Best Road Bike Pedals In 2022
- Look Keo Classic 3 Plus: £59 / $75 / AU$102
- Shimano M520 SPD: £35 / $48 / AU$61
- Shimano 105 R7000: £120 / $150 / AU$189
- Time Xpresso 2: £50 / $65
- Shimano PD-5800 105 SPD-SL / PD-R7000: £110 / $150 / AU$189
- Time XPro 10: £150 / $195 / AU$199.95
- Wahoo Speedplay Zero: £199.99 / $229.99 / 229.99
- Look Keo 2 Max: £79.99 / $114.99 / AU$153.99
- Look Keo 2 Max Carbon: £95 / $125 / AU$187
- Shimano Tiagra R550: £75 / $100 / AU$99
- Shimano Ultegra R8000: £157 / $200 / AU$249
- Speedplay Zero Stainless: £199.99 / $214 / AU$384.99
The 15 Best Mens And Womens Cycling Shoes You Can Buy Right Now
Properly fitting shoes are key to the quality of your rideand your happiness. Here are the best road and mountain models for everyone.
Cycling shoes come in many styles, with different features and for different types of riding. There are dedicated models for everyonecommuters to roadies, mountain bikers to BMXers, indoor spinners, even those among us who dare wear sandals that clip in. For the sake of keeping this collection of our favorite cycling shoes focused, however, weve included only traditional road and mountain bike shoes for both men and women.
See at-a-glance reviews below of five of our top-rated shoes, then scroll deeper for more helpful buying info and full reviews of these and other high-performing options.
Combination Boa and Velcro closure.
Best Cycling Shoes 2022
The best cycling shoes can make a big difference to your riding, helping you go faster while being more comfortable and looking great at the same time
The best cycling shoes are an essential piece of kit for anyone who is serious about their riding – but which is best for you will vary depending upon the type of cycling that you do.
Cycling is a forefoot sport. Whilst the foot itself doesnât generate any power, all of the watts produced elsewhere pass through your digits. So not only do poorly fitting shoes create pain, they can also limit performance.
Former British Cycling physiotherapist and bike fitter at the eponymous Phil Burt Innovation, Phil Burt told us: âIf youâre in a wrongly fitted shoe it would manifest as rubbing around the little toe, pain underneath the first and second toe where a lot of people get numbness or pins and needles.â
Touching on the performance element, he added: âThe foot and ankle donât generate any power. All the power comes from your quad and your glute. But you can lose a hell of a lot through badly fitting shoes â for example, if your foot is moving around or over pronating, you can waste a lot of energy.â
What you’ll find on this page
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Look Keo Classic 3 Plus Pedal
David Caudery / Immediate Media
- £59 / $75 / AU$102 as tested
- Easy to use and reliable
- Stainless steel plates for stable pedalling
- Reasonable weight for money
The Look Keo Classic 3 Plus pedals make for an ideal first clipless pedal for a cyclist, or anyone looking for an affordable pedal that has high-end tech.
The pedals have a wide 60mm body that makes for stable and secure pedalling, while the stainless steel plates introduce some welcome durability.
Clipping in and out of the pedals is really straightforward thanks to Looks classic clipless pedal system. This is helped by the pedal always hanging at the same angle on the crank, so you can be sure to get the correct angle when going to clip in.
Even when climbing gradients of 20 per cent or sprinting, the pedals feel secure, and the amount of float provides ample comfort.
Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
- £35 / $48 / AU$61 as tested
- Best road bike pedals for commuting, gravel, cyclocross and other dirty riding
- Great performance in mucky conditions
- Cheap, durable and fully serviceable
If you already have a pair of mountain bike shoes, you like the idea of double-sided entry , see yourself riding in particularly unpleasant conditions or prefer the walkability of regular SPD pedals, these are a great choice.
The pedals can be left alone for years at a time with nary a complaint and will perform far better than any road-specific pedal, should the going get grimy.
Latest deals for the Shimano M520 SPD
Shimano Rc5 Road Shoe Review
Comfort and style from the big S
Shimanos new RC5s have inherited a lot of their technology from Shimanos professional-level S-Phyre racing shoes.
The most notable feature is the new seamless midsole, which reduces weight, shrinks the distance between the sole of your foot and the pedal by 3.3mm and is claimed to elevate the levels of fit and stability.
The carbon fibre-reinforced Shimano Dynalast soles are rated eight on its 12-point stiffness scale, and they certainly feel stiff and efficient when youre pedalling, with enough comfort for day-long rides.
The soles have large toe vents and, unusually, theres a centimetre of fore-and-aft adjustment on the cleat fittings, for the perfect set-up.
