When it comes to biking, shoes are probably not the first thing you add to your list of gear to buy or replace. After all, bikes, bike parts, and protective gear are essential to your ride. However, bike shoes play an especially important role!
After all, your feet are what keep you going, so you need something comfortable and durable to keep up with your movement. In addition to this, you’ll want something that allows you to have plenty of control while you pedal. You don’t want to have your feet slipping off, and you definitely don’t want to be using up more energy than you need to, which can happen if you’re wearing the wrong type of footwear.
Whether you’re replacing your old ones or you’re picking out your first pair, we’re going to give you a guide on all you need to know about types of bike shoes as well as how to choose the best types of bike shoes to fit your needs!
The first question you need to ask yourself is what type of biking do you do? Like all other sports, you will need something specific so that you can get the most out of your ride.
Types of Biking
There are two main types of biking: mountain and road. This is pretty self-explanatory, but mountain means you’ll be riding on a variety of terrain and types of features whereas road means that you’ll be pedaling on flatter surfaces and likely paved roads.
Under the category of road biking is commuter biking, which is more casual riding used as a form of transportation rather than recreation. Along with different types of biking come different types of shoes. You don’t want to wear the wrong style on the wrong type of terrain!
Types of Bike Shoes
Mountain Bike Shoes
Mountain bike shoes are designed specifically for taking on the rougher terrain and trails. They have grips on the soles for added traction. They also can be broken down into two types of bike shoes: clipless and flat. Clipless shoes, contrary to their name, attach to the pedals of your mountain bike, giving you a more locked-in and secure feeling. Flat shoes do not clip to the pedals of your bike and are a better option for riders who find themselves getting from their bike more often.
Many beginners start off with flat shoes as they are more comfortable for times when you may want to walk your bike. Be sure you check what kind of pedals your bike has so that you purchase a pair of shoes that are compatible.
Road Bike Shoes
Road bike shoes are stiffer than mountain bike shoes and are designed to offer plenty of power and speed. Keep in mind that these types of bike shoes are not intended for walking, so you will not want to walk long distances in them. Like mountain bike shoes, be sure that your road bike shoes are compatible with your pedals. Most road bike shoes use a three-hole cleat system that connects your foot to the pedals. Many of them also feature closure systems such as hook-and-loop fasteners or dial lacing systems for quick and easy adjustment.
Commuter Bike Shoes
Less technical than road bike shoes are commuter bike shoes. Many of these types of bike shoes are flat rather than clipless, making it easier to get on and off of your bike as you’re riding around town and running errands. Some of them even resemble casual sneakers. However, for those who prefer clipless options for riding longer distances, there are also clipless commuter bike shoe options that keep your feet secure throughout your ride.
When it comes to choosing the best types of bike shoes that suit your riding, fit is one of the most important aspects you’ll want to consider. After all, you don’t want to spend hours pedaling only to have your feet hurting in the process! From the moment you first try on the shoe, it should feel snug and supportive, but it should not feel uncomfortable. Remember that you don’t want your heels sliding around as you ride. However, if they are tight to the point of your feet hurting and your toes feeling squished, you may need to try a different size.
It is also worth noting that different brands of bike shoes may use different sizing systems (US or European). Be sure you double check your size before purchasing, and if possible, try on the shoes in person before purchasing so that you can be sure you are getting the right size for you!
Hopefully, this guide is helpful in the search for the best types of bike shoes that match your riding and lifestyle. Be sure you check out our complete bike shop to grab everything you need before you venture out on your next bicycling journey!