Best Spinning Shoes: We Review the Top Ten

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!

Cleat Holes

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 Shoespicture1

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 Shoespicture1

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.

Cleatspicture1

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.

Closure

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?

Fit

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!

Socks

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.

Clipless

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

Giro

E70 modelpicture1

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.

Mantapicture1

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.

Terraduropicture1

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.

Treble IIpicture1

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.

Privateerpicture1

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.

Sica VR70 picture1

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.

Apeckx HVpicture1

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

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.

Cleatspicture1

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.

Louis Garneaupicture1

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.

Pearl Izumi Men’s X-Alp Enduro IIIpicture1

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!

Honorable Mention

Mavic Rushpicture1

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.

Alternatives

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.

Best Parkour Shoes for 2016

Parkour is the latest workout craze. Initially developed in France by Sebastien Foucan and based on military training obstacle courses, parkour can be done alone or in groups. The basic idea is to move oneself from one point to another in a complex environment using no assistive equipment and arriving at the end point in the fastest and most efficient way possible. There are stunt moves involved, such as vaulting over objects, and high agility is required. It’s typically practiced in urban spaces and can take several hours or several days to complete. For more information, check out parkourpedia.

The intensity and high impact involved in this unique sport require particular shoes to help prevent injury.

Factors in Choosing a Parkour Shoe

Cushioning

Depending on your natural arches, desired shock absorption and overall comfort level you may desire more padding or less. Some people like to feel the ground beneath their feet and dislike a thick layer of padding in the bottom of their shoes. Check out the Puma FAAS 500 (reviewed below) for a great cushioning shoe.

Puma FAAS 500 has great cushioning. Click to learn more.
Puma FAAS 500 has great cushioning. Click to learn more.

Grip

The tread and material of the sole of parkour shoes can greatly impact your ability to successfully navigate the obstacles. Some shoes stick better to concrete or wood. Some soles grip well on wet surface while others do not. Depending on the weather where you train and the type of obstacle found there, you may prefer certain soles to others.

Nike Free Rn has great grip. Click the image to learn more.
Nike Free Rn has great grip. Click the image to learn more.

Flexibility

Given the multitude of situations traceurs can encounter while freerunning many participants want shoes with a flexible sole and snug fit. Any slipping can cause blisters. Flexible soles when coupled with gripping treads, provide a shoe that prevents slipping and injury.

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Feiyue Top One is incredibly flexible. Click the image for more information.

Tactile Sensations

To navigate through the parkour course most effectively, it’s essential that traceurs feel the course beneath the feet, almost as if they’re barefoot. This tactile connection, also known as ground feel, is becoming common in many other sports as well, but is a requirement in parkour sneakers.

Vibram KSOs are some of the most tactile shoes on the market. Click the picture for more information.
Vibram KSOs are some of the most tactile shoes on the market. Click the picture for more information.

Durability

Parkour shoes take a beating, more so than in most other sports. No one wants to spend their paychecks buying new sneakers all the time, so it’s important to find a parkour sneaker that will last a while. Price does not always dictate quality, so be careful in your purchases.

The evolv Cruzer is known for durability. Click the picture to learn more.
The evolv Cruzer is known for durability. Click the picture to learn more.

Best Parkour Shoes

Feiyue Top One

Click the image to learn more about the Top Ones
Click the image to learn more about the Top Ones

Parkour has movements similar to a non-combative martial art so it’s no surprise that the company famous for making martial arts shoes also makes a great parkour shoe. The Feiyue Top One is suitable for all ages and comes in sizes to fit males and females. They’re durable, lightweight and have a flexible rubber sole. They’re among the least expensive parkour sneakers on the market and durable enough to hold up for a long period of time.

Puma FAAS 500 V4 Running

Click to learn more about the Puma FAAS 500s.
Click to learn more about the Puma FAAS 500s.

This is a great parkour shoe with a synthetic sole. The lightweight cushioning and exclusive FAAS foam inside make the Puma FAAS an ideal parkour sneaker. In addition, the shoe is designed to encourage a natural stride and fit snugly to provide a support without confining your feet.

Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81

Click to learn more about the Onitsuka Tigers.
Click to learn more about the Onitsuka Tigers.

The Tigers look good and provide great support. Using and eva midsole and and flexible TPU heel the cushioning and arch support are top-notch. They’re incredibly lightweight and versatile. They work well in both urban and rural environments and offer incredible breathability. They’re not great for freerunning in the rain, but otherwise offer great arch support for people with high arches and are quite durable. Freerunner and traceur Ronnie Shalvis also recommends this shoe.

