Shoes are what connect riders to their bikes, and the type of shoe you use while you ride makes a huge difference with your pedaling efficiency. Riding with cycling shoes gives riders an edge over riders who ride in tennis shoes or regular shoes. Cycling shoes come with a stiffer sole which allows riders to pedal harder which translates to going faster. There are two main styles of bike shoe out there: mountain bike shoes and road bike shoes. Also, within the mountain bike shoe category, there are two different styles: clipless mountain bike shoes and flat pedal shoes.
Mountain bike shoes are designed with more grip on the bottom of the outsole. This is so riders can gain extra traction on their pedals and off the bike in the dirt. If the hill is too steep, then the mountain bike shoes will help the rider hike up. Clipless mountain bike shoes use a smaller cleat on the bottom than road bike shoes. These cleats are designed to sit up inside the mountain bike shoes, so riders aren’t walking directly on them when they’re off the bike. This also makes them a perfect option for riders who commute to work on their bikes and are perfect for cyclocross and gravel riders. Mountain bike shoes are SPD cleat compatible which makes them excellent indoor cycling shoes.
Flat pedal MTB shoes don’t use a cleat on the bottom. These are designed to be used specifically with flat pedals. Flat pedals have pins that grip perfectly to the bottom of these flat pedal shoes. Even though these tend to look like regular shoes, they have a much stiffer sole and feature a rubber outsole that provides perfect pedal to shoe interaction. This option is perfect for more aggressive riders who need to be able to put their foot down quickly while riding to hit those hard corners.
Road bike shoes are smooth on the bottom compared to MTB shoes. Since these cycling shoes have no grip on the bottom, they are lighter weight and feature stiffer soles. Road bike shoes use a larger cleat than mountain bike shoes, which allows riders to get more power out of each pedal stroke. Lower-end road bike shoes have fiberglass or injected nylon outsoles and premium road shoes have carbon fiber outsoles. Road shoes aren’t designed to be walked in for long distances but come with rubber heel lugs, so riders can walk short distances. These heels lugs are often replaceable. Casual road riders will enjoy the increased pedaling efficiency of a nylon outsole. If you’re the type of rider who loves competing or riding more aggressively, then you’ll love the weight savings and increased stiffness of carbon road bike shoes.
Whether you’re looking for clip in bike shoes, mountain bike shoes for flat pedals, indoor cycling shoes, or road cycling shoes, Jenson USA has some of the best cycling shoes. We carry premium cycling shoes from brands like Giro, Sidi, Shimano, Fizik, and Serfas. We love riding everywhere which means many of our riders have multiple pairs of bicycle shoes. If you want to know which shoes we’re stoked on, ask one of our Gear Advisors. Email, chat or call them at 888-880-3811.