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Spinning Shoes – How To Choose The Best Indoor Cycling Shoes !

Best Spinning Shoes

Specific Spinning Shoes or Mountain Bike Shoes ?

Your fitness has improved, Your keeping up with the manic instructor, No longer do you feel like you are going to die from exhaustion…

So you are now starting to enjoy your spin class – after taking classes every second day for several weeks the benefits are beginning to show, You love the feeling of being fit, but want to push harder !

If you hope to take your spinning to that next level get the most out of your new sport … a simple move to clipless pedals and a good pair of spinning shoes. is just what you need…

But what shoes and at what price ?

What are the best cycle shoes for spin class ?

Easy answer – Mountain Bike shoes are what I use and recommend, they offer the  best deal when buying shoes for spin class, they have dedicated shoe sizes for Men and Women… you can save a lot of money when you use mountain bike shoes for spinning and still get a great shoe – though before I buy new spin shoes they need to fit very strict criteria.

How To Buy Indoor Cycling Shoes…

kukome-mens-road-cycling-shoes-pedalsDoes the Shoe Fit? … Is it comfortable ?

This is key ! It may sound obvious that a shoe needs to fit well, but when buying spin shoes they need to fit perfectly!

The fit is far more important than when you choose your casual shoes or running shoes, with cycling shoes of any type you don’t want them sliding up and down with every pedal stroke.

As well as risking blisters this movement has  a small, but negative, effect on the how strongly you can pedal.

Video – Tips On Choosing Cycling Shoes

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However, most people make the mistake of buying cheap spin shoes that are either, fashionable or they simply like the color. Instead, you should be looking for ultimate fit and comfort then decide if the shoe fits your budget and lastly whether it looks good.

Where To Buy ?

kukome-men-women-mountain-bike-shoeIf  like many of us, you want to buy your shoes online to save $$$, rest assured, you will find it is super easy to find good cycling shoes online at bargain prices, but you do need to be 100% certain of your shoe size and have a good idea if the brand you choose to buy fits your foot perfectly. (all brands have a unique fit)

If you have a high instep or extra wide feet this can be a problem when all you have to work with are the manufacturer’s listed sizes or a few photos. What I always do is read the many customer reviews on Amazon they often mention if the shoe sizing is accurate – Amazon buyer reviews give great sales information for free, be sure to read a few of them before you buy.

How To Size A Spin Shoe

  • when fitting new shoes ideally you want the tip of your big toe to lightly touch or not touch at all.  It is critical not to squeeze your foot into a cycling shoe, your foot should not feel cramped in the toe box – cycling shoes don’t stretch out like other shoes will.
  • you need a shoe that holds your foot firmly but still leaves room to move without sliding around, The mountain bike shoes I’m using at the moment are a loose fit but I have found there is enough fine adjustment in the Velcro fastening, as well I use good quality non-slip sports socks to get the perfect fit.
  • Both the length and width of the shoe measurements need to be considered some brands build a narrow shoe others wide.
  • If you are buying your spin shoes online, make sure that you can return the shoes if the sizing is totally wrong.

 Type Of Cleat

Spinning Shoes

The best Spinning Shoe Deals you will find are Mountain Bike Shoes !

perl-izumu-womens-cycling-shoeFor cycling class, you have the choice of either indoor cycling or Mtb shoes, as long as they have the required two bolt fittings for accepting the correct cleats.

You will find a large range of mountain bike shoes with 2 bolt SPD cleats for a very reasonable price – which why I use them, they are compatible with the type of clips used on most gym spin bikes. (check with your gym for the exact cleat model number)

Road bike shoes, on the other hand normally have a three bolt pattern on the sole  and will not work for indoor cycling.

Additionally, as already mentioned, I always look for shoes with strong Velcro straps they are easier to adjust while still clipped in and allow you to fine tune the fit.

After the correct fit, the next key feature is the sole a stiff sole is essential, as it allows a greater transfer of power between your legs and the bike – once clipped in you need rigid soles that do not flex when you pedal.

Also, your shoes need to breathe. Shoes for spinning are normally made of breathable fabric as are mountain bike shoes it is quite important that your feet get good air flow as you workout.

mens-spinning-shoeBut the first 2 points are the deal breakers, Spinning shoes must fit properly and have rigid soles that don’t flex !

It is fine to shop around for the best price plus try a few different brands to which brand fits your foot shape. But if you are going to be spinning every day and demand the best then I recommend you start your search with Shimano or Specialized Spinning Shoes as they are well recognized for quality cycling shoes – including an excellent range of mountain bike and indoor cycling shoes.

