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What shoes to wear for indoor cycling?

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What shoes to wear for indoor cycling?

Old 02-27-21, 09:02 PM
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jlvs2run
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What shoes to wear for indoor cycling?

I've been using light weight running shoes (238g/8.4oz) on flat pedals with Zefal toe clips for indoor riding and training about 2 hours a day. They are comfortable and reasonably safe for walking on my concrete floors, but the rubber soles are way too soft for my feet.

My 50 year old pair of cycling shoes (295g/10.4oz) with metal cleats, toe clips and straps are better for riding, but they're somewhat tight on my toes, and way too slippery and risky to walk around with on the floors between sets.

Is there a good compromise between them?

I might be interested to get lightweight spd shoes and pedals if they would fit and work for my situation. Otherwise, inexpensive shoes like my current ones would be fine with hard soles. I like to train hard, do workouts and online races, so lighter type racing shoes are preferred.

Comments and recommendations are much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 02-27-21, 09:25 PM
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I have both road shoes with Look Keo cleats and mountain bike shoes with SPD. Most spin bikes use SPD.
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Old 02-27-21, 09:57 PM
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It's not clear if you are talking about a spin class/bike or your own bike on a trainer. If it's a spin bike, most have flats and toe straps on one side and SPD on the other, so MTB shoes would be the thing, I think they all take SPD cleats. If it's your own bike, and it doesn't have clipless pedals, then certainly get shoes, cleats, and clipless pedals of some sort. That said, MTB shoes with SPD cleats are by far the best for walking around by an order of magnitude. Just starting out, being shod with real bike shoes, even cheap shoes will be probably be as good as your 50 y.o. ones. Yeah, our feet, noses, and ears just keep growing. Also many of us figured out long ago that stylish shoes were not really in our best interest and our feet took advantage of it. My wife wore size 5 when I met her, 7-1/2 now. I was a bad influence, huh.
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Old 02-27-21, 10:09 PM
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Thanks much for the feedback so far. I'm using either a road bike on a trainer, or a Bikeerg, which is like a road bike on a trainer. I never have and don't plan to ever use a spin bike. I have always used my 50 year old cleats and toe straps on the roads. The last few years I've only been riding indoors and have primarily used running shoes with flat pedals, though I occasionally change the pedals and use the old shoes with cleats.

I have no personal experience with modern clipless shoes and pedals.
MTB shoes look somewhat heavy and not very breathable. How would they be for training and time trials?
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Old 02-28-21, 10:46 AM
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Look petals on road and Kickr bike. Would not even think of using a flat petal or tennis shoes. Not enough support and you can not get a good petal transfer of power.
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Old 02-28-21, 09:26 PM
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I think you’d be surprised by modern mtb shoes. Sidi and Specialized for example have mtb shoes that are essentially the same as their road shoes but with 2bolts and lugs for walking
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Old 02-28-21, 10:43 PM
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I use old school Look Delta, which are the worst for walking, Shimano SPD-SL and Look Keo, both of which have rubber "feet" that make them less slippery for short walks -- between the bike and toilet, or outside table and bar at the brewpub. None of them are good for much walking.

Many spin bikes are equipped with Look Delta pedals so that's what most users buy cleats for. But you can change to any pedals/cleats you prefer.

Many of my local cycling friends prefer mountain biking type pedals and cleats for the more walking-friendly shoes. Doesn't really seem to hinder them on spirited rides either.

Shoe sole stiffness may matter more than the pedal/cleat design. My road shoes are rated 7 out of 10 on some arbitrary stiffness scale and seem adequate for my limited ability. If I could find mountain biking shoes with comparably stiff soles those would be fine with me.
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Old 03-01-21, 10:47 PM
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Look Keos on my Specialized shoes and a pair of cycling shorts. Maybe some socks. And a bad attitude.

