Cycling Shoes for Road Cycling, MTB, Touring and Spinning
Cycling shoes with and without cleat system for a stable contact with your pedals
Cycling shoes are the connection between rider and bike. They ensure stable contact with your pedals and offer perfect power transfer. Therefore, many cycling shoes like road bike shoes or MTB shoes come with holes for cleat systems that firmly connect the shoe to the pedal. Once the special cleats are fitted to the front of the sole, you can clip the shoes into appropriate pedals and unclip them by twisting your heel to the side. Flat pedal shoes and dirt shoes on the contrary don’t have any cleats but feature a rubber outsole with an aggressive tread pattern for maximum grip on platform pedals. Stiffness is important for efficiently transferring your power to the pedals. The stiffer the sole, the better the energy is transferred to the pedals. Carbon soles are extremely stiff and especially light. When combined with a precise ratchet system or laces with Velcro fasteners, you’ll enjoy perfectly fitting shoes with high power transfer. We stock the right cycling shoes for any type of riding as well as gear for your dream shoes.
In our range you‘ll find a huge selection of women’s and men’s shoes by well-known brands like NORTHWAVE, SHIMANO, MAVIC, VAUDE, GAERNE, FIVE TEN, ROSE and SIDI for road cycling, triathlon, mountain biking, touring, commuting and spinning. Discover the possibilities and find your dream shoes in your price range!
With or without cleat system – what do I need?
Before buying a pair of cycling shoes, you should ask yourself whether you would like to use them with clipless pedals or not. It’s very important to make this decision beforehand, as cycling shoes that are designed for a specific purpose come with holes for special cleats that are only compatible with the respective pedal system. An example: MTB shoes have a two-bolt attachment for cleats and are thus only compatible with pedals featuring a 2-bolt system (e.g. Shimano SPD). Road shoes feature three holes arranged in a triangle and are thus only suitable for use with pedals having a 3-bolt system (e.g. Shimano SPD-SL).
Types of cycling shoes:
Road cycling shoes – If you want to ride a road bike, it’s best to choose cycling shoes with a 3-bolt triangle pattern for cleats and pedals with 3-bolt system (e.g. Look Delta and Kéo, Shimano SPD-SL, Speedplay Light Action, Zero, X-Series (via 3-bolt adapter plate), Campagnolo Pro-Fit, Mavic Zxellium, Time Iclic/Xpresso and Time Impact).
MTB cycling shoes – If you ride a mountain bike, you can choose between cycling shoes for clipless pedals and shoes for flat pedals. Shoes for flat pedals don’t have any holes for cleats but feature a rubber outsole with a grippy compound for best grip on platform pedals with steel pins and muddy grounds. MTB shoes with a cleat system have a two parallel bolt attachment for cleats and pedals with 2 bolt system (e.g. Shimano SPD, Time ATAC, CrankBrothers, CrankBrothers Race, Look MTB, Xtreme MTB, Wellgo MTB. Also suitable for spinning bikes in the gym etc.)
Triathlon shoes – If you are a triathlete, it’s best to choose cycling shoes with a triangle 3-bolt pattern suitable for cleats and pedals with 3 bolt standard (e.g. Look Delta and Kéo, Shimano SPD-SL, Speedplay Light Action, Zero, X-Series (with 3-bolt adapter plate), Campagnolo Pro-Fit, Mavic Zxellium, Time Iclic/Xpresso and Time Impact).
Touring shoes – For cycle touring, you can choose between cycling shoes for clipless pedals (e.g. Shimano SPD) and flat pedals. Shoes for common pedals have a rubber sole without cleat attachment and offer best grip on pedal and muddy grounds, thanks to an anti-slip rubber compound. Also available are touring shoes with a parallel 2-bolt attachment for use with cleats and pedals with 2-bolt system (e.g. Shimano SPD, Time ATAC, CrankBrothers, CrankBrothers Race, Look MTB, Xtreme MTB, Wellgo MTB. Also suitable for spinning bikes in the gym etc.). We therefore recommend choosing the right shoes from our MTB or Touring range.
