If you’re a regular rider, it’s a good idea to invest in a proper pair of cycling shoes. Unlike traditional athletic sneakers, these are designed with stiffer soles to give you a stronger and more efficient stride. They also come in various styles to suit different environments. Road bike shoes typically have the stiffest soles for ultimate power transfer and use three-hole cleats to connect to clipless pedals. Mountain biking shoes should be equipped with grippy soles to keep you stable on rocky terrain when you’re not riding; and the best kinds come with two-hole cleats recessed into the sole for easier walking. Many indoor cycling shoes can also work on the road, but tend to be particularly lightweight and breathable. Whichever style you’re in the market for, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up some of the best options in each category to make your shopping a breeze.
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1. Sidi’s Genius 7
Sidi’s stiff style allows for great power transfer, complete with a durable mircrofiber upper and Millennium 4 carbon composite sole.
Pros: Micro-metric buckles allow for precise adjustments. A narrow heel cup and woman-specific last help give you the perfect fit. The instep closure system is soft and adjustable, while padding at the tongue also offers added comfort. The rubber heel tabs are non-slip and replaceable.
Cons: This style may be heavier than other models.
2. Venzo Mountain Bike Cycling Shoes
These feature rugged soles for added traction on trails. The synthetic and mesh upper on this style is airy and quick-drying.
Pros: This option is quite low-cut style to give you a light and fast feel on the road. It also offers a flexible forefoot for added comfort and easy and off access. The shoes and pedals come with a one year warranty. These feature two-hole cleats that are recessed into the sole, which makes walking easier.
Cons: The included pedals aren’t that sturdy (these are compatible with Shimano SPD pedal systems, which you can purchase separately).
3. Shimano RP2W SPD-SL Cycling Shoes
This streamlined style offers a fiberglass-reinforced nylon sole for efficient power transfer. It also includes an offset strap design to relieve stress on pressure points and an extra-padded tongue for optimal plushness.
Pros: Mesh inserts allow or breathability, while three velcro straps help you get a customized fit. These shoes are compatible with 2-bolt or 3-bolt SPD cleats.
Cons: These tend to run small.