The Best Indoor Cycling Shoes To Invest In

You’re looking to make the most of your exercise regimen and have added another type of exercise to your routine. Or maybe indoor cycling has been a part of your life for a while, you’ve just never looked into the right kind of shoe to wear deeply enough. Choosing the best indoor cycling shoes to invest in is hugely important. It can make the difference between a fully transformational workout, and one that’s just ‘meh.’

You are of course looking for your exercising to have the most positive impact on your life possible! So choosing the right shoes for this is essential. Finding them will take self-knowledge, a keen eye, and a sense of what you want to express to the world through your choice of style. This article will help you get there.

Comparison Table

Product FAQ 

woman using an upright bike while wearing indoor cycling shoes

Image by Element5 Digital via Pexels.com

1. What Are the Best Indoor Cycling Shoes to Invest In?

The shoes you choose must possess a series of components. Some of these are functional and pertain to the action of cycling. Others are unique to you and will be based on what’s best for your overall experience.

2. How Do They Fit?

Hopefully your shoes have a snug fit without being too uncomfortably tight. They definitely do not want to be too loose. This can cause your foot to slide around and this will slow you down. A good frame of reference is to take your regular shoe size and scale that down by a half size, unless you already wear your shoes pretty tight normally.

3. How Do They Look?

This part is up to you! Are you looking for something more neutral and classic in both color and design? Or do you want some loud, extra expressive kicks that let people know you came to pedal down? It’s all your choice here, and there’s no wrong choice.

The good news is that depending on which kind of shoe you choose, there will almost always be a distinct color pallette for you to choose from. So have at it!

4. How Do They Grip the Pedal?

By their very nature, the best indoor cycling shoes to invest in are the ones that functionally do what you want them to do: most effectively gripping the pedal. When this type of shoe first came out it was game changing for cyclers everywhere because of how much more efficient you could be once you didn’t have to worry about your foot leaving the pedal in the transfer of your energy.

5. How Durable Are They?

Just as with regular shoes, indoor cycling shoes must be evaluated for their durability. How serious are you about cycling? Is this a commitment or just a sometimes hobby? How durable you decide you need your shoes to be will depend on how often you predict you’ll use them. And even if you don’t use them all the time, the more durable your pair, the better it’ll look; and for longer.

How We Reviewed 

close-up photo focus on indoor cycling shoes and upright stationary bike

Image by stevepb via Pixabay.com

A lot of scrutiny goes into the design elements of these shoes, so we’re going to look just as closely. In order to come up with a list of the best indoor cycling shoes out there, we looked at things like user feedback, the materials used to make the shoes, and also imagined how they’d look on the floor/studio next to other indoor cycling shoes.

Each of these shoes were ultimately crafted for similar purposes, though some focus more on being exceptional in one area over another. So make sure you decide what aspect is most important to you before making your choice of which pair to go with. Your feet, bank account, and sense of style will ultimately thank you.

Overall Price Range 

These retail for anywhere between 40 and 150 dollars. These differences encompass everything from how they look, to how they’re made, to how multi-purpose they are. Some can double as both indoor and outdoor; others are meant as indoor cycling shoes only. Again, your needs will determine which pair is right for you!

What We Reviewed

  • Giro Techne Cycling Shoes – Women’s
  • Pearl iZUMi Men’s X-ALP Journey Cycling Shoe
  • Gavin Road Cycling Shoe Shimano SPD
  • Gavin Mountain MTB Sneaker Style Cycling Shoe
  • Fizik R5B Donna BOA Shoe with Fuschia Trim
  • SHIMANO 2014 Men’s Commuter/Tour Cycling Shoes
  • Zol White MTB Indoor Cycling Shoes
  • Pearl W X-PROJECT 2.0
  • Louis Garneau – Women’s Multi Air Flex Bike Shoes for Indoor Cycling
  • Giro Carbide R II Cycling Shoes – Men’s

Giro Techne Cycling Shoes – Women’s

Giro Techne W Womens Road Cycling Shoe − 43, White/Silver (2020)
  • THE FOUNDATION FOR A GREAT RIDE: A classic road cycling shoe for women that’s comfortable and capably equipped for adventures on the open road
  • COMFORTABLE AND SUPPORTIVE FIT: Breathable microfiber and mesh upper for supple-yet-supportive fit and great breathability
  • EASY FIT ADJUSTMENT: Classic 3-strap closure offers fast, intuitive fitting with ability to adjust on-the-fly and a wide range of adjustment
  • POWERFUL PEDALING: Injected nylon outsole for great power transfer, with stainless steel hardware and molded heel pads for durability
  • COMFORTABLE SUPPORT AND UNIVERSAL CLEAT COMPATIBLE: Includes die-cut EVA footbed with medium arch support. Works with both 2-bolt and 3-bolt pedal/cleat systems including Look, Shimano SPD/SPD-SL, Time, etc. Some systems may require an adapter

Features

As far as women’s indoor cycling shoes go, these are the standard bearers. They’re fully functional with a three strap system which allows for some wiggle room in terms of how well they fit. They also include a universal nylon outsole, so whichever type of pedal you prefer will work here.

