If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
As fitness enthusiasts know, spinning is an excellent workout choice for building your endurance, strengthening, burning calories, 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. If you bought an indoor spin bike during quarantine and need some shoes to go with it, here’s everything you need to know about the best spinning shoes to purchase.
Spinning Shoes vs. Regular Athletic Shoes
Spinning shoes are typically designed with a stiff sole, and with less padding than other athletic shoes. The stiffer construction and clip-in design allows your foot to transfer as much power from your legs as possible into the pedal and efficiently propel the bike forward (or, in the case of indoor spinning, towards a higher output). 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.
The Types of Cleats Available on Spinning Shoes
Cleats are generally sold separately than spinning shoes because there are two different types that correspond to one of two primary pedaling systems: the Delta system and the SPD system. It’s best to check which ones your indoor spin bike or outdoor cycling bike requires before making a purchase. Peloton bikes, for example, use Delta-compatible cleats.
Why Should You Purchase Spinning Shoes?
So why should you purchase a shoe specifically for spinning? Investing in 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. Plus, whenever we can return to fitness studios like SoulCycle, you’ll save yourself the $3-$5 rental fee cost.
What to Look for in a Spinning Shoe
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure the cleats your spinning shoes come with will fit your bike, and enable you to easily clip in and clip out before and after your workout. Spinning shoes also come with a variety of fastening and lacing systems, including Velcro straps, laces, crank wheels and/or a combination of multiple. Velcro is simpler to use and might be easier for older users, whereas laces may give you a more customized, secure fit. It’s up to you, none of them will make or break your ride, but it’s important to explore all of your options before making a decision.
Cleats and shoes for spinning are typically sold separately, and while there are numerous brands and styles to choose from, these are a few trusted brands that we feel outperform their competitors. If you’re looking for the best shoes for your indoor cycling bike, Peloton, NordicTrack or otherwise, these are our picks.
1. SHIMANO SH-RP1 All-Rounder Cycling Shoe
This spin shoe from SHIMANO is both stiff and lightweight, the perfect combination when you’re looking for a supportive shoe that also won’t weigh you down during climbs. It has a synthetic sole with reinforced fiberglass so your muscular power is directly translated to speed on the bike, enabling you to ride for longer using less energy. The fit is secure via two straps and the durable construction is built to last through many rides.
2. Venzo Men’s Cycling Shoes
These spin shoes from Venzo have excellent ratings on Amazon for their look, performance and compatibility with indoor spin bikes like the Peloton. They’ve got Delta cleats that come ready to screw on and have a nine degree floating design for comfort as well as adjustable resistance. The shoe itself is also designed for performance with quick-drying fabric, breathable mesh and a durable synthetic upper. The shoe has a low-cut construction for easy on and off as well as a flexible forefoot for keeping your arches happy.
3. Nike SuperRep Indoor Cycling Shoe
Nike’s indoor cycling shoes are another great option that’s compatible with many of the most common cleat systems. Not only do these spin shoes perform well they look great in the process and are designed to keep your feet as cool as possible on the bike. They have built-in vents in the plate under your forefoot as well as a perforated sockliner for airflow. The adjustable straps keep your foot secure when in or out of the saddle, and there’s a plate on the back of each shoe that keeps your foot from sliding out when you’re really grinding. They come in three different colors, but the neon ones are my favorite for lighting up your ride.
4. Specialized Torch 1.0 Road Shoes
BEST LACING SYSTEM
These Torch 1.0 road shoes from Specialized are made with a Boa L6 dial that makes it super easy and fast to fasten them precisely. They’re lightweight, durable, affordable and engineered with a 6.0 stiffness index for moderate stiffness overall. The synthetic upper wraps comfortably around your foot and they have a reflective heel that increases your visibility to motorists if you’re riding outside. They have a three-bolt cleat pattern on the bottom that’s compatible with all major road pedal systems, including Delta and SPD.
