Finding the best shoes for Peloton bikes requires more than shelling out on ones you like the look of. Whether it’s your first time spending on spin shoes or you’ve exhausted your reliable ride-or-die footwear, there’s still plenty to consider when purchasing a fool-proof pair of cycling shoes.
If you’ve already invested in a Peloton bike (opens in new tab) or any of the other best exercise bikes (opens in new tab) currently on the market, then you’re probably on the hunt for the perfect pair of cycling kicks to compliment them. Not only will you need the right fit, budget, and style, but you’ll need to consider your cleats, too.
Cleats fit the bottom of your cycling shoe and allow you to clip into your exercise bike – but not all bikes (or shoes) are built the same. Many models come fitted with pedals compatible with either a 2-bolt (SPD) or 3-bolt (Delta) cleat system. Peloton bikes are compatible with Delta cleats, so your shoes need to be Delta compatible as well. That said, you can change the pedals on most bikes (some have dual-sided pedals) or purchase an SPD adapter.
Clipping in isn’t exactly necessary to get those muscles pumping and calories melting, but it can vastly improve your power output and energy efficiency. The connection between foot and pedal also improves lower body alignment, and reduces your risk of injury (or the exacerbation of any existing nasty niggles) to keep keen cyclists pounding the pedals for longer.
We give the lowdown on the benefits of cycling shoes, what to look for, and how cycling shoes work at the bottom of this guide. In the meantime, find the best exercise bikes on sale (opens in new tab) to kickstart your riding journey, or – if you’re ready to ride – read on for our full round-up of the best shoes for Peloton.
Best shoes for Peloton bike
The Peloton cycling shoe lands as our top pick for best Peloton shoes for the Peloton bike, which goes to show they truly are a match made in spin shoe heaven. The signature shoe was designed by Peloton specifically to pair with their namesake bike, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that it shot to the top of our testing charts.
Any Peloton lover could identify the brand of this shoe from a mile away. They’re designed in the signature Peloton colors of black, red, and white, with a P emblazoned boldly across the shoe and strap. There aren’t any other colors available though, so let’s hope you’re sold by the design. They also come packed with Look Delta cleats which will save you some faff (and cash.)
These shoes dance delicately between stiff and flexible, with a lightweight and breathable synthetic upper and mesh vent for breezy ventilation. The ankle and heel are plump with padding (a savior for sore ankles), and the shoe molds well to your foot. The hard plastic outsole provides plenty of rigidity when clipping in (for improved cycling efficiency and power output), and there’s virtually no float (foot movement) when connected with the Peloton pedals.
The Peloton shoe does veer towards the narrow side and the toe box can feel cramped on longer rides, which could be a problem for wide-footed wearers. Peloton uses a unique ratchet clip system (alongside two chunky forefoot velcro straps) which takes a few goes to figure out, but it micro-tweaks the tightness of the shoe once you’ve nailed the technique. If you can adapt to a stiffer shoe, the Peloton pair could be for you.
We’re struggling to find a bad word to say about the Giro Regime cycling shoes. They offer buyers style and substance in one (pretty expensive) box, but while this shoe is premium priced, their minimalist design and sock-like slip-on quality place them above many of their peers.
The Synchwire upper provides enough flexibility to wrap and mold well to feet without lacking the rigidity required in a top-grade cycling shoe, and the dual BOA L6 dials allow users to fasten the shoe around the forefoot and ankle with precision often left wanting in shoes that rely solely on laces or velcro straps. This method also prevents pinching and allows you to personalize the shoe to your foot shape. The midfoot and forefoot benefit from pinprick perforations to help your feet breathe a sigh of relief during hot and sweaty exercise, and the stiff carbon-composite sole plate (one of the best materials available on the cycling shoe market) improves your power transfer and efficiency when pushing the pedals.
The premium features more than earn the shoe its price tag, and the Regime is also a looker. Giro has opted for sleek and slimline, rather than the chunky bowling look adopted by some brands, and this just adds to their high-end appeal. Perhaps the only drawback of this shoe is the BOA-dial pop-release feature, which means you can’t loosen the wire laces without releasing all of the tension in one go, but this does little to detract from the quality.
