What Makes a Great Spinning Shoe
Spinning shoes come in a variety of styles with many different features. It can be really tough to figure out which ones are the best for your spinning shoe needs. Let’s look at the different aspects of spinning shoes so you can find the perfect pair for you. Not included in our list are the Sidi Taurus or Dzr, but that’s not because they’re not great shoes!
Depending on the type of clip on the bike, you’ll need an indoor cycling shoe that will match with it to secure your foot in place. There are two styles. MTB shoes (aka mountain biking) and road bike shoes.
MTB shoes have 2 holes on the bottom which connect to the cleats. They’re adjustable to ensure proper foot alignment on the pedal and prevent injury. They’re also good for walking around your spinning studio as they’ve got a bit more traction and the cleat is protected by a grippy rubber area (aka recessed).
Road shoes are extremely light and feature a 3-hole cleat receiver. The soles are firm and slick, so it’s tough to walk around the spinning studio in them. Also, because the cleat is not protected by rubber, walking around in them could damage both the cleat and floor surface.
Cleats attach to the bottom of your indoor cycling shoes and clip to the bike pedals. They hold your foot on the pedal to help you stay steady as the speed increases. Properly fitted cleats also provide you with optimal foot alignment, which prevents injury. When optimally installed, the cleats and clips will hold your foot in natural position without straining your ankles, knees, or hips.
Walking, running and hiking shoes use laces to close around your feet. Spinning and cycling shoes, however, use ratchets or buckles to achieve a snugger fit. The newest closure technology in spinning shoes is called a boa. Basically, they combine laces and ratchets into a shoe closure system that adjusts by turning one knob. Pretty cool, eh?
Spinning shoes should be comfortable and snug, but not tight. Frequently, they’re half to a full size larger than your every day footwear. To check the fit of your cycling shoes, be sure you can wiggle your toes. The retaining system should be adjusted snugly around the arch of your foot, but not so tightly that your foot falls asleep while you’re spinning!
Okay, so socks aren’t technically part of any indoor cycling shoe, but they’re often the key to a comfortable ride. Purchasing socks made from moisture wicking fabric will keep your feet dry and protect them from blisters and other sores.
This system of cleats that lock into pedals is called “clipless.” The system provides room for a large amount of customization to maximize comfort and efficiency. The cleat system is newer than clip pedals, but the advances that come with it are well worth the investment.
Top 10 Spinning Shoes
The Giro E70 is available for men and women. Both are a wonderful combination of performance and comfort. It’s lightweight and powerful, but also comfortable and features a replaceable heel pad to prevent an early demise due to wear and tear. The reinforced toe and hook-and-loop ratchets securely hold foot without impacting the comfort level. Finally, the SuperNatural Fit Kit hat comes with the Giro E70s allows you to customize the footbed to your unique foot needs and the antimicrobial coating prevents shoe odor. These shoes promise loads of power with durable comfort and they deliver – in spades.
The Giro Manta is a fantastic MTB cycling shoe for women. Although the aggressive treads aren’t needed for indoor cycling or spinning classes, they don’t hurt either. Unlike many MTB shoes, the Mantas have a uniquely breathable upper microfiber that prevents hot, sweaty feet and the antimicrobial coating really keeps down the odor. This is a versatile MTB cycling shoe suitable for spinning (purchase cleats separately) and outdoor use. They stand up to the hardest pedaling and work for any spinner or cyclist looking for a quality MTB shoe.
Giro’s Terraduro is a great combination spinning shoe for men. Featuring Vibram soles, they’re incredibly comfortable and durable with just the right amount of flex. The uppers are a wonderful breathable material with reinforced toebox and sidewalls to extend their life. The medium height arch support is comfortable for most feet and helps keep your feet snugly in the shoe. Some cyclists feel these take a bit of time to break in so you may want to get them earlier than you need them.
