Best Bike Shoes

Updated on: September 7, 2017

 Best Bike ShoesProduct DimensionsWeightPrice 
Best Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes: Pearl Izumi X-Project Pro14" L x 9" W x 5" H2.8 lb$319.55View on Amazon
Best Men’s Enduro Race Mountain Bike Shoes: Giro Terraduro14" L x 9" W x 5" H2.7 lb$161.95View on Amazon
Best Men’s Lightweight Road Bike Shoes: Shimano RC7 Lightweight13" L x 8" W x 5" H2.4 lb$199.95View on Amazon
Best Men’s Road Bike Shoes: Giro Prolight III14" L x 10" W x 5" H2.2 lb$199.90View on Amazon
Best Men’s Budget Road Bike Shoes: Venzo Road11.4" L x 7.5" W x 4.5" H1 lb$115.00View on Amazon
Best Men’s BOA Road Bike Shoes: Pearl Izumi Pro Leader Iii14" L x 9" W x 5" H2.4 lb$214.75View on Amazon
Best Men’s Indoor Bike Shoes: Shimano SH-RO6514" L x 9" W x 5" H1 lb$70.90View on Amazon
Best Men’s Commuter Bike Shoes: Giros Rumbler VR14" L x 10" W x 6" H2.7 lb$71.95View on Amazon
Best Men’s Freeride Bike Shoes: Five Ten Freerider Contact12" L x 9" W x 5" H2.4 lb$150.00View on Amazon
Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes: Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex Shoe12" L x 9" W x 5" H4 lb$79.96View on Amazon
Best Women’s Road Bike Shoes: Pearl Izumi Women’s Elite IV 13" L x 9" W x 5" H1.7 lb$125.34View on Amazon
Best Women’s Beginner Road Bike Shoes: Shimano SH-RP311.4" L x 7.5" W x 4.5" H1 lb$115.00View on Amazon

Cycling is not only a competitive sport, but also a popular form of exercise for keeping fit. In order to ensure safety and efficiency, it would be worth investing in cycling or bike shoes. Wearing bike shoes makes pedaling more efficient and less tiring. Improvements in fitness and riding will be evident the more the shoes are used.

Features of Bike Shoes

Unlike most ordinary sports shoes, bike shoes have stiff soles and rigid uppers. The stiffness is needed to transfer power to the pedal, and also to prevent cramping by providing support to the feet. Most bike shoes have clips than can be snapped into a compatible pedal, making it easier to transfer energy from the legs to the bicycle.

Bike shoes are also made from breathable or well-ventilated materials. This helps in keeping the feet keep cool. Most shoes are meant to be worn without socks in order to lower the sweat factor.

To focus better on alignment and power generation, bike shoes have a no-slip design to keep the feet firmly attached to the pedal without actually having to concentrate on keeping them in place.

Factors to Consider in Finding the Ideal Bike Shoes

The ideal bike shoes will have to match the type of cycling that will be done. There are countless choices from brands that specialize in manufacturing bike shoes. The most important considerations to be made for choosing bike shoes should be on the fastening system type, sole type, cleat style, and fit.

Boa bike shoes are relatively more expensive because they offer the most precise fit. Other fastening systems are ratchet, Velcro, and laces. Ratchets can also be precise, but not easy to loosen. Velcro is usually found on lightweight shoes. Laces are often expensive, but cannot be adjusted while riding a bicycle.

Most riders prefer carbon soles because they are stiff, but light. The downside is that they are more expensive compared to shoes that have plastic soles. It is also possible to choose bike shoes that offer a mixture of the two, so that some stiffness factor is still there even if the price is lower than that of carbon soles.

Bike shoes need to be compatible with the pedal cleats. Some shoes can be used with three-bolt cleats, while some with two-bolt or even both. The most popular type among touring cyclists and commuters are two-bolt SPD cleats.
The most important but most difficult factor to get right is the fit. It is best to personally try out the shoes, but if they are going to be bought online, the next best thing would be to choose a seller than will allow return and replacement.

Below are some of the best shoes that are standouts in different types of cycling.

Best Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes – Pearl Izumi X-Project Pro

The best thing about the Pearl Izumi X-Project Pro biker shoe is its versatility that allows the cyclist to use it for enduro, cross-country, or cyclocross.

