Before we begin though, it’s important to point out that regardless of which cycling shoes you opt for, you will need to match your cycling shoes to your pedals. So, if you don’t yet know what type of pedals you have or want, use this guide in combination with our Cycling Pedals Buying Guide.
CLIPLESS ROAD SHOES
- Stiff soles
- Three bolt cleat pedals
- Close fit
Road cycling shoes are designed to be used with clipless road pedals. Featuring a stiff smooth sole and a three bolted plastic cleat they will clip into the pedal to give you better pedal stroke efficiency and control. Broadly speaking, the stiffer the sole, the more power transfer there will be, however, you may also feel more vibration from the road in a stiffer sole which can lead to fatigue, so make sure you find the right balance for your level of riding.
Fit is also really important so try on a few pairs for size. All feet are different so you will need to find the best length and width for your foot and make sure that your heel doesn’t move around whilst you pedal. Good ventilation will also help prevent ‘hot feet’ but air vents or holes will let cold air in during the winter, even with overshoes, so choose the level of ventilation according to when and where you are likely to be riding and your personal preference.
Cycling shoes are fastened using either the ‘BOA’ system which uses a dial to tighten a thin cable which closes the shoe around your foot, traditional laces or a velcro and buckle combination. All systems work well so choose which one feels most comfortable for you.