What Are The Best Cycling Shoes For Indoor Cycling?

Trifocus Fitness Academy - indoor cycling
Personal/Fitness Training Blog

Spinning shoes come in a lot of different styles, with different features suitable for different riders. With the upswing of at-home riding (Peloton’s paid user base has more than doubled up over the last year), more and more people are looking for the best picks in order to suit our indoor cycling needs. Here’s the thing, however: While indoor cycling isn’t a category which you’ll likely see on a shoe website, there are lot of factors that go into making specific styles more suitable for indoor riding versus outdoor wear.

There is unquestionably nothing stopping you from donning your normal cycling shoes when riding indoors, however, an growing interest in virtual racing and online cycling fitness classes has led to the availability of particular indoor cycling shoes, which are more tailored to the rigours of this hot as well as sweaty pursuit.

There are two quite different styles of indoor cycling shoes:

  • Shoes that are designed to cater for riders going to indoor cycling classes or using exercise bikes. These frequently come with SPD style pedals, these are easier to walk in and also usually use a two-bolt SPD cleat with a more flexible sole.
  • Shoes which are designed for indoor racers. These typically have a three-bolt clear design, a stiff carbon sole as well as plenty of ventilation.

What To Look For In A Spin Shoe

First things first. Think about what you want in an indoor cycling shoe. Since you’re riding indoors, you’ll likely be hotter and sweatier than if you were cycling in the open air with a natural breeze to cool you down. Even a strategically positioned floor fan doesn’t help all that much. While speed-centric outdoor cyclists are typically after lighter, aerodynamic options in an effort to ride as fast as possible, you don’t need to worry about that as much since you’re technically sitting still.

Instead, you may want to look for an ultra-breathable shoe with a stiff sole because the stiffer the shoe, the more power you’ll transfer to the pedals to crank up your on-the-bike intensity. For some, the ideal indoor shoe is more walkable than a traditional outdoor option (think: smaller, inset cleat), so that when you’re moving from bike to locker room (or to your own bathroom at home), you’re not slipping around or risking injury. Some brands make options with more flexible soles (including rubber), but with those, you could lose some of the power transfer on the bike, which is worth keeping in mind.


And lastly, it’s important to touch on cleat and pedal compatibility. Depending on what bike you’re clipping into, there are two common cleat-pedal combinations:

  • SPD (two-bolt), and
  • Delta (three-bolt)).

Popular bikes like the Peloton come stock with Delta-compatible clip-in pedals. You could swap the pedals if you’d rather use an SPD-friendly shoe, but that’s another conversation. When shopping for Delta cleats, you want to avoid zero-float options. Float allows a little bit of movement when the cleat is clicked into the pedal, which is better for indoor riding especially when clipping in and out of the bike. The float cleats from Look are coloured red (good), the zero-float cleats are black (bad). Most knockoff cleats follow the same colour scheme.

Contract Trifocus Fitness Academy

Do you want to become an indoor cycling instructor? If you do then you need to do our Indoor Cycling Instructor Course. Follow this link for more information.

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