These shoes have the added benefit of fitting snugly without feeling like they’re cutting off circulation. That said, the chief complaint about these are that they end up feeling too small and difficult to walk in, so they might not the best multi-purpose solution.

Pros

  • checkUniversal outsole
  • checkFits most foot shapes with additional flexibility
  • checkThree strap system for adjustments

Cons

  • Some are too small depending on model/size
  • May be difficult to walk in
  • Tougue shape has potential to cause friction.

Price

​$$

Where to Buy

No products found.

Pearl iZUMi Men’s X-ALP Journey Cycling Shoe

PEARL iZUMi Men's X-ALP Journey, Shadow Grey / Monument, 44.0
  • Bonded Seamless Upper delivers all-day riding comfort, breathability and durability
  • Quick-lacing closure system keeps foot secure in all conditions
  • Bootie upper construction for a comfortable fit with or without socks
  • Fiberglass injected composite plate for efficient power transfer paired with a lightweight EVA midsole for off-the-bike cushioning and all-day comfort
  • Carbon rubber lugged outsole for superior traction and durability

Features

The specs of this particular shoe speak to how flexibl they are, with a wide range of uses. They also double as an outdoor riding shoes and are as decked out as it gets. As of this writing, it is sold out on Amazon, so if you check for it and it’s there, it may not be there for long. It’s constructed with a fiberglass injected composite plate for maximum power transfer during the action of cycling.

It also made of a breathable material and can be worn with or without socks. Its rubber sole also makes it ideal for walking around both before and after your workout. The only complaints really are that they may be a little big on your average wearer and seem to be less comfortable than their predecessor of a similar model.

Pros

  • checkHigh quality
  • checkMulti-purpose
  • High efficiency, practical

Cons

  • Might be less comfortable than previous design
  • Runs a little large
  • Hard to find

Price

$$$

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Gavin Road Cycling Shoe Shimano SPD

Gavin Road Cycling Shoe, 2 or 3-Hole Cleat Compatible, Unisex Black
  • Compatible with: Look, SPD, SPD-R & SPD-SL cleats (cleats and pedals sold separately)
  • Lightweight and cool
  • Best value road shoe
  • Great for indoor cycling class
  • Increase cycling efficiency

Features

The Gavin Shimano is another example of a multi-purpose shoe. It has the ability to double as both indoor cycling shoes and outdoor. Also, it has the added benefit of being one of the better valued shoes out there for the quality. It’s also less bulky than other shoes, though on the surface it may seem a little loud. Perhaps because it’s cheaper to make, there have been reports of the velcro coming off and potential mistakes with the threading of the screw inlets. But these appear to be the exceptions and not the rule.

Pros

  • checkAffordable
  • checkQuick to take on and off
  • Less bulky than others

Cons

  • Potential velcro problems
  • Reported screw inlet issues
  • A little loud-looking

Price

$

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Gavin Mountain MTB Sneaker Style Cycling Shoe

Features

Once again we have an example of sleek yet underrated shoe by Gavin. These are also made with breathable material and have a sleek look. These are also an example of one of the comfier pairs that still maintain their look as a classic sneaker. This means they can double as a daily pair when necessary.

This aspect could also cause issues if you’re used to a more traditional pair of indoor cycling shoes. Other than that this shoe is a great value.

Pros

  • checkClassic look
  • checkBreathable material
  • Cost effective

Cons

  • Not a traditional cycling shoe
  • Clipping issues
  • Could be too tight on your feet

Price

$

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Fizik R5B Donna BOA Shoe with Fuschia Trim

Fizik R5B Donna BOA Shoe with Fuschia Trim, Anthracite, Size 39.5
  • Handmade- quality craftsmanship, quality materials, and amazing aesthetics set these shoes apart from any other shoe on your group ride
  • Boa control- the BOA control shapes each shoe individually and achieves the perfect fit, incredible comfort and the highest performance
  • Carbon reinforced outsole- the nylon outsole is carbon reinforced for added stiffness and better power transfer
  • Sculpted insole- the fiziK cycling insole and the supportive heel ensure an incredible connection to the pedals
  • Microtex upper- the laser perforated Microtex upper is durable and lightweight, giving you the ultimate combination of strength and comfort

Features

This space age shoe has tech that’s as well designed as it looks. The sole is a sleek carbon-reinforced nylon; a very nice material. It’s also the most breathable of the previous pairs we’ve mentioned. It also doubles as an outdoor cycling shoe and has versatility in the sole to reflect this. It’s also incredibly lightweight and comfortable, which seems to be its most memorable aspect on top of everything else. The only common complaint is that they take a little longer to break in than others.

