekend with a bunch of friends. Its impeccable exhaust system is more than enough to adequately account for your ventilation needs. If your foot shape is a little different, do not worry; the insole is flexible and will fit you well regardless of your foot shape.Read more
This price is quite reasonable considering the quality of the SHR065. You will find cheaper ones, but you will probably lose considerable quality.
The air intake/exhaust system will adequately take care of your ventilation needs. Proper air circulation and ventilation is an absolute must when it comes to cycling shoes (or any kind of shoes for that matter).
At 1.6 pounds, it is quite light. Do not let the lightweight mislead you into thinking that it means they are not durable – they are very durable!
Flat and flexible insole:
This ensures that the shoes will be a good fit regardless of your foot shape. The flat insole is also ideal for comfort and support.
Wider cleat adjustment range:
This basically has to do with the positioning of bicycle cleats on cycling shoes. A wider cleat adjustment range gives more room for leverage for the perfect fit between your shoe and your pedal.
This enables a more efficient upstroke, helping you conserve energy during those long bicycle rides.
Dual hook and comfort straps:
These add to the overall comfort level of the shoes.
2. Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex
Size is on the lower side. Buy a size that is one size more than your usual size
Whether you wish to train for competitions or ride by the mountains on a lazy sunny morning, Louis Garneau’s Multi Air Flex Fitness is tailormade to suit your needs. With its overall versatility, comfort and breathability, this is one of the best pairs of cycling shoes that you can possibly lay your hands on in the sub 100$ price range.Read more
As stated earlier, this is definitely one of the best choices you can make in the sub $100 price range insofar as cycling shoes are concerned.
The mesh offers great ventilation and breathability.
This pair has 3 Velcro straps to ensure that your shoes are always securely in place.
These shoes provide enough resistance against water to ensure that a little rain does not get into the way of your riding plans. However, please note that water resistance and water proof are not the same thing.
The heel is reflective which makes it much more visible.
HRS-80 retention system:
This enables you to pedal more effectively and powerfully.
The insole EVA provides amazing stability.
Specifically designed for women:
These shoes have been specifically designed for women, keeping in mind the differences between the anatomical structure of a man’s foot and a woman’s foot.
Ability to position cleats using the visual display:
It is compatible with the Shimano Pedaling Dynamics System.
3. Giro Men's Treble II Bike Shoe
Reasonably priced, value for money
Available in 3 different colors
Tend to run a little narrow
The Treble II Bike shoe has been designed for the “modern you”. It looks classy, offers great comfort and comes in myriad colors. If you are looking for high-quality shoes that offer great breathability, then the Treble II will not disappoint you.Read more
At this price is quite reasonable considering the quality of the shoes and the features it offers.
It is available in 3 different colors namely, matte black, highlight yellow/matte black and white.
After normal wear and tear, damage due to bacterial action is one of the biggest reasons for shoe damage. With the Aegis anti-microbial treatment, you can rest easy knowing that your cycling shoes are well protected at all times.
Universal Cleat Mount System:
The all new Universal Cleat Mount System accommodates both 2 and 3 boLT pedal systems.
The high quality synthetic fiber offers spectacular breathability and ventilation.
Medium arch support:
If your feet are a little sensitive, do not fret! The Treble II’s molded EVA footbed has medium arch support which will make you feel at ease.
3 wide straps:
There are 3 wide straps in place for a secure fit.
The treble II is aesthetically appealing and modern.
4. Shimano SH-RP2
Good value for money
Available in 2 colors
Not very durable
For all the women just starting to ride or train, Shimano’s SH-RP2 are the ideal cycling shoes. They are light, comfortable, breathable and facilitate increased power output while pedaling. The cherry on top of the proverbial cake is the magnificent stability that these shoes offer, which are particularly important for cyclists just starting out or without much experience.Read more
With their price, just short of $100, the SH-RP2 are decent value for money. While you will find a few cheaper options, the incredible stability that these shoes offer may be a tad compromised.
Available in 2 colors, black and white.
The air intake/exhaust system offers great ventilation. This is the norm with Shimano cycling shoes in general.
Increased power output:
The soles of the shoes have been reinforced by fiberglass, resulting in increased power output. This helps with more efficient use of energy.
The upper synthetic leather adds to the strength and stability of the pair of shoes.
This facilitates a more efficient upstroke which is again, very energy efficient.
Pressure relieving straps:
The three straps are asymmetrical so as to prevent pressure on the foot.
Wider cleat adjustment range:
This results in the ideal shoe and pedal fit.