Sorry Cankle but Deltas show your age. (Even though I have tons of Delta pedals but will never admit it)
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Old 03-02-21, 07:42 AM
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I guess it would depend on what kind of training you want to do, the set up you have, etc... In my instance, I just took a road bike and brought into the house to hook it up to my trainer so the Shimano SPD pedals were still on it and that's what I use. I would think if I was just spinning and watching Netflix re-runs, it wouldn't really matter what kind of pedals are used but if you plan on doing a lot of sprinting using Zwift then you would want cycling shoes.

Not to high jack this thread but what do people wear when they hit the trainer? I like to keep it real simple and just wear gym shorts and shirt knowing that they will be drenched in sweat and easy to throw in the wash. Do most people wear cycling kit?
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Old 03-02-21, 08:21 AM
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My indoor trainer setup is my road bike with a Tacx wheel on smart trainer and Zwift, so I just wear my SPD-SL shoes. I have a pair of rubber cleat covers that snap on over the cleats that make walking relatively easy - and more importantly, don't mark up the missus' floors.
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Old 03-02-21, 08:53 AM
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5/10 make a variety of good shoes for riding flat pedal. Most are fairly stiff. I don’t think they’re quite as good since Adidas took them over.
https://www.adidas.com/us/five-ten-f...es/FX0301.html
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Old 03-02-21, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
My indoor trainer setup is my road bike with a Tacx wheel on smart trainer and Zwift, so I just wear my SPD-SL shoes. I have a pair of rubber cleat covers that snap on over the cleats that make walking relatively easy - and more importantly, don't mark up the missus' floors.
Where did you get the cleat covers? brilliant idea. I always hate walking across the Cafe in my cleats wondering if I might slip. Covers would also extend the life of the cleats which wear out so quickly walking on pavement.
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Old 03-02-21, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
Where did you get the cleat covers? brilliant idea. I always hate walking across the Cafe in my cleats wondering if I might slip. Covers would also extend the life of the cleats which wear out so quickly walking on pavement.
Just do a search for Shimano SM-SH45. They are about $15 a pair on Amazon. Best part is that when you take them off, they sort of lock together and can be stuffed in a jersey pocket.
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Old 03-03-21, 03:15 PM
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Road shoes and cleats match the most with what I'm looking for and currently using, light, good ventilation, large base, no hot spots, with the addition of firm soles, continuation at stroke bottom, and the potential of doing drills with each leg. The only negative is walking in them. Perhaps using cleat covers, adding rubber mats or carpet, or slipping my feet out and walking barefoot between sets would be helpful.

The Shimano PD-RS500 SPD-SL pedals look good, but vary greatly in price (60 to $123).

I like having plenty of toe room, so picking suitable shoes can be difficult.
How do these shoes look as possibilities? They are somewhat reasonably priced on Ebay.

I'm open to using mtb shoes and cleats, provided they can match what I'm currently using and looking for, i.e. light, breathable, stiff soles, no hot spots and are reasonably priced.

