Next to your bicycle, cycling shoes are probably the most important items of cycling gear you'll own. Not only do cycling shoes make you look cool, they are designed to transfer all of the power from your legs to the place where it counts--your pedals. There are literally hundreds of different cycling shoes for you to choose from. But, before you start shopping, consider which type of cycling shoe best fits your needs.
Road Cycling Shoes
Road cycling shoes are developed to be used with road bikes. They tend to be lighter weight than other cycling shoes and have very rigid soles that are smooth on the bottom. Most road cycling shoes come with a place to install cleats. Cleats are special attachments that are screwed onto the bottom of cycling shoes and accommodate clipless pedals. The benefit of using clipless pedals is a more secure fit between the shoes and the pedals. If you're interested in maximum efficiency and performance and don't need to walk very far in your cycling shoes, road cycling shoes are your best choice.
Mountain Biking Shoes
Mountain biking shoes are very similar to road biking shoes, with two differences--their weight and type of sole. Mountain biking shoes tend to be heavier than road cycling shoes. They also have heavy-duty lug soles that are designed for walking, hiking and carrying your bike over rough terrain and out of the forest. Most mountain bike shoes accommodate all of the major brands of clipless pedal cleats and can be worn on road bikes. They can also be worn with either clipless pedals or pedals that use toe loops.
Touring Bike Shoes
Touring cycling shoes are a hybrid between road and mountain cycling shoes. Built a little heavier than road cycling shoes, they are perfect for cyclists who want all of the advantages of a lightweight cycling shoe with the durability of a mountain bike shoe. Touring bike shoes can be configured to use toe loops or clipless pedals and are designed with more comfort in mind. Like mountain bike cycling shoes, touring shoes are perfect for walking as well as riding.
The latest arrival in cycling equipment is the spinning shoe. Spinning shoes are very lightweight cycling shoes that resemble road cycling shoes. Because they are designed to be worn indoors, their soles lack the durability of shoes worn with traditional bicycles.
Article Written By Allen Smith
Allen Smith is an award-winning freelance writer living in Vail, Colo. He writes about health, fitness and outdoor sports. Smith has a master's degree in exercise physiology and an exercise specialist certification with the American College of Sports Medicine at San Diego State University.