 

 

 

It uses carbon sole that maintains a stiff feeling even in the hardest of pedaling conditions without sacrificing flexibility when walking or running.

Pearl Izumi X-Project Pro

The X-Project Pro shoe uses a Boa system with two dials that makes it easy to micro-adjust while riding. The upper is made of mesh and is seamless, allowing good ventilation.

There is also an adjustable insole system that includes different arches and inserts, making the shoe highly comfortable and customizable.

Pros:
– customizable insoles
– comfortable
– Boa retention system

Cons:
– pricey
– minimal upper support
– narrow fit

 

Best Men’s Enduro Race Mountain Bike Shoes – Giro Terraduro

The Giro Terraduro is not only excellent as an enduro race bike shoe, but also a good all-around shoe.

 

 

 

It is highly durable with its Vibram sole that stands up well to wear and tear. This Giro Terraduro bike shoe is protected even further by an abrasion resistant material that nearly covers the whole shoe.

Giro Terraduro

Like the X-Project Pro, the Terraduro also feels comfortable off the bike, so walking and hiking will not be a problem. Although power transfer is not great, a platform or mini-platform clipless pedal may be used to compensate for the deficiency.

Pros:
– versatile
– Vibram sole
– durable

Cons:
– heavy
– not mud-resistant
– narrow fit

Best Men’s Lightweight Road Bike Shoes – Shimano RC7 Lightweight

The Shimano RC7 Lightweight bike shoe is meant for speed and uses carbon fiber composite sole that makes pedaling efficient. It also employs Boa IP1 dials and a powerzone wire that give foot security and comfort. RC7’s upper uses perforated synthetic leather that gives good ventilation. It is also compatible with three-bolt cleats.

 

 

 

The RC7 is good both for training and for racing. The Shimano Dynalast minimizes energy loss during long rides, helping conserve strength for that final push.

Shimano RC7 Lightweight

Pros:
– stiff
– a lot of size options
– comfortable

Cons:
– narrow fit
– shoes might feel too tight after a few hours
– limited color choices

 

Best Men’s Road Bike Shoes – Giro Prolight III

The Giro Prolight III uses recent development in engineering and cutting-edge materials to enchance riding performance.

 

 

 

This Giro biker shoe utilizes unidirectional carbon fiber outsole and SuperNatural Fit footbeds to give better freedom in customizing arch support.

Giro Prolight III

The upper is wrapped in Evofiber that gives the feeling of having a second skin, while the cleat bolt holes and straps are wrapped in titanium.

Pros:
– lightweight
– excellent power transfer
– customizable footbed arch support

Cons:
– pricey
– may feel high on the ankle
– straps have a tendency to loosen

 

Best Men’s Budget Road Bike Shoes – Venzo Road

The Venzo Road bike shoes has consistently garnered praises for its great performance and compatibility with SPD, SPD SL, and Look KEO pedal systems.

 

 

The aluminum pedals are Look ARC and Wellgo RC-5 compatible. The Venzo Road shoes themselves are flexible and are fitted with beveled heels to allow extreme comfort and effective energy transfer. The uppers are a combination of synthetic and mesh, and features a microfiber liner that is removable.

Pros:
– comfortable
– easy to unclip
– easy cleat installation

Cons:
– cleats wear out fast
– pedals can clip upside down when clipped out
– pedals wear out faster than shoes

 

Best Men’s BOA Road Bike Shoes – Pearl Izumi Pro Leader Iii

The Pearl Izumi Pro Leader III takes advantage of its patented zonal 2-directional closure and two IP1 micro-adjustable BOA reels that gives equal tightness to the sides of the shoe.

 

 

 

It boasts of the seamless, thinnest upper in the market, Second Skin, that measures only .99 mm.

Pearl Izumi Pro Leader Iii

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This fabric allows breathability for the feet and keeps them dry, effectively reducing the chances of getting hotspots and blisters.

The shoes are very light with the right amount of stiffness thanks to Pearl Izumi’s Integrated Power Plate.

