Cycling can be done with any shoes, but if it is becoming a daily habit, you can benefit from a pair designed specifically for cycling. Riding a bicycle is becoming increasingly popular in the Philippines. Commuting to the office is becoming a common occurrence and can be a way to get fit and meet new people through cycling clubs.
Cycling shoes perform a specific purpose: to make your pedal strokes a lot easier. Different types of riding require different types of shoes, whether it be road cycling, mountain biking, or just commuting and running errands around town. So how do you decide which one is best for you? Continue reading our buying guide, fact-checked by fitness coach Michelle Estuar, to find out more, including our top 10 picks!
Michelle Estuar is the Head Coach of one of the indoor cycling studios in Metro Manila. She trains individuals interested in becoming cycling coaches. She also designs and develops programs to meet fitness goals. To add to that, she is a former triathlete, running coach, and ultra-marathoner, and has completed long-distance events such as a 102km run and a 10km open water swim. Michelle is addicted to anything related to sports and fitness as well as diet and nutrition. She has tried (and will keep on trying) the latest trends in diets, apps, equipment, gears, and accessories—she will do anything to stay fit and healthy.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Table of Contents
Realistically, you can cycle in any pair of shoes, and you would do just fine. However, cycling shoes offer efficiency and comfort, especially if you're riding a significant distance.
Cycling shoes are functional due to the presence of cleats, which facilitate a secure connection to the pedal for a more efficient transfer of power. Cycling shoes also offer different features like water-proofing and stiffer soles, which can help you ride longer with less energy expended.
Here are some key points to consider:
There are different styles of riding that are accessible to cyclists. These are Road Cycling, Mountain Biking, and Commuter Biking. Let’s take a look at what demands these styles need from the cycling shoe.
Road cycling refers to cycling on paved roads. It's the umbrella term for many cycling scenarios, such as for recreation, exercise, commuting, racing, and many more. If you always ride a bike, wearing proper cycling shoes not just improves your performance, but it also adds to the comfort.
For those who join racing events, road cycling shoes offer lightweight construction, smooth outsoles, and good ventilation. They also sport exceptionally stiff soles to facilitate power transfer to your pedals to eke out every inch of performance.
Road bike shoes aren't designed for extended walking, as most cyclists don’t need to go off their bikes unless the race is over. This is evident in the lack of traction on the soles, and cleats that protrude from the soles.
Rugged terrains call for a different set of shoes. Shoes that have a stronger grip can give you more traction as you go up higher terrains. Mountain biking shoes come in two types: shoes with cleats recessed into the sole for better walking, and ones that work with flat pedals, which have a sticky rubber sole but no cleats.
Choosing one over the other may depend on the type of bike pedal you have as well as your preference. But whichever you choose, keep in mind that mountain biking entails a lot of walking, so you need more traction from your shoes.
You wouldn’t be able to tell this shoe apart from a regular sneaker. It appeals to recreational riders who want some of the features of bike shoes, such as stiff soles with cleats that attach to the pedals, but prefer something more stylish and easy to wear.
Just like in mountain biking, you need recessed cleats for easier movement off the bike. If you want to get more from your footwear for your daily commute, get yourself a pair of these cycling shoes!
The materials on the upper determine the breathability and the durability of a shoe and affect its aesthetics. Different materials have different textures and colors. If you prefer appearance over performance, check the materials used to manufacture the shoe.
The soles of cycling shoes are usually made from nylon or carbon-fiber to make them more lightweight. Conversely, the stiffness helps with efficient pedaling for road cycling.
Mountain bike and leisure cycling shoes tend to be more flexible and have a bigger rubber tread for grip when walking. Holes are drilled in the sole for pedal or cleat attachment. So, make sure to consider what cleat system you are using before you purchase a pair.
Mountain bike shoes may be on the flexible side but are often bulkier and heavier due to their thicker soles. Road bike shoes are more compact, lighter, and appear sleeker. In terms of stiffness, there's not much difference between both shoe types.
I have both pairs, and the feel of the shoes and the pedal power you get from both are actually the same. The soles have minimal effect on pedal power. The biggest difference is on the cleats, wherein one is much more comfortable off the bike than the other.
Uppers can be made from synthetic materials or leather. Uppers are also usually designed to be lightweight and often feature mesh panels for ventilation. Synthetic materials such as Fuse and Nylon provide breathability, but are more prone to damage.
Although leather is durable, this material has fewer holes for air circulation, which may cause sweaty feet and discomfort. Hence, choose one that'll make you comfortable during the ride.
Leather is not commonly used as an upper for cycling shoes. These are also prone to wear and tear, just like synthetic ones. And leather also tends to chip if sweat is not wiped off immediately after cycling and if you won't use it for a long time.
