How to Choose Cycling Shoes

In this article, we will try to analyze in detail the types of cycling shoes, the appropriateness of its use, advantages, and disadvantages. The article will be useful for both beginners and advanced amateurs who want to improve their skills and move to a new level of cycling.

When buying a bike, very few people think about the shoes in which they will ride. This is not the right approach, because cycling shoes plays a rather important role both in transferring effort from the pedal to the transmission and in ensuring your safety when pedaling.

Types of Bicycle Shoes

Bicycle shoes are divided into two main types:

  • non-contact bicycle boots;
  • contact bicycle boots.
Clipless bike shoes and non-clipless

How to Choose Contactless Bicycle Shoes

Non-contact bicycle shoes – popular with both beginners and professional athletes. The number of manufacturers and the model range is very wide, and everyone can choose a model based on their needs and preferences:

  • walking;
  • sports;
  • extreme;
  • breathable
  • closed;
  • tourist.

Let’s dispel the myth that cycling shoes are not needed at all and you can ride ordinary running sneakers or even classic shoes and there will be no difference!

When choosing shoes for cycling, you need to follow the basic rules:

  1. Bicycle shoes should have a fairly stiff and non-slip sole made of wear-resistant rubber. For example, running shoes are not quite suitable, they have a soft sole made of foam rubber for cushioning. Shoes with soft soles will not be convenient when pedaling and quickly deteriorate from rubbing on the pedal. Special bike shoes do not have such drawbacks and will last much longer!
  2. Rigid outsole – it will be much better to transfer effort from the foot to the pedal, increasing the efficiency, reducing energy consumption, and the cost of effort when pedaling, which is a very important factor!
  3. Tenacious sole – will reduce the number of false slipping of the foot from the pedal, add safety and confidence when riding. Persistence is especially important when driving aggressively or riding on rough terrain, where there are a large number of stones, roots, and other irregularities.
  4. Bicycle shoes should sit tight on your foot, fix well, and not fall off. Correctly selected size and good fixation will reduce leg displacements while riding and increase pedaling efficiency. You can choose from several options for fixation – shoelaces, Velcro, or BOA.
  5. Cycling shoes should have a protected toe and a durable heel. A protected shoe nose piece will protect your fingers from twigs, stones, or a failed maneuver. A hard heel provides the best fixation of the foot in shoes.

These are the characteristics that cycling non-contact shoes should have; they are suitable for beginners and experienced cyclists.

If you want more, improve your performance and get new bike skills? You need contact shoes.

How to choose contact bike shoes

Contact bicycle shoes have the same characteristics as non-contact shoes with only one difference, they have special mounts on the sole. To use such shoes need special contact pedals. It works as follows: the shoe spike snaps into the pedal and your foot is firmly fixed.

The advantages of cantata shoes in the best transfer of effort from the foot to the pedal, increase efficiency, increase your average and maximum speed, and give you better control over the bicycle. You pedal not only down, but also pull up under effort! The load on the joints and tendons is reduced. Due to the clear fixation of the foot on the pedal, there are no unnecessary leg movements to the sides, the ankle and knee joint work in the same plane.

Contact shoes can be divided into groups:

  • Contact shoes for MTB.
  • Road bike shoes.
  • Universal contact shoes (you can ride them both on a road bike and MTB).
Contact shoes

Mountain bike contact shoes

A large section of cycling shoes, which includes many models for different types:

  • Freeride;
  • Downhill;
  • Trail;
  • Enduro;
  • Cross-country.

For extreme skiing – more protected models with reinforced toe, wide sole and side protection.

For cross-country cycling, lightweight, ventilated carbon-soled shoes with comfortable clasps.

Bicycle shoes for fans – softer cycle shoes with a sole made of polyamide, nylon, rubber and other materials. Provide maximum comfort and good transmission of effort from the foot to the pedal. These shoes are suitable even for socks every day.

Tourist contact shoes for cycling trips

If you are a fan of long cycling trips and bike trips, where it is important not only to ride but also to carry the bike on your shoulders uphill, take a look at tourist contact shoes. Such shoes have a high margin of safety, a comfortable and tenacious sole, not only for riding, but also for hiking. The spike is sunk deeper into the sole and does not interfere with walking.

Road bike contact shoes

For a road bike, contact shoes are required! It differs from MTB in the standard of studs and their fastening to the sole. It’s unlikely that you will be able to walk in such shoes) The spike is very massive and sticks out from the sole. Because the movement in such shoes only on a bicycle!

There are contact shoes for lovers and professionals. It has various fixation systems – from ordinary shoelaces, Velcro or BOA. More budget options will be with laces and Velcro, more expensive with ratchets.
Among the systems of fixation in road shoes, one can single out special shoes for triathlon, where it is important to quickly change shoes. These shoes will have a back loop for quick dressing in limited time conditions and a wide Velcro for quick fixation.

Now you know that cycling shoes play a very important role for cycling, so when making a choice, consider all the characteristics described in this article.

Remember: when choosing any bicycle shoe, fitting is an important factor. It is not always possible to choose shoes in the blind.

FAQ about contact bike shoes

Contact bike shoes sold with spikes?

No. Bicycle shoes are sold without spikes. Spikes are sold with contact pedals or separately. There are several standards for studs and pedals.

If the shoes are rigidly fixed with pedals, how to fasten?

In the beginning, many are afraid of falls, since it will not work to remove the foot with an arbitrary movement from the pedal. The foot is unfastened with the movement of the heel from itself, which is very convenient and simple. The main thing to remember is this movement and no problems will arise.

If I fall, will I fly with my bike fastened and break my legs?

It is a myth. The fixation is not strong to hold your foot in the spike when falling. Each pedal has a locking adjustment system. You can adjust it yourself.

Ralph Martin / Author
When you have to make a choice, you need to understand the choices you make. Make informed choices
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