The 11 Best Cycling Shoes of 2022

Harness power and stay comfy with the Giro Savix and the PEARL iZUMi Attack

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If you’re a serious cyclist, you know the right pair of cycling shoes can go a long way in making your ride more comfortable and improving performance. The best cycling shoes are compatible with your pedals, comfortable to walk in, and fastened with reliable closures to make sure they stay on.

Reviewed & Approved

We love the Giro Savix Cycling Shoe for women because they're versatile, well-fitted, and more. We recommend the PEARL iZUMi Attack Road Cycling Shoe for men because they're versatile and easy to walk in.

Shoes that have been specifically designed to help you pedal faster, stronger, and more efficiently can help you achieve your goals. To take full advantage of these benefits, you need to find a pair of cycling shoes that suit the terrain you’re tackling and the kind of riding you’re doing. You should also consider the fit and weight of the shoe. We researched popular options with these helpful features in mind.

Here are the best cycling shoes on the market, no matter what type of cycling you enjoy.

Best Overall for Women: Giro Savix Cycling Shoe

4.8
Giro Savix Cycling Shoe - Women's

Courtesy of Backcountry

We love that these Giro cycling shoes are compatible with road cycling cleats and mountain biking cleats. Thanks to a universal cleat mount, the Savix allows you to clip into two-bolt cleats that are designed for any kind of riding. This—combined with the shoe’s all-terrain nylon outsole—makes the Savix a particularly versatile buy. Reviewers note that they're considerably lightweight, and thanks to the shoe's cushioned insole, you can rest assured knowing your feet will stay put as you navigate city streets, off-road trails, and everything in between.

The Giro Savix cycling shoe comes in women's sizes 6 to 10.5. You can use the shoe’s easy-to-adjust BOA L6 dial and front velcro strap to get a snug, precise, and secure fit. 

Best Overall for Men: PEARL iZUMi Attack Road Cycling Shoe

4.8
PEARL iZUMi Attack Road Cycling Shoe

Courtesy of Backcountry

The Pearl iZUMi Attack Road Cycling Shoe is our top men's pick because they're lightweight, durable, and can be taken anywhere. Because the shoe is compatible with two-bolt mountain biking cleats and three-bolt road cycling cleats, it offers a lot of flexibility and gives you the ability to tackle your preferred terrain. A mesh-paneled upper provides some much-needed ventilation as you pedal, and the carbon-composite sole means you lose less energy with each pedal stroke.

Available in men’s sizes 6.5 to 11.5, you can use the built-in BOA dial to tighten or loosen your shoes until the fit is secure. When you step off the bike and return the weight to your heels, the EVA foam offers enough cushioning to help you feel stable.

Best Budget: Giro Petra VR Cycling Shoe

Giro Petra VR Cycling Shoe

Courtesy of Backcountry

The Giro Petra VR cycling shoe shines both on and off the bike. A two-bolt cleat compatible base combined with a durable rubber outsole makes it easy to walk off the bike. While we wouldn't recommend doing anything more than hopping off the saddle to grab a coffee and then sit to enjoy, having a shoe that gives you that option might work better for you. And at this budget-friendly price point, it's hard to beat.

The shoe’s mesh-paneled upper protects feet on morning commutes and off-road adventures while offering just enough airflow to keep you dry. Tighten the shoe’s laces to get a snug fit, and use the built-in tongue loop to keep your laces in place as you ride.

It's available in women’s sizes 6 to 10.

Best for Beginners: Louis Garneau Urban Cycling Shoe

Louis Garneau Urban Cycling Shoe

Courtesy of Backcountry

First-time cyclists may want flat pedals to start, but they may also want the option to try out clipless pedals when they feel ready. Buying two pairs of shoes is unnecessary thanks to the Louis Garneau Urban cycling shoe. The shoe is compatible with two-bolt cleats, but its grippy sole is just as suitable for flat pedals.

A padded foam insole offers further comfort and support, while a mesh-paneled leather upper makes it look like a sneaker. Take these shoes on a recreational ride around your neighborhood or even on a nearby trail.  

The shoes are available in women's sizes 6 to 11.5.

Best for Peloton: Tommaso Pista Women’s Cycling Shoe

4.7
Tommaso Pista Women's Cycling Shoe

Courtesy: Tommaso Pista

Designed to give indoor cyclists the best possible experience, the Tommaso Pisa can give you that added edge to fly to the front of your Peloton class. The shoes boast a synthetic leather upper, which is lined with just enough padding and three straps to customize your fit. Built-in mesh panels keep your feet from overheating mid-workout. And a stiff but lightweight fiberglass-reinforced sole will help you pedal efficiently without weighing you down.