The Treble II is a sleek, sexy men’s spinning shoe. It accommodates both 2- and 3-hole cleat styles, making it a great choice for beginners or people who spin at more than one location with different bikes. The lace-less closure is easy to cinch down and holds snugly and firmly. The high Velcro strap and sleek design mean these shoes tend to be better for people with narrow feet. They feature stiffer sole, which is great for road biking or indoor cyclists looking to emulate that feeling on their feet. You can’t get a better shoe in this price bracket.
If you’re looking for an MTB spinning shoe that can really take a beating, look no further than Giro’s Privateer. The outer sole is the stiffest in its class and the micro-ratcheting buckles ensure a precision fit. Many shoes with stiff outer soles are equally as stiff and uncomfortable inside. Not so with the Privateers. Wider width feet are also easily accommodated in these fabulous cycling shoes.
A comfortable and rugged women’s cycling shoe, the Sica VR70 fits snugly, but quickly wicks moisture away. The hook-and-loop and ratcheting closures can be adjusted from the saddle and easily accommodates a variety of arch heights with the SuperNatural Fit Kit. The soles are stiff enough to provide loads of traction, but also soft and grippy enough to keep your fit comfortably in position on those fast, hard spinning climbs.
Sleek and eye-catching, these cycling shoes offer the prefect fit for men with wider feet. The durable materials stand up to high use and are so comfortable you won’t mind wearing them for long periods of time. The cleats are inset so you’ll be able to walk around the spinning studio without concern. The soles are stiff without being uncomfortable.
Shimano is known for their presence in the cycling industry. From brakes to gears and loads of cycling accessories, Shimano products are known for their quality and effectiveness. They also make numerous cycling shoes suitable for both indoor and outdoor cycling use. The commonality with all of them is the SPD cleat compatibility.
SPD cleats come in fixed and floating versions depending on your preference. The version linked here does not come with a quick release since spinning classes typically do not involve bike wrecks or flying over the handle bars. They’re also perfect for the standing hill climbs so commonly used throughout the course of a spin class.
These sleek cycling shoes by Louis Garneau are compatible with 3-hole cleats. They’re light, fast, and designed to maximize transfer of your muscle power to the pedals they’re attached to. The single rail attachment method is fast and easy to do on the fly, so when the spinning instructor calls out a command and you get the pinch because your shoe is too tight you can quickly adjust it and continue pedaling without missing a beat.
They look like a low-top hiking boot, but fit and feel like a cycling shoe. Perfect for indoor cycling and walking around the spinning studio. They pair with SPD cleats and are great for MTB enthusiasts as well as indoor cyclists with the slightly stiff sole and comfortable footbed. The Velrco and ratchet closures are easy and comfortable. They’re super ventilated so your feet won’t get over-heated, but if you’re spinning somewhere with really cold air conditioning, you may want a slightly thicker pair of socks!
The shoes deserve a mention. A few cyclists have found the soles flex too much, but overall they’re quite popular. The buckle system is a huge win for keeping feet in snug. They’re durable and affordable, making them a huge win for beginners and more experienced spinners.
If you’re strictly sticking to spinning, cyclocross shoes may be a little over-kill for your needs, but if you’re considering branching out to racing on a variety of surfaces including grass, dirt, mud, sand, and gravel a good pair of cyclocross shoes can be a worthwhile investment. Wearing them during spin classes gives you chance to break them in and get comfortable wearing and using them.
Cyclocross shoes are similar to MTB shoes, but sometimes have different treads to accommodate the varying surfaces encountered during a cyclocross race. If you’re looking for a good MTB spinning shoe and keep running across a cyclcross shoe that catches your eye, go for it! Assuming the shoe is comfortable on your feet and pairs with the cleats that are used on your spin bike, there’s no reason to stay away from them.
There are many other spinning shoe brands and alternatives out there. Ultimately, the ones you wear will have to meet your needs and suit your life and workout styles. We hope the ones listed here give you a starting point and provide you with the information you need to choose the indoor cycling shoes that are best for you.