The Perfect Road Bike Shoes
Cycling Shoes for Speed Lovers
You ride your race bike on tarmac at high speed, always willing to push the limits. In road cycling it’s all about speed. One key factor for perfect and efficient power transfer to the pedal is the right pair of shoes. Ranging from precise fastening systems via rubber heel pads through to extra-stiff soles – road bike shoes offer everything to ensure a perfect connection between feet and pedals. You have difficulties finding the right pair of road shoes? This buying guide will help you find your dream shoes!
We offer a huge range of road bike shoes for women and men in all common sizes and colours by well-known brands like ROSE, GIRO, SHIMANO, NORTHWAVE, MAVIC, GAERNE, SIDI and VAUDE. Just browse through our range and discover our offer ranging from low-priced entry-level models through to high-end road shoes for pros!
What type of road shoes are best for me?
There are a few things you should bear in mind when buying a new pair of cycling shoes: First of all, the shoes should fit your feet perfectly without constricting. Moreover, they should have threaded holes in the sole to allow for the use of clipless pedals and feature a sole that is designed for the intended use (see below for more information on soles). Our experts will be happy to help you find the right road bike shoes!
Why road bike shoes? Which system do I need?
Clipless pedals are sort of like a ski binding which attaches the rider to the bike. This brings a number of benefits: On the one hand, they keep your feet on the pedals and make sure they won’t slip in rainy weather and wet conditions. The biggest advantage though is that you can transfer your power when pressing on and pulling the pedal. This ensures a smoother pedal stroke and best power transmission. Yet, it takes some time practicing clipping in and out.
You can choose between different pedal systems. All road shoes you can find in this category have soles with three holes arranged in a triangle to attach the cleats. This 3-bolt standard is compatible with e.g.: LOOK DELTA and Kéo, SHIMANO SPD SL, SPEEDPLAY Light Action, Zero, X-Series (with 3-bolt adapter), Campagnolo Pro-Fit, MAVIC Zxellium, TIME Iclic/Xpresso and TIME Impact.
If you need help or advice to find the best system for you, please feel free to contact our experts. They’ll be happy to help you.
Which size road shoes?
Above all, the right cycling shoes should fit tight without pinching or slipping. Only a perfect connection between foot, shoe and pedal ensures best power transfer. If the cycling shoes are too big for your feet, a great power transmission to the pedal cannot be guaranteed. Besides, you should make sure the cycling shoes fit perfectly around your heel for best support. To check if your foot is kept perfectly in place, try to lift your heel from the ground when standing. Your heel should not slip out of the shoe. Only then you can enjoy perfect heel retention and excellent power transfer to the pedal. However, if the shoes are too tight, they will have a negative effect on your blood flow. Make sure there is about a thumb's width space from the toes to the front end of the shoes.
We also stock cycling shoes with a very athletic fit that are small sized. If this should be the case, you’ll find a note in the product description recommending you to go for one size up.
Which fastening system should my cycling shoes have?
BApart from the fit, there are two other aspects you should bear in mind when buying new cycling shoes: the sole and the fastening system. For efficient power transfer to the pedal, you need shoes with a fastening system that keeps your feet in place at any time. Depending on your budget and preferences, you can choose between three different closure styles that are sometimes also combined with each other to offer the best of all worlds:
Velcro straps: Traditional Velcro straps allow for precise adjustments and can even be adjusted on the fly, if need be.
Ratchets: Cycling shoes with ratcheting buckles allow for an even more precise adjustment. For this, a plastic wire is threaded through a closure system and adjusted precisely to the millimetre. Thus, the closure system cannot get caught, while keeping the foot in place inside the shoe and offering a perfect fit around the heels.
Dials (e.g. BOA or ATOP): FCycling shoes with dials offer precise adjustment options and even pressure distribution over the entire foot. This is thanks to wire laces running across the foot like traditional laces. Yet, they are adjustable in length via a twist buckle. This allows for precise one-handed adjustment on the fly.
Which sole should my road shoes have?
Those who want to enjoy best power transfer to the pedal should pay particular attention to the sole when buying a new pair of road bike shoes. Please find below all types of soles we offer for road bikes, suitable for every intended use and budget.
