10 Best Spin Shoes for Indoor Cycling, According to Experts
Stay stylish and avoid injuries during indoor cycling with expert-approved spin shoes that can help you get more out of your workout.
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The benefits of cycling shoes
The at-home exercise bike market is booming, and for good reason: Exercise bikes offer an easy, well-rounded, total body workout. “You can bike at home anytime and don’t need any other equipment,” notes certified personal trainer and yoga therapist Samantha Parker, CEO of Neoteric Movement Systems, where she helps people overcome chronic pain through movement. “Plus, an exercise bike is great for high-intensity interval training (HIIT), low-intensity steady state, and even strength training for your lower body.”
Indeed, a 2019 review published in Medicina concluded that indoor cycling may improve aerobic capacity, blood pressure, lipid profile (the amounts of good fats vs. bad fats present in the body), and body composition.
An important part of indoor (or outdoor) cycling is wearing the right cycling shoes, or spin shoes. “Choosing a bike shoe is as important as choosing a running shoe,” says fitness trainer and ultra-endurance athlete Tom Jones.
The reason: Stiff-soled, clip-in spin shoes change how your weight is distributed over your foot, especially when you’re pedaling out of the saddle.
“Cycling shoes balance the workload on your body between pushing and pulling as you pedal,” explains Jones. “When you pedal with athletic shoes you are using your quads (the muscles on the front of the thighs) more, but when you clip in you balance the workload with your hamstrings (the back of the thighs). It gives you a much smoother pedal stroke.”
Spin shoes can protect against injury
“An exercise bike is considered low impact on the joints, which makes it great for people with joint issues that prevent them from running,” explains master trainer Samantha Clayton. ”
And when you wear clip-in shoes, they prevent you from slipping on the pedals and give you a more correct and natural cycling motion that can help to ensure the right muscles are being worked.” This motion and proper alignment can also protect against cramps, low back pain, and potential knee issues, she points out. And those are just a few of the benefits of owning your own indoor cycling shoes.
That’s why we rounded up the best spin shoes for indoor cycling based on fit, style, and comfort for men and women to help you get the most out of your workout.
One note: Not all cycling shoes come with cleats, the piece that connects the bottom of the shoe to the pedal. But they can be purchased separately for as little as $8—just make sure the ones you get match your shoes and the pedals on your bike.
Venzo Bicycle Road Cycling Riding Shoes
These sleek, award-winning Venzo cycling shoes get points for their versatility: They come with removable cleats that are compatible with every pedal type on the market, including indoor exercise bikes and road bikes.
The sole is tough and stiff, ensuring equal weight distribution, plus it’s heat-insulated to reduce friction and odors.
Comfortable shoes that are lightweight and don’t smell? It’s no wonder this pair is the No. 1 men’s cycling shoe on Amazon. (Going on long walks instead? Here are the best walking shoes for your feet.)
Tommaso Pista Cycling Shoe Bundle
One of the most common gripes about cycling shoes, especially for women with narrow feet, is a boxy heel cup that doesn’t stop the heel from sliding. The fix: these Tommaso Pista shoes, which are designed with a firm, no-slip heel back that is supportive and snug.
With more than 800 five-star reviews, five attractive color variations, and three carefully placed Velcro straps, they are earning raves from female cyclists.
“I’ve been spinning for almost a year and have torn up 2 pairs of regular shoes using the toe cages on my bike. After monster blisters, I finally said enough is enough and ordered actual shoes for my bike. These fit so perfectly!” cheers one five-star reviewer, of the No. 1 ranked women’s cycling shoe on Amazon.
Santic Cycling Shoes
$77-$86, depending on size and color
“Closure system is important to look at when you choose your bike shoes,” says Jones. While many cycling shoes use a Velcro closure, this pair from Santic has two Velcro straps on top of the foot and a buckle strap at the base of the ankle.
This ensures that your foot doesn’t move around inside the shoe, offering maximum comfort and the ability to push and pull on the pedals. Available in three different camo colors, these shoes are a winner. (Check out the best face masks for exercise.)
SHIMANO SH-IC500 Cycling Shoes
“Ventilation is very important when choosing a bike shoe,” notes Jones. The reason: Unlike outdoors where the wind is whipping by or in a spin studio equipped with fans and a commercial-grade air conditioner, you may find your feet sweating, slipping, or rubbing after a ride in your living room.