The RC5s wraparound construction means that theres no separate tongue the outer side of the shoe with the single Boa dial tucks underneath the inner side of the upper, and the Boa dial is helped out by a front Velcro strap. The result is a secure, reasonably adjustable fit and very good comfort.
The wraparound design also makes these shoes very easy to get on and off. Their mesh, polyurethane and synthetic leather uppers are designed to be breathable and there are numerous perforations on both sides for air to circulate.
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Road Cycling Shoes Vs Mountain Bike Shoes
Road cycling shoes are designed for rides done mostly in one position. They offer minimal movement and flexibility using very stiff soles. This maximizes power transfer and helps riders maintain a consistent position. Road shoes are also lightweight and sleek compared to mountain bike shoes. As mentioned, they utilize a cleat attachment which makes it difficult to walk in them.
Mountain biking shoes are heavier, mostly have flexible soles, and allow more movement of the foot. This allows riders to adjust their foot position more easily when navigating technical terrain. They clip to the pedal using an indented attachment in the bottom of the shoe, which also makes walking much easier. Because of their heavier build and attachment mechanism, they also tend to last longer.
Typical road shoe vs typical MTB shoe
Stiffness Is Important But Its Not Everything
A very stiff sole will make power transfer more efficient, but the lack of give can cause hot spots and discomfort. Brands typically use nylon in lower-cost shoes, which can feel less efficient but is more flexible and thus more comfortable, especially on bumpier terrain. Midrange shoes include some carbon-composite-enhanced materials. And the stiffest, highest-end soles will be entirely carbon, which is so stiff that not as much of it is needed, resulting in a lighter shoe.
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What Are Clipless Shoes
Pedals without a toe clip = Clipless pedals
Clipless shoes are used to clip into road or mountain bike pedals. This type of shoe locks into a fixed position, helping riders achieve a more efficient pedal stroke for riding long distances. To un-clip from the pedal, you turn the heel outwards and lift.
Men’s Cycling & Spin Shoes
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Sidi Wire 2 Air Vent Carbon
Weight:Upper material:REASONS TO BUY
The first thing you’ll notice about the Sidi Wire 2 Air Vent Carbon is that these are just objectively gorgeous cycling shoes. When you start factoring in their top-end performance, like unmatched power transfer and the great ventilation justifying its name, you’ll understand why we were so seduced by them. Their ultra-strong carbon sole, robust fastening systems, and durable upper with reinforced structures combine to make it the best for stiffness and power transfer.
There are a few tradeoffs for these qualities, though. You probably won’t find a better road bike shoe when it comes to customized fit or adjustability. You can adjust so many different parts of the Wire 2, but it’s not quite as easy to adjust them while you’re riding – ahead of or after a sprint point or climb, for example. It might seem minor, but compared to a two-way BOA dial, the Sidi closures just don’t beat the ease. They are a lot cleaner and low-profile, though. It’s also worth pointing out that the shoe’s sturdiness doesn’t come without a little extra weight. It’s actually one of the heavier shoes in the lineup, but we still think they’re well worth the extra few ounces.
Best Cycling Shoes: Entry Level
In spring 2021, the Cycling Weekly tech team tested five pairs of entry level shoes, head-to-head.
Of the five, the dhb and Specialized shoes got the highest scores – taking our ‘most recommended’ spots within this category.
During testing, we did notice that these lower-priced shoes were consistently wider, something we explored in this interview with a podiatrist.
Rating 9 out of 10 on Cube’s stiffness index, we found the RD Sydrix Pro’s soles plenty stiff enough despite being fortified with glass fibre rather than carbon fibre.
There’s a single Atop dial closure up top, which works in a manner akin to a Boa dial. We rated the comfortable but supportive fit and the unstructured footbeds. There’s a slight lack of venting in the uppers, but we found that great to avoid chilly tootsies on late summer rides.
Read our full review of the Cube RD Sydrix Pro road cycling shoes.
Specialized is best known for its much loved S-Works shoes, but the Torch 1.0 model boasts many of the benefits, with a few corners cut to decrease the price tag.
Strikingly similar to the S-Works 7 shoes, we loved the sleek aesthetics, with the Boa L6 dial not only adding to the visual appeal, but also offering an impressive closure system on a pair of shoes at this price point.
Choose The Right Closure
Laces: After being spotted in the professional road-racing peloton, the laces trend has grown on the highest-end road shoes. The retro look has its fans, plus laces are light. Theyre also found on entry-level shoes and almost all flat-pedal shoes. Laces provide a simple, effective, and easy-to-repair/replace closure. Another benefit to a laced shoe is that it tends to be very accommodating to unique foot shapes. The only downside: Laces are difficult to fine-tune mid-ride.
