If you love cycling, or even have a cycle bike in your own home, investing in a dedicated pair of cycling shoes can transform your cycling workout from good to great! Make the switch from your regular trainers to cycling shoes and experience a more comfortable, efficient, and safer ride.
Cycling shoes are light and breathable with stiff soles for maximum power in each pedal stroke. Most importantly, with the addition of cleats, you’ll be able to clip into your pedals for increased stability and security to your ride - giving you the ability to focus on what’s most important: the energy you’re putting into your workouts.
There’s a lot of factors that go into picking out the right type of cycling shoe for you, and if you’re new to the market it’s hard to know what to look for. Lucky for you, I’ve put together 3 easy steps that will help you find the perfect cycling shoes to take your cycling experience to the next level!
3 Steps to Getting the Perfect Cycling Shoes for You
DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF PEDALS YOU HAVE
All Sunny Cycle Bikes come with adjustable toe cages so that riders are able to use their ideal shoes of choice, whether that be cycling shoes or regular trainers. However, flip that pedal over and on some Sunny bikes you will find an SPD compatible clip. This clip allows users wearing cycling shoes with cleats to connect directly into the pedals as they ride, for a more comfortable and safe riding experience.
Once you know what type of pedals you have, it will narrow down your cycling shoe choice. With adjustable toe cages all you need is your regular trainers, or you can up your game with flat (no cleat connection) cycling shoes. If you want to clip into SPD compatible pedals, you’ll need to invest in both cycling shoes, and cleats, as the cleats are often sold separately - more on this later.
FIND THE PERFECT CYCLING SHOE FOR YOU
For the best indoor cycling experience, the ideal shoe should make your feet feel comfortable and supported. They should feel stiff, not uncomfortable. Cycling shoes are stiff because that design provides the most efficient pedaling experience, but if they feel uncomfortable now, it’s not likely that when you break them in, they’ll become more comfortable. You’ll want to have a little wiggle room for your toes, but your heel should be snug. Remember, walking feels different than cycling, so a good test for heel fit is arching up onto your toes, similar to how you might when pedaling.
There are also a wide variety of shoe closures to choose from, from laces to hook-and-loop straps, buckles and dials. While laces might be your go-to choice, laces can easily come undone and get caught, and are harder to adjust mid-ride than the other options available. It’s really up to your preference, just remember if you do choose laces to tuck them in so you don’t have any mishaps.
There’s a wide variety of shoes to choose from which really all comes down to personal preference.
- Casual Cycling Shoes: Most beginners will be happy with Casual cycling shoes. Casual cycling shoes have the closest resemblance to regular trainers. They come with either a 2-hole cleat system (SPD cleat compatible) or come flat with no cleat connection. They typically have rubber outsoles and recessed cleats to allow for easy walking and are stylish and comfortable. They won’t be as stiff as MTB or road bike shoes, so you may lose a little power when pedaling in comparison to these models of shoe.
- MTB Shoes: Mountain Bike Shoes (MTB) are another popular choice for indoor cyclists as they also come with a 2-hole cleat system making them compatible with SPD cleats. They also are easy to walk around in and tend to have padded grips for the trickier terrain that mountain biking can present. MTB shoes will be stiffer than casual biking shoes, creating a more efficient pedaling experience. However, these shoes may also feel heavier as they are designed for more intense terrain and outdoor elements.
- Road Cycling Shoes: Road Cycling shoes are incredibly efficient as they’re both the most lightweight and stiff shoe and are designed for maximum performance. If you’re into competitive cycling or getting more serious about your cycling journey this could be a great option for you. These shoes can be compatible with either SPD (2-hole), or DELTA (3-hole) clip-in system. If you do decide to go with road shoes, you’ll want to be careful to pick a shoe that has a clip-in system that matches that of your pedals. The cleats also protrude from the shoe, making them hard to walk around in and also unideal for those working with pedals with no cleat attachment.
GET A CLEAT THAT’S COMPATIBLE WITH YOUR PEDAL
If you have SPD compatible pedals, to clip in you will need both cycling shoes, as well as the SPD compatible cleats which are sold separately. SPD cleats can be purchased for as little as $15 and must be installed. You can install the cleats of your own, by placing them right under the widest part or ball of your foot. However, cleats installed at the wrong angle or location can lead you to pedal incorrectly, causing potential pain and injury in your hips, knees, or ankles. For best fit, we recommend visiting a local cycling shop to assess your pedal stroke in store and install your cleats for you.
Keep an Allen wrench handy to tighten your cleats if they loosen. They may get looser with regular use and you want them nice and tight for the safest riding experience. You will also need to replace your cleats as they wear down. You’ll know it’s time if it’s hard to clip in and out of the pedals.