Nylon sole: dGiven their low production costs, traditional nylon soles are mostly used on entry-level and all-rounder models. Nylon is harder than rubber, so that the soles offer improved power transfer to the pedal. Due to lower flexibility though, nylon soles are less comfortable when walking and offer less grip on slippery ground.
Reinforced nylon sole: Those who want to transfer even more power to the pedal can also go for cycling shoes with a nylon sole featuring additional carbon or fibreglass reinforcements in the cleat area. This results in increased stiffness, helping you get even more power onto the pedal.
Carbon composite sole: Cyclists who want a stiff sole but do not have the budget for a full carbon sole are recommended choosing a carbon composite sole. These soles are made from a nylon-carbon composite. This allows you to benefit from the best of both worlds: increased stiffness thanks to carbon, and a lower price and more comfort thanks to nylon.
Full carbon sole: Cycling shoes with a carbon sole offer maximum stiffness. These shoes feature a carbon sole that is particularly stiff, lightweight and hardly flexible at all. This makes the sole less comfortable when walking but allows for maximum power transfer to the pedal while saving weight.
If you are not sure which sole to choose, our experts will be happy to help you.
Road shoes for wide feet
If standard road bike shoes feel constricting to you and you require more space, you can also find a range of road bike shoes for wide feet in our web shop. These shoes come with a wider last to offer sufficient space for your feet.
Road bike shoes for newcomers
If you’ve just gotten into road cycling, you should invest in a good pair of cycling shoes. Newcomers usually start with cycling shoes featuring a nylon sole and a Velcro. Depending on your preferences and on how much you are willing to spend, you can of course also go for a carbon composite sole or a full carbon sole. You can also invest in a more precise fastening system with ratchet buckles or dials, if you like. In any case, you should practice clipping in and out of the pedals or ask a more experienced rider to help you.
Road shoes or triathlon shoes for triathlon?
DIf you want to take part in triathlon races, it's important to buy appropriate shoes. Shoes with an easy-to-use retention system save time in the transition zone. Besides, cycling shoes for clipless pedals are very important for great power transfer. Just like road cycling shoes, triathlon specific shoes have a stiff sole with holes to attach a road bike pedal system. In addition, triathlon shoes feature more breathable upper fabrics to make sure wet feet will dry easily after the swim leg of the race. Moreover, triathlon cycling shoes open up wide, use pull tabs and quick fastening systems to speed up entry and exit in the transition zone. So basically, you can use both types of shoes for triathlon races. However, if you want to save valuable time in the transition zone, you are well advised to buy triathlon specific shoes. To browse through our range of triathlon cycling shoes click here.
Women’s road shoes
There are more and more women who get into cycling. That's why the number of women specific bike shoes available on the market is constantly growing. Women's road shoes are designed for a narrower sole, heel and ankle than men's shoes. Besides, they come in smaller sizes and different designs and colours. Other than that though there's no real difference between them. So if the shoe fits, wear it – no matter if it's a women's, a men's or a unisex model.
Winter road bike shoes
Tough road cycling fans don't want their bike to get dusty during winter. To make sure you are perfectly equipped for winter rides, we offer a huge range of road shoes for cold weather. A warm liner and/or a wind- and waterproof membrane like the popular GORE-TEX membrane offer extra warmth. You can also combine them with wind- and waterproof overshoes to protect the road shoes from wind and rain. If you require light insulation only, you can also buy toe covers to keep your toes warm. If you are looking for winter road shoes, browse through our categories Winter Shoes and Overshoes – you will surely find the right cold-weather shoes!
We stock a wide range of road bike shoes for women and men in all common sizes and colours by renowned brands like ROSE, GIRO, SHIMANO, NORTHWAVE, MAVIC, GAERNE and SIDI. Simply have a look around and discover our selection of road shoes ranging from affordably priced entry-level shoes through to high-end road bike shoes for pros!
Do you have questions about road shoes?
- Classic systems for road bikes are: Shimano SPD-SL, Look Delta and Keo.
- Shoes with three holes arranged in a triangle are best for road cycling. This allows you to firmly connect your shoe to the matching pedal.
- The right road shoe should fit perfectly to support your foot even on long rides.
- Road shoes help you improve your cycling performance (through better power transfer when pulling the pedals up and pushing them down).
- If you are using special cycling shoes with a clipless pedal system for the first time, you should first practice clipping in and out.
- The best way to do this is to hold on to the door frame or a wall and practice clipping out.