Indoor cycling shoes are an important part of any indoor cycling setup because they improve your fitness and make your workouts more comfortable. Even though they might not be the first thing you think of when you think of cycle gear, they are very important for a good indoor cycling experience. As winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, indoor riding becomes a good choice for cyclists who want to train in a dry and warm place.
Indoor riding can be done in many different ways, such as on a turbo trainer, an exercise bike, or a virtual cycling platform like Zwift. No matter what setup you choose, you must have a pair of shoes made for indoor riding. These shoes are made especially for the unique challenges of indoor cycling, and they have extra features to help improve efficiency.
One of the best things about bicycle shoes made for indoor use is that they can handle heat and moisture. When you work out hard inside, the temperature can rise, and you can’t help but sweat. The design of indoor cycle shoes makes them more breathable and airy, which helps keep your feet cooler and more comfortable as you ride. By wearing a different pair of shoes inside, you can also keep your best road shoes in great shape for riding outside in the spring and summer.
Best Indoor Cycling Shoes Comparison Table
|Product Name||Specialized S-Works Vent||Nike SuperRep Cycle 2 Next Nature||Peloton Altos||Shimano SH-RC100||Giro Cadet Men’s|
|Closure System||Boa dial||Laces||BOA dial||Hook and loop||Laces|
|Compatibility||3-bolt cleats||3-bolt cleats||3-bolt cleats||3-bolt cleats||3-bolt cleats|
|Pros (short)||– Excellent ventilation||– Stylish design||– Lightweight||– Budget-friendly||– Comfortable|
Specialized S-Works Vent
|Closure Type||BOA dials|
A pair of S-Works Vent shoes are a Best Indoor Cycling Shoes if you take your indoor training seriously and are willing to spend a lot of money on them. Made for riding in hot weather, they have a lot of air points (hence the name) and are very breathable. Also, they are very light and comfortable right away, so you don’t have to worry about breaking them in. You won’t even know you’re wearing them.
With a stiffness index score of 13/15 for the carbon heel, these shoes are only behind Specialized’s Ares and S-Works 7 shoes. It also has four ventilation holes, and after reviewing the Specialized S-Works Vent last year, we came to the (albeit unscientific) conclusion that they are probably the best vented shoes on the market. Even though the stiffness index was a little different, we found them to be just as stiff as the S-Works 7 shoes when it came to power transfer.
- Superior ventilation for cooling and comfort
- Precise fit with BOA dials
- Lightweight design for enhanced performance
- Compatible with 3-bolt cleats for efficient power transfer
- Higher price point
Nike SuperRep Cycle 2 Next Nature
|Model||SuperRep Cycle 2 Next Nature|
|Closure Type||Hook-and-loop straps|
Nike seems to have made these shoes more for spinning and Peloton class fans than for turbo trainer fans, but they will work with both two-bolt and three-bolt cleats and have what Nike calls “translucent mesh on the upper, a perforated sock liner, and vents through the bottom of the plate to improve airflow around the toes.” There is also a triple heel stop that helps with grip and getting off the bike. It looks like it was inspired by Nike’s football or soccer shoes.
The best thing about the shoes, though, is not how well they work, but rather how well they let air in. The upper of the shoes is made of breathable fabric mesh, and there are venting holes in the sole. In terms of function, the SuperRep 2 doesn’t have a carbon-fiber outsole. Instead, it has a half-sole made of heat-molded nylon plastic around the forefoot area. As expected, there isn’t much torsional stiffness, and when you move the heel area with your hand, it moves from side to side.
- Secure fit with hook-and-loop straps
- Lightweight construction for agility
- Suitable for both cycling and other workouts
- Stylish design with Next Nature theme
- Ventilation could be improved
|Closure Type||Ratchet buckle|
The brand’s original shoes had a different design than these, which are simpler because they only have one hook-and-loop strap. The sleek design has jacquard mesh that lets air in and cooling all over for a cooler ride. They also come with Delta cleats that work with the Peloton Bike and Bike+, as well as an easy-to-follow fitting guide that will have you riding in no time.
The Altos get great reviews from Peloton riders and even a few road bikers who use them outside. They have 4.4 out of 5 stars from 174 reviews on Amazon. One person says, “The shoe feels solid on the bike and holds the heels well. I’ve been riding for three years, and these are the best shoes I’ve tried.” Some negative reviews say that these shoes are narrower than the original design.
- Easy and secure closure with ratchet buckle
- Good ventilation for breathability
- Versatile for both indoor and outdoor cycling
- Compatible with Delta cleats
- Sole material could be stiffer for better power transfer
|Closure Type||Hook-and-loop straps|
|Sole Material||Fiberglass-reinforced nylon|
Shimano Best Indoor Cycling Shoes is a well-liked brand that is popular among cyclists who ride both outdoors and indoors. In point of fact, before specialized indoor cycling studios started making and selling their own shoes, shoes with a neutral fit and long-lasting durability were considered to be the gold standard. One example of such a shoe is the SH-RC100.
There are three velcro straps that make it easy to find the right fit for you; however, they are not compatible with all bikes. These shoes can only be used with cleats that have three holes and a triangular shape. Examples of such cleats include LOOK Delta for indoor cycling and SPD-SL for road bikes. Both of these cleats are supplied separately.
- Simple and secure closure with hook-and-loop straps
- Lightweight and stiff sole for efficient pedaling
- Good ventilation to prevent overheating
- Compatible with SPD-SL cleats
- Some users may prefer a more advanced closure system
Giro Cadet Men’s
You might think that after trying 11 pairs of cycling shoes, they would all start to look the same, but the Giro Cadet shoe stood out right away. The BOA closure makes it possible to tighten the shoe evenly all over, which gave me a great sense of security. The extra Velcro strap kept my toes from moving around as I rode.
It was my favorite shoe, so it was also the pair I logged the most miles with. There isn’t much of a breaking-in period, so I was able to ride well right away, and the shoe has only gotten more comfortable over time. Where other shoes caused pain, hot spots, and sometimes numbness, the Cadets let me almost forget about them and get lost in my ride, which is a surprisingly hard goal for some of these shoes to reach.
- Secure and adjustable fit with lace-up closure
- Lightweight and durable construction
- Good ventilation for breathability
- Compatible with 2-bolt cleats for versatility
- Lace-up closure may require more time for adjustments compared to other systems
For comfort and efficiency, it’s important to get the right size of indoor cycling shoes. It is best to try on a few different types and styles to find the ones that fit your feet best. Pay attention to how long, wide, and tight the shoe is as a whole. It’s also important to think about the shape and size of your feet, since different shoes may fit differently on different feet.
Indoor cycle shoes are mostly made for use inside and may not be good for biking outside. Most indoor cycle shoes can’t be used with outdoor pedals because of how the cleats are attached. Some indoor cycling shoes, though, have cleats that can be taken off or that can be used for both indoor and outdoor riding. If you want to use the shoes for riding outside, make sure they work with the pedals you have.
Follow the instructions from the maker to keep your indoor cycling shoes in good shape and clean them. In general, you can clean them after each use by wiping them down with a wet cloth to get rid of dirt and sweat. If the shoes get too dirty, you can clean them with a small amount of light soap and a soft brush. Don’t put them in water or use strong chemicals on them because that can damage them. If you take care of your indoor cycle shoes the right way, they will last longer and work better.