Most shoes are made from carbon and synthetic, or carbon-composite, which makes them more affordable. It provides just the right amount of stiffness for good pedal power. Carbon, being the stiffest and most expensive, produces the lightest shoes. Synthetic is the most affordable and most comfy to wear since it's not as stiff as the other two.
Cycling shoe manufacturers have included different features that add value to cyclists in big and small ways. Below are the technologies that most bike shoes have which make cycling a little bit better.
Cycling shoes with straps provide the quickest closure. They are easy to clean and work best in muddy and wet conditions. The straps are lined with velcro and offer less stretch for a more snug fit. One-strap velcros, although more expensive, are popular among triathletes who need a quick transition to cycling.
Meanwhile, cycling shoes with laces can offer a customizable fit. Most shoes with laces can provide both the benefits of cycling shoes and walking/rubber shoes. These are also more common among mountain bike shoes, specifically for trail bikers.
Lastly, cycling shoes with clamps and buckles are the most expensive, but they offer a more secure fit to your feet. Just take note that they are quite difficult to wear, and the buckles could rust over time, especially when not maintained properly.
Some cycling shoes have non-slip heel linings for the cyclists' safety. Manufacturers put a tacky rubber on the heel to keep the shoe in place as you pedal. Others also have heel and toe bumpers that protect the soles of road cycling shoes. These help extend the life of your shoes, and are replaceable once they are worn out.
When riding at night, it is important for your shoes to have reflective features as this can catch the attention of drivers, notifying them of your presence. And during the typhoon season, some shoes offer covers that keep moisture out, that prevent water and moisture inside the shoes to keep your feet dry.
Due to the stiffness, it might be difficult to break into your new cycling shoes, so choose a pair that fits comfortably from the start. During the fitting, your shoes should allow your toes enough room to wiggle slightly. Depending on the arch of your feet, they should fit well with your heels locked and secured.
If you feel some slippage when you walk, this may be due to the stiffness of the soles. Try a smaller size or a different shoe model for a snug fit. Bike shoes usually come in either U.S. or European sizing, depending on the manufacturer.
When purchasing online, you can check your size through the reviews or size charts provided. However, it would be best if you could try it on inside the store to see if it fits you well.
Also, when fitting cycling shoes, make sure to wear your cycling socks or the ones that you will be using for your ride. In choosing cycling shoes, avoid leaving allowance or a significant amount of space from your longest toe to the tip of the shoe.
Click to purchase
Breathable Bicycle Shoes
Versatile and Waterproof Cycling Shoes With Dual-Locking System
A Lightweight Cycling Shoe Built for a Pro
A Pair for the Budding Mountain Biker
A Pair of Road-Friendly Cycling Shoes
A Mountain Bike Shoe That Looks Like a Trainer
MTB Cycling Shoes
An Affordable MTB Shoe for Your Next Adventure
S-Works 7 Road Shoes
For Professionals Cyclists Trying to Eke Out Every Performance
Road Cycling Shoes
Road Cycling Shoes That Are High Temperature-Resistant
S-Works Recon Mountain Bike Shoes
Conquer the Roughest Terrains With This Reliable Shoe
Beginner Shoes for Aspiring Road Cyclists
If you're an avid cycler who likes to go on different kinds of cycling experiences, these shoes are for you. Senda's shoes have a dual-locking system: a road lock and a mountain lock. They are suitable for road cycling, mountain cycling, commuting, and even spinning. They can also function as indoor cycling shoes.
These cycling shoes also have cleats to provide additional traction. The nylon outsole also adds to the shoes' non-slip trait. Their perforated external makes them suitable for lengthy rides, as they provide breathable space for the feet. Thus, they are ideal for experienced cyclists. To top it off, they're also waterproof!
Shimano has built a truly amazing and fast-looking shoe with the RC7, thanks in part to the oil-slick effect of the colors. It is made of synthetic leather upper available in black, white, or a sleek-looking red fade.
It offers perforation, which helps with the aeration of the shoe. It also has a full carbon sole, which is rare at this price point. The dial facilitates a quick fit, further adding the "pro" feel of this shoe. The RC7 is an excellent pair of cycling shoes and is catered to intermediate and professional cyclists on a budget.
Shimano's ME1 MTB shoes are ideal for those who want to try trail or mountain biking. It is unassuming and comes in a sleek black color, perfect for those muddy trails. The shoes also have a reflective print on the heel cup to help keep you visible in low-light areas or when riding at night.
You also don't have to worry about slipping or losing grip while on your trail. These bike shoes are built with a durable rubber outsole with thick cleats, providing you with great traction and grip. Moreover, the dual hook and loop straps ensure a reliable, secure fit.
