Buying shoes for cycling is not the easiest thing to do, especially if it is your first pair. It’s important to remember that choosing the right bike shoes is nothing like choosing regular street shoes. The criteria for deciding what type of shoes you need are completely different.
Let’s take a look at the things you need to take into consideration when looking to buy a pair of shoes for cycling that are going to fit your needs perfectly.
What type of shoe do you need?
Cycling is a very broad term. There are many kinds of cycling related activities. Are you just riding a city bike around the town to work and back? Are you taking a spinning class? Are you mountain biking or racing on the streets? Different shoes apply for each of these different activities.
If you are a casual bike rider who is pedaling no more than five miles a day to work and back, you really don’t have to worry about buying a cycling-specific shoe. Any shoe will do, pretty much. An outdoor cross-trainer shoe would do, as would a lightweight hiking shoe. There are also casual cycling shoes that look like regular shoes, but do offer options for using a pedal clip system. Otherwise, look to buy a shoe that is specific to the type of cycling you are going to be doing. If you are serious about mountain cycling, a regular tennis shoe just isn’t going to cut it.
Getting the size right for cycling shoes is important. It’s just as important to understand that the right size cycling shoe and the right size regular shoe are two completely different things. One of the most important things that you have to consider is the width of the shoe. The widest part of your foot is the part that is exposed to the most pressure when pedaling. You really need to make sure that the width of your shoes is perfect. Shoes that are too wide might cause instability, and shoes that are not wide enough will cause you unnecessary discomfort. If you are experiencing pain after riding, there is a good chance that is related to improper shoe width.
When buying regular shoes, you are usually looking to have a little bit of space in between your toes and the end of the shoe. This is not the case with cycling shoes. Your bike shoes need to be a perfect fit. A millimeter of extra space for your toe is all you need.
Security and stability
When it comes to stability and security, we are primarily talking about how your feet fit the pedals and whether they grip them tightly. Obviously, your feet should not be slipping off the pedals if you have the right shoes on. The most important aspect of a cycling shoe is the anchor of the heel. Having a perfect fit between the shoes and the fastening system of the pedals is imperative for safe and painless cycling.
That is why it is important to evaluate the fastening system of your pedals as well before choosing the right shoe. If you have buckles or Velcro on your system, they should not be exerting any added pressure on your feet, merely keeping them stable. When choosing your fastening system before you even start looking at shoes, makes sure that it is easy to adjust, even mid-ride. Once you have the right system, find shoes that fit with the system perfectly and offer you all of the support and stability you need without causing you any discomfort.