Our tester branded these shoes a lightweight second-skin, and we’re sure they’ll lure in Peloton lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Granted, they’re not the most subtle-looking cycling shoe on the market, but what the Venzo Santic cycling shoes lack in subtlety, they more than make up for with comfort and performance. They’re a supremely spacious addition to our cycling shoe round-up, and this might be music to the ears of wide-footed cyclists who are fed up with shoehorning themselves into their shoes.
Yes, they’re a fine fit for wide feet, but Venzo has made these shoes affordable, too. They cost under $100, including your Look Delta cleats, and are also compatible with 2-bolt and 3-bolt cleats, so regardless of your cycling style, you can rest assured they’ll perform.
In our eyes, you’ll struggle to find a roomier cycling shoe. The low-cut heel, flexible forefoot, and 9° of float (amount of foot movement available when connected to the pedal) all culminate in a shoe to be enjoyed rather than tolerated. The synthetic upper and ultra-lightweight mesh are highly breathable, and the removable sock liner, ample cushioning, and stable outer sole all lend themselves to Venzo’s vision of comfort. However, hardcore cyclists might prefer stiffer shoes that can increase their power output.
The Venzo shoe is fitted with three thick velcro straps that feel a bit outdated, and this system can sometimes lack efficient support for your foot. Surprisingly, they wrap the foot like a gentle and reassuring hug, so we can let go of our bias toward the more modern BOA-dials (for now.) The beveled raised heels are prone to chafing, and they left us confused as they’re mostly found on running shoes to reduce heel strike impact. Overall, the shoe might look like a ‘90s throwback, but we’re definitely along for the ride.
Shimano is one of the most well-known cycling manufacturers in the world, so our expectations were high when taking the Shimano RC1 cycling shoes for a spin. Thankfully, they fit like a glove, and we loved the sleek and understated design.
Shimano has opted for simplicity by stripping it back with a limited color palette of just blue and black, and three quick-fit velcro straps secure feet without pinching, to complete the look. The surround-wrapping synthetic leather upper is highly breathable and reduces overlap to help minimize any hotspots, while the nylon mesh panels help improve ventilation and reduce moisture retention, and there’s also a forefoot vent on the sole.
The reinforced glass fiber outer sole isn’t quite the carbon footplate of its premium peers but strikes a balance between compliance and rigidity very well, and they hold their own during rigorous uphill climbs and sprints. It’s worth buying a size up as the RC1s can come up a touch tight, and you could find your toes pushing against the toe cap when you’re out of your seat. Despite this, the heel is soft, thick, and padded (we could have used some of that around the toes), and, for an entry-level shoe, these are undeniably durable and sturdy.
The Shimano RC1 veers towards being basic and there aren’t many features to speak of, but we rate the uncomplicated approach. They’re only Look Delta cleat compatible, and you’ll need to purchase cleats separately, but sweeping in at less than $100, we’re sold on Shimano.
Note: This shoe is currently being reviewed. When we have finished testing the product, we will update this guide accordingly.
The Santic cycling shoe is perfect for colorful cyclists looking to save their cents without cutting corners on fun and quality. These shoes are only 3-bolt compatible, but Santic provides cleats with your purchase.
Although these cycling shoes sport the look of a bowling shoe, the bold block color palette packs in some fun style and the BOA turn dial system micro-tightens and loosens your shoe in place of laces or velcro straps – although there is one small velcro strap to secure your forefoot. Santic has opted for an outdoorsy feel with the design, bringing together a durable perforated PU upper with a nylon-composite outer sole that makes the shoe feel hardy yet supple. Santic claims this blends comfort with the stiffness required for optimum pedaling efficiency, and we whole-heartedly agree, although the shoe is very stiff and can take some getting used to. Users searching for a glove-like fit won’t find it with this shoe.