Last edited by jlvs2run; 03-03-21 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 03-03-21, 03:38 PM
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My road bike and trainer bike (formerly my main road bike) have the same type of pedals, and I use the same shoes on both bikes. Ease of walking around isn't a consideration for me.
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Old 03-04-21, 10:39 AM
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I ride Time XPro on the road. On my indoor bike on my Kickr I'n using old Time TBT pedals (it's a carryover from my old trainer bike from back in the days when I rode TBT). I still have plenty of pedals, and even some spare cleats, but I've had the4 straps fail on two old pairs of Time shoes and am down to my last pair of Sidi shoes (Titans I think) that support the 4 bolt cleats without an adapter. I'm not sure what I'll do once those go - I have a pair of Speedplays I was using indoors to try out but didnt like them much, or I'll go to a cheap pair of Xpressos. Either way, clipless and good stiff shoes is the way to go.
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Old 03-18-21, 11:25 AM
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I have a Keiser spin bike (that I don't use much) that has SPD clips on one side, and I use mtn bike shoes with SPD clips when I ride it. A few weeks ago I bought a Wahoo KICKR smart trainer and mounted one of my road bikes on it. I subscribed to Zwift and the bike is set up in our shed, in front of a large wall mounted flat screen TV. I use normal cycling kit with Shimano shoes and Look Keo pedals. I'm still getting used to a road bike saddle again but was able to ride continuously for a little over an hour yesterday. A far cry from where I was 10 years ago, but it's feeling really good. There's a ceiling fan directly overhead, and 8' double glass doors on either end of the shed that can be opened wide for more ventilation as soon as the weather gets a bit warmer. I tried wearing, non-bib cycling shorts but I couldn't tolerate the waist band. Just like riding in real life, I've ended up wearing my Assos bibs and a base layer for wicking. There are some purpose built indoor cycling shorts made by Le Col in cooperation with Wahoo that I may eventually buy, but they're as expensive as Assos. They're supposed to have extra cushioning in the padding appropriate for indoor riding, and are very light weight and wicking to assist with moisture and heat management. My Keo pedals come with covers, but I don't need them that much. I've got a bunch of equipment, including a water rower and an elliptical trainer, so I wear running shoes for those things but still wear my cycling clothing. The shoes you pictured look nice, but you probably won't know until you use them so it may be better in the long run to buy shoes at a place like REI where they can be easily returned or swapped for something else. Shimano cycling shoes fit my feet, so I usually stick with them.
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Old 03-19-21, 02:24 PM
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I wonder if anyone makes a knock off of those specific indoor cycling bib shorts or shorts you mention above? I would think there's probably a good market for those at this current time. Seems anything cycling is a good investment.

I'm probably the only one that does this because I don't usually wear my cycling gear, but I put on one of those gel pad seat covers. Makes it a little more bearable.
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Old 03-19-21, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
My road bike and trainer bike (formerly my main road bike) have the same type of pedals, and I use the same shoes on both bikes. Ease of walking around isn't a consideration for me.
Same pedals for me, but I use a pair of semi-retired road shoes. They basically live by the trainer bike as I just walk out to the garage in slides usually.
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Old 03-19-21, 04:05 PM
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OP, you're overthinking the walking in cleats. Shimano SPD-SL cleats have rubber on them to help from slipping, and is you go with a mtn bike shoe and SPD (or other mtb pedal), the sole is raised so you won't walk on the cleat anyway. I agree with @caloso that you may be surprised with how functional a decent mtb shoe is.

as for me, I rotate between a couple bikes on the trainer, and just use the shoes that go with the pedals on that bike (mtb shoes on my cross bike, and my road shoes on my road bike)
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Old 03-20-21, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I have both road shoes with Look Keo cleats and mountain bike shoes with SPD. Most spin bikes use SPD.
ours has one side spd the other flat.. i think peloton you have to actually buy a pair of their shoes to use with the pedals on their bikes
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Old 03-20-21, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeesnob View Post
ours has one side spd the other flat.. i think peloton you have to actually buy a pair of their shoes to use with the pedals on their bikes
Peloton pedals use Look Delta, which are different from Look Keo.

You can always buy different pedals.
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Old 03-20-21, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeesnob View Post
ours has one side spd the other flat.. i think peloton you have to actually buy a pair of their shoes to use with the pedals on their bikes
Im sure that they would love for everyone to do that, but you can use any 3-hole road shoe and the appropriate (Look?) cleat.
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Old 03-20-21, 07:01 PM
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Old road bike - the Bianchi - lives on the trainer. I use the same pedal system on every bike - SPD SL - and whatever shoe I'm riding at the time. Saddle is the same. Fit on the trainer is pretty much identical to the set-up on the road bikes I'm riding outside, except I have a bit less drop on the Domane. I'm too old and too dialed in to introduce new variables into the riding equation.
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Old 03-21-21, 11:25 AM
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I use these, or previous non-knit version anyway. Trim, walk-able, & I think come with a filler sole piece if you don't use cleats.

https://www.giro.com/p/republic-r-kn...500000009.html
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