Pros

  • checkSuperior breathability
  • checkMaximum comfort
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Takes a long time to break in
  • Higher price point
  • Less ideal for irregularly sized feet

Price

$$$

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

SHIMANO 2014 Men’s Commuter/Tour Cycling Shoes

Shimano Men's RP3 Black Road Cycling Shoes - 42
  • Secure closure system- two hook & loop straps plus a buckle for a firm fit
  • Off-set Strap relieves tension at highest point of the foot
  • Supple padded tongue feels great
  • Light weight glass fiber reinforced nylon sole
  • Best matched with PD-R550, PD-R540, PD-540-LA, PD-A520* *SPD pedals can be used only with SPD cleats with the adapter SM-SH43

Features

Yes, these are shoes that the pros use. Yes, if you show up to your spin class wearing these, you may experience both maximum legitimacy and be treated like a maximum over-achiever. If you’re all right with these things, then you’ll also be treated to the added benefits of a shock absorbing sole, a clip cap that makes them fully functional for everyday use and an anti-stretch leather/mesh that will keep you wearing these for a long time. Not many complaints here, except that there is little in the way of a tightening mechanism other than standard laces.

Pros

  • checkTop class practicality
  • checkShock absorbing sole
  • Clip cap

Con​​​s

  • A bit more difficult to tighten
  • Less colorful than other choices
  • Anti-stretch aspect may make it difficult to break in

Price

$$

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Zol White MTB Indoor Cycling Shoes

No products found.

Features

A great value, these indoor cycling shoes are not meant for outdoor use at all. They have an anti-perspiration hole for quick drying. They also feature velcro and a ski boot style buckle. The other big draw is the carbon composite sole, which is durable enough. The only downside is that it might look like you’re ready to hit the slopes instead of getting on with a spin class, which if you’re solo is no problem. It’s also a non-issue if ski resort-chic is what you prefer.

Pros

  • checkDesignated indoor shoe
  • Quick-drying hole
  • Unique buckle

Cons

  • Can’t double as outdoor shoe
  • Unique buckling noise
  • Particular ‘on the slopes’ look

Price

$

Where to Buy

No products found.

Pearl W X-PROJECT 2.0

Features

These imported shoes are the ultimate in practicality and unique style. Because of how they’re fastened, they fit even irregular foot types and maintain extra traction with rubber tips on the sole. These shoes can also shockingly double as hiking shoes based on a patent-pending feature on the sole. If you’re looking to push the envelope in terms of what a shoe can do, then these are the ones for you.

Pros

  • checkSuperior versatility
  • Can also be used for hiking
  • 100% synthetic

Cons

  • They may run on the small side
  • A little pricier than others
  • Slightly narrow in the toe

Price

$$$

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Louis Garneau – Women’s Multi Air Flex Bike Shoes for Indoor Cycling

Features

These decked out indoor shoes are another great example of style and practicality. Three velcro straps will keep you snug and secure while the breathable interior will make sure your feet don’t get too hot. Although they’re technically designated as indoor cycling shoes, they can double for walking shoes as well. Velcro issues and running slightly small are the only chief complaints.

Pros

  • checkMulti-purpose
  • Breathable
  • Can be used for walking

Cons

  • Run a little small
  • Potential velcro issues
  • Cleats sold separately

Price

$$$

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Giro Carbide R II Cycling Shoes – Men’s

Giro Carbide R II Mens Mountain Cycling Shoe − 42, Black/Charcoal (2020)
  • THE FOUNDATION OF A GREAT RIDE: A classic off-road cycling shoe that’s comfortable and capably equipped for adventures on paths, roads or trails
  • COMFORTABLE AND SUPPORTIVE FIT: Breathable microfiber and mesh upper for supple-yet-supportive fit and great breathability
  • EASY FIT ADJUSTMENT: Classic 3-strap closure offers fast, intuitive fitting with ability to adjust on-the-fly and a wide range of adjustment
  • POWERFUL PEDALING: Injected nylon plate for efficient power transfer, with stainless steel hardware and a co-molded rubber high-traction lugged outsole for grip when you need it
  • COMFORTABLE SUPPORT AND 2-BOLT CLEAT COMPATIBLE: Includes die-cut EVA footbed with medium arch support. Works with all 2-bolt pedal/cleat systems including Shimano SPD, Time ATAC, Crank Brothers, etc

Features

For our last pair of indoor cycling shoes we return to Giro with their signature Carbide. These are workhorses and have a classic three strap design. In addition, their anti-scruff guard at the mid-foot means that you’re less likely to ding them during use. Though they may not double as the best outdoor shoes, they’re certainly ideal and even preferred for indoor use.

Pros

  • checkClassic design
  • Anti-scruff guard
  • Die-cut insoles

Cons

  • May not double well for outdoor use
  • Velcro issues
  • Weaker front lateral aspect

Price

$$

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

The Verdict 

Based on everything we know of those we’ve outlined, we’ve chosen two winners. For those just getting started, the Pearl W X-Project will be the way to go. They’re the ultimate in practicality, and the fact that you can hike in them as well is simply astonishing. For pros it’s all about the Shimano brand. We reviewed the men’s shoe here, but the SH-RP1 can be a good alternative for either men or women. And specifically for women, the SHIMANO SH-RP2W works like a charm as well.

Featured Image by jenikmichal via Pixabay.com

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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