Anyone who’s been to a spin class knows how hard it can be to ride without the right footwear. While some supportive sneakers can cut it, nothing feels better (or more legit) than a pair of clip-in spin shoes. That's because with clip-in shoes, you physically connect to the bike, allowing you to transmit way more power into every stride and climb.
"An everyday sneaker is more cushioned, whereas the spin shoe is a lot more firm and allows for more sturdiness when pedaling," says Dale Borchiver, one half of the fitness blog duo, Sweats and the City (SATC). "The clip-in also allows for more support, so you don't have to risk your foot sliding out. While these differences may seem minor, they make a huge difference in your overall spin experience, comfort and performance."
While many spin studios offer shoe rentals, having your own pair of clip-in sneakers makes a world of difference.
"Rental shoes are worn by many, many people, all with unique feet, which can affect the shape of your shoe and the support and comfort they provide you," explains second half of SATC, Elizabeth Endres. "It's also much more hygienic, as you generate a lot of sweat during a spin class. And, not to mention, spin shoes are generally at least $3 per rental, and while that doesn't seem like a lot, it can really add up over time."
If you have your own at-home spin bike, investing in your very own clip-in shoes gives you the full studio experience right in your living room.
Need some recs? Borchiver and Endres both have suggestions to rock on your next ride. Whether you're a clipping-in for the first time or are a seasoned cyclist, scroll for the best spin shoes.
Best spin shoes for women
Want a solid spin shoe that won’t break the bank? Dale and Elizabeth recommend Shimano’s IC5.
“This shoe has something we could all use a little more of when it comes to a spin shoe: ventilation!” Borchiver says. “The entire upper part of the shoe is made of mesh, which allows for more breathability. And the tongue of the shoe molds around the foot, allowing for more support,” Borchiver adds.
Another budget-friendly option that is amazing for performance and comfort.
“They have laces instead of straps or buckles, which offer additional customization to your foot,” says Endres, adding, “They have a seamless interior to prevent any chafing or discomfort, and Body Geometry sole construction and footbeds, which are ergonomically designed to boost power and increase efficiency.”
Best spin shoes for men
These bold, bright spin shoes are great at-home or in the studio. With maximum ventilation, quick drying fabric, and a focus on comfort, this Nike indoor cycling shoe is a very solid option. “If your main focus is comfort and breathability while riding, versus strictly performance, these are for you,” says Borchiver.
Giro is a legend in cycling wear, so you know these spin shoes will give you a grade-A ride. They feature a carbon fiber reinforced sole for a little extra push on tough climbs and sprints. Like the others on this list, they’re lightweight and breathable, keeping you cool on even the sweatiest rides.
Best spin shoes for Peloton
With a separate set of SPD cleats, Tiem Slipsteams (which are Borchiver and Endres go-to pick) will work with your Peloton.
“We love these cycling shoes, because they’re not only stylish, sleek and provide tons of comfort while riding, you can also wear them as a regular sneaker!” says Borchiver. “The cleats are sold separately, but you really get two in one here.”
Adidas actually collab’d with Peloton to design a Peloton-friendly cycling shoe. Now, you can rock the classic, triple-striped Adidas look while you ride your Peloton with these bad boys. And if you don’t have a Peloton, they’re 3-bolt cleat compatible for other bikes, too.
Of course, you can buy Peloton’s very own cycling shoes, designed to fit seamlessly on your at-home bike. That way, you don’t have to second-guess the cleats or check to see if your sneakers are compatible. These are guaranteed to fit your Peloton, so you can clip in and spin.
Best spin shoes for wide feet
With an ultra-flexible mesh upper, these premium men’s cycling shoes are a solid bet for wide feet. You won’t be cramped for space as the mesh moves with the contour of your foot, keeping it stable as you ride but giving it ample breathing room, too.
Editor's note: While we suggest shoes for both women and men, we only do this based on search results. You can wear whichever shoe you want, however you identify.
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