This pair comes in women's sizes 6 to 11 and comes with a set of Look Delta cleats, which are Peloton-compatible.

Peloton

Verywell / Liz Allen

Best for Road Biking: Shimano SH-RP1 All-Rounder Cycling Shoe

Shimano SH-RP1 Cycling Shoe

Courtesy: Shimano

Take the Shimano All-Rounder cycling shoe out on the roads to see it perform at its best, but when the weather isn't great, it can also go with you indoors. Crafted from synthetic leather, it's durable enough for years of riding. Its fiberglass-reinforced sole is stiff enough to keep your strides efficient but lightweight enough to keep your pedal strokes smooth. Another benefit is the shoe's compatibility with two- and three-hole cleats.

The shoes come in women's sizes 8 to 12.5 and men's sizes 9 to 15.5. If you want more flexibility in how and where you ride, this pick is for you. 

Best for Mountain Biking: Specialized RIME 1.0 Mountain Bike Shoe

Specialized RIME 1.0 Mountain Bike Shoe

Courtesy of Backcountry

If you’re a mountain biker who doesn't want to choose between clipless or flat pedals, opt for a cycling shoe that can do both. The Specialized RIME 1.0 Mountain Bike Shoe is compatible with two-bolt cleats and flat mountain biking pedals, so you can clip in when you feel more confident or need an added boost of power. A grippy rubber outsole keeps your feet locked on the flat pedals and works off the bike too. And its hydrophobic mesh upper is water- and mud-resistant to dry feet faster when you plow through puddles. 

The shoes come in European sizes 36 to 49 (In the U.S., that is roughly the same as men's sizes 4.5 to 14.5 and women's sizes 6 to 12). Lace them up to get a cozy fit, and use the built-in hook-and-loop strap to tighten and secure each shoe.

Best for Trails: Giro Cylinder Cycling Shoe

Giro Cylinder Cycling Shoe

Courtesy of Backcountry

The Giro Cylinder cycling shoe is a solid pick for the trails. It boasts a durable rubber and nylon outsole and a reinforced upper built to withstand a little wear and tear from whatever tree branch gets in your way. And if you need to hop off your bike to take a quick walk, you can. The shoe’s insole is padded to feel good even off the bike.

A BOA dial and toe strap ensure a precise fit, and a macro-release function means you pull the dial out to get out of the shoe in a jiffy.

The shoe comes in women’s sizes 6.5 to 10.5.

Best for Commuting: Louis Garneau Women's Multi Air Flex Cycling Shoe

Louis Garneau Air Flex Cycling Shoe

Courtesy: Amazon

If you've been biking to work or the grocery store and it's a bit of a distance, you might want to start clipping in. The Garneau Multi Air Flex Bike Shoe is versatile and comfortable, designed with recreational use in mind. Compatible with two-bolt cleats, it also features a supportive heel and a flexible outsole. This combination will keep your feet sturdy and protected from whatever is on the road during your commute while still giving them plenty of room.

The shoe’s breathable insole will keep your feet cool, and reflective details on the shoe’s heel will help you stay visible on low-light rides (think dawn or dusk).

The shoes are available in women's sizes 6.5 to 11.5. Use them for commuting or on adventure rides—or even on a quick spin around the block.

Best for Cold Weather: Fi'zi:k Terra Artica X2 Cycling Shoe

Fi'zi:k Terra Artica X2 Cycling Shoe

Courtesy of Backcountry

Many mountain biking shoes are designed to withstand wind and mud. But if you’re dealing with consistent cold weather, you may want a heavier-duty, all-terrain mountain biking shoe like the Fi'zi:k Terra Artica X2. The shoe looks like a lightweight boot, yet it is compatible with two-bolt cleats. The inside of the shoe is lined with insulated fleece to keep your feet cozy on cool days, and its zippered ankle cuff will keep the cold air where you want it—outside of your shoe. 

Despite its protective, ripstop design, the shoe is surprisingly low-profile. It's available in men's sizes 7.5 to 14.

Best for Bike and Hike: PEARL iZUMi X-ALP Canyon Cycling Shoe

PEARL iZUMi X-ALP Canyon Cycling Shoe

Courtesy of Backcountry

The Pearl Izumi Canyon shoe is a versatile mountain biking shoe, fit for a variety of trail-based adventures. Its wide mesh toe box offers plenty of airflow to keep you cool on stuffy rides. Compatible with two-bolt mountain biking cleats, these shoes have a stiff shank that helps to keep your power flowing from heel to toe and a carbon rubber outsole.

