The stiff sole of a cycling shoe transfers more of your power to the pedals and makes you more efficient as a cyclist!
There are 3 main types of cycling shoe...
Touring/leisure cycling shoes.
Rigid soled mountain bike shoes.
Rigid soled road cycling shoes.
The soles of cycling shoes are more rigid than normal shoes or trainers. This transfers more of your effort to the bike and prevents your toes curling around the pedal.
Mesh panels in the uppers allow your tootsies to breathe - keeping your feet cool and fresh.
Almost all cycling shoes will allow you to fit cleats if you want to.
An MTB shoe will use a 2 bolt fitting and a road cycling shoe will use a 3 bolt fitting.
Choosing your cycling shoe depends on the type of cycling that you do...
Leisure / Touring / City Cycling Shoes
Suitable for easy off-road cycling, these cycling shoes tend to look like normal trainers - perfect if you don't want to look like a cyclist while off the bike.
A stiff sole aids power transfer but they are easier to walk in than other types of cycling shoe.
This type of shoe is also ideal as a touring cycling shoe or as city cycling shoes.
can be fitted to most of them - sometimes the screw holes are hidden under a removable panel on the sole of the shoe. Leave this panel in place if you want to use your cycling shoes without cleats.
Rigid Soled Mountain Bike Shoes
For proper off road cycling adventures, rigid soled mountain bike shoes have their advantages...
An aggressive tread pattern will give you the grip you need if you have to get off and push.
Very stiff soles aid power transfer and give a stable platform if you are using smaller clipless pedals.
The cleats for MTB pedals usually use the standard 2-hole fitting screws.
Mens and womens MTB shoes are available.
Rigid Soled Road Cycling Shoes
Rigid soled road cycling shoes are only for eating up miles on the road. They are difficult to walk in as the type of cleat normally fitted protrudes from the sole.
The cleats fitted to road bike shoes use a triangular 3 hole screw fitting.
Road bike shoes provide maximum power transfer to the pedals.
The sole of a road cycling shoe will not bend at all and some top-end models use carbon fibre in the soles for optimum stiffness and lightness.
Mens and womens road cycling shoes are available.
For triathlon use, choose specific triathlon cycling shoes. These shoes are like road cycling shoes but have some features which will make your transitions easier and faster...