Why Spinning Shoes Are The Best Choice For Indoor Cycling

While you may not enjoy having a walk in them, spin shoes might be the best bet when it comes to indoor cycling.

Indoor Cycling or Spinning has been around for a long time now and it looks like it is going to be here for a lot longer. It is a good low-impact way to raise your heart rate, burn some calories, and increase your lung capacity.

So if you haven’t given it a try yet, maybe you should get into it now. And when you do you are going to need to get some proper spinning shoes.

You could use those sneakers that you wear for going to the store, running on the treadmill, and taking your dog for a walk but after your first class wearing proper cycling shoes you will wonder how you ever managed without them. And really who doesn’t want an extra pair of shoes?

Spinning class

Here are 10 reasons why spinning shoes are the best choice for indoor cycling classes.

1 – The Cycling Shoes Have Stiffer Soles

Unlike your running shoes, the soles of your cycling shoes are stiff. You can have a very stiff sole on your indoor cycling shoe because you won’t be going over any bumps that your shoe has to dampen.

The stiffer the sole the better the power transfer you get when pedalling. This means that less power is lost as the shoe flexes or bends around the pedal so more power goes from your leg to the pedal and the faster you go. The stiffer sole also means you will feel more comfortable and have better balance when you are standing out of the saddle.

2 – Your Feet Will Stay In Position

Of course, another important reason to buy proper cycling shoes for your indoor cycling class is that you will look cool! Well you will, but more importantly they will help your feet stay in position on the pedal.

Your foot will not move forward or backward on the pedal so you will have one less thing to worry about as you try to follow the instructor’s directions.

Standing up on the pedals

3 – Comfy Feet Mean Happy Feet

Your feet will be more comfortable. If you wear soft athletic shoes you will get “hot spots”. ‘Hot spot” refers to the particular area of your foot that aches after riding for a while. The stiff soles of the cycling shoes dissipate the pressure of the pedal over a larger area avoiding the pain associated with “hot spots”.

Your feet will also appreciate the mesh fabric of the shoes which helps with the ventilation. Cycling shoes also have plenty of room in the toe box to avoid any grinding of the toes against the shoe. Also important for comfort is that your cycling shoes will have a more snug fit and your heel will not move from the heel cup.

4 – You Get A Smoother Pedal Stroke

Once you use cycling shoes in the spinning class you will realize another huge advantage of having them is the fact that you can help lift your pedals on the upstroke when pedaling. This smooths out your pedal stroke.

It takes some pressure off your quadriceps muscles and brings your hamstrings into the exercise. You will soon be pedaling like a professional.

Also if you ride a mountain bike on loose trails the fact that you have a smooth pedal stroke is going to lessen the chance of your rear wheel spinning out as you go up the steep trail. Your friends will look on in awe.

5 – No Laces To Worry About

Spinning shoes do not have laces so you don’t have to worry about them getting caught in your chain or around your pedals. The shoes are tightened very efficiently with either Velcro or a ratchet system. The Velcro fasteners are usually lighter than the ratchet systems.

Velcro spinning shoes

6 – You Can Walk With Your Shoes On

The shoes should have recessed cleats that enable you to walk on the floor of your gym without damaging the floor or your cleats. Your shoes may even have rugged soles which will protect the cleats and the floor and will help you if you need to walk your bike up a trail outside.

7 – You Get Unmatched Control (after a bit of learning)

Having cleats in your cycling shoes will give you unmatched control and after a brief learning period you will find it easy to click in and out.

On your first visit to class with your new shoes you may want to take some WD40 to spray on your cleats and the pedals so you can get in and out more easily. Sometimes the cleats are a bit tight before they get worn in. I have seen too many people who have to leave a shoe on the bike and then come back with a ratchet or hammer to take it off.

In fact, because of the learning curve, it is a good idea to wear your new shoes on an indoor bike before riding outside with them on. Otherwise, you could find yourself approaching a red stop light in your neighborhood and realize you can’t get your feet free from the pedals. Slowly you fall to the road still seated on your bike. Embarrassing and painful.

However, once you get used to the click-in and click-out it becomes second nature.

Spinning like in a dream

8 – Your Shoes Are Lightweight

Your spinning shoes should be lighter in weight which will again make you more comfortable and your feet will not feel as tired. It is possible to buy very light shoes made from carbon fiber but the price does become a bit high.

Regular cycling shoes or workout shoes are pretty light and still affordable. Unless you are a professional racer the difference of a few grams should not make too much of a difference in your performance.

And to be honest it is cheaper and easier for most of us to lose a few grams from our bodies than from our bicycle shoes.

9 – More Powerful Pedal Strokes

With no chance of your shoe moving you will be able to increase your power on every pedal stroke and so get even more benefit from the class. You will be confident that your shoes are in the correct position at all times so all you have to think about is exerting as much power from your legs into the pedal stroke as you can. Your pedal stroke will be stronger.

Tired during spinning

10 – Your Workout And Your Enjoyment Will Improve

In conclusion, your workout and enjoyment of the class will both improve. This will improve your fitness level and those lycra shorts will look even better on you.

Mountain bike shoes


Is there a difference between spinning and cycling shoes?

Yes, there is a difference between spinning and cycling shoes. Spinning shoes are specifically designed for indoor cycling while you can use cycling shoes for different purposes. 

Can you wear running shoes for spinning?

Yes, if you are comfortable, you can use running shoes for spinning.

Can I walk in cycling shoes?

Yes, you can walk in cycling shoes. 

Is spin class hard for beginners?

Yes, a spin class may be hard for beginners.


You have running shoes for running, and dress shoes for date night and now it is time to get some cycling shoes for indoor cycling. When you do go and get yourself a pair of cycling shoes make sure they are a snug but comfortable fit. Take them for a test ride if it is convenient.

You do not have to get the latest model with all the new bells and whistles. A simple Velcro fastener and being lightweight are probably the main 2 criteria you should be looking for when you talk to the salesperson.

The indoor cycling class will result in minimal wear and tear to your new footwear. And although it is true that if you wear them while riding the trails on your mountain bike they will get dirty, they will still last a long time. Also, you will get admiring looks from the rest of the class when they see your mud-spattered shoes.

Also Read

Should you have any questions or require further clarification on the topic, please feel free to connect with our expert author Paul Galloway by leaving a comment below. We value your engagement and are here to assist you.

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Paul Galloway

Paul Galloway

After years of racing and teaching cycling in Oregon and Colorado, Paul is adjusting his life-work balance by enjoying the responsibilities of being a stay at home dad, while cycling everywhere the North VA and DC area allows.


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