10 Best Indoor Cycling Shoes for Women – 2021

Indoor spinning, like outdoor cycling, can be much more comfortable and effortless if you have the right pair of shoes. Indoor cycling shoes are made just for spinning, and they can keep your feet feeling great after hours on the bike. 

All spinning bikes have different pedals, which can influence the types of cycling shoes you can use with them.  Some pedals are specifically designed to be used with a 2-bolt cleat, while others are to be used with a 3-bolt cleat, so you’ll have to check your spinning bike’s model to see what kind of cleats it allows for. If you are joining a spinning class at a health club, you might want to ask a trainer or spin class teacher for advice. This will help narrow down which type of spinning shoe to purchase.

So, what makes one pair of indoor spinning shoes better than another? I’m glad you asked. I’ll tell you all about how to find the perfect pair of spinning shoes for your feet so that you can get the most out of your time in the saddle. 

What To Look For in Women’s Indoor Spinning Shoes

There are tons of cycling shoes available, and finding a quality pair that will give you the most benefits while you’re on the bike can seem challenging. However, finding the perfect pair is simple if you know what to look for and what you want from your shoes. 

The best women’s indoor spinning cycling shoes usually have a snug fit, a stiff sole, a flexible ventilated upper, and laceless closures. Shoes with these qualities usually offer the most secure, efficient pedaling while still being comfortable.

Not all spinning shoes are made equally. If you want to invest in shoes that will genuinely improve your comfort and performance when you’re in the saddle, you should know what to look for and what to avoid in a pair of cycling shoes. So, let’s talk about it. 

The Proper Fit

As with all shoes, a good fit is crucial if you want to be comfortable and get the most wear out of your shoes. 

Testing your shoes will allow you to find what works best for your foot, which can be challenging with spinning shoes since they are often not true-to-size. That’s because many indoor cycling shoes are made in Europe, and therefore, they are listed in European sizing. 

Indoor cycling shoes should fit snugly, like a sock. At the same time, they shouldn’t pinch your foot, so always move around when you’re trying on a new pair of shoes in the store to test how the shoe fits as you move. 

One of the most problematic areas, especially for women, is the heel cup. Heel cups are often stiffer than other areas of the shoe, so be sure that it fits against your foot without rubbing or chafing. 

The Right Cleat Pattern

All spinning bikes have different pedals, which can influence the types of cycling shoes you can use with them. 

Most spinning bikes have pedals with a toe cage. However, there are usually clipless recesses on the opposite side of the pedal that allow you to use the cleats on your cycling shoes to keep your feet in proper position while you’re in the saddle. 

Spinning pedals have recesses that cleats can pop into, bolting your feet onto the bike.

Some pedals use a 2-bolt pedal pattern, while others use a 3-bolt design, so you’ll have to check your spinning bike’s model to see what kinds of cleats it allows for.

3-Bolt Cleat

However, most spinning bikes have pedals compatible with 2-bolt cleats, but others have pedals compatible with 3-bolt cleats. 

If you are unsure of the pedal type on your bike and can’t figure it out, you might want to ask a trainer or spin class teacher for advice. 

Some spinning shoes include drill holes for all types of cleat patterns, while others can only work with one kind. So, when you go shopping for shoes, look for cleats that are compatible with the pedals on your spinning cycle, and if you are in doubt, pick a shoe that has multiple drill holes for all types of pedals. 

Recessed Cleats

Bike shoes with recessed cleats keep the sole of your shoe flush with the floor while you are walking, making them practical for wearing indoors and walking long distances.  Some shoes compatible with 2-bolt cleats will be recessed. However, 3-bolt cleats will not be recessed.

2-Bolt SPD Recessed Cleat

Since most people will be indoors when they use spinning shoes, having a comfortable sole that isn’t raised by cleats will allow you to comfortably walk through the gym or your home without scuffing the floors, damaging your shoes, or feeling uncomfortable. 

Please be aware not all spinning shoes have a recessed cleat sole. If it’s important for you to be able to walk with you sole flush to the floor, you will want to look at the sole of the shoe to see if it is recessed or check the shoe description for mention of recessed cleat sole.

A Stiff Sole and Flexible Upper

Cycling shoes with a stiff sole can maximize your effort when you’re in the saddle, saving you from discomfort, soreness, or wasted energy. That’s because stiff-soled shoes distribute the pressure of your foot, helping you apply even force against the pedal, making it move faster with less effort. 

