Biking allows you to hit not only two; but three birds with one stone. You can save on commute and transportation costs, get your daily dose of exercise, and help reduce the world’s carbon footprint while you’re at it. The numbers show that there were roughly 870,000 active cyclers in 2019. Additionally, 1.1% of commuters in principal cities are fond of biking and use this method to travel to work every day. If you’re an active cyclist or just planning on biking more often, you need to invest in the safety gear — and that includes the proper footwear.
Know what type of shoe you need
The first thing you should consider is what type of biking shoe will best fit your needs. Depending on the type of cycling, you’ll need different levels of support and wearability. Think about how far you’ll be riding, where you’ll be doing it, and how much time you’ll be spending off your bike. Here are the main options to consider:
• Road biking shoes
Road biking shoes are created for speed and feature a narrower profile that holds your feet in place. These models are also more lightweight and rigid, so they work best for triathlons or long distances. However, they’re not really suited for walking distances longer than pit stops and quick coffee breaks.
• Commuting and touring bike shoes
These shoes are specially designed to blend the functionality of a street shoe and the stiff sole of a road shoe to give you the best of both worlds. Many models in this category are suitable for light trail riding and cycle touring on cemented roads. If you are riding long distances, make sure the shoe offers adequate support all around.
• Mountain biking shoes
You’ll typically see these being used by enduro, all-mountain, and downhill riders. If you’re interested in trails or mountain biking, it can be worth the upgrade. These shoes feature soles with more grip than your regular footwear, so you’re less likely to slip off the pedal. If you are going to be riding some difficult trails, consider investing in clipless shoes that attach to the pedals to give you more control.
Consider the features you want
Different shoe models and brands have unique features that are worth looking into. Some of them are clipless, which require the additional usage of a two-bolt cleat system. Flat shoes, on the other hand, can fit on flat, wider pedals. There are also a wide variety of closure styles such as dials, laces, hook-and-loop straps, and buckles. Moving up the price range also opens up possibilities for stiffer soles, a lighter weight, and better waterproof protection, as well as other nifty features.
Ask around the community
Another way to get honest reviews on your prospective shoes is to ask the sneaker community. Nowadays, you’ll find that these websites have access to the newest releases and provide timely articles on shoes. This way, you can stay ahead of the curve and get your hands on the most recent kicks. And if you’re looking for more specific cycling brands, look to the biking community and dedicated forums to find guidance or advice.
Try them out for yourself
Last but not least, make sure that the shoe fits comfortably. Wearing shoes that don’t fit you right could lead to foot problems, fatigue, and even injuries in the long run. Your best bet would be trying on shoes for fit in a physical store. Moreover, you should keep in mind that shoe sizing can vary between brands. Some brands even cater to different foot widths and arch heights. But overall, shoes that fit you well should be immediately comfortable and allow for good movement.
A pair of dedicated cycling shoes can provide more efficiency, comfort, safety, and give you an overall better biking experience. And if you’re ready to head out, check out our previous article to plan your next bike tour, or visit our website for more.