Commuter shoes – Just like touring shoes, commuter shoes are available with a rubber outsole for standard pedals without cleat system. In addition, there are cycling shoes with a parallel 2-bolt attachment available for use with 2-bolt cleat systems (e.g. Shimano SPD, Time ATAC, CrankBrothers, CrankBrothers Race, Look MTB, Xtreme MTB, Wellgo MTB. Also suitable for indoor trainers in gyms etc.). We therefore recommend choosing the right shoes from our MTB or Touring range.
Spinning shoes – Conventional spinning bike pedals are only compatible with MTB 2-bolt pedal systems. We therefore recommend choosing the right shoes from our MTB or Touring range.
We also stock pedals by major brands like SHIMANO, ROSE, LOOK and TIME.
Carbon vs. Nylon – which type of sole would you like?
The sole of your cycling shoes is essential for best power transfer. Standard soles for cycling shoes are made of nylon. Thus, they offer increased stiffness than e.g. soles of standard sports shoes. If you require additional stiffness you can also go for a carbon reinforced nylon sole. These soles have reinforcements made of ultra-stiff and ultra-light carbon material in some areas, yet usually in the cleat area. Thus, the cycling shoes are slightly stiffer and lighter than shoes with pure nylon outsoles. For even better power transfer, there are numerous cycling shoe models with a sole made of carbon nylon composite available. Thus, the sole is not only reinforced in special areas, but stiffer and lighter than a nylon sole from heel to toe. Maximum energy transfer and lightness is achieved with a full carbon sole that is completely made of light, stiff carbon fibre and has no nylon content at all. Cycling shoes with high-end carbon soles are, of course, more expensive. What’s more, the carbon sole is less flexible which results in good power transfer, but also less off-the-bike comfort. So, depending on your budget and requirements, you can choose between nylon soles, full carbon soles and everything in between and thus find the shoes that perfectly suit your needs.
Road bike shoes
Those looking for good road shoes should pay attention to a snug fit and an appropriate sole. Ambitious road cyclists are well advised to choose perfectly fitting road cycling shoes that offer sufficient comfort on long distances. It is also important that your feet don’t move or slip around as you ride. For efficiently transferring your power to the pedals, you should choose a sole with high stiffness values. Full carbon soles impress with high efficiency and great energy transfer but are not suitable for any budget. Depending on how much you would like to spend, you can also go for shoes with a carbon-reinforced nylon sole or a carbon composite sole. Another important feature of road shoes is a precisely adjustable fastening system that is easy to handle. Ranging from Velcro fasteners through to high-end dials you can choose between various options for precise adaptation to your feet
Step in and ride off – The right shoes for triathlon
For triathlon shoes, the same recommendations apply as for road cycling shoes. However, you should additionally make sure the triathlon shoes are easy to put on and take off. We thus recommend choosing shoes that are especially designed for triathlon use, as they have a wider opening for fast stepping in, Velcro fasteners and a pull tab at the heel to quickly pull on the shoes. Besides, good tri shoes have uppers made from fast-drying and breathable materials to ensure the shoes will not get totally soaked through after swimming and to offer great ventilation on long and exhausting sections.
Take your bike off the road - Flat pedal and MTB shoes
Those who like to hit the trails in the forests and mountains nearby after work or at the weekend should go for special MTB shoes. These are particularly durable and feature a sole adapted to MTB sports. It comes with an aggressive tread pattern for high grip on slippery grounds and off-the-bike sections. Ranging from nylon soles through to full carbon soles, you can choose from a wide selection of soles to find the right level of stiffness and power transfer. A proper fastening system ensures a perfect fit around your foot and heel – here, you'll have the choice between laces, Velcro fasteners and precisely adjustable ratchet systems or dials. For riding in winter and in-between seasons, we recommend buying waterproof and/or padded MTB shoes or overshoes to stay protected from spray.
In addition, flat pedal shoes are particularly interesting for mountain bikers and dirt riders. They don't have any holes for a cleat system but come with a closed rubber outsole. This ensures high grip on platform pedals as well as on slippery and muddy grounds. Discover our range of stylish flat pedal shoes.
