If you’re serious about cycling, investing in a quality pair of cycling shoes is one of the most worthwhile decisions you can make. But shopping for the best indoor cycling shoes isn't as straightforward as it might seem. Surprisingly, there’s not really a category of cycling shoes specifically meant for indoor cycling. Instead, most are designed for either mountain biking or road biking. Mountain biking (or MTB) shoes are usually better for indoor cycling because their cleats don’t touch the ground, meaning you’ll have a much easier time walking to the locker room or water fountain after getting off your bike. Not all MTB shoes are created equally, though: For indoor cycling, you'll want to look for a pair with lots of ventilation, and avoid styles with laces that can get untied and tangled.
The other thing to know about is cleats. Most cycling shoes don’t actually come with cleats built-in; instead, you’ll have to order them separately. Installing cleats into cycling shoes is pretty easy, but note that you can often get a bike shop to do it for free. For most indoor cyclists, the best type of cleats are SPD cleats, which are by far the most common type. The only reason you might want the second most common type, called LOOK Delta cleats, is if you have a Peloton or Flywheel bike, both of which have special pedals that are only compatible with LOOK Delta cleats.
Even with these tips in mind, narrowing down the best shoes for indoor cycling can feel daunting. To skip the headache, just stick with the picks featured in this roundup, all of which come highly recommended by cyclists and, better yet, are available on Amazon.
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