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Indoor cycling—often referred to as “Spinning”, the trademarked brand of the company that popularized the exercise—is having a moment, if the proliferation of boutique cycling studios across the country is any indication. For footwear, many indoor cyclists use their own sneakers, strapped into toe cages affixed to the bike pedals. Those who go to such boutique studios as SoulCycle, Flywheel, or CycleBar can rent or borrow proprietary shoes with plastic cleats screwed onto the soles that click into the pedals. But for anyone who rides indoors regularly, investing in your own pair of dedicated cycling shoes can offer benefits in spades. For the sneaker wearer, switching to shoes with cleats that attach to the pedals yields a much better workout because your pedal stroke, both down and up, becomes significantly more efficient. And for the studio cyclist in the second scenario, having your own footwear eliminates the ick factor of shoving your feet into shoes—however disinfectant-sprayed they may be—where many, other sweaty feet have gone before.
When seeking this type of shoe there are many things to consider, first, you need to check out what type of cleat you will need in your favorite gym. Cleats are extremely important and usually sold separately from your shoe. They lock the spinner’s feet into position on the pedal enabling them to get a better workout by efficiently using their muscle, increasing their power, and keeping you safe.
There are two basic models when it comes to cleats, the Shimano SPD Cleat, which is a two hole system designed to be small and simple. The SPD will fit into almost all pedals for indoor spinning classes. The second type is the LOOK Delta Cleats. This is a three hole system made to go with Delta style shoes, they will give you superior stability and the power to get through the toughest classes.
What an indoor cyclist requires first and foremost is a snug comfortable fit that supports the arch of the foot with thick reliable Velcro straps. What is best for one is not necessarily what is best for the other. Keep in mind that all feet are unique and make sure to weigh the pros and cons we have given you to ensure the ultimate spin experience.
1SIDI Dominator 7 Cycling Shoes BEST OVERALL
Since the 1960’s, SIDI has been specializing and changing the way we see cycling shoes by offering exceptional quality, high performance, innovative footwear for outdoor enthusiasts. Known for having one of the most recognizable logos, SIDI is one of the biggest brands in the business. Giving you tradition, value, and commitment, they strive to be more than just a company. The SIDI Dominator 7 offers a variety of features making this one of the nicest spin shoes on the market.
||Indoor and outdoor use|
|Built for extended use|
|No pressure points|
Comfort / Fit
This shoe offers a fully adjustable curved strap to promote comfort and fit, from the highest arches out there to the lowest, these shoes are made for people with all types of feet. Giving you even pressure distribution with a soft thermo-formed EVO pad, you are sure to find the security and support you have been looking for in a spin shoe.
The size of your feet can change based on how long you are spinning and what started out as comfortable fit may become a bit tight before the end of your journey. With the easy to use Leva Caliper, you can loosen your shoe one click at a time or all at once depending on the pressure of your situation. With the right fit, you also want the security of knowing that during those endurance spin classes your shoe is going to stay as you put it and not loosen or slide. The High-Security Velcro, with locking polymer teeth, ensure your straps are unmovable and easily adjustable.
The exceptional quality of this cycle shoe does earn it a high price tag. This shoe is made for the serious cyclist that is looking for the highest quality materials combined with advanced technology to give them ultimate comfort, support, and reliability with every ride.
2Fizik R5B Cycling Shoes 2nd BEST OVERALL
The second best shoe on our list is the R5B from Fizik. Arguably the most noteworthy aspect of this model is the fact that it takes advantage of the Boa system. With this comes excellent performance and precision.
|Heel cup is positioned to control slippage|
|Uses the Boa system|
|Cons||Can be tight in the toe box|
Comfort / Fit
Fizik should be applauded for their closure system as it integrates a hook-and-loop strap system for width control. But, some users have alluded to the fact that the toe box could be wider. Underneath the foot, this integrates a carbon-reinforced nylon outsole. What this does is keep the cost down while also not inhibiting the power transfer. Fizik wanted to ensure their R5B would be breathable. So the uppers are made with Fizik’s Microtex system and also nylon mesh integrated for the ventilation windows, it is safe to say their mission was accomplished
Given the design and features of the R5B it is well worth the price and praise it receives.
