Plastic Injection Shoes
Plastic-soled cycling shoes are the cheapest and are best for women on a budget. Unfortunately, they are also often the heaviest. The heavier weight can sometimes be almost 40 percent more than shoes made with lighter, newer material such as carbon fibre. Example cycling shoes include the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Seek line, the Five Ten Impact 2 Low line and the Lake MX 85 Mountain Cycling product line. If you do not plan on cycling long distances or performing competitively where every split-second counts, you may opt for plastic shoes due to their lower price points.
Carbon fibre-soled cycling shoes can be up to 40 percent lighter than those made of plastic or plastic-and-carbon fiber material. This makes them the best choice for women cycling competitively or trying to lower fatigue. These shoes are typically available from premium brands. Examples include much of Shimano's female cycling line and the Sidi Genius 5 Pro Carbon shoe, made to cancel out heel lift.
Synthetic and Real Leather
Though leather doesn't provide the same level of lightweight performance as carbon fibre, women will find that it provides better performance than plastic injection shoes. Whether the leather is genuine or synthetic does not affect the cyclist, though most cyclists choose material that has been coated in polyurethane for a more streamlined, weather-resistant product. Examples include the Exustar road cycling line and the Pearl Izumi Attack line.
The Right Fit
Whatever the type of material in the shoe, female cyclists should ensure the shoe fits well to avoid blisters and more serious injuries such as bunions. The shoe should also have enough room for the toes without being loose around the ankle. In addition, the shoe should provide adequate arch support. While cyclists may be tempted to save money by buying a cheaper, ill-fitting shoe, the long-term repercussions may be painful and more expensive over time.
Article Written By Josh Duvauchelle
Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.