5. Peloton Bike Essentials Package
Peloton makes a great pair of cycling shoes, and if you’re buying their bike you might as well tack on an extra $150 a purchase the shoes meant for their already very expensive machine. This package includes the shoes with cleats already attached, weights and headphones. It’s a convenient bundle for any beginner rider whose dipping their toe into the extensive boutique fitness world that is Peloton. That being said, if you’re purchasing another, more affordable spin bike you can also opt for a cheaper pair of shoes without sacrificing the quality of your rides.
6. Gavin MTB Indoor Cycling Shoes
The affordable Gavin MTB Indoor Cycling Shoes sport a sleek design with a triple carbon fiber hook and loop Velcro straps for a secure fit around your feet. The sole has two-bolt cleat compatibility, meaning SPD, Crank Brothers and MTB pedals can all be attached. Plus, these spinning shoes sport a perforated insole that’s lightweight and quick drying, which is ideal for high intensity and sweaty workouts.
7. Louis Garneau Men’s Multi Air Flex II Bike Shoes
These spin shoes from Louis Garneau are super lightweight and have a more flexible, composite outsole than other cycling shoes, making them easier to walk in and travel with. They have a hook and loop closure up top that’s easy to maneuver and a breathable design so your feet won’t swelter in the heat. They’ve made for versatile riding, whether you’re inside, outside, commuting or training, and have SPD cleats that are compatible with most indoor and mountain bikes.
8. NOBULL Black Men’s Cycling Shoes
If you’re going for the style points, these ultra-sleep, modern cycling shoes from NOBULL are an excellent pick. The deconstructed upper doesn’t just look cool, it’s also designed to offer stability and comfort on uphill climbs, and the perforated fabric offers ventilation and dries quickly. These shoes also have a three-bolt cleat pattern that’s compatible with indoor and outdoor bikes, and they’ve got NOBULL velcro straps and elastic laces for a secure fit.
9. Pearl iZUMi Tour Road Cycling Shoe
The Pearl iZUMi Tour Road Cycling Shoe boasts a modern design with a classic lace-up closure to ensure a secure fit. These indoor cycling shoes are constructed from a high-quality synthetic upper and include a padded lining for a comfortable feel when you’re peddling in spin class. Also, to help you stay cool in class, you’ll find Direct-Vent technology built into the sole. Plus, these shoes are compatible with both two and three bolt cleats and are available in either black or white.
10. TIEM Slipstream Women’s Indoor Cycling Spin Shoe
With over 85% of Amazon users awarding the TIEM Slipstream Indoor Cycling Spin Shoe a five-star review, you can be sure it’s doing something right. The slip-on shoes feature an upper made from high-quality mesh, which works to keep your feet cool during workouts. The shoes also feature a recessed SPD cleat fitting which means they are more comfortable to walk around in when you aren’t on the bike. Unlike most spin class shoes, the TIEM Slipstream are designed to look like modern running shoes while still providing support to your feet and ankles. These indoor cycling shoes let you avoid the awkward Velcro that you’ll find on most of the other shoes on this list. If style is a factor when selecting your workout wear, then these are the best shoes for spin class you’ll find.
11. Santic Cycling Shoes
With their anti-slip properties, effective ventilation and impressive reinforcement, the Santic Cycling Spin Shoes tick all the boxes. Add the three attractive color options of red, green and grey, and buying these shoes guarantees you look great and stay comfortable throughout class. For maximum security on your feet, the uppermost buckle includes an added clasp to prevent unwanted movement.
12. Shimano AM5 Mountain Biking Shoes
BEST MOUNTAIN BIKING SHOES
If your weekly spinning workout is often accompanied by a weekend romp through the wilderness on your mountain bike, then the Shimano AM5 Mountain Bike shoes are a great pick. They’re made of durable synthetic leather and mesh that provides protection while still being breathable. They’re SPD-compatible with a pedal channel that keeps you stable in the saddle. They’ve got hook and loop straps that protect your laces from coming undone, and they’re easy to walk in through the high-grip rubber outsoles and reinforced heel and toe traction.