Every manufacturer has a different view of what constitutes the ‘average’ foot, so buying spin shoes online can present problems when looking for the perfect fit. If the shoe you are interested in is popular and has a host of buyer feed back, they will often state if the shoe is true to it’s stated size, if not, you may need to try a few on in a store before you decide on what brand offers the most comfortable fit for you.

Foot shape varies widely between riders, oddly enough it is quite common for individual riders to have a slight difference in foot size (my left foot is smaller than my right foot) and shoes vary between manufacturers.

louis-garneau-womens-ruby-cycling-shoesShimano spin shoes have the reputation of being a better fit than Specialized spin shoes but it is an unfair bias, as it is more a case of finding a shoe to fit your own foot than finding a brand that fits every foot.

If you have a difficult foot to fit, then you just have keep on trying all the brands until you find the perfect fit.

Video – Why You Should Use Cycling Shoes

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With your cycling shoe firmly locked on to the pedal you can expect all of your effort on the downward stroke to be delivered to the pedal.  In contrast, when you pedal inflexible running shoes with straps, your foot folds around the pedal as well as slides forward and sideways to the full extent that the straps allow them to – this is not ideal.


The rigid soles of cycling shoes support your feet as well as delivers full power to your pedals

being clipped in also allows you to push down and pull up with each stroke this gives your legs that little bit more power and increasing the efficiency of your pedal stroke, you can’t get the same benefit from straps and toe cages, once you try clips, you’ll never go back !

What Defines A Good Spin Shoe ?

spinning-shoeApart from driving home the fact that the shoe that fits 100% is the best spinning shoe – The real answer is in the sole, generally, good spin shoes have rigid soles but not to the point of being thick and heavy, the less flexible the sole the better it is for efficient power transmission. Specialized is one brand (but not the only one) known to make quality shoes with a glass fiber composite soles this offers the stiffness spinners are looking for.

Cleat Placement Potential: Most of the information out there suggests that ideal cleat position is when the center of the ball of the foot is positioned over the center of the pedal axle, this is not crucial for casual spinners, but the higher priced shoes do allow you to adjust the cleat position.

But as a general rule for spinners on a bike for an hour or so a day its, not a major selling point, any 2 bolt SPD system will be fine.

How Much Should You Pay ?

spin shoe cleatsAdjust your shoe budget to suit the amount of use the shoe will get, an average price for mountain bike shoes is $59.00 to $120.00 – if you are a keen mountain biker as well as a spinner then it is well worth spending top dollar to buy the best spin shoe – you will get lots of use from them when spinning in the gym when they are new and clean, then trash them totally on the trails when they getting a bit too old and smelly for the gym.

Do you worry that for you – spinning is a passing fad & your expensive spin shoes will end up lost in the back of the broom closet ?

If you are a casual gym spinner or on a tight budget it may be worth taking the risk and buy cheap spinning shoes online – the best deal would be a non-brand mountain bike shoe, if you look for shoes with a high number of sales and good reviews – you may just might find a mountain bike shoe that double as a great spinning shoe for a bargain price ?

women's-cycling-shoeBut if you are the type that needs to buy the best spin shoes you will find there is a bewildering selection of quality shoes and suitable  mountain bike shoes on the market from a variety of  brands. Don’t be seduced into paying top dollar – mid range pricing is all you need pay to get an excellent spin shoe.

If you are buying the high priced bike shoes, (expect to pay $250 – $450.00) once you find the best fitting shoe then you may as well choose a shoe that allows you adjust the cleat position – for no other reason than for high priced shoes you can do that.

Both Specialized and Shimano allow this their mountain bike shoes and spinning shoes are well designed and survive years of hard use.

About the Author Ian

Ian is the Chief editor here at OnlineBikesShop, a reformed Cycle Traveler… now a dedicated stay-at-home dad of a very active 3 yr old, a keen mountain biker with a passion for all types of bikes, the outdoors, and keeping fit…

Leave a Comment:

4 comments
Jamie says

Thanks for the fitting tips for indoor cycling shoes! That seems to be one of my biggest struggles as I never know exactly how shoes are supposed to fit and end up paying for it later. And its a great tip to use mountain bike shoes. Those are available everywhere!

Reply
    Ian says

    Hi, Jamie nice to hear from you I’m pleased to hear our post was useful That’s our goal – To be useful 🙂 Have fun spinning…

    Reply
Kay says

I never knew how they are suppose to fit or what to buy. I just started spinning a few months ago with a friend who has been doing it for years. I think I’m ready to purchase a spinning shoe now. I’m willing to pay on the upper end for quality. These are going to last for a while!

Reply
    Ian says

    Hi Kay, You will notice the difference once you clip in and spin You will never go back to using flat pedals again…

    Reply
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