The importance of right shoes are often underestimated while considering an exercise like cycling.They are important not only to avoid injuries but also to give you extra comfort and traction on the pedals while cycling. For this, we have gone through all the major products and decided on the ones we like best.
There is a general consensus that only the highest end and the priciest product are worth your time and money but this is simply not true! There are plenty of models that give a solid performance in a reasonable budget.So let’s dive in!
5th Recommendation : Shimano SH – R088
This is a cylindrical designed shoe by the industry giants Shimano.Not as stiff as the others that follow in this list, but it is still a decent option. With increased flexibility in key areas, it allows you the freedom to generate greater force while cycling due to the high traction it gives with the pedal. Made of Fiberglass Polyamide, the shoe provides high power and strength and sole is pretty comfortable, even on extended use. The exterior of the shoe is also pretty durable and withstood all the weathers and terrains we tested the shoe in.
On the con side though, the shoe is a tad too heavy and could have been made lighter. Same goes with flexibility, which feels a bit too restrictive in some key areas.However, for an entry level shoe, it delivers average, maybe even slightly above-average performance.It is recommended for people who take their bikes out occasionally and do not need too much durability in their cycling shoes.
4th Choice : Pearl iZUMi Pro Leader II
A staple on the racks of professional athletes, the shoe is well-known across the industry for its light weight and possibly has the thinnest upper available on the market.
The Upper – The upper of the shoe has a unique mesh design. It consists of a non-stretch material crafted over the mesh giving rise to a very thin and lightweight upper. This also makes high breathability possible.
Carbon Sole – Stiffness of the sole is phenomenal. Also, the concave shape brings your foot closer to the pedal which gives you more room to move and cycle freely. The cleat area is also reinforced and the sole design is really comfortable.
Weight – It is possibly one of the lightest shoes we have ever seen. The design of the Upper and the Sole reduce the weight substantially without compromising with the comfort levels of the shoe.
The shoe’s heel and toe-protector are non-replacable. Due to the design of the Upper, they are moulded with the soole. They do provide some comfort but you could get much more comfort replacing them with something else. In addition, their quality is also rather flimsy and they get scratched pretty easily
However, all in all, this a very comfortable and lightweight shoe and is definitely recommended for someone who takes out his cycle with reasonable frequency.
3rd Pick : Giro Apeckx Bike Shoe
A solid offering in the mid-range bracket, The Apeckx is a top of the line product manufactured by Giro. It offers a good fit and a stiff sole. It takes some inspiration from the Giro Trans (which we will get to later), the shoe provides surprising comfort and features at its price.
1. Cylindrical Design – The cylindrical design of this shoe helps in accommodating your foot nicely and snugly. There is plenty of room for the heel as well as the toe. The shape adapts to your foot which helps in preventing injuries.
2. Good Sole –Inspite of using DuPont Zytel Nylon Plate, the sole’s stiffness is pretty solid. The sole is much cheaper but due to the clever design, it manages to give solid performance.
3. Lightweight and High breathability – The material choices make the shoe feel much lighter than its actual weight. In addition, the upper microfiber mesh helps with the breathability in humid conditions. It also has the Aegis treatment to prevent your shoes from smelling.
1. Minimal arch support
2. This is a selective issue and would not affect people with smaller cleats. But bikers who mount their cleats on the back of the sole might face some trouble doing so due to the tight sole curve.
In conclusion, for the price, Giro Apecks delivers a rock-solid performance. Expertly designed and stylish, it holds up well in humid conditions. For riders who take relatively shorter bike rides but do so regularly, this is the product you should be looking at.
2nd Recommendation : Shimano SH – R078L
Brilliant product and priced economically, it misses out from being at the top of the list by a sliver. Priced at under $100, the shoes come packed with features and comfort.
1. Tough Exterior – The Upper is made up of synthetic leather and a fiberglass-reinforced polyamide cover, which protects the shoe in all weather conditions.
2. Flexible Outsole – The arch support is amazing and while pedalling, the sole also adjusts to your feet automatically, giving you extra comfort.
3. Ventilation – The shoe has high breathability, something bikers taking long rides would definitely appreciate.
Cons – Nothing major, but there are not a lot of different colour choices to choose from and it comes only in black.
In conclusion, The Simano R078L is the perfect blend between tough exterior and comfortable interior and delivers solid performance.
Top Recommendation : Giro Trans Shoe
The shoe beats out the competitions due to the features it comes with, which are a lot and it never compromises on any on the headings important to a cycling shoe, not even style
Solid Arch Support – The shoes use the “Giro SuperNatural Fit System”, a unique system that provides support for the arch. It comes with different inserts for different arch supports and foot sizes and shapes. The heel cup makes this shoe very comfortable.
Advanced Sole – Using the Trans Easton EC70 carbon composite sole, designed and placed to add to the comfort, it provides exceptional support. There are small holes in the sole which helps in providing ventilation and prevent the inside of the shoe from getting too hot or humid.
Lightweight – Heavier shoes are not very comfortable for long rides, Trans takes care of that and weighs just 275g, giving it an additional layer of comfort during working out.
We might be nitpicking here but the toe area is a bit too narrow. It might cause a problem for some riders but we do not think it is a major issue. Overall, excellent comfort, great ventilation and light weight. You can rides that hours long and you would never feel any discomfort at all. All of this and more makes this the top GTF recommendation.
In summary, our top pick is the Giro Trans Shoe. It is high end in all the heading, even the price. However, if price is not an issue and you can afford to splurge a little, this is the model that you should be going for.
If you can not afford the Giro Trans though, a better option for you would be the Shimano SH – R078L. Pretty affordable, for its price, it provides pretty good comfort and doesn’t look half as bad either!