3Pearl Izuni Select RD IV Cycling Shoes 3rd BEST OVERALL
The Select RD IV by Pearl Izumi is an SPD compatible shoe, with firm outsole support and technology designs to help eliminate hot spots and cool the foot during use. Pearl Izumi is one of the more well-known cycling brands, and they’ve packed this shoe full of aggressive specs to help you power through your workout. Top it all off with a stylish look, and these are sure to win you over!
|Cool and ventilated|
|Cons||Sizes run small|
Comfort / Fit
The uppers are a mix of rubber, plastic, and textiles with a Velcro closure, while the sole is comprised of rubber, EVA, nylon plastic and steel. An anatomical closure helps relieve any hot spot areas and pressure from the foot’s instep. The power plate provides stiff, lightweight yet firm power transfer to make sure your efforts translate to the bike. Support can also be found within the insole providing stability longitudinally and laterally.
Perforations in the uppers help to cool the foot with constant airflow and allow for some alleviation of moisture during use. Walking in the Select RD IV is made easier with a foam and rubber heel bumper, helping to protect the cleat area, but also getting to and from the locker room. Stylish color combinations give the shoe an aggressive aesthetic, giving you the confidence to pedal through the next interval set.
For a cycling shoe, this is more budget-friendly and well worth consideration. Best suited to indoor cycling use, but versatile enough to use on the road as well, it’s a great option to purchase. With its firm plate and sporty style, it is a winner.
4Gavin VELO Cycling Shoes
This versatile and comfortable spin shoe will fit in your workout accessory budget with ease. Fit these with your SPD cleats and take the spin class by storm. Made with a micro-adjustable buckle, breathable materials, and an ultra-lightweight carbon fiber sole this shoe may make spinning the exercise you stick with.
|Well ventilated and breathable|
|Cons||Sizes run small|
Comfort / Fit
Keeping your feet cool and comfortable is essential during spin classes. With the ultra-lightweight carbon fiber sole, mesh panels, and additional air vents these shoes ensure your feet are still feeling fresh at the end of your class. Keeping your feet dry helps prevent bacterial infections from occurring and help make sure you can pedal as far as your mind and body will take you.
The micro-adjustable buckle on this shoe makes the fit go from great to perfect. Poor fit leads to blistering and no one wants to stop doing what they love because of painful blisters from too much movement in their shoes.
Finding a carbon fiber soled indoor cycle shoe at the cost of a regular shoe is a tough thing to find. The Gavin Carbon Fiber Road Shoe is not only affordable but it is also breathable and has an excellent fit. This shoe is comfortable and offers a quality solution at an affordable price.
5 Giro Treble II Cycling Shoes
If you’re newer to cycling, or a long time enthusiast, Giro is a name that will stand out as another solid cycling brand for gear and attire. Not only does their namesake remind cyclists of the yearly race in Italy, they’ve also got high-quality gear to back up that prestigious title. The Treble II is versatile enough to be compatible with LOOK and SPD cleats and will have you pushing mile after mile indoor and out.
|Sizes tend to vary|
Comfort / Fit
Made to be compatible with two and three bolt cleat patterns, the Treble II will suit any pedal, so you won’t need to miss a workout when traveling. The outsole is constructed from injected nylon, a bit less firm than carbon fiber, but still allows proper power transfer. It’s an ideal shoe for those looking for functional comfort on a budget.
Giro designed the Treble II with a molded EVA insole for arch support but also gave it an Aegis anti-microbial treatment. This helps keep the shoe free from bacteria build-up and helps prevent odor after several sweat-drenched spin sessions. Perforations in the uppers allow air flow to keep the foot cool. A three strap system of hook and loop Velcro closure make this shoe easy to get on and off, adjustable, and allows for shoe adjustments to be made once in the saddle.
Quality / Durability
Another budget-friendly option on our list, it reflects the quality Giro is known for while being friendly on the wallet. Firm sole providing power transfer and adjustable Velcro closures keep it functional and comfortable when combined with ventilation and Aegis anti-microbial treatment. A smart purchase for beginner cyclists or veterans.
