Cycling specific shoes have cleats that allow you to click into the pedals similar to snow skis. Once your feet are connected, pedalling is more efficient (like turbo charging your bike) and your cycling experience will become more pleasurable and effective. If you’re new to cycling and to wearing cleats, then it might take a little time to get used to. If you’re just starting out, then practice cleating ‘out’ of the pedal before you get to traffic lights, for example, rather than waiting until just before you need to stop. In those early days it can take some time and this is often when/how avoidable spills off the bike can happen!
Tips on Buying the Right Bike Shoes
- Bike shoes need to be a snug fit around your heel and across the bridge of your foot. A little bit of room is fine; keeping in mind that your foot will swell once it gets hot.
- Your feet should always feel good once the shoe is removed.
- Each shoe manufacture has different dimensions. It is recommended that you try on as many different brands as possible. Some brands will be more suited to people with wide feet and others will be more suited to narrow feet; just like running shoes or indeed any kind of foot wear, for that matter.
- Not all shoes are compatible with all pedal and cleat systems. It is important to check that you can attach the appropriate cleat for your pedals to your new shoes.
- Why pay more? The more expensive shoes will generally have a stiffer sole and a firm, more supportive fit. Stiff shoes ensure all of the power from your pedalling is transferred onto the pedal and not wasted by the shoe flexing. An expensive shoe will also be lighter and have a ratchet strap for a tighter fit.
Types and Characteristics of Bike Shoes
- Designed to click into your pedals and generally allow you to walk or run in them.
- Are typically broken down in to two different types:
- 1/ Racing / Off-road – As well as clicking into your pedals these shoes have a jacked sole similar to football boots to aid grip in dirt and mud.
- 2/ Standard – As well as clicking into your pedals these shoes are similar to sport shoes and are comfortable to walk in.
- These have a stiffer sole than most other bike shoes. The advantage of having a stiff sole for cycling is that it increases efficiency and spreads out the load on your feet. This makes you much more comfortable during long rides as localised pressure is reduced.
- A stiff sole and road cleat does make walking more difficult.
- Designed for tri-athletes. These shoes are similar to road shoes but are typically tightened by one large velcro strap that allows you to put your shoes on as quickly as possible.