Regardless, Santic has still somehow managed to nail comfort, and these shoes are also suitable for wide-footed users. If you’ve got narrow feet, the adjustable dial and thick ankle padding will provide enough support – although Santic could’ve packed in more – and you won’t need to worry about any heel slippage during rides. The shoe connects well to the pedal, and the cleats stay secure even with the resistance cranked right up.
Although these shoes don’t mold well to your foot, and we weren’t won over by the bowling shoe aesthetic, we loved the color palette, durability, and surprisingly comfortable fit of the Santic – and they can certainly withstand a sweaty spin beating.
The Rapha Classic cycling shoe is known among its (many) fans as the sort-of Prada equivalent in the luxury cycling shoe world. Upon first glance, they look unassuming but peer closer and you start to notice subtle design touches that set them apart. These shoes are expensive, but they come with a drawstring tote bag, spare pair of laces, and high arch pads to sweeten the deal.
Rapha has perfectly balanced comfort, style, and durability with the Classic. The signature Rapha reflective toe strap and multicolored strap hook elevate what is otherwise a blank canvas, and the soft palate of stone gray, black pearl, and white ooze simplicity and class. The premium carbon footplates (carbon fiber is mostly found in high-end cycling shoes) provide a rigid base to drive more efficient cycling cadence and reinforce durability. Rapha also claims their shoes are ‘the most comfortable cycling shoes in the world,’ but while we rate them in the comfort stakes, they come up tight.
The cooling perforated 100% microfiber upper is low-cut for better range of motion around the ankle, and features a double-wall lacing system to prevent pinch points and disperse force evenly around the foot. It’s a lightweight shoe with very little flex, a spacious toe box, sculpted heel, and non-slip grippy sole. This shoe does and says all the right things, but narrow-footed riders should buy a size up to avoid disappointment.
The Nike SuperRep cycling shoes don’t look out of place in a lineup of the brand’s most stylish trainers or football boots, and that’s the main reason we love these cycling shoes – there’s not a whiff of a bowling shoe aesthetics in sight. Here stands an undeniably good-looking shoe with sultry color palette names like Crimson Bliss and Pearl White and the signature Nike tick stamped proudly across the side, earning it a big tick from us, too.
These cycling shoes weigh practically nothing and feature a super-flexi breathable mesh upper that provides all-over air flow that is worlds apart from the stiff and unforgiving upper of some of its counterparts. The hard plastic sole offers the necessary rigidity to optimize energy return, and the crossover hook and loop velcro straps secure your forefoot and heels brilliantly, while the part-rubber base has superior grip for pottering around comfortably off the bike. A highly desirable feature is the recessed cleat which fits through the sole of the shoe and allows the cleat to sit nearly flush with the ground. This makes the cycling shoe feel more reminiscent of a regular trainer, and makes walking far more comfortable.
However, these shoes come up very tight and narrow, so we highly recommend going a whole size up if you want to benefit from the breathable design. Nike has gone the extra mile by offering 2-bolt and 3-bolt compatibility for maximum versatility, but cleats are sold separately, and the SuperReps aren’t cheap as it is. After all, you are partly paying for the name. These shoes also come with washers, bolt screws, and an adaptable cleat insert plate (for fitting your cleats) thrown in.
If you’ve spent years trying to find your perfect (narrow) match, the Fizik Tempo R5 Overcurve cycling shoe could finally be your cycling savior. These shoes are clean-cut and slimline, offering a snug glove-like fit suitable for any cyclist seeking a little hug from their shoe. The design will divide its buyers, but we rate Fizik for its decisive approach to inclusive footwear.
The R5s technically sit within the midrange market but are still expensive and come without cleats. Price aside, everything about the shoe looks and feels premium, which is typical of the Fizik Italian footwear brand. The color combinations are beautiful and simple and the BOA-dial system offers micro-tightening adjustments (alongside a velcro strap) to gently hug your foot – rather than squeeze it. The perforated upper uses seam-free Microtex with a carbon fiber reinforced nylon-composite sole designed to improve cycling efficiency.