Vivobarefoot EVO Pure

Click to learn more about the EVO Barefoot
Click to learn more about the EVO Barefoot

The name says it all. This shoe truly leaves you feeling barefoot. There’s nothing between you and the feel of the parkour course giving you maximum control. They’re so lightweight that some wearers have had durability issues, but they may also have wider feet as these shoes tend to run a bit narrow. The soles are incredibly grippy and the sneakers overall look good. Although not the cheapest parkour sneaker on the market, they’re well worth the money.

Merrell Bare Access 4

Click to learn more about the Merrell Bare Access 4
Click to learn more about the Merrell Bare Access 4

These Merrell’s are the perfect combination of breathability and grippy. By optimizing Vibram technology in the soles and a full-cushioning zero drop, the Bare Access 4s provide a light and intensely responsive sneaker, giving you maximum control and preventing slipping. In addition, the wider toe box is great for people with wide feet.

ASICS GEL Venture 5

Click to learn more about the Venture 5
Click to learn more about the Venture 5

Perfect for rugged terrain, the Venture 5s have a rugged and sole with great tread. The gel insole provides added cushioning. That combined with arch support makes parkour attainable for those with the most painful plantar fasciitis. In addition, these sneakers are light, dry quickly and incredibly durable. They’re also available in wide widths making them a great choice for every foot.

evolv Cruzer

Click to learn more about the evolv Cruzer
Click to learn more about the evolv Cruzer

Cushy and low-drop, the evolv Cruzer is a great parkour shoe. It wicks moisture and because it’s lined with memory foam, is super comfortable. As a minimalist shoe, they provide great ground feel and the TRAX rubber soles stick to just about everything. This combination gives any traceur a feeling of stability and control. They’re so durable and comfortable, many people wear them as their everyday shoe for years.

Nike Free Rn

Click to learn more about the Nike Free Rn
Click to learn more about the Nike Free Rn

The Nike Free Rns have some pretty cool tread technology. The tri-star pattern expands on impacts and contracts on release, making it easy to land a quickly jump or slide to the next obstacle. Instead of traditional laces, these shoes use a Flywire to secure the shoe and prevent them from coming untied. They have a little extra cushion from most running shoes, which is great for people with joint issues. Finally, if you pronate, the cushioning in these shoes has helped some people correct their gait.

Dunlop Volley

Click to learn more about the Dunlop Volley
Click to learn more about the Dunlop Volley

Extremely affordable and hip, the Dunlop Volleys are an ideal parkour sneaker. They offer great heel support while remaining light weight and have a tread pattern that grips without holding too tight. Just about the only downside is that they don’t come in half sizes. At the low price point, they offer a lot of shoe for a little money.

New Balance 20v5 Vibram Minimus

Click to learn more about the New Balance 20v5 Vibram Minimus
Click to learn more about the New Balance 20v5 Vibram Minimus

The vibram soles are great for parkour as they provide great gripping ability while also maintaining tactile sensations. Crossfit athletes love them because they’re rugged and the laces stay tied – all things traceurs love in a shoe. Also, in typical New Balance style, these sneakers come in super wide widths to accommodate any foot and outsoles that are supportive without being confining.

Vibram KSO

Click to learn more about the Vibram KSO
Click to learn more about the Vibram KSO

One of the most minimalist shoes on the market, the Vibram KSO’s are sure to keep your feet connected to the ground. You’ll feel almost barefoot, but still keep your feet protected from the harsh urban terrain. Combined with Vibram’s super grippy tread, these shoes are sure to enhance your parkour experience.

Adidas Gazelle

Click to learn more about the Adidas Gazelle
Click to learn more about the Adidas Gazelle

Adidas is well known for making comfortable, durable sports shoes. The Gazelle is loved by traceurs. Many compare it to the Onitsuka Tigers, but at a lower price point. Depending on the shape of your foot, they may even fit better.

Take Flight Ultra

Click to learn more about the Take Flight Ultra
Click to learn more about the Take Flight Ultra

Famous tracuer David Belle lends his name to Take Flight. The Take Flight Ultra is often thought of as the ultimate parkour shoe. Flexible and durable, these sneakers offer great ground feel and unbeatable traction. Traceurs from newbie to experienced will love this shoe.

What Makes a Parkour Shoe Right for You

Everyone’s feet and joints are different. The parkour sneaker that’s best for your neighbor or best friend may not be the best one for you. What’s important is that you feel like the treads grip well and that the sneaker makes you feel in control and secure when you’re on the course. Laces that stay tied and an appealing look never hurt either. In the end, the best parkour shoe is the one that you love. Let us know which one you picked!