Fortunately, these shoes from cycling company Shimano, which are specifically designed for cycling indoors, feature an entirely mesh upper for superior ventilation.
What’s more, a Boa dial helps you tighten the shoe to a smooth, snug fit for minimal movement. A Boa dial is seen most often on snowboard boots, some fancy sneakers, and hiking boots. It’s like a cinch system that makes the shoe nice and snug and won’t loosen on its own. Maximize your workout with these exercise bike products.
Giro Empire E70 Knit Cycling Shoes
If you’re put off by the look and fit of a prototypical cycling shoe, you might like this brand-new knit pair from Giro. With a lace tie and a knit body, these shoes fit more like a lightweight, breathable, and stylish sneaker than a spin shoe, but their stiff carbon sole and molded skeleton make them ideal for the bike.
“You want to look for a good, strong, flat, stable sole with limited flexibility,” explains Parker. “This limits the amount of flexion in the foot, helping to generate more power with each rotation of the leg.” (Here’s how to reduce indoor cycling knee pain.)
Specialized Torch 1.0 Road Shoes
“I love the Specialized brand,” says Clayton. “As an avid road biker, I find them to have the exact support I need.” While some of the shoes from cycling company Specialized run over $400, this more affordable pair boasts many of the same features and technologies at a more reasonable price point. That includes a Boa dial for a perfectly snug fit, a moderately stiff sole and lightweight body, a three-bolt cleat pattern, and their unique Body Geometry construction, which offers arch support, stabilization, and pain prevention.
TIEM Slipstream Indoor Cycling Spin Shoe
$115-$130, depending on size and color
Would you prefer a shoe you can wear around the house or one that doesn’t feel as awkward as a traditional cycling shoe? Enter these slip-on shoes from TIEM. They look and fit like a sneaker with a mesh and textile upper and a single Velcro strap, but feature a recessed two-bolt cleat system and a sturdy sole that will support your bodyweight out of the saddle.
“I wanted shoes with a walkable sole-not hard like the traditional cycling shoe,” shares one pleased purchaser. “These are perfect! The fit is as expected and I can walk across hardwood floors without slipping or scratching the floor.”
Gavin Elite Road Cycling Shoe
The top strap on these inexpensive cycling shoes features a micro-adjustable cinching system that will allow you to push and pull on the pedals with equal force for a balanced, total body workout. Compatible with two-bolt or three-bolt cleats and featuring a rigid, fiberglass sole, these Gavin shoes are great for the beginner cyclist.
“I bought these shoes because I take a cycling class. I also have issues with plantar fasciitis and was having flare-ups with my regular sneakers,” says one five-star reviewer. “My doc recommended cycling shoes because they’re harder on the bottom so better support. It definitely helps. It’s also affordable for a beginner.” (For post-workout comfort, here are the best slippers for your feet.)
Cungel Men’s Road Bike Cycling Shoes
These sleek, stylish shoes from Cungel look like they cost twice as much as their price tag, thanks to the streamlined design, seven color options, rotating buckle, breathable mesh upper, and compatibility with both two-bolt and three-bolt cleats. Instead, they’re only $60, making them perfect if you’re looking for a less bulky shoe. Cungel even offers recommendations for how to ensure you order the perfect size.
“An incorrect fit can make you get blisters, and if they are too big the arch support won’t be quite in the right place,” says Clayton. “A snug fit with not too much room for your foot to slip forward is important.” (Avoid making these shoe mistakes that are hurting your feet.)
Nike SuperRep Cycle
“I’m a huge Nike fan for running shoes and am looking forward to trying out their cycling shoes next!” shares Clayton. And for good reason: This new addition to the Nike canon, designed specifically for indoor cycling, features two adjustable hook and loop straps plus a full mesh upper and vents on the sole for maximum airflow and overheating prevention. Meanwhile, a loop on the heel makes sliding them on a breeze and rubber under the toe and heel provide traction for when you’re walking to and from your bike.
Next, check out the best cold-weather jackets for walking or running.
- Samantha Parker, MS, CPT, C-IAYT, certified personal trainer and yoga therapist and CEO of Neoteric Movement Systems
- Medicina: "Health Benefits of Indoor Cycling: A Systematic Review"
- Tom Jones, fitness trainer, world champion Muay Thai boxer and ultra-endurance athlete
- Samantha Clayton, ISSA-CPT, certified master trainer and VP of Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness at Herbalife Nutrition