Read More: Best Workout Shoes
13. Tommaso Strada 200 Dual Cleat Spinning Shoe
BEST SPD CLEATS
These Tommaso Strada spinning shoes are made for indoor cycling with SPD cleats (Peloton uses Delta) and offer the shoes and cleats in one bundle. The upper is made of durable leather that hugs your foot to keep it in place, and ventilated mesh portions offer temperature control. The top buckle ratchets to lock your in during your ride and there are two velcro straps to secure the rest of your foot. The fiberglass reinforced sole provides the stiffness you need to transfer your muscular movements to power on the bike, allowing you to pedal for longer and use less energy.
Read More: Best Biking Shoes
14. Tommaso Pista Women’s Cycling Shoes
BEST 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 four-star rating from tons 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 to be 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.
Read More: Best Spin Bike Accessories
15. SANYES Men’s Cycling Shoes
This sleek spinning shoe is designed with compatibility in mind. They’re unisex and work with two or three bold cleat and pedal systems including SPD, Look Delta, SPD-R&SPD-SL. The unibody construction has large mesh inserts that reinforce the shape and stability while staying breathable. The upper part of the cycling shoe has a portable rotating buckle that’s easy to put on and take off. These cycling shoes are comfortable to wear on long outdoor rides as well as indoor training sessions.
16. SH-RC9 S-PHYRE Cycling Shoe
BEST ROAD SHOE
The road shoe is the most important out of only three contact points on the bike and therefore must be comfortable, durable and high-performing. Thankfully this SH-RC9 S-PHYRE cycling shoe checks all three boxes and has received solid feedback from World Tour racers who’ve tested it and then some. This shoe is comprised of Dura-Ace parts that make up the stiffness you want from this shoe combined with the weight balancing, reliability and impressive fit. This updated version of a shoe that’s been dominating the roads for a while features more perforations for ventilation, drainage holes for wet conditions and a few striking new colors that’ll make sure you stand out alongside your Sunday AM cycling crew.
17. Gavin MTB Indoor Cycling Shoes
BEST UNISEX SHOE
These spinning shoes are made for male and female feet with a perforated insole that’s lightweight and quick-drying for comfort. These shoes are cleat compatible with SPD, Crank Brothers and MTB pedals and have carbon fiber hook and loop straps for keeping your foot secure and in place. They also have a sturdy heel cup for a solid fit and foot stability, and are built to be as light as possible for transporting to and from class. Note that the cleats for these shoes are sold separately from the shoes themselves, so be sure to pick up a pair of those as well.
18. Sidi Kaos Carbon Cycling Shoe
If spin class is the highlight of your week, why not deck yourself out with a pair of these top-quality Sidi Kaos Carbon Cycling Shoes? The snug-fitting shoes sport a ratcheting buckle and Techno-3 wire for a secure hold around your feet, which lets you focus on putting everything you have into your spin session. The Millenium 4 outsole provides additional support for your feet, and the sole fixture is compatible with all three-hole cleats. The all-black design gives these shoes a sleek appearance which will make you look as good as you feel with them on your feet.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spin Shoes
Spin shoes are specialized shoes you wear while on a spin bike that are designed to help you pedal faster. The pedals on indoor spin bikes tend to be built to be clipped into, rather than simply pedaled, and spin shoes are designed with cleats that do just that.
Spin shoes can range widely in price, from $30-$200 in some cases, depending on the brand, style, lacing system and cleat compatibility you select. The average user doesn't need to spend more than $100 on spin shoes, and can select ones with basic cleats and velcro fastening systems. Plus, if you're an avid studio rider, if you factor in the $3 rental fees most spin studios charge, the cost will even out over time.
There are two main cleat types that most spinning shoes are compatible with — Delta and SPD cleats. Check which ones your new spin bike needs, and purchase spin shoes that either come with those cleats already on them or the correct holes for easily attaching them.