The 12 Best Cycling Shoes of 2021

Harness power and keep your feet comfortable

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Our Top Picks
Best Overall for Women:
Giro Savix Cycling Shoe at Amazon
Thanks to its cushioned insole, you can rest assured that your feet will stay comfy as you navigate streets or off-road trails.
A versatile pick that can take you anywhere, it offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing you to tackle whatever terrain you want.
Affordable without sacrificing quality, its mesh upper protects your feet on adventures while offering enough airflow.
Perfect for first-time cyclists, this pair is compatible with two-bolt cleats, but its sole is just as suitable for flat pedals.
Designed to give indoor cyclists the best experience, its mesh panels keep the air flowing and keep you from overheating.
This sturdy shoe promises not to weigh you down thanks to a lightweight yet powerful fiberglass-reinforced sole.
Ideal for mountain bikers who want to choose when they clip in or when they opt for flat pedals.
A solid option for the trail, its sole is designed to withstand a little wear and tear, even if you encounter fallen tree branches.
Ideal for bike commuting, it boasts a supportive heel and a flexible outsole, making it a solid choice for trips to and from work.
Those in need of a heavier-duty shoe to navigate colder weather will appreciate the fleece-lined interior.

If you’re a serious cyclist, you know the right pair of cycling shoes can go a long way. Shoes that have been specifically designed to help you pedal faster, stronger, and more efficiently can help you achieve your goals. In order 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.

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)?

Then, narrow your selection based on the type of riding you plan to do. Road cyclists and mountain bikers have different needs—so do triathletes and commuters. And if you like to walk around before or after your rides, make sure your shoes are comfortable enough for the task. 

No matter what activity you're using them for, there are cycling shoes out there to fit all your needs and wants.

Here are the best cycling shoes on the market.

Best Overall for Women: Giro Savix Cycling Shoe

It can be hard to find a pair of cycling shoes that 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. And thanks to its 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. Use the shoe’s easy-to-adjust BOA dial and front strap to get a snug, precise fit. 

Best Overall for Men: PEARL iZUMi Attack Road Cycling Shoe

Looking for a sleek cycling shoe that can take you anywhere? The Pearl Izumi Attack Road cycling shoe is the perfect pick for you. 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.

Use the shoe’s built-in BOA dial to tighten or loosen your shoes until the fit is just right. When you step off the bike and return the weight to your heels, the EVA foam offers enough cushioning to help you feel stable.

It's available in men’s sizes 6.5 to 11.5.

Best Budget: Giro Petra VR Cycling Shoe

Giro Petra VR Cycling Shoe

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

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

Tommaso Pista Women's Cycling Shoe

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.

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

Shimano SH-RP1 Cycling Shoe

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Best for Triathlons: Shimano SH-TR9 Cycling Shoe

Shimano SH-TR9 Cycling Shoe

If you’re tackling a triathlon, you need to be able to transition quickly between swimming, cycling, and running. The Shimano SH-TR9 was designed to help you do so seamlessly. It fastens via a series of straps rather than laces, so it's easy to slip into, step out of, and tighten on the go. An asymmetrical heel loop also makes it a breeze to pull the shoe on while going from the water to the bike.

The shoe, which is compatible with three-bolt cleats, boasts a stiff carbon sole that's sturdy yet light to help you power through long miles without losing energy. Quick-drying mesh and synthetic leather are like a hairdryer for your feet post-swim.

The Shimano SH-TR9 comes in women's sizes 5 to 5.5.

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

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 always 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 around 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 given that you're then basically forced 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.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

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

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