Designed for women:
The SH-RP2 have been specifically designed for women, keeping in mind the unique needs of a slightly different anatomical foot structure as compared to the men.
5. Fizik Infinito R1
BOA lacing syste
Wire coated laces
Fizik is a company that is renowned for crafting top-notch cycling shoes that are quality, durable, and highly attractive pieces of footwear. You really can't go wrong with Fizik, and the same can be said about the Infinito R1.Read more
These shoes are definitely not the cheapest cycling shoes to hit this list; however, with great features, such as stiffness, lightweight build, and new closure system, it's well worth the investment.
The arch support system in these shoes is excellent, and it offers your feet support and structure. Not to mention, with the Increased Volume Control system, the support will shape to your foot perfectly.
Two adjustable BOA dials include steel-coated nylon laces, so that you can flawlessly adjust the shoes to your desired tightness. The wire-coated laces ensure that they will be durable for the long-haul.
The upper of the Infinito R1 shoe is made with minimal seams and stitching for optimal comfort and a distraction free ride.
Overall, the Infinitos are pieces of cycling footwear art. They are lightweight, stiff, breathable, and can be easily customized for optimal fit. You won't go wrong with these.
6. Tommaso Montagna 200
Great value for money
Size tends to run a bit large
Whether you want to cycle indoors at your local gym, take a tour of the city on a lazy weekend or explore mountainous terrains on your adventure trip, this little beast is perfect for your needs. Its versatility is arguably its biggest USP and at the price it is being offered, it is an absolute steal.Read more
At this price, this is an absolute steal. If you are on a limited budget, the Montagna 200 must really be in your top 2 or 3 choices.
Whether you want to commute normally, use it indoors at the local gym, tour a city on your bike or explore mountainous terrain, these shoes will help you do it all.
The mesh portion is extremely well ventilated in order to help keep your feet cool at all times.
The synthetic leather will ensure maximum comfort for your feet all day long. The Velcro straps add to your comfort level by helping keep the shoes firmly in place.
Ratcheting buckle system:
This enables micro-adjustments which stay put even during the harshest and most daunting rides.
High performance and increased power transfer:
The polyamide sole has been reinforced with fiberglass so that you have the optimal mix of power transfer and high performance.
The armor toebox is reinforced which not only keeps your toes secure as you make that tricky ascent on your bike, but it also increases the overall longevity and durability of your shoes.
It is compatible with 2-bolt style cleats.
7. Louis Garneau Men's Tri X-Lite
They run a size small
If you plan to take part in a triathlon, these shoes are close to perfect for you. Aesthetically appealing, reasonably priced and well ventilated, the Tri X-Lite offers a perfect mix of efficiency and comfort.Read more
This price is not the lowest you will every pay for a pair of cycling shoes; but if you are taking part in triathlons and the like, it is likely that you are not a beginner and shelling a few extra dollars is totally worth, given what these shoes offer. Moreover, there are far more pricey cycling shoes on the market.
This pair is available in both white and bright yellow, both of which look classy.
The Tri X-Lite is quite appealing to one’s aesthetic sense. The sleek design adds to the aesthetic appeal of the shoes.
As mentioned earlier, lack of ventilation causes foot problems which could pose huge problems in a triathlon. Louis Garneau’s Tri X-Lite places a special emphasis on ventilation to ensure that your feet never get sweaty and that there is always adequate air circulation around your feet.
The upper sandwich mesh is great at moisture absorption. It fits perfectly and molds to your feet which makes these shoes extremely comfortable.
Bomber heel retention system:
Bid goodbyes to foot blisters forever thanks to X-Lite’s amazing bomber heel retention system.
Pull loop at the heel:
This makes it far easier to get your shoe on. You could save precious seconds which could be vital when you are riding competitively.
8. Five Ten Men's Freerider Elements
Great value for money
Available in multiple colors
Laces and not Velcro straps
If you are one who likes the big brands, then look no further. Five Ten have been produced some of the best shoes on the market for outdoor activities for more than 30 years now. The Freerider Elements is an absolute masterpiece. If mountain biking is your thing, just choose this without a second thought. Chances are you will not want or need anything else!Read more
At this price it may appear to be on the higher side at first glance, but the Freerider Elements is worth each and every dollar.
It is available in dark grey/orange and navy/black.
The material of the sole is rubber and not leather. This means superior traction.
A lot of biking shoes have Velcro straps, not the Freeder Elements though. It sticks to laces. This can be a plus or a minus depending on your personal preference.
