Your feet are one of the most important points of contact on your bike, so it’s vital that you choose your cycling shoes carefully. There are a lot of options though, so it can be hard to know what’s best. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve invested miles and miles so you can find the best cycling shoes for your performance requirements, riding style and budget.
Do you need to spend a fortune to get the latest pro model, or will a cheaper option work just as well?
Some riders prefer a pair of shiny white disco slippers, even though they’re hard to keep clean; others prefer classic black, but some may say black shoes are boring.
The fit and intended use of cycling shoes can also vary wildly. It’s easy to invest a lot of money in this issue and end up with a pair of shoes that don’t fit your unique foot type or riding style.
If you need to clip into something, check out our guide to the best road bike pedals.
Fizik Tempo Powerstrap R5 Road Shoes
Fizik’s Tempo Powerstrap shoes feature a clever Velcro fastening system that wraps around the entire foot for improved fit and comfort. the R5 model benefits from a nylon composite outsole that is designed to be flexible and lightweight without sacrificing pedaling efficiency.
Rapha Pro Team Powerweave
Instead of using synthetic microfiber materials in the upper like most of the other best cycling shoes, Rapha chose to use what is called Powerweave. 3D braiding technology is designed to provide support, flexibility and breathability to optimize performance.
Inside, an adjustable two-part insole is responsible for arch support. It is adjustable through an additional section under the arch, which can be added or removed to change the level of support. There is also a tongue that disperses pressure, which is thicker and does not quite conform to the shape of the foot when pulled up during the pedal stroke. When stamping back, there is a full-length carbon fiber sole for a stiff platform and direct power transfer.
All of this adds up to an incredible shoe that we think deserves a five-star rating.
Built for the road rider, the Giro Savix cycling shoe offers everything you’d expect from Giro.
The shoe features a Boa Dial design with a single dial and a “set it and forget it” strap for easy on and off of the shoe. Of course, the dial comes with a macro release to help you quickly remove the shoe.
The outsole is made of injection-molded nylon with a universal cleat holder that supports 2 or 3 holes. That means if you want to swap out the cleats for mountain bikes, you can easily do so. And, when you do more road riding, switch back.
Please note that these shoes fit very well, so if you wear socks on your bike a lot, you may want to go a half size up or a full size up.
Riders who have purchased these shoes report that they are as lightweight as a performance shoe, but with the comfort of a beginner’s shoe. The mesh provides good breathability in the summer.
I recommend these shoes to beginners because you definitely get what you pay for and they are versatile. If you switch between mountain and road biking, this could be a good shoe for you. You don’t need to buy both types of shoes, you just need to replace the cleats.
Note that if you use these shoes a lot, they won’t last as long, but you will get a few light to moderate riding seasons out of them.
Sidi Alba 2
Sidi has built a reputation for high style, high performance and a commensurate high price. But the Alba 2 bucks the trend with a level of performance and value not found in the superior Italian brand. the Millennium 4 Carbon Composite sole is the same as some of the more expensive models, with replaceable rubber lugs at the toe and heel. We were pleasantly surprised by the stiffness of the sole, as it far exceeds what is expected of a shoe at this price point. The upper is made of a synthetic material called Politex that gives the leather a shine, provides extra durability, resists wear and scuffs, and fits our testers’ feet the way you’d expect from a stylish Italian shoe. The Techno 3 dial closure on the top of the shoe functions similarly to the Boa dial, with small buttons on the outside, and we found them easy to adjust on-the-fly. While not as easy to use as the Techno 3 dials, the two Velcro closures at the toe and midfoot were sufficient to adjust the fit. We can’t ignore style. While the Alba 2 are on the cheaper end of the Sidi line, they retain the level of style Sidi is known for.
Specialized Torch 1.0 – The Best Value Cycling Shoe
The Specialized Torch 1.0 is a top quality shoe at a very low cost. The sole is moderately stiff and lightweight, making it perfect for entry-level cyclists. This shoe has a professional signature body geometry that provides increased stability and alignment, less metatarsal pressure and arch support. The shoe offers comfortable padding at the tongue and heel and features 94 ventilation holes to ensure adequate airflow. This shoe has a great balance of stiffness and comfort for the novice or casual cyclist.