6Venzo Mountain Cycling Shoes
Venzo is known for the slogan, “Your Life, Your Choice!”, and when looking for a great deal on spinning shoes that include a free set of pedals and will fit all SPD pedal systems, this may be the choice for you. Made with quick-drying, breathable, mesh and synthetics you get a cool dry ride keeping your feet in peak condition and comfort. This shoe offers features that are not as common to some of the other spin shoes but because all feet are different this shoe is sure to please the hard to please shopper.
|Pros||Easy to walk in|
|Great for those starting clipless|
|Easy install cleats and pedals|
Comfort / Fit
When it is time to walk into your favorite spin class you don’t want to find yourself falling because of a lack of flexibility in your shoe. The small flex in the forefoot of this shoe makes walking around the gym a breeze and reduces the risk of a nasty fall that may lead to missed spin sessions.
Offering you comfort and ease this shoe will not widen your eyes when it comes to price. Venzo gives us a quality shoe that is breathable and practical during those long walks across the gym, at an affordable rate, helping to prove there is truly a perfect spin shoe out there for everyone.
7Pearl Izumi Tri Fly V Carbon Cycling Shoes
Though the price of the Tri Fly V Carbon Shoes is steep, the performance and comfortability certainly are worth it. But, some buyers have advised consumers to order a size or two larger than what they normally would.
||Great combination of lightweight and stiff|
|Provide great support and comfort|
||Tend to run small and tight|
Comfort / Fit
Most buyers enjoyed the comfort that was delivered from these shoes. However, do note that others also claimed the large Velcro strap can be stiff at first. To no one’s surprise, the general consensus here is that these run small. But, the shoe width is normal and the included strap does add a bit of adjustability.
Both the direct venting technology and fully lined mesh upper make this shoe very breathable. What also helps is the tri closure system eliminates hot spots.
These are at the top end of professional cycling shoes in terms of cost. But consumers claim the performance and comfort of theses shoes is worth every penny
8Shimano SH-TR5 Cycling Shoes
In spite of the rather awkward design of the Velcro straps, the SH-TR5 branded shoes from Shimano have been lauded for their comfortability and performance-driven design.
|Pros||Nylon sole transfers power efficiently|
|High-end quality at a reasonable price|
|Buyers rave about the comfort|
|Cons||Design of the Velcro straps is the reverse of what it should be|
Comfort / Fit
Overall, users have lauded the comfort of these shoes. What helps is the padded collar, among other features, of course. For whatever reason, the Velcro straps are engineered in the reverse manner of what users will typically be accustomed to. The issue is the straps can end up hitting the pedals.
An affordable pair of spin shoes on our list, Shimano SH-TR5 has everything you need in a spin shoe.
9Louis Garneau Air Flex Bike Shoes
One of the main reasons why the Air Flex Cycling Shoes are so good is due to their versatility. Even for other activities, such as weekend rides and commuting, these can be just what you are looking for.
|Can be used for commuting|
|Great combination of stiffness and flexibility|
||Consumers note these shoes run small and tight|
Comfort / Fit
Even if you decide to walk in the Air Flex Shoes, they will offer supreme comfort. This is because they prevent heel pressure with good toe flexion. Louis Garneau engineered their design with a roomier fit and HRS-80 retention to hold the heel in place. Yet, most consumers agree that the fit is extremely tight.
A reasonably priced pair of cycling shoes with the added versatility for commuting and walking makes these shoes a great value.
10Giro Carbide R Cycling Shoes
Giro brings a mountain bike style shoe to the last spot on our list with the Carbide R. Packed with the regular quality we find with Giro cycling shoes, it has an anti-microbial treatment to cut down on bacterial growth, firm plate for power transfer and a supple yet tough exterior. Add to this it comes in a fun neon color along with regular black or white, and SPD compatibility, and you’ll find one that suits you!
Comfort / Fit
Uppers on the Carbide R are made from synthetic leather which keeps them breathable on hot days, and a three-strap Velcro closure. The supple uppers are perforated for additional ventilation. These do weigh in slightly heavier than other shoes, but that weight gives them rugged durability.
Aegis anti-microbial technology has treated the footbed of the Carbide to eliminate the bacterial build up over time. A supportive molded EVA footbed gives the arch medium level support, so you can power away on the pedals. Outsole consists of rubber lugs for improved traction and a nylon molded plate for power transfer efficiency.
Depending on the color option you select, these can range from extremely budget friendly to average in price for cycling shoes. They are ideal for both indoor and MTB riding, and would easily suit any budget!