The 8 Best Cycling Shoes of 2020

Harness power and keep your feet comfortable

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Our Top Picks
"The shoe’s upper will keep your feet dry and comfortable during wet weather or intense heat."
"They’re versatile and extremely supportive, making them a popular choice among beginner cyclists."
"The shoe’s oversized heel makes it quick and easy to put on and take off, perfect for fast transitions."
"With a generously-sized toebox, the Gravel MTB shoes are ideal for those with wide feet."
"Diamond-shaped laser-cut perforations keep the shoe very breathable, while still protecting your feet."
"The shoes allow riders to focus on their technique, without worrying about clipping in and out of pedals."
"The shoe’s light and stiff Powerline carbon sole allows you to maximize power transfer to your pedals."

Wearing the right cycling shoes can improve your performance and comfort when cycling outdoors. When choosing, you should look for shoes that are durable, compatible with a tri or road bike, lightweight, and provide good protection for bad conditions.

Although some outdoor cycling shoes are versatile enough to be used on spin bikes, some are designed specifically to be clipped into road bikes and can’t be used indoors. Whether you’re looking for shoes for road biking or mountain biking, we’ve got some recommendations for the best cycling shoes for you.

Best Overall: Giro Men's Road Bike Shoes

Extremely durable, comfortable, and lightweight, the Giro Empire is a high-performance cycling shoe that’s tough to beat. The full carbon sole offers the stiffness and thinness needed for maximizing your power to the pedal. Made from durable, lightweight Evofiber, the shoe’s upper will keep your feet dry and comfortable during wet weather or intense heat. The laced closure provides seven points of fit and pressure adjustment, and the lack of fastening hardware results in a more lightweight shoe.

In addition, the shoe’s sole molds to your foot shape over time, giving you an even more custom, comfortable fit. And the adjustable SuperNatural Fit footbed lets you fine-tune the fit and arch support for better performance. Of course, the laces mean that it takes a little longer to get the shoes on and off, but that’s a small price to pay for an exceptional cycling shoe. 

Best for Beginners: Giro Men's Treble II Cycling Shoes

A trusted, reliable brand for cycling shoes, Giro packs a ton of features into their Treble 2 shoes. They’re versatile and extremely supportive, making them a popular choice among beginner cyclists. With a clean and modern design, they’re made of a supple synthetic fiber that stretches to provide an ideal fit.

Three wide Velcro straps and the shoes’ anti-microbial EVA footbed further enhance its comfort, especially on longer rides. Unlike some other road cycling shoes, the Treble 2 is outfitted with a Universal Cleat Mount system that lets you use either a two-bolt or three-bolt pedal system, which means that they work for both indoor and outdoor cycling.

Best for Triathlon: Pearl iZUMI Women's Tri Fly Elite V6 Cycling Shoes

Triathletes need comfortable cycling shoes that are lightweight, fast-drying, and easy to get on and off, and Pearl iZUMi’s Tri Fly Elite V6 cycling shoe certainly checks all those boxes. The shoe’s oversized heel makes it quick and easy to put on and take off, saving you valuable time at transitions. 

Although they’re lightweight, they still have enough stiffness to allow for power pedaling. And the EVA insole gives your foot and arch just the right amount of support and comfort. The Tri Fly Elite V6 shoes are also SPD-SL compatible, so they can be used with most triathlon and road bikes.

Best for Mountain Biking: Louis Garneau Men's Gravel Bike Shoes

Designed specifically for mountain biking, the Louis Garneau Gravel MTB shoes are made with a combination of synthetic leather and cycle mesh to provide the perfect amount of support, comfort, and breathability. They also feature a seamless construction to avoid hotspots and discomfort on your feet.

With three Velcro fastener straps, you can easily adjust for a custom fit. These durable shoes allow you to pedal through mud, rain, and other adverse conditions, keeping your feet protected and comfortable on the trails. With a generously-sized toebox, the Gravel MTB shoes are ideal for those with wide feet who have struggled with too-tight shoes in the past.

Best for Road Biking: Fizik R4 UOMO BOA Road Cycling Shoes

A comfortable and sleek road cycling shoe, the Fizik R4B Uomo gives cyclists the high performance they want. They’ll also get an extremely customizable fit, thanks to a long top opening and an extra strap over the toe box. The shoe's Boa IP1-A closure system also pulls the upper across the foot rather than from both sides, relieving pressure while still keeping the shoe securely in place.

The diamond-shaped laser-cut perforations keep the shoe very breathable, while still protecting your feet from the elements. Made of a resilient microfiber, the shoe’s upper is durable yet lightweight, with enough flexibility to keep your feet comfortable. The R4B is a solid choice for anyone looking for a comfortable, lightweight, aerodynamic road shoe.

Best Flat Pedal: Adidas Five Ten Freerider Pro Mountain Bike Shoes

Flat pedal cycling shoes allow riders to focus on their technique, without worrying about clipping in and out of pedals. Their sticky rubber soles also come in handy when you’re riding on trails and need to get off the bike and walk on rocky or slippery terrain. A leader in the flat pedal category, Five Ten offers a winner with their Freerider Pro bike shoes. They feature a sole that’s sticky and stiff enough for riding, but also has enough flex for walking.

They’re also extremely well-vented, quick-drying, and provide just the right amount of protection around the heel and on the toe. Comfortable and stylish, the Freerider Pros can go straight from the bike to brunch, if you’re meeting friends after your morning ride.

Best Splurge: Specialized S-Works 7 Road Shoes

If you’re willing to pay a bit more for an extremely high-quality, high-performance pair of cycling shoes, you can’t go wrong with the Specialized S-Works 7 road shoes. With a cutting-edge ergonomic design, the shoe’s sole and footbed are constructed and scientifically tested to boost power, improve efficiency, and reduce your injury risk by helping to optimize hip, knee, and foot alignment.

The shoe’s light and stiff Powerline carbon sole allows you to maximize your power transfer to your pedals, while the Padlock heel cradles your heel and keeps your foot in place to improve acceleration. With seams that are bonded together, not sewn, as well as additional cushioning around the heels, you’ll experience unparalleled, slipper-like comfort.

The shoe’s Dyneema mesh material makes them highly breathable, enhancing your comfort level. For custom, on-the-fly adjustments, you can use the BOA S3-Snap dials, which are backed by a lifetime guarantee. The S-Works 7’s three-bolt cleat pattern is compatible with all major road pedals.

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