Hook and Loop: This Velcro-type closure system is found on shoes at all prices. Its light, easy to adjust, easy to fine-tune, and can be placed at multiple points to provide tailored snugness. The downside: The hook-and-loop system can easily get caked with mud and other debris and lose its grip over time.
Dial: A system with a hub that, when you rotate it, tightens a cable, which acts as the lacing of the shoe, snugging the upper down over your foot. Boa is the king of dial closures, and youll find this system on mid- to high-end shoes from many companies. There are other dial-closure systems, though, such as Atop and Northwaves SLW2 system. Dials usually offer the most closing force and are micro-adjustable, weather- and mud-resistant, secure when locked in place, and easy to adjust on the fly. They can get jammed or damaged, however, rendering them unusable .
Best Cycling Shoes In 2022 As Rated And Reviewed By Our Expert Testers
With so many cycling shoes on the market and so much choice, weve split our pick of the best cycling shoes into different price categories, from performance-oriented shoes that cost around £400 to budget-friendly shoes under £100.
Keep scrolling to see all the shoes or click on the links below to skip to the different price points:
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Shimano 105 R7000 Pedal
David Caudery / Immediate Media
- Adjustable float
- Excellent power transfer
Shimanos 105 R7000 pedals strike a good balance of weight to price. They are reliable and a solid performer, as you would expect from a Shimano product carrying the 105 name.
At this level, all Shimano SPD-SL share the same body design, so you get many of the benefits of Shimanos higher-tier Ultegra and Dura-Ace designs.
One of these benefits is the wide-body with stainless steel metal inserts. Together, these deliver a very secure and solid base for pedalling and excellent power transfer.
The pedals use Shimanos three-bolt cleat. They are available in three versions offering different levels of float, but these pedals are supplied with Shimanos yellow cleats with 6 degrees of float.
The release tension can be adjusted with an Allen key and pedals hang at a nice angle for easy clipping in.
Vittoria Kid Boa Road Cycling Shoes
High-quality kids road shoe by popular tire manufacturer Vittoria
Make cycling more enjoyable for your kids with these Vittoria kids cycling shoes which allow them to improve their riding efficiency so they can spend longer on their bike.
Vittoria developed this shoe to be perfect for a growing child. It comes with a premium BOA L6 closure dial, a breathable mesh and microfiber upper, and an ergonomic fitting concept for improved performance and comfort.
Additionally, these Vittoria kids road cycling shoes have a wider cleat area for easier clip-in and increase mud clearance.
- Outsole: 10% carbon reinforced
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Fizik Tempo Overcurve R4
Weight:Upper material:REASONS TO BUY
The Fizik Tempo Overcurve R4 is a pretty streamlined, utilitarian bike shoe. It’s fine, but not fancy, and that’s why it earns recognition for its great value. It doesn’t rely on a ton of advanced features or gimmicky selling points. You get a fairly standard upper made of polyurethane-laminated mesh with a single two-way BOA dial for a fastener. It’s as comfortable as it needs to be and no more. The R4 outsole is a little unique in that it’s carbon-injected nylon, which improves power transfer and reduces weight without kicking up the price too much. The result is a somewhat stripped-down shoe with great performance but no frills.
With its limited use of premium features and add-ons, you can expect it to come with a few caveats and deficits, especially compared to the high-end full-carbon shoes. The upper isn’t quite as supple as the top bike shoes. You’ll get a little more rub and potential for hotspots in these. As we mentioned before, there’s only one BOA dial, so fit and fastening isn’t as precise as it could be. And, of course, the outsole is mostly nylon, so you get a little more flex when you’re cranking on the pedals. Still, it’s a great shoe for any rider on a budget looking for a solid, dependable bike shoe.
Do I Need Custom Insoles In My Cycling Shoes
Cycling shoes, even pricey ones, often come with fairly basic flat insoles. Since your feet are held in a static position, this can cause discomfort over time. It’s worth considering an insole upgrade. Some aftermarket insoles will have an adjustable level of arch support, most will be made of more substantial material than the insoles that come with your shoes and often there will be other extra features like a less flat profile and a midfoot bump to help support your feet better. You can also buy bespoke insoles made to match your feet.
There are a number of different shoes on the market such as the Bont Riots and the Lake CX402s that can be customized through heat moulding to fit the shape of your feet. This means that the shoes should perfectly support the arch of your foot, ensuring that you should be very comfortable and power transfer should be improved too as your foot won’t move around at all. If you have flat feet or arch-related problems, heat mouldable shoes could be the solution.
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