* Spin class and outdoor cycling workouts require special shoes
* Most indoor cycling shoes require cleats
* Buying your own pair of shoes saves money on rentals over time
As fitness enthusiasts know, spinning is an excellent workout choice for building your endurance, blasting away fat and toning your lower body. What you may not know, however, is how important it is to choose the correct shoe for indoor cycling. Running shoes or trainers are not designed for fast pedaling or for supporting the foot and ankle, so wearing these types of shoes during your class can lead to increased pressure and strain — not to mention increased chances of slipping off the pedals.
Spinning shoes are typically designed with a stiff sole, with less padding than other athletic shoes. The sole is also constructed with rubber to prevent slippage, and to keep your foot and ankle secure while pedaling. The most important aspect of a spinning shoe, however, is the type of cleats attached.
Cleats are generally sold separately, because there are two different types which correspond to one of two primary pedaling systems: the Delta system and the SPD system. It’s best to check with your studio or gym to see which pedaling system is used in the classes before investing in your perfect pair (SoulCycle, for example, recommends using Look Delta clips, but their pedals are also SPD compatible).
So why should you purchase a shoe specifically for spinning? Investing a pair of indoor cycling shoes will be a game changer for your favorite workout for a couple of reasons: first, they will allow you to transfer more energy from your legs to the bike because it won’t be absorbed by cushioning in the shoe. In turn, this results in your muscles working harder, which means your lower body is getting a better workout.
Second, wearing cycling-specific shoes will help prevent injury and lessen muscle soreness post-workout. And while a pair of shoes can be a pricey purchase at first, considering most studios rent shoes for $3-5 a pop, getting your own pair will end up being a better investment in the long term.
Cleats and shoes for spinning are typically sold separately and while there are numerous brands and styles to chose from, these are few trusted brands that we feel out-perform their competitors.
1. Pearl Izumi Women’s Cycling Shoes
This simple white cycling shoe designed by the spinning experts at Pearl Izumi offers you a professional look without the hefty price tag. Whether you’re an avid cyclist who spins multiple times a week, or simply like to incorporate a class or two a month to your normal fitness routine, these modest shoes make a big impact that you will notice once you hit the bike. The shoes feature an automatic closure system with straps positioned at a 25-degree angle to ensure that the fit contours you foot, reducing pressure and eliminating hot spots. These cleats will make a great addition to these cycling shoes.
2. Zol Predator MTB Cycling Shoes
These spinning shoes are a 2-in-1 deal. Unlike many options on the market, these spinning shoes come with cleats and pedals designed specifically for the shoe. The shoe is composed of carbon microfiber material and features two buckled Velcro straps for adjustable fit to ensure optimum security and foot stability while pedaling. These shoes are also suitable for mountain biking. Additionally, these just might be the most lightweight cycling shoes we’ve tried. The non-stitched leather and mesh composition adds to the comfort level and adjustable fit, while the center tongue separation allows the ankle to move more freely.
3. Tommaso Pista Women’s Cycling Shoes
You can’t really go wrong with this pair of cycling shoes from Tommaso. They’re a best-seller on Amazon, with a 4.3 star rating from dozens of happy customers and they come with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty that lets you return the shoes if they don’t fit perfectly. Construction-wise, these shoes are made from a comfy and flexible synthetic leather (great for riders who are vegan and prefer their shoes cruelty-free). They also have thoughtful mesh cut-outs that let your feet breathe without trapping sweat. The most unique part: the shoe’s fiberglass reinforced sole, which provides optimal stability and traction, allowing users to ride longer and faster using less energy.
4. Shimano SH-RT5 Men’s Cycling Shoes
This sleek, all-black men’s cycling shoe by Shimano is designed with a three Velcro-strap fastening, which not only boosts your cycling performance, but also makes for added comfort while cycling or walking. The shank plates are constructed with durable, glass-reinforced fiber for maximum sole rigidity. The perforated vegan leather upper offers both style and function to your spinning look, ensuring a snug fit for added security and ankle protection during your workout. Try these cleats for a perfect match to this pair of shoes.
5. Giro Riela Women’s Cycling Shoes
This black and white spinning shoe ranks one of the best-selling spinning shoes on Amazon, and we can surely understand why. This shoe is equipped with a super breathable microfiber fabrication upper featuring anti-microbial properties to keep odors at bay, while the molded EVA footbed provides medium to full arch support. Giro is known for their supportive fit, and the stylish racer style is no exception. Looking for matching cleats? Try these for the ideal fit.