Home » 7 Best Beginner Road Cycling Shoes for Women – 2022

7 Best Beginner Road Cycling Shoes for Women – 2022


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If you have never owned cycling shoes, you are missing out. Road cycling shoes are designed to maximize the force of every pedal and keep you in the proper position, making each ride more comfortable and less straining. 

Road cycling shoes have rigid soles and are designed to be worn with cleats. The cleats allow you to clip into pedals that keep your feet where they belong on your bike pedals. There are many brands of road cycling shoes on the market, and some might fit your feet better than others. 

Best Beginner Road Cycling Shoes Picks

*Prices as of January 18, 2022.

Specialized Torch 1.0

  • Closure system: Boa and Velcro
  • Sole: Nylon Composite
  • Weight: 290g for size 42
  • Sizes: Euro 36-49 (Unisex)
  • Shoe comes in 7 colors- black, white, slate/cool grey, oasis (light green), maroon/black, teal/blue, dove grey/vivid coral
  • 3-bolt Compatible

Scott Road Comp Boa

  • Closure system: Boa dial and hook and loop
  • Sole: fiberglass-injected nylon, polyurethane
  • Weight: 245g for size US 6.5
  • Sizes: Euro 36-42
  • Colors: gloss white/turqoise blue, matte white/light blue, dark grey/light green

Fizik Tempo Overcurve R5, Unisex Cycling Shoe

  • Closure system: Boa
  • Sole: Carbon Reinforced Nylon
  • Weight: 246g (size 42 – 1/2 pair)
  • Sizes: Euro 36-42
  • Colors: black/black, black/pink fluo, black/yellow fluo, metallic gun metal/black, white/black

Pearl iZUMi Attack Road Cycling Shoe

  • Closure system: Boa
  • Sole: Composite Power Plate with carbon fiber forefoot insert
  • Weight: 240g for size US 6.5
  • Sizes: Euro 36-43
  • Colors: white/grey, black/atomic red
  • 3-bolt and 2-bolt compatible

Giro Empire W Acc Womens 

  • Closure system: Lace
  • Sole: Carbon Fiber
  • Weight: 215g for size 39
  • Sizes: Euro 36-43
  • Colors: Floral, Black, White

Shimano RC1 Road Cycling Shoes

  • Closure system: Hook and Loop
  • Sole: Fiberglass reinforced nylon
  • Weight: 222g (size 40)
  • Sizes: Euro 36-44
  • Colors: black, navy blue
  • 3-bolt cleat compatible

Giro Techne Road Cycling Shoe

  • Closure system: Hook and Loop
  • Sole: Injected nylon
  • Weight: 245g (size 39)
  • Sizes: Euro 36-43
  • Colors: black, titanium/glacier, white/silver
  • 2-bolt and 3-bolt cleat compatible

Let’s discuss what might make one women’s road cycling shoe better than another. I’ll help you understand what you might want to look for in a pair of new bike shoes and teach you about the qualities that might make a particular shoe better or worse for your lifestyle. 

What Should You Look for in Road Cycling Shoes?

Cycling shoes make a huge difference in road cycling, and they can keep you safe, comfortable, and efficient, even during long rides. That said, you will have to take the time to find the right pair for your feet to reap all the benefits of special cycling shoes, and there are tons of styles to choose from. 

You should look for the proper fit, safe and secure closures, the perfect soles in road cycling shoes. Each shoe is optimized for different conditions, so you should consider where you’ll wear your shoes to find the perfect pair. 

So, let’s dive into the details and talk about what might make a pair of road cycling shoes the perfect fit for your feet, your bike, and your lifestyle. 

The Proper Fit

Road cycling shoes are generally stiff to help support your feet, and they have thin, stiff soles that help distribute the force from your legs across your feet, staving off soreness. 

Finding the right fit for your foot is crucial because of the rigid construction of road biking shoes. 

As with any shoe, you should always try them on before you purchase them. So, head over to a sporting goods store or bike shop to try on many shoes. If there is someone in the shop, you can ask for an assistant to size your feet and help you find the best shoe height and width for your foot. 

