Whether you’re an amateur cyclist, or you’re ready to take on The Tour de France, you need to own a pair of the best cycling shoes. They’ll drastically improve your cycling performance, and will protect your feet and muscles while riding, much more than a regular shoe.
What’s more, with a pair of the best cycling shoes on your feet, your ride will improve, which can go a long way to helping improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, and joint mobility, as well as reducing anxiety, depression, and stress levels.
So if want to take your cycling to the next level, it’s imperative you invest in a quality pair of cycling shoes.
Benefits Of Cycling Shoes
Most cycling shoes have very stiff soles to maximise your energy while riding, and ensures all the power from your legs transfers directly to the pedals, rather than your feet. The best cycling shoes are also lightweight and extremely comfortable.
Cycling shoes are also exceptionally durable. A high-quality pair of cycling shoes will last you for a long time, so while they tend to have a slightly higher price point than regular gym shoes, you won’t be needing to replace them year after year.
Clipping In Cycling Shoes
The best cycling shoes have a fastening system that allows the shoes to be clipped or locked into the pedals, similar to how snowboard shoes or ski boots lock onto the board or skis. While clipping in can take some getting used to; you’ll likely fall once or twice while you’re learning how to unclip for a quick stop, such as a red light, you’ll soon be able to unclip with ease.
And that minor learning curve is worth it for the benefits; clipping your cycling shoes to the pedals will improve your pedaling efficiency, and ultimately your entire cycling performance.
Popular Styles of Cycling Shoes
While you can get versatile cycling shoes, you can also get cycling shoes that specifically cater to different riding styles. The main two styles are road biking and mountain biking; road biking shoes tend to be very stiff with a carbon sole, and lightweight to assist with speed. Mountain bike shoes are also stiff but are more flexible than road biking styles to allow for walking and dismounting more frequently.
Depending on how you enjoy riding your bike, get the style of shoe best for you. However, if you regularly dabble in all types of riding, go for a versatile shoe.
Another thing to consider is the closing mechanism. Cycling shoes come in a wide variety of closure systems, and the best one will, again, depend on your needs. For example, if you compete in triathlons or ride to work, you’ll need to be able to get in and out of your cycling shoes quickly, so you’ll need to opt for a velcro strap rather than laces.
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We’ve rounded up a list of brands producing the best cycling shoes to improve your riding performance whether you’re just a cycling enthusiast or thinking about going pro. All brands featured are renowned in the cycling world, and no matter your preferred type of riding, you’ll find the best cycling shoes you’ve ever had below.
French company, Mavic has been engineering bicycle components since its inception in 1889. It’s safe to say they know a thing or two about cycling when they’ve been in the business that long.
It’s no surprise then that Mavic makes some of the best cycling shoes. They’re so good, many professionals choose Mavic cycling shoes when competing. They’re lightweight to ensure you can spin the pedals as fast as you can, but also provide ultimate foot support and power transfer.
Founded in the 70s, American company Specialized, are renowned for their bicycle & bicycle components range.
But, Specialized is also in the cycling shoe game as well. They produce high-performance cycling shoes that are perfect for both entry-level cyclists and pros. The S-Works shoe is one of their best cycling shoe models, with a light yet stiff sole for ultimate power transfer.
Numerous cycling professionals have won races using Shimano’s bicycle components and equipment, most notably Alberto Contador’s Tour de France victory in 2007.
Therefore, it’s obvious that the Japanese brand, Shimano, knows how to make some of the best cycling shoes. Dedicated to making race-ready shoes that are comfortable, you can’t go wrong with Shimano.
Sidi, an Italian-based company founded in 1960, is one of the best-known brands that produce some of the best cycling shoes.
Sidi’s philosophy is to create shoes with a perfect fit, so you never have to think about your feet; you can focus on the ride. Sidi is the shoe brand of choice of many professional cyclists because Sidi cycling shoes are comfortable and cutting edge.
Another household name for the best cycling shoes around is Lake. Unlike, other companies, Lake produces only cycling shoes to stay true to their core value: “to produce the best fitting, highest quality cycling shoes on the market”.
