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Do I Need Cycle Shoes?

To clip, or not to clip…. That is the question. (Spoiler Alert: Clip…. Always)

Listen, we’re not here to knock your tennis shoes coming into class, no one is judging, and dont feel like you have to purchase cycle specific shoes ahead of your first spinning class. Here you can get away with regular shoes, or whatever footwear you’d prefer butttt…

Given that you will complete approximately 4000 revolutions of your bike in a regular spinning class, we want to get you in proper shoes as soon as possible to maximize your power, and performance!

Lay it on me: What is the biggest advantage of cycling shoes VS cross training shoes.

It’s simple! When you are totally connected to your bike, you maintain control over every inch of your ‘circle’ and your power is distributed evenly throughout your ‘pedal stroke’. It boils down to being able to ‘pull’ up at the back of your bike, while you’re ‘pushing down’ near the front. Why do you do this? More power using your FULL lower body.

Another major advantage is that your cross training shoe has a soft sole to protect the impact of running, training, or lifting. Cycle shoes are very hard in the sole, as they have to be! All the concentration of hundreds of watts and thousands of revolutions are coming powering down on a single point of your foot…. Ever feel sore and achy after a spinning class? That’s probably why!

Okay, Okay, I get it – What shoes should I purchase?

At Spincycle, we use the SPD cleats (two-hole cleats). These are most commonly found on Mountain Bike shoes.

SPD Cleat’s (Two-Hole)


Whats the difference between mountain bike shoes, and road shoes?

Among a verity of major & micro differences, the mountain bike shoes have a rubber sole which is built around the SPD cleat allowing you to walk on flat (or rugged) terrain without scraping the metal object on the bottom of your shoe, where the road shoes have the cleat exposed. The reason for this is simply functionality. Road cyclists should never have to put their feet down during normal operation of the ride, and only will place a single foot down when stopped, or waiting for slower riders at a stoplight for way too much time (I’ve been on both sides of this). Mountain bike shoes are heavier and bulkier, but serve a purpose for pushing through terrain, or picking your bike up and hiking over a fallen tree.

Road Bike Shoe with Smooth, exposed Cleat


Mountain Bike Shoe with Recessed SPD Cleat


We recommend the mountain bike shoes with the SPD clips for both convenience walking around the studio, and for comfort overall!

How much should I spend on shoes?

It’s a simple answer really – As low as possible! You can get a perfect pair of shoes for $90 – $120.00 (Even more savings during late season sales. The difference between a $100 pair, and a $450 pair of shoes is almost exclusively weight (oh, and those fancy twist tie laces). In your spinning class, weight isn’t’ a factor, so there is no reason to get the pricier pair.

When you do get your shoes, it takes about a class to get the hang of it! Make sure you come early to that class, and we’ll take you through how to clip in, push your legs,a nd burn calories!

-SpinCycle Team.

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