The nature of the shoes and the rubber sole combine to make the Freerider Elements water resistant. This is particularly advantageous in rainy weather. Remember the caveat again – water resistant and waterproof are two different things.
The recommended use for Freerider Elements is mountain biking – they have been designed for that. However, the flexible soles make it good for walking and casual wear.
Your feet will literally be glued to the pedals once you have these on. When you are mountain biking, grip is arguably the most important thing as a lapse could be potentially dangerous. Five Ten has done an impeccable job as usual with the grip.
9. Fizik R5 UOMO BOA
Very good price for the value offered
Variety of options in terms of colors
Ever so slightly large
If comfort is your priority and “the fire of competition” is your thing, Fizik should be on of your go to brands. The R5 UOMO BOA Road Cycling Shoes will definitely be among the most comfortable and high-performance shoes you will wear and given that this is Fizik, the price is relatively low as well.Read more
This price is on the lower side for a Fizik product. In fact, one of the primary purposes of this particular model was to attract customers who wanted the brand’s customary high performance and high combination mix, but stayed away due to the steep prices.
If you are the kind that likes options when it comes to colors, then this model will not disappoint you. There are myriad options to choose from : black/dark gray, black/red, white/light gray, black, anthracite/fluorescent orange, black/dark grey, white/light grey.
The design is sleek and lightweight, making it a killer combination which also adds to its aesthetic appeal.
This enables the transfer of the highest amount of power possible and also optimizes pedaling technique.
The shoes fit perfectly and they relieve all the pressure points.
The aircraft grade stainless steel construction makes the shoes extremely durable. You can expect them to last a long time.
High performance and comfort:
Each shoe’s shape can be changed and adapted to the feet of the cyclist. This results in high control and performance.
The carbon reinforced nylon outsole coupled with the cycling insole sculpted footbeds and supportive heel result in incredible efficiency. Virtually not a single watt of power is wasted.
Microfiber material is extremely resilient and will meet all your biking needs.
The heel comes with a strip that is not only reflective but huge. This means that you will be visible no matter how dark it is.
10. Pearl Izumi Tri Fly
- Decent price
- Available in multiple colors
- Specifically designed for women
- Aesthetically appealing
- Runs a size small, order 1 size bigger than your normal size
The Fly V is designed to be a long-lasting companion – whether it is during competitive racing or just training. It's lightweight and fits perfectly. It is designed specifically for women.Read more
All things considered, the price offered is a reasonable price.
It is available in 2 colors namely, deeplake/gumdrop and white/black.
The inbuilt longitudinal arch increases pedaling efficiency.
The upper mesh material is extremely breathable so much so that you could even cycle without socks and feel alright.
11. Giro Empire SLX
Wide range of sizes
Fit may be narrow for very wide feet
Since their founding in 1985, Giro has made it their goal to provide exceptional cycling equipment, and the Empire SLX shoes are a perfect example of this intention. An ultra-lightweight design and ventilation holes in the upper make these shoes wonderfully breathable while offering a wide range of sizes to fit everyone.Read more
These are priced similarly to other cycling shoes, while the light weight and comfort make them a very worthy investment.
The ultralight design means that these shoes only weigh about 175g for a size 42.5 pair. While they don't have any mesh in the upper, the weight along with the ventilation holes provide exceptional ventilation.
While being light, the sole is stiff and offers a good deal of support. The lace-up design is made to accommodate a wide range of foot shapes. This along with the breadth of size options means you're sure to find a pair that will fit you comfortably. An Easton EC90 SLX2 carbon outsole means your foot is closer to the pedal, even if just by a few millimeters. This allows for better control over the bike, and some pedal brands may even work better with shorter cleat hardware.
The laces are microfiber, and designed to be durable and hold a knot easily. In the event they break, they can easily be replaced. Unlike proprietary straps or buckles, you can buy laces most anywhere. Seven pairs of eyelets mean a lot of contact points as well, which ensures a snug and secure fit.
Sizes range from EU 39 ( US Women's 7.5) to EU 48 (US Men's 14), in half size increments. They also come in a variety of color options, including black, white, blue, and red. As stated above, the seven pairs of eyelets ensure a secure fit, so you'll be able to find a pair that fits you well.
12. Tommaso Pista
Velcro for a secure fit
Cleats are not included
Switching from platform to clipless pedals is an important decision that most cyclists will make soon enough, though the costs associated with it can add up. Using a factory direct sales model, Tommaso has made this decision a little less expensive. The Women's Pista is a solid choice that will make both you and your wallet happy.Read more
Tommaso sells their products factory direct, which allows them to offer high-quality products at an affordable price. These come in at under $75, making them a very accessible option, especially for beginners or those on a tight budget. It is important to note, however, that these shoes do not include cleats.
