Skip to main content

Your guide to cycling shoes

Honestly, you can ride in any shoe that you want. However, there are some major benefits to wearing shoes that have been specifically designed for cycling. What makes a cycling shoe different? Well, the main characteristic of a cycling shoe is that they have stiffer soles. This allows you to be more efficient while you pedal.  


BASIC SHOE TYPES:

mountain shoe

SHOP NOW


road shoe

SHOP NOW

About road shoes:

-No tread, they are smooth

-The sole is very stiff

-They usually ‘clip in’

One of the main things about road shoes are that they are lightweight. Their stiff soles allow you to better transfer your energy while pedaling.  

3-hole cleat

These shoes have three holes in the sole. The 3-hole cleats allow for more stability, and you will transfer more energy while you pedal. This is because you’re able to spread the energy over a wider area which reduces pressure on connection points.

2-hole cleat

Some shoes have both a 2-hole system and a 3-hole system.

**Pro Tip: Look for a shoe with good ventilation, you really don’t want your feet to sit in sweat while you ride. Trust us.

**Another Pro Tip:  Well ventilated shoes are crazy cold in the winter. Get yourself some toe covers or full booties.

about Mountain Shoes:

-Grips are added to the bottom to allow the rider more traction.

-Stiff sole

-They can be flat or you can ‘clip in’

CLIP IN SHOES

Mountain bike clip in shoes usually have a 2-hole system that are recessed into the soles. This makes it much easier to get off and on the bike to walk around.

  

FLAT SHOES

These shoes don’t clip in but they usually have rubber soles that provide better traction.

**Pro Tip: When choosing a mountain bike shoe, make sure that your heel is comfortable. You’ll be hitting a lot of rocks which cause shocks. If you don’t have enough padding in your heel, you’ll feel it for days to come after your ride.

 

**Pro Tip: Shoes that ‘clip in’ are actually called ‘clipless’ shoes. We know, it’s confusing! But it comes from the fact that there aren’t toe clips on the shoes. It’s tradition and it’s one the industry hasn’t broken away from.



FIT OF SHOES:

-You want your shoes to fit from the start. Don’t think that they will get more comfortable, they often won’t (especially road shoes because they are super stiff).

-Make sure there’s room for your toes to wiggle. In case you don’t know, feet often swell when you’re exercising so make sure you leave a bit of wiggle room or else you’ll regret it.

-Arch support is key. Don’t forget that you need to support your arch. Everyone is different so you can get inserts that help support your arch even more.


rider picks:

All of our employees ride which means that they are first-hand experts! Check out which shoes they are currently rocking:

SPECIALIZED
S-WORKS RECON LACE

Shop Now

I use this shoe on the mountains or when riding gravel. I love it because it's lightweight and it's super breathable. The toe-box is a bit wider on this shoe which prevents against toe numbness which is a big plus.

When riding gravel, I recommend that you do some type of mountain shoe that has a platform that allows you to walk around. 

-Shirley, Visual Merchandiser

SPECIALIZED
2FO DH FLAT

Shop Now

I like that this has a stiff sole. The inside ankle cuff is raised so you don't smack your ankles on cranks as much. The sole is a really grippy compound so you're pretty much locked into the pedal. It feels like riding clips without actually riding clips.

-Nick, Rider Care Specialist

SPECIALIZED 
TORCH 2.0 ROAD SHOES

Shop Now

This is a great bang for your buck. You get some great features with a stiff sole but you're not breaking the bank. It also looks pretty and they say that if you look good, you ride good.

https://www.redrockbicycle.com/product/specialized-torch-2.0-road-shoes-311369-1.htm

-Joey, St George Manager