Road bike shoes from the leading brands
For passionate road cyclists road bike shoes are indispensable. Road bike shoes with stiff soles perfectly transfer the power onto the pedal. An SPD system for road bike shoes on the soles create a firm and anti-slid connection between shoes and pedals. Road bike shoes for men as well as for women present the interface between road bike and cyclist.
Road bike shoes for men or women – a “must-have“ for all road cyclist
No matter whether you ride your road bike occasionally only or whether you are a leisuretime cyclist with about 2 training sessions per week or literally a high performing cyclist and spend many hours per day on bike: appropriate road bike shoes are fundamental for this wonderful sports activity.
Road bike shoes formen or women are characterised by their smooth, stiff, slightly arched sole and by their upper featuring a tight fit. A firm heel counter keeps your foot well in place and optimises a firm hold. The upper shoe material, in most cases faux leather, is slightly elastic so the shoe can adapt to the shape of your foot. Mesh inserts or perforations provide good ventilation inside the shoe. The sole is the most important quality trait of road bike shoes because the stiffness of the sole determines the degree of power transfer. Road bike shoes by Sidi are known for their excellent sole construction and therefore very much sought after among ambitious cyclists.
Standard road bike soles are made from Nylon. Possible carbon reinforcements in the pedal area partially enhance the stiffness. Demanding cyclists prefer completely stiff soles. These are soles made from carbon-Nylon composite material and of course soles made completely from carbon. The higher the carbon ratio of a sole, the stiffer and more lightweight it becomes and the more expensive the shoe will be. Soles of road bike shoes for men have 3 treaded holes in the pedal area for mounting road bike shoe pedal plates (cleats).
For the individual adjustment to your feet the closure of road bike shoes is crucial. A classic in this area is lacing, yet it is difficult to re-adjust on bike. Ratchet closures and Velcro straps allow for easy re-adjustment. Ever more cyclists meanwhile favour dial closures (e.g. BOA). Fine wires serve as large scale lacing and are continuously fixated with a dial closure. The dial closure is very lightweight and super easy to operate even one-handed on bike. All closure systems are often combined with Velcro straps.
Makeup of a road bike shoe
- Upper: lightweight synthetic material (rarely leather) with ventilation zones and reinforcements at the heel (heel cap) provides a firm hold
- Insole: ergonomically padded, with moisture wicking and bacteriostatic surface
- Outsole: very stiff, slightly arched and smooth, made from Nylon, sometimes with carbon inserts or as compound material with carbon or made completely from carbon, features holes for 3-point pedal plate
- Closure: continuous dial closure (BOA), ratchet closure, Velcro strap or classic lacing or a combination of all
Triathlon shoes for men or women compared to road bike shoes feature a different upper only, the sole makeup is the same. For triathletes it is important not to lose valuable time in the transition area. This is why the upper features one or maximum 2 easily and quickly fastening Velcro straps and a large easy-on loop. The low friction inner construction, in most cases without tongue, allows you to wear triathlon shoes barefooted. The upper shoe material is breathable and quickly drying.
Road bike shoes for men and women are also available with weatherproof features specifically for winter. They feature a warm lining, from the outside they are protected by a waterproof and windproof membrane. An ankle high top end usually made from Neoprene protects you from water and cold temperatures. Among Northwave road bike shoes you can find extremely warm winter shoes which will keep your feet pleasantly warm even in temperatures below zero.
Road bike shoes with SPD click system
The Shimano click system apart from Look, Speedplay, Synchros, etc. is the most frequently sold system in Germany. Road bike shoes with SPD system (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) guarantee a perfect power transfer to the pedal both in the downward movement as well as the upward movement. Road bike shoes with SPD system make the entire pedalling cycle more efficient. Exiting the connection is easily achieved by simply twisting the foot. The force required can be individually adjusted.
Shimano provides SPD-SL pedals for road bike shoes. These flat pedals are very well compatible with the smooth sole of road bike shoes. Road bike cleats (SPD-SL) are connected to the soles at 3 points. They feature a better off bike comfort einen flächigeren Aufbau. Cleats for MTB shoes are connected to the sole at 2 points. Cleat and pedal for MTB (SPD system) are more robust and compact in their construction. They perfectly match MTB treaded soles.
Some road bike shoes for women and men, e.g. by Northwave, are SPD compatible and also compatible with 2-point MTB cleats. Please check for information on how to re-adjust beforehand so your shoe – and specially the sole – is not damaged. Usually when you purchase road bike shoes pedal plates are not included in the scope of delivery. Pedal plates are available individually or as part of a complete SPD system (pedals + plates).
Buying road bike shoes made easy
The quality of road bike shoes should match your road cycling habits. If you are performance oriented and participate in competitions you should consider purchasing road bike shoes with efficient power transfer. These shoes feature a rather tight fit for a really firm hold and a very stiff sole. If you cycle for pleasure or as a hobby you can get more comfortable road bike shoes with a wider fit and a more flexible sole. All shoes, whether in the newcomer’s or top range, are available with different closure systems. Here you should decide according to your personal preference.
The fit of road bike shoes differs with each brand. Here you will find a short overview of our brands and the respective fit:
Buying road bike shoes is just like buying everyday shoes. Road bike shoes need to match the shape of your feet, they should not restrict you or create pressure points. Even though road bike shoes for men should feature a tight fit for an efficient power transfer these shoes do not need to be uncomfortable. Because tired and tortured feet cannot perform as well as you would like them to.