Basics Of Cycling Shoes

29 August, 2018

Cycling, like all sports, has its own set of gear standards. In fact, it goes beyond the essentials of a helmet, padded bike shorts and technical fabrics, especially with footwear topping the essential gear list. Cycling without clip-ins is almost like downhill skiing in cross country skis. Without cycling shoes, you don’t have as much control or power while pedaling, so to help you decide which shoe fits best, I've rounded up with a few pair to give you a reason to buy more "shoes".

Why bother with cycling shoes?
When you pedal in sneakers a lot of your power is lost in the bending of the shoe and sole. Cycling shoes improve performance by getting the knee right over the ball of the foot. They also help prevent injuries like plantar fasciitis, strained heels and knee injuries.
Do Cycling Shoes Need To Be Professionally Fitted And Taken For A Test Ride?
Yes, because they should fit like dance shoes or ice skates—you don’t want much motion in the shoe, but you don’t want to cut off circulation. Also, you need to make sure the ball of your foot is over the spindle. A shop can adjust the cleat for this perfect alignment. I recommend getting shoes with floating cleats, meaning your foot can move a few degrees and you’re not totally locked in. And I prefer the wider triple cleat to the SPD cleat because its wider base gives you more power.
Try going to your local bike store to get fitted. They can help you add the pedals to your bike and show you how to use them in a safe environment. You can learn more about how to clip in here.

Why Are They Expensive?
Shoes with plastic soles break quickly. Plan on spending at least $150 and spring for a single carbon bed in the sole. Also you want the shoe to have plenty of aeration holes, and a ratchet adjustment system instead of just Velcro.

Casual Cycling Shoes vs Active Cycling Shoes?
For the avid cyclist, I would recommend Fizik's R5 UOMO BOA Road Cycling Shoes . Their shoes are high-performance, well made, and very comfortable. They have something called a Boa system: you tighten the top of the shoe using a cord. There’s no pinching and it conforms to the natural curve of your foot. The carbon reinforced sole is very stiff and gives a smooth transfer of power into the pedals. The shoes are very easy to put on, adjust and take offI also recommend Giro Espada Road Cycling Shoes or SHIMANO SH-RP3 Cycling Shoes. 
For the casual cyclist or indoor spinner, shoes like the Tiem Cycling/Spinning Shoes or the New Balance Women's 09v1 Training Shoe would be fantastic for easy clipping in too. 

There are a lot of cycling shoes out there and it takes time to find the right shoe that fits. As you get better with cycling, your shoe game will advance as much as your miles.
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Image: Machines For Freedom / Socks

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