With a fiberglass reinforced sole, the Tommaso Women's Pista offers optimal stiffness and power transfer, so you can go longer and harder without using as much energy. The leather upper is comfortable and flexible while being durable enough to last you many seasons.
While these shoes don't come with cleats, they are compatible with a wide range of two- and three-bolt cleats, including the SPD, SPD-SL, and Speedplay cleats. So no matter what kind of pedal you have, these shoes will work with them nicely.
The 3-strap velcro design is easy to put on and remove while offering a fit that's secure and easy to adjust.
Sizes range from US 7-11.5, in half size increments. Tommaso also offers a 100% free fit return policy so in the event you get the wrong size, exchanging them for the correct pair is easy. These shoes come in three colorways; black with blue accents, white with silver accents, and black with pink accents.
13. Gavin Velo
Compatible with a wide range of cleats
Cycling shoes can be very expensive, potentially costing upwards to hundreds of dollars. But why should you have to spend an arm and a leg to get a quality shoe? Enter the Gavin VELO. With a reinforced sole for stiffness, and a synthetic leather outer for comfort and breathability, these are a surprisingly good shoe for a surprisingly low price point.Read more
These shoes cost less than $60, making them surprisingly affordable for this sort of comfort and versatility.
The outer is made of microfiber synthetic leather and mesh to make the shoe lightweight. This along with the airflow vents in the nylon fiberglass sole help to promote airflow and allow your feet to properly breathe.
The Gavin Velo is compatible with a wide range of cleats, including the SPD, SPD-R, and SPD-SL cleats. This ensures that you'll be able to use these shoes with a wide range of cleats and pedals.
The sole is made of a reinforced fiberglass nylon, which is stiff enough to offer ideal support and power transfer while still being comfortable. The Velcro straps allow for a snug and adjustable fit. The outer has mesh accents which allow your feet to breathe, so you'll be dry and comfortable even on longer rides.
Sizes run from EU 38 (US Women's 7.5) to EU 48 (US Men's 15), though these are known to run a little small so if you're unsure or in between sizes it's suggested to order a size up. Three Velcro straps provide a snug and secure fit. They only come in one color option; black with red accent.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The purpose of buying a pair of cycling shoes should be clear in your mind. There are several types of cycling shoes and while you will get more than the odd pair which claims to be able to do everything, it is likely to be a jack of all trades and master of none. In other words, it will not give you the optimal satisfaction or performance that you desire.
What exactly do we mean by “types of cycling shoes’’? Well, in a nutshell, you have road cycling shoes, mountain biking shoes, and triathlon cycling shoes. Let us briefly look at each one:
Road biking shoes
As the name suggests, these shoes are meant for cycling on the road. The needs of a road biker will differ slightly from those of a mountain biker. Road shoes tend to be light, have a rather stiff sole and are extremely breathable in order to give the rider the maximum possible comfort on a hot and sunny day.
Mountain biking shoes
Mountain biking shoes are generally meant to deal with harsher conditions. Intuitively, that makes sense as the mountainous terrain would pose more of a challenge to riders than straight and flat roads. As a result, mountain biking shoes tend to be sturdier and their soles also tend to be more flexible. This allows for easier dismounting from time to time.
Triathlon shoes are a type of cycling shoe in the traditional sense. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of people participating in triathlons (swimming, running and cycling). You could take part in these competitions using road cycling shoes or mountain cycling shoes, but again, it would be a case of taking a knife to a gun fight. Triathlons have unique demands which triathlon shoes take into consideration. For example, triathlon shoes are generally easier to remove and wear giving you that precious few extra seconds that could make a difference at the end. Also, triathlon shoes can usually be worn without socks. Again, this is an advantage when you need to transition from swimming to biking to running barefoot. It also has the added advantage of preventing blisters on your foot.
Therefore, it is important for you to figure out what exactly you need your cycling shoes for and then decide accordingly.
Clipless pedals are in vogue at this point in time. You usually have the option of buying cleats along with the shoes you purchase. These are costlier than the other options, but they are also the most efficient. If efficiency is your priority and you do not care about the cost, then you can opt for clipless pedals; if not, you can look at the other options.
Toe clips strap your feet to the pedals using a leather strap. These have been around since time immemorial, but their popularity and usage have been on the wane. Their biggest plus is that they are relatively inexpensive, but they are not as efficient as clipless pedals.