These look like regular sneakers—and lace-up like them too—so you can hop off the bike and not worry about feeling unsteady. Tighten the laces as you see fit and get to hiking on foot.

The shoes come in women's sizes 6 through 11.

Final Verdict

Universal cleat mounts are hard to find, but the Giro Savix Cycling Shoe comes equipped with one, making it a particularly versatile pick. The shoe is also comfortable, and its BOA dial ensures you get a snug, precise fit every time you ride. If you’d prefer a cycling shoe that’s compatible with cleats and flat pedals, try the Louis Garneau Urban Cycling Shoe instead. The shoe is compatible with two-bolt cleats, but its grippy sole makes it suitable for flat pedal riding and walking too.

What to Look for in Cycling Shoes

Compatibility

The first step in cycling shoe shopping is simple: Find shoes that are compatible with your pedals. Are you using clipless pedals (which, confusingly enough, are pedals you do clip into) or flat pedals (which are pedals you don’t clip into)?

Cycling shoes can come with two-bolt, three-bolt, or universal cleat mounts. Your first step should be to make sure the shoe’s cleat mount suits your cleats. If you want more versatility, you can opt for a universal cleat mount, which works with both two- and three-bolt cleats. And if you plan to do any cycling with flat pedals, you should look for shoes that promise flat pedal compatibility as well. 

Walkability

If you plan to walk anywhere before or after your bike rides, you’ll want a pair of shoes that are comfortable enough to walk around in. Look for soles that are thick and cushioned and cleat mounts that are slightly indented. These details will keep your cleat mount from being the first thing that touches the ground—which can be uncomfortable, as it basically forces you to walk on your heels.

Reliability

Once you’ve gotten your shoes to fit just right, you want that fit to stay in place. So look for shoes that boast a few different closures. Velcro straps can keep your laces in place as you ride, meaning you won’t have to stop mid-trail just to re-tie your shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How should cycling shoes fit?

    Cycling shoes should be snug, but they should not pinch your foot—when you walk, you shouldn't have any wiggle room. If you like to walk around before or after your rides, make sure your shoes are comfortable enough off the bike as well.

  • How do cycling shoes work?

    Stiff cycling shoes fasten you into the pedal and keep you clipped in until you clip out. This creates stability on the ride, allows for better pedal efficiency (as you can transfer energy throughout the stroke and not only on the downstroke), and creates greater comfort on the ride.

  • How do you attach cleats to cycling shoes?

    If you're a beginner, visit a professional cycling shop to have your cleats attached. This insures you're positioned properly and also helps you avoid injury.

    If you do plan to attach the cleats to shoes yourself, follow these steps:

    • Put on the cycling shoes and locate where the balls of your feet are. Mark this on the outside of the shoe. This is where you will attach the cleats.
    • Find the appropriate toe-in or toe-out point to allow for a natural toe-in or toe-out mount. (This is how your feet are pointed when you attach your shoes to the pedals.)
    • Screw the cleats in as tight as possible with a screwdriver. The cleats should not move. If they do, you risk severe injury.
    • Clip in and start pedaling. Try clipping in and clipping out while going slow and ensure this feels natural. If it doesn't, you need to better reposition the cleats over the balls of your feet.
  • How do you wash cycling shoes?

    You can wash cycling shoes using a mix of a few drops of laundry detergent and lukewarm water. Dab a washcloth into the liquid and gently rub into your shoes. You can also use an alcohol wipe (look for one that's at least 70% alcohol. Let shoes air dry.

    If your shoes start to smell, use foot powder or baking soda on the inside to absorb moisture and odors.

  • Do you need cycling shoes for Spinning or Peloton?

    You don't need cycling shoes to participate in Spinning or Peloton classes. You can still get a good workout without investing in these special shoes. However, cycling shoes do make you more efficient on the stroke, allowing you to burn more calories and build strength in your muscles for future cycling sessions.

  • What are the benefits of cycling shoes?

    Cycling shoes offer several advantages for avid cyclists.

    • Safety: Cycling shoes keep you clipped in so your feet don't slide off your pedals as you ride. This is especially helpful when riding at a high cadence. Even at a low cadence, shoes can keep you safe at a low torque.
    • Efficiency: When you upstroke, a cycling shoe can maximize your position by transferring energy during the hardest part of the stroke.
    • Speed: With a cycling shoes, energy transfer throughout your stroke remains high. In a regular running shoe, you'll lose power when compared to clip-ins.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a health and fitness writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how quality product recommendations can be important. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them.