Do you cycle as a daily mode of transportation? If yes, you may want to check out Shimano's RP1 Cycling Shoes. It's specifically made for cycling using a road bike. The shoes have a toe-spring section to enable a smoother and more efficient pedal stroke. There's also a reflective patch on the back of the shoes for better visibility.
You don't have to worry about your shoes falling off or loosening while on your way to work because of the dual hook and loop straps. The sole's material also strikes a balance between stiffness and comfort. Thus, you are guaranteed a secure and comfortable ride.
This shoe that Shimano has produced looks just like your regular trainers. You wouldn't even recognize that this is a cycling shoe not unless you look under it! If you're on a budget, this pair will fit your bill. Coupled with the similarity to your regular shoe and the ability to walk normally on it, this shoe will bring joy to your city and off-road cycling.
The sole material is made from glass-fiber-reinforced nylon, stiff but enough to offer responsive pedaling. The enclosure system uses laces, offering its users a comfortable fit. The sock liner and laces are colored, giving a bit of flair to the shoe.
This MTB shoe from Upline aims to bring middle-tier cycling technology at a low-tier price. It is built from fuse materials, keeping it lightweight. The manufacturer was able to reduce the price by using a velcro plus dial closure system. The sole is stiff due to the nylon material, ensuring power efficiency.
As a relatively new brand, durability is of concern. With mountain biking, something much more durable is needed. Reviews online have customers gushing over the design and the price but the longevity of the shoe is something that has yet to be determined.
This pair of shoes is light and has all the features pros covet in a cycling shoe. The shape of the shoe contours well to the foot. Alongside the new Boa dials, you are ensured that it fits like a glove. The mesh materials help circulate air, while the carbon sole offers maximum power delivery from foot to pedal.
The S-works 7 is a professional cyclist's shoe. Specialized has put a lot of effort into this pair and it really shows. It is, without a doubt, one of the best shoes out there, if you have the budget for it.
This pair of cycling shoes for men from an up-and-coming brand from China is one of the best cycling shoes for beginners and intermediate cyclists. It offers enough stiffness to help aid in pedaling. Due to the super fiber upper material, it is wear-resistant, breathable, and high temperature-resistant.
This professional-looking road shoe is more than just a head-turner. The long reflector streak at the heel of the shoe provides visibility when riding at night. It also uses a velcro and dial closure system, ensuring proper fit and stability. No wonder it has earned lots of positive reviews online!
The new Specialized S-Works Recon shoes is a mountain bike shoe unlike any other. Getting its DNA from the S-Works 7 road shoes, there are some similarities between the two. The shoe is stiff, allowing you to confidently pedal your way across the muddy trail.
The four-way stretch mesh provides durability while offering excellent aeration. With the tacky rubber outsole, walking up the mountain with your bike is a breeze. The shoe offers stunning performance and first-class fit, which makes them suited for fast-paced and demanding mountain bike, gravel, and adventure cyclists.
RP1 is Shimano's beginner road cycling shoe for those looking to start their cycling. The shoe boasts a good fit, providing comfort and support to the user. The sole is also stiff thanks to the fiberglass reinforcement and is able to belt out good power on pedal strokes. It is enclosed by a two-strap closure.
A reflective patch is present on the back for visibility. The upper is made of perforated synthetic leather, offering enough ventilation when it gets hot during summer. For newbies, this one is a good first shoe to make you love cycling.
As previously mentioned, make sure that you choose the right size. Don't leave any allowance.
Unlike running shoes, where your feet expand, and you need at least 1-2 inches allowance, cycling shoes should keep the foot in place, and there should not be any room to let the foot slide forward. When purchasing online, measure the length of your foot, from heel to the largest toe. And measure the width of the foot.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
A couple of brands sported by cyclists in Tour de France 2020 were Specialized, Shimano, Bontrager, Sidi Shot, and Rapha Pro Team. Regardless of brands, pro cyclists prefer shoes that will provide them maximum comfort and stiffness.
Not always. There are instances when cycling shoes may stretch, such as a small amount of width. However, the length of the shoe is not expected to change. It is recommended to already buy cycling shoes that comfortably fit from the start as you cannot rely on cycling shoes to stretch over time.
Yes, insoles are needed for cycling shoes. They provide comfort as they help spread your body weight over the entire area of your heel. They also help in reducing friction as they make your shoes fit better. They also provide support and cushioning especially through rough terrains.
Apart from your bicycle, cycling entails a lot more equipment and apparel to keep you safe and comfortable during the ride. These items are essential for your safety as well as your bike's. Now that you're looking to add up to your cycling gear, check out our top 10 lists for other products that can level up your cycling experience.
Author: Richard Martin
Re-editor: Lara Balquiedra
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：SENDA｜Breathable Bicycle Shoes
No. 3：Shimano｜MTB Shoes｜ME1
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