These are part of a number of everyday bicycles. If you are an experienced rider, then you can safely ignore this. This is the most cost-effective option. If you do not care about efficiency and only intend to cycle casually then, by all means, go for it. However, if you are keen on competitions and intend to ride a lot, then you will have to go with clipless pedals or toe clips.
Laces, Velcro Straps and ratchets all have one primary objective: to keep your feet securely in the shoes at all times. You could go for either of the three and you would not be wrong. Some riders prefer ratchets over extremely long distances because they feel it is the most comfortable of the 3 options; some others have a preference for Velcro Straps and swear by its comfort. Some shoes have a hybrid of the two: 2 Velcro straps and a ratchet. Finally, there are those that prefer laces. The biggest drawback with laces is that you need to tie and untie them, although some traditionalists find them more aesthetically pleasing.
This may sound very primitive and basic, but you really need to be absolutely sure that the length and width of your cycling shoes are a perfect fit. You do not want them to be too tight or too loose. Ensure that you check the fit thoroughly. Throughout the article there is mention of which models run too small or too large; do make sure you pay careful attention to that. Usually, mountain biking shoes make use of a 2 bolt cleat mount, whereas road cycling shoes make use of a 3 bolt cleat mount. It is the cleats that will work together with the pedal, acting as a bridge to transfer power and energy from your legs to the pedals; therefore, make sure that you choose wisely.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Buying cycling shoes is not as simple as just walking into a store and picking the first pair that catches your eye. Be mindful of your own physical requirements, depending on the type of biking you do so that you choose the sole material which best suits your needs. Road biking shoes have less flexible, stiffer soles, whereas mountain biking shoes have more flexible soles. Be mindful of your own physical requirements, depending on the type of biking you do so that you choose the sole material which best suits your needs.
Other Factors to Consider
You will not always be cycling on a hot and sunny day. You might need to cycle on a wet and rainy day. If your shoes are not waterproof or at least water-resistant, then they will get wet and this could compromise your grip on the pedal. Needless to say, that spells danger which means if you do not have waterproof or water resistant shoes, you must stop cycling till the time the rain stops and/or your shoes dry up adequately. Cycling shoes are not exactly cheap. Even the ones in the lower range are not e
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no massive difference per se between men’s biking shoes and women’s biking shoes. Women’s shoes just take into account the slight difference in the anatomical structure of a woman’s foot vis-à-vis a man’s foot. As a result, shoes for women have the propensity to be slightly narrower. Men’s shoes also tend to have lower heels than shoes for women. More importantly, the biggest difference between the two is in size. A woman’s cycling shoe size of 10 is not the same as a man’s cycling shoe size of 10. This has to be kept in mind while purchasing your cycling shoes.
Can you buy a men’s pair of biking shoes if you are a woman or vice-versa? Technically you can, but you are definitely better off sticking to the pairs made for your own gender. If a certain pair made for the other sex seems to fit you really well, then, by all means, go for it.
You would be alright using mountain biking shoes while riding a road bike. People do it quite often and experience no problems. You are generally better off not using road biking shoes with a mountain bike though, as they are not as sturdy and will not work as well as mountain biking shoes.
You cannot walk for any reasonable length of time in road cycling shoes without experiencing massive discomfort. They just are not built for walking or casual wear. On the other hand, mountain biking shoes may be used for walking or casual wear given their more flexible soles as compared to road cycling shoes. However, even mountain biking shoes are not ideal for long distances. In general, it is best if you were to use walking shoes for walking and cycling shoes for cycling. Each shoe type has subtle differences keeping in view the different demands of the activity concerned.
As mentioned earlier in the criteria section, mountain biking shoes use a 2 cleat mount and road cycling shoes require a 3 cleat mount. In the latter system, the cleat attaches your shoe to 3 bolts. These tend to be more stable on the pedal than their 2 bolt counterparts. On the other hand, the 2 cleat mount attaches your shoe to 2 bolts. These are simpler to clip-in and smaller, thereby making it easier to walk in. The 2 hole system is called the Shimano Pedaling Dynamics(SPD) system, whereas the 3 hole system is named after the first manufacturer of such a system: look-style system
Indoor cycling is also called spinning. This refers to stationary cycling. You get spinning shoes which are exclusively for indoor cycling purposes. You could use them outdoors on a recreational ride, but that is about it.
- The best cycling shoes reviewed 2018, Blog , Nov 12, 2018 ,