However, there are some cons to stiff-soled shoes. These shoes are not very comfortable to walk in, so you’ll have to consider whether comfort off-the-bike or efficiency on the bike is more important to you.  

That said, no matter how stiff the sole is, your shoes should have a flexible, lightweight upper that allows you to move on the bike without causing chafing or pinching. Flexible shoes will also give your shoes a better fit since they will stretch and mold to your foot’s shape. 

Ventilation

Since spinning is mainly done indoors, you won’t want to wear a heavy-weight leather shoe while you’re on the bike. 

Choosing a shoe made with lightweight, sweat-wicking fabrics will keep your feet cool and comfortable while you’re in the saddle, and it will also prevent blisters and sweat-related discomfort. 

Most spinning teachers recommend picking shoes with mesh components or ventilation holes. That way, you won’t suffer from wet, blistered, or smelly feet after your spin session. 

Laceless Closures

Although many cycling shoes have laces that secure the shoe on your feet, choosing a laceless closure is usually the best option for spin class. 

If you are a frequent cyclist, you know the dangers that shoelaces can pose. Especially in spin classes or when cycling indoors at home, your shoelaces could easily get caught in the bike or around the pedals, tying you to the bike until you can get the shoe off. 

To put your mind at ease and keep your shoes on during your cycling, try to opt for a shoe with velcro, ratchet clips, or other laceless closures. That way, you won’t ever have to think twice about getting stuck on your bike. 

However, there is one exception to this rule. If you have wide feet or foot problems like fallen arches or chronic swelling, laces can help you loosen your shoes and customize the fit more than laceless closures can. This means you’ll have to think twice about how you tie your shoes before you hop on the bike, so always keep your safety in mind when you lace up. 

Top Indoor Cycling Shoes

Shimano IC1

  • Has a 5-bolt design which makes shoe compatible with 2-bolt SPD and 3-bolt cleats
  • Cross-strap closure for a firm, customizable fit
  • Breathable mesh upper

Pearl iZUMi Women’s Vesta Studio

  • 2-bolt SPD cleat compatible, recessed cleat design to make walking easy
  • Single strap for easy on/off
  • Breathable mesh forefoot upper
  • Comes in 4 colors

Tommaso Pista Women’s Indoor Cycling Shoe

  • Compatible with both 2-bolt SPD and 3-bolt cleat.
  • Comes already equipped with the 2-bolt cleat. If you need the 3-bolt Delta cleats, make sure to order the shoes bundle!
  • 3-strap closure
  • Comes in 3 color choices

Shimano SH-IC500 High Performance Indoor Cycling Shoe

  • Compatible with 2-bolt SPD cleat
  • Boa dial with a wide strap closure for a perfect fit
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Comes is 4 colors

Louis Garneau Jade II Cycling Shoes

  • Compatible with 3-bolt cleat
  • 3-strap closure for a perfect fit
  • Breathable, synthetic leather upper
  • Comes in 2 colors

Nike SuperRep Cycle Women’s Indoor Cycling Shoes

  • Compatible with both 2-bolt and 3-bolt cleats
  • Two adjustable hook and loop closure for a perfect fit
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Size up a 1/2 size!
  • Comes is 6 colors

Shimano SH-IC300 (IC3) Indoor Cycling Shoe

  • Compatible with 2-bolt SPD cleats
  • Boa system closure
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Comes in 3 colors

Giro Women’s Stylus Cycling Shoe

  • Compatible with both 2-bolt and 3-bolt cleats
  • 3-strap hook and loop closure
  • Laser-perforated upper for ventilation
  • Comes in 3 colors

Tiem Slipstream Indoor Bike Shoes

  • Compatible with 2-bolt SPD
  • Single-strap closure for easy on/off and a secure fit
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Comes in 7 color choices

Pearl iZUMi Quest Road

  • Compatible with both 2-bolt SPD and 3-bolt cleats
  • 3-strap closure for a perfect fit
  • Highly breathable upper with mesh
  • Runs small so size up!
  • Comes in 4 colors

Final Thoughts

An excellent pair of women’s indoor spinning shoes should have a snug but comfortable fit.

It would be best to try to get a pair with plenty of ventilation and a stiff sole, which will keep you cool while maximizing your energy. You may also want to look for laceless closures since they won’t get caught up in the bike pedals. 

Related articles:

Sources