Women’s cycling shoes have narrower heels and shallower bodies than men’s cycling shoes to fit women’s thinner, slimmer feet. However, not all women have thin and slender feet, so if you have large heels or relatively wide feet, you might want to consider trying on a men’s size shoe to see how the fit differs. 

Road cycling shoes may also come in unisex sizing. 

Unisex shoes have a varying fit that serves as a middle ground between men’s and women’s cycling shoes. These shoes usually have a width that falls somewhere between men’s and women’s shoes, so if you find that women’s shoes fit too tightly, but men’s shoes are too wide, try a unisex size. 

An insole test is one of my favorite tricks for determining if a cycling shoe will fit while in the store. 

To check the fit, you should:

  1. Take the insole out of a new pair of shoes. 
  2. While wearing socks, stand on the insole, aligning your foot with the outer side of the insert. 

If your foot hangs over the insole at any point, the shoe will likely be too narrow or short.

Safe and Secure Closures

Have you ever gotten caught up in pedaling down the road, only to notice that your shoelaces have gotten caught around your bike pedals, or even worse, in your bike’s gears? 

Well, road cycling shoe closures are designed with safety in mind, and they have some unique styles that can help you keep every part of your shoes where they belong.

Some of the most common closures are:

  • Laces 
  • Velcro 
  • Ratchet buckles 
  • Wire dials 

Slip-on varieties are also widely available. 

Depending on your aesthetic preferences and the fit of the shoe, you may want to choose one style over another, but I recommend going with a shoe that has secure yet small fasteners that won’t get caught up in your bike. 

The Perfect Soles

Road cycling shoes’ soles are unique. They are generally made out of hard plastics such as carbon fiber that make these shoes hard as a board. 

The sole’s stiffness can increase your pedaling efficiency since it will distribute the pressure of every push, helping you propel your bike at high speeds without feeling tired. The rigid soles also keep your feet from feeling the pedal, which can save your foot from the pinching discomfort of your bike pedals. 

High-quality bike shoes won’t ever flex. To test shoes in the store:

  1. Hold the toe in one hand and hold the heel in your other hand. 
  2. Try to twist and bend the sole, wringing the shoe with your hands. 

If it doesn’t budge, you have found a high-quality cycling shoe.

However, all these benefits come at a cost. Road cycling shoes are incredibly uncomfortable to walk around on. 

The discomfort while walking gets more intense if your shoes have cleats and a clip system, which forms a bulky triangular box on the bottom of the ball of your foot. 

Some bike shoes are walkable, though, but they generally aren’t nearly as stiff as high-quality road bike shoes. 

So, before buying, you will need to consider the places you will want to wear your cycling shoes. If you often bike to work and don’t want to change your shoes during the day, a pair of walkable cycling shoes is your best bet. 

However, if you often go cycling just for the sake of it and rarely make long stops, a stiff, more traditional pair should suit you best. 

Road Cycling Cleats

Road cycling shoes also have three-bolt cleats, which form a triangular shape underneath the ball of your foot where your pedal goes. 

Road cycling shoes with SPD-SL cleats

These cleats are specially designed for road bike pedals, and they add some bounce to each pedal, helping you get the most out of every movement you make. 

They also wedge your sole around the pedal, helping keep your foot in place. Still, they are only suitable for road bike pedals, so you should ensure that your bike has road bike pedals before purchasing a pair of road cycling shoes. 

Although these cleats can help boost your cycling performance, they are not very comfortable to walk on. 


Women’s road cycling shoes should always fit your feet well, but some other characteristics might be better or worse for you depending on where you want to wear them. If you want the best performance while you’re on the road, a rigid shoe with pedal clips and raised cleats is the best option. 

Happy riding!

Related articles:

9 Best Entry Level Road Bikes For Women

How And Why Road Bike Shoes Make A Difference

Are Cycling Shoes Worth It? 6 Things To Know

Do Road Bike Pedals Come with Cleats?

Can You Use Cycling Shoes Without Cleats?

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