Types of Cycling Shoes

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Cycling shoes are designed especially for cycling. There are many varieties, depending on the intensity and type of cycling. Sizes range from 35 to 52, and some are custom made to a a cyclist’s exact foot shape and size. Modern footwear have clipless pedal systems that connect the shoe and the pedal, for more efficient transfer of power.

Track shoes
Track shoes are simple, with lace closures and use very light and rigid materials. This allows the cyclist to apply force on the pedals without worrying that the shoe might come off. Some sprinters and kilo riders prefer the track shoe instead of the standard models.

Casual shoes
These shoes have the shape of street footwear and have a molded midsole and a soft outsole. The outsole has a lugged pattern similar to a hiking boot. The molded midsole protects the foot and allows an efficient transfer of energy. A clip-less pedal cleat can be attached to two oval slots. Sandals are also a subcategory of casual footwear.

Mountain bike shoes
Mountain bike shoes have the same cleat system as casual shoes, but their outsole is more aggressive. Two screw in spikes can be attached in the front area for better traction on muddy trails or steep roads. Some have molded nylon midsoles with carbon fiber reinforcements.

Road shoes
Road cycling shoes are designed only for bike use and have a rigid and inflexible sole bent at the ball of the foot. They have molded holes threaded inserts that allow a cleat to be attached. The three hole system in called a “look pattern”. Road shoes are unsuitable for off-bike use, although some have a raised and different material from the outsole to the toe and heel that makes them easier to walk in.

Triathlon shoes
Triathlon shoes are similar to road shoes and have good drainage, quick foot entry and can be used without a sock. Athletes need to change rapidly from swim wear to bike wear and don’t have time to put on fiddly buckles or socks. These cycling shoes are pre-clipped to the pedals and have a single velcro strap.

Indoor shoes
Indoor or spinning cycling shoes are most commonly found in fitness clubs. People wear them on stationary bicycles and are only commercialized by few companies, so they are not very accessible.

Winter shoes and overshoes
Winter cycling shoes have over-the-ankle coverage and come with various degrees of protection from moisture and cold. Overshoes are waterproof coverings made from a flexible rubber. They have a zip on the inside of the ankle and holes for cleats.