Shoes for bike tours and leisure – Go touring!
For relaxed bike tours or cycle journeys, it is recommended to wear touring shoes. This type of shoes is especially designed for long-distance riding, thanks to a special sole, upper and fastening system. For great off-the-bike walkability, touring shoes feature a slightly softer sole with an appropriate tread pattern and a soft footbed. Thus, the shoes offer good traction wherever you go. In addition, many models have an attachment for MTB cleat systems on SPD basis – so that you can also use the shoes in combination with clipless pedals. Depending on the season, we also stock airy and light touring shoes and sandals. For tours in-between seasons or in winter, we offer padded and waterproof shoes as well as wind- and waterproof overshoes. Besides, our range includes touring shoes with different fastening systems – ranging from a classic lacing system through to precise dials.
Urban – Well dressed for the urban jungle
Those who commute to work every day can well go for special cycling shoes. When buying a new pair of urban cycling shoes, it is recommended to pay attention to the sole. As commuter shoes require a special level of versatility and have to be comfortable on and off the bike, their sole should be rather soft, yet harder than soles of conventional sport shoes, and offer sufficient grip. You can choose between cycling shoes without cleat system and cycling shoes with attachment for an SPD cleat system. Depending on the season, you can choose between airy, light leisure shoes for warm days and e.g. waterproof cycling shoes or overshoes for cold and wet days.
You need cycling shoes for the gym or for spinning?
If you are looking for the right shoes for your next spinning course or for use on indoor trainers in the gym, you should make sure the shoes are compatible with MTB cleat systems using cleats with SPD standard. In addition, the shoes should be rather light and feature a light, breathable upper so that you won't sweat too much. To find the right cycling shoes for the gym or spinning courses, you can have a look around the categories MTB Shoes and Trekking and Touring Shoes where you'll find shoes with SPD cleat attachment.
Optimal fit and power transfer thanks to fastening system and heel cup
To ensure efficient energy transfer to the pedals, your cycling shoes should fit perfectly without moving around or slipping at all. Entry-level shoes often have a simple lace fastening or two to three Velcro fasteners. In combination with a non-slip heel cup, the shoes wrap perfectly around your feet. More expensive cycling shoes offer additional features to further optimize fit and heel support. Interesting details are for instance dials with wire laces, promising precise adjustment and best fit. This fastening system comes with a dial for adjustment, pressing or pulling the button opens or closes the system completely. Hardened heel caps or clips also improve fit for optimal heel support and power transfer.
Cycling shoes for the cold season – what you should look for
For tours in cold weather, warm materials and effective weather protection are of particularly high importance. On cold days, you need sufficient protection against wind chill – thus, it is recommended wearing cycling shoes with a wind- and waterproof membrane such like GORE-TEX. This prevents water and mud from penetrating and keeps your feet warm. A warm fleece liner or synthetic fibre padding additionally increases comfort and thermal insulation. Summer shoes can also be protected from rain and wind by using wind- and waterproof overshoes - yet, they do not offer sufficient protection from wind chill. Thus, you can't get around winter cycling shoes! Winter socks offer another interesting possibility to additionally protect your feet from cold and water.
In our shop, you'll find a wide range of women's and men's cycling shoes for road cycling, triathlon, mountain biking, touring, commuting and spinning in all common sizes by popular brands like NORTHWAVE, SHIMANO, MAVIC, VAUDE, GAERNE, FIVE TEN, ROSE and SIDI. Discover the possibilities and find your dream cycling shoe in your price range!
Do you have questions about cycling shoes?
- In contrast to simple sneakers, cycling shoes ensure a more comfortable ride and offer better support on longer tours, thanks to the firmer sole.
- The stiff sole ensures optimal power transfer.
- You can use clipless pedals.
- The shoe should offer enough space at the front so that your toes don’t touch the front even when standing and accelerating.
- In our range you will find cycling shoes in wide and narrow models.
- Please also pay attention to our manufacturer's note on the product page.
- Are you still unsure? Then contact our customer service or visit one of our ROSE stores and let us advise you.