With a core value like that, it’s a safe bet that any pair of Lake cycling shoes are guaranteed to improve your performance.
Despite being the producer of many different sports equipment and accessories, Scott has an impressive range of cycling shoes.
While all cycling shoes are comfortable, lightweight, and provide ample arch support, Scott produces some of the best cycling shoes designed specifically to cater to training, racing, road cycling, and more, and are suitable for amateurs and professionals alike.
Giro believes that “riding is the best part of a great life and your equipment deserves attention to the smallest of details”. Founded in 1985, in California, Giro makes some of the best cycling shoes on the market.
Giro’s range is well stocked with both versatile and specific cycling shoes. All of Giro’s cycling shoes are durable, comfortable, and stylish.
Dedicated to creating sophisticated, inspiring, and beautiful gear, Fi’zi:k produce some of the best cycling shoes available.
Using physiological research, anatomic studies, and advanced technological development, Fi’zi:k’s bike shoes have the perfect combination of comfortable & lightweight, and performance-improving tech in all of their shoes. Plus, all of the cycling shoes are sleek and stylish and will elevate your cycling style.
Founded in 1962, Italian company, Gaerne produces some of the best cycling shoes on the market. Especially when founder, Ernesto Gazzola, believes that “whoever wears my shoes, should be proud every day as the Gaerne name stands for quality without compromise”.
All Gaerne cycling shoes are made in Italy, with high-quality materials, by expert craftsmen. Ride on.
When a cycling shoe and apparel brand is founded by a champion cyclist, you know the quality will be exceptional. Louis Garneau was a professional cyclist in the 70s & 80s and was even selected to compete at the 1980 & 1984 Olympics.
In 1983, Garneau started making cycling clothes in his dad’s garage, but his self-named gear & clothing brand expanded due to its high quality. Louis Garneau cycling shoes are extremely comfortable and practical; at the end of the day, the man knows what’s needed in a cycling shoe.
Bont, an Australian cycling brand, has become renowned for its ultra-light but ultra-stiff cycling shoes. The stiffness of Bont cycling shoes allows you to transfer force from your foot to the pedal and allows for more efficient pedaling during sprints and all-out cycling.
Bont, dedicated to producing the world’s most technically advanced and anatomically correct cycling shoes, has a fantastic range for both amateur and pro cyclists who enjoy a stiffer sole; Bont shoes are some of the best cycling shoes for road-riders.
Northwave knows that cycling shoes are one of the most critical pieces of equipment to a cyclist. The Italian company began manufacturing cycling shoes in 1993, that are comfortable, performance-driven, and stylish.
Northwave cycling shoes are extremely supportive and have advanced tech that will help you reach your full riding potential.
Innovative products and exceptional customer service are the two principles on which Serfas was founded. The bicycle accessories company doesn’t have a huge range of cycling shoes, but the saying ‘quality over quantity’ certainly applies here.
All Serfas cycling shoes are lightweight and breathable with a highly ventilated design. They all have soft, cushioned insoles and will keep your feet supported during your cycling sessions.
Bontrager was founded by Keith Bontrager, a pioneer in the development of the mountain bike. Bontrager, a motorbike racer and cycler himself, is dedicated to creating products that’ll make each ride better than your last.
There’s a Bontrager cycling shoe for every need, whether it’s mountain biking, road cycling, or spin cycling. All shoes are comfortable and feature smart tech for ultimate performance. Plus, the shoes come in a wide range of both playful and timeless colours; Bontrager has some of the absolute best cycling shoes you can get.
A relatively new company, MSC, founded in 1999, is committed to designing and developing products with the best quality and performance.
MSC cycling shoes are lightweight and comfortable and cater to both casual road use and competitive road use. With a minimalist design to reduce weight, these cycling shoes are perfect as road cycling shoes.
DMT is a company passionate about the art of cycling footwear. DMT has a full range of cycling shoes that cater to road cycling, mountain biking, track, and triathlons.
All DMT cycling shoes are high quality and expertly crafted, and allow wearers to enjoy their bike activities to the absolute fullest.