How To Buy
First-time buyers are encouraged to check out our Sizing Information page to find out the differences between American and European Sizes.
Please be aware that bike shoes do not include cleats. Cleats are included when purchasing pedals or can be purchased separately.
Need indoor cycling shoes?
Most gyms and spin studios use a 2 bolt SPD cleat. That means you will need a 2 bolt SPD compatible shoe. We would suggest you look at indoor cycling shoes or any mountain style shoe. Just because a shoe says “mountain” does not mean it has to be used on mountain trails. It more so justifies that the shoe has a rubber, walkable sole and is 2 bolt SPD compatible. You can use a Shimano 2 bolt SH51 cleat or SH56 cleat. The SH51 cleat is a single release cleat which means you just turn your foot to the right or left to release off the pedal. The SH56 is a multi release cleat which means you can release off the pedal from multiple positions (turning your foot left, right or pulling up).
Some gyms also offer dual sided pedals such as SoulCycle. They use a pedal that accepts a Look Delta cleat on one side or a 2 Bolt SPD cleat on the other. You can always call your gym to see what set up they have.
Pelotons are the exception to this indoor cyling standard. You will need a ROAD style shoe or indoor shoe that accepts a 3 bolt cleat. The Peloton comes with pedals that only accept the Look DELTA cleats. Most people use the Look Delta Red 9 degree float cleats. There are also the Look Delta Black 0 degree float cleats but those are not as common.
Float means how much lateral play your foot has on the pedal. When pedaling, it is natural for your foot to move side to side a bit. Therefore anything with 0 degree float means your foot has zero play on the pedals, which can be harsh on the knees.
Need Mountain Bike shoes?
Mountain bike shoes can include gravel, cross country, cyclocross, trail/enduro, downhill and BMX. Mountain style shoes offer stiff outsoles with a rubber sole. Mountain bike shoes can accept a 2 bolt style cleat or can have a flat rubber sole. Because of the rubber sole, the cleat will be recessed, therefore the shoe has some walkability and you can get off the bike to walk, hike etc. They will never feel the same as a sneaker due to the stiff soles which you want to maximize your power.
There is also no reason mountain style shoes cannot be used on the road. That is based on preference.
Need Road Bike shoes?
Road shoes consist of very stiff, hard flat soles. They do not offer any walkability as the cleat is not recessed. Most road shoes accept 3 bolt cleats or Speedplay cleats. The super stiff sole and wider cleat coverage will really help maximize your power transfer in your pedal strokes, especially on longer rides.
Need new pedals?
A set of new pedals will always come with one set of compatible cleats.
Clipless means clip-in (ironically). Clipless pedals are composed of pedals and cleats which require cycling shoes that accept a cleat. There are flat or platform style pedals which can range from a standard bike pedal or a more aggressive trail style pedal and then there are hybrid style pedals which allow you to clip in but can also be used as flat pedals.
You will want to choose which style pedal best suits your needs. Whether that be clipless, flat or hybrid.
Some cleats are pedal specific.
Shimano SPD-SL is specific to Shimano SPD-SL road pedals.
Crankbrother pedals use Crankbrother cleats.
Look Keo pedals use Look Keo cleats.
Time pedals use Time specific cleats.
With all this information, you should be prepared to purchase your first page of bike shoes, but should you have any further questions of concerns, you can email us at email@example.com.