The big sell is the overcurve (construction) method which is ergonomically designed with a staggered collar to follow the natural contours of your foot; this means the shoe conforms to your natural foot shape rather than vice-versa, and it’s both intelligent and supremely comfortable. Hot-weather cyclists might struggle to breathe in this shoe, as the perforations stop around the toe box and there’s no inbuilt vent elsewhere to air your feet. The toebox is a squeeze, but this is solely down to fit, as the shoe (as a whole) is thoughtfully designed with its narrow-footed user in mind.
How we tested
We tested all cycling shoes in our purpose-built testing center and scored them from 1-5 across the following criteria:
- Design and features
- Value for money
For all models, we tackled a fast-paced HIIT class and an active recovery session to ensure each shoe could power through and deliver.
We then gave the shoes an overall rating out of five with a final verdict summarizing each model’s strengths and weaknesses, and whether we reckon they’re ride-ready.
How to choose the best shoes for Peloton
We spoke to Marie Napier, head trainer of Ride at Psycle on how to choose the best shoes for your bike.
“The main difference between 2-bolt and 3-bolt cleats is that 2-bolts are used for mountain biking and 3-bolt for road cycling (and indoor bikes),” Napier explains. “3-bolt cleats will give the rider a more stable connection to the pedal because the cleat and pedal have a greater surface to clip into.”
Napier also tells us that 3-bolt cleats (SPD-SL and Look Delta) are recommended for spinners, while instructors tend to favor 2-bolt SPD cleats for faster transitions and because they often have a recessed cleat to make walking easier. Fashion-conscious buyers might also prefer a 2-bolt cleat, and some companies now produce them with spinners in mind.
“In regards to power transfer, the difference between them is minimal. When buying your shoes, just make sure they’re compatible with your bike or the cleats your studio uses,” she says. “You should make sure your shoes aren’t too small either, as this can cause numbness, and you should be able to wiggle your toes in the shoe.”
It’s also worth exploring our guide on how cycling shoes work if you’re new to spinning and still exploring your options.
Related: Peloton vs Echelon
Another factor to consider is budget. As we found during testing, the most expensive pair doesn’t necessarily mean the best, but premium brands will favor premium materials which often means better quality. So, while you might not be tempted to splash the cash on Rapha Classic cycling shoes, you may still want to look in the region of $80-$100 – like with the Peloton cycling shoe – to ensure your shoe is built to last.
Lastly, when choosing your shoe, we recommend focusing on three comfort factors:
You should always look for a fairly stiff and durable upper, as this will ensure maximum efficiency as you pedal, and they should also last longer. It’s important to strike a balance here, because you still want them to feel lightweight and comfortable during endurance rides which may require a semi-flexible fit. Many brands use a synthetic upper which is a good place to start.
Premium brands use a carbon foot plate or carbon fiber reinforced materials to guarantee as much rigidity as possible. Your sole should be stiff and hard-wearing, but nylon or glass fiber will still offer you a great quality sole if your budget is a little lower.
BOA-dial systems are becoming more popular amongst cycling brands because they better secure your foot during the push-pull phases of your cycling cadence. Laces and velcro straps are becoming increasingly outdated, but many instructors and riders still prefer them so it often comes down to personal preference.
The benefits of using the best shoes for Peloton
It might seem obvious which muscles are used when cycling, but how you cycle can help or hinder your rides. Clipping in is far from a new concept, and the best exercise bikes – like the Peloton bike – use the system to help secure a cyclist’s foot during top speeds and uphill climbs, and this can make longer rides far more comfortable.
The best shoes for Peloton will improve the connection between foot and pedal. A solid connection improves the quality of your cadence (pedal revolutions) by helping to drive the push phase (pressing down of the foot) and aid the pull phase (pulling up), to generate more power from leg to bike as you exercise. This can also help with alignment to stop sore knees in their tracks.
Best shoes for Peloton 2022 Source link Best shoes for Peloton 2022