Pros:
– well-made materials
– stiff carbon sole
– breathable

Cons:
– pricey
– snug fit
– heels feel delicate

 

Best Men’s Indoor Bike Shoes – Shimano SH-RO65

The Shimano SH-RO65 is ideal for spin classes that have SPD pedals. Its sole made of fiberglass is stiff and does the job of providing the efficient power transfer during pedaling.

 

 

 

The insole is lightweight and non-compressed, acting as a cushion to the bottom of the foot. Shimano’s signature Dynalast system makes sure upstroke is energy-efficient and smooth. Endowed with a combination of synthetic cushion and mesh upper, feet are kept well-ventilated even through the most rigorous activities.

Pros:
– great value
– durable
– good fit

Cons:
– bulky
– poor adjustments
– limited color choices

 

Best Men’s Commuter Bike Shoes – Giros Rumbler VR

Stylish yet functional, the Giros Rumbler VR gives commuters the stylish option of using bike shoes to work.

 

 

The Giros Rumbler VR shoes can be used with platform or clipless pedals, and the outsole makes use of Vibram.

Giros Rumbler VR

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The upper is a combination of synthetic and mesh that provides breathability with durability. Both the shank and cleat zone are wrapped in Vibram outsole. The inside on the shoe is fitted with midsoles and molded footbeds to offer arch support.

Pros:
– stylish design
– comfortable on and off bike
– lightweight

Cons:
– small sizing
– bolts may be felt while standing
– glue marks on the soles

Best Men’s Freeride Bike Shoes – Five Ten Freerider Contact

The Five Ten Freerider Contact uses its patented treadless Contact Outsole, and Stealth Mi6 rubber that leaves treadless marks.

 

 

 

Support for the feet is provided by a rigid midsole and by additional toe protections, making even a day-long cycling comfortable.

Five Ten Freerider Contact

The shoe textile is abrasion resistant and the upper is made from synthetic materials which make this Five Ten model lightweight.

Pros:
– good grip
– comfortable
– high sensitivity

Cons:
– sole is too soft
– hard foot repositioning
– wide fit

 

Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes – Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex Shoe

These bike shoes are highly versatile, allowing their use for training, commuting, and riding. The Multi Air Flex provide ventilation that reduces heel pressure and when combined with the EVA insole, promises to prevent overheating.

 

 

Inside the shoe, the HRS-80 retention helps to keep heels in place while Velcro straps make it easy to adjust.

Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex Shoe

Reflective heels make it safe to ride out at night. The Garneau Multi Air Flex shoes are also stiff enough to make pedaling efficient.

 

Pros:
– multi-purpose shoes
– superb ventilation
– secure fit

Cons:
– small sizing
– Velcro straps sometimes detach
– narrow toe space

 

Best Women’s Road Bike Shoes – Pearl Izumi Women’s Elite IV

These shoes from a reputable company are one of the best women’s bike shoes out there. The unidirectional carbon sole is stiff enough to provide an efficient power transfer. Pearl Izumi Women’s Elite IV also uses Boa reel closure that can be found on the tongue of the shoe, making pressure distribution even across the mid-foot.

 

 

This Pearl Izumi Women’s Elite IV allows cyclists to make micro-adjustments to the fit.

Pearl Izumi Women’s Elite IV

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Pros:
– simple yet classy look
– stiff sole
– efficient power transfer

Cons:
– wide fit
– irreplaceable toe bumper
– a bit heavy

 

Best Women’s Beginner Road Bike Shoes – Shimano SH-RP3

Ideal for recreational cyclists or those just starting out, the Shimano SH-RP3 offers comfort and efficiency. Power output is increased thanks to the fiberglass-reinforced sole that provides a direct connection to the pedals, and presents balance between stiffness and flexibility.

 

 

The upper is made from synthetic leather that boosts stability and strength. A combination of integrated air intake and exhausted system keep feet from getting hot and sweaty. As with other Shimano shoes, SH-RP3 also uses Shimano Dynalast technology that makes feet feel secure, giving way to an efficient upstroke. The wide cleat adjustment range results in the ideal shoe-pedal fit.

Pros:
– durable
– sturdy
– easy to relase

Cons:
– runs small sizes
– inaccurate sizing chart
– bottoms are a bit slippery