The Best Men’s & Women’s Indoor Cycling Shoes You Can Buy Right Now
Spin shoes come in a lot of different styles, with different features suitable for different riders. With the uptick of at-home riding (Peloton’s paid user base has more than doubled over the last year), more and more of us are hunting for the best picks to suit our indoor cycling needs. Here’s the thing, though: While indoor cycling isn’t a category you’ll likely see on a shoe website, there are plenty of factors that go into making specific styles more suitable for indoor riding versus outdoor wear. Here, we’ve included ten of our top picks for men and women, as well as what you should take into consideration when purchasing your next pair.
What to Look for in a Spin Shoe
First things first: Think about what you want in a Spin shoe. Since you’re riding indoors, you’ll likely be hotter and sweatier than if you were spinning in the open air with a natural breeze to cool you down. Even a strategically-positioned floor fan doesn’t help all that much. While speed-centric outdoor cyclists are typically after lighter, aerodynamic options in an effort to ride as fast as possible, you don’t need to worry about that as much since you’re technically sitting still.
Instead, you may want to look for an ultra-breathable shoe with a stiff sole because the stiffer the shoe, the more power you’ll transfer to the pedals to crank up your on-the-bike intensity. For some, the ideal Spin shoe is more walkable than a traditional outdoor option (think: smaller, inset cleat), so that when you’re moving from bike to locker room (or to your own bathroom at home), you’re not slipping around or risking injury. Some brands make options with more flexible soles (including rubber), but with those, you could lose some of the power transfer on the bike, which is worth keeping in mind.
And lastly, it’s important to touch on cleat and pedal compatibility. Depending on what bike you’re clipping into, there are two common cleat-pedal combinations: SPD (two-bolt) and Delta (three-bolt)). Popular bikes like the Peloton come stock with Delta-compatible clip-in pedals. You could swap the pedals if you’d rather use an SPD-friendly Spin shoe, but that’s another conversation. When shopping for Delta cleats, you want to avoid zero-float options. Float allows a little bit of movement when the cleat is clicked into the pedal, which is better for indoor riding especially when clipping in and out of the bike. The float cleats from Look are colored red (good), the zero-float cleats are black (bad). Most knockoff cleats follow the same color scheme.
Check your bike’s specs before purchasing cleats and shoes—for example, the SoulCycle at-home bike comes stock with one pedal that’s both SPD- and Delta-compatible. Delta cleats are larger and may be harder to walk around in off the bike, whereas SPD cleats are a little smaller and are often inset on the shoe, making them easier to walk on. You can get more info on clipless pedals and cleats here.
A note on gender: Some Spin shoes are marketed specifically toward men and women, but in our experience, you can wear any shoe that suits your needs and style. Just be sure to adjust your sizing, especially if the shoe lists European sizing (this handy shoe size calculator can help).
Whether you’re riding a Peloton at home or hitting the saddle at the gym, these picks will help you get more out of every workout.