A good pair of bike shoes are an essential part of your wardrobe if you’re looking to get into cycling properly, and choosing the best cycling shoes can make a huge amount of difference to your performance and comfort on the bike.

No matter whether you’re a hardcore racing cyclist or a more casual rider, a good pair of bike shoes is worth considering; they aren’t just an optional extra and should be treated as a core part of your cycling kit at all times. Whatever your personal preferences or cycling habits, there should be a pair of cycle shoes out there for you, with the style and fit you need for comfort and confidence on your bike.

We’ve narrowed the field down a bit to make your life easier, and the list below covers 10 of the best cycling shoes on the market in 2021 to unlock your full cycling potential and give you a safe, comfortable riding experience.

Related: Indoor Cycling Shoes Review.

View The Best Cycling Shoes Below

1. Giro Techne Cycling Shoes – Women’s

Giro Techne Cycling Shoes - Women's

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The Giro Techne Women’s Cycling Shoes are simple and cleanly designed for adaptability and comfort. Built entirely from nylon, they’re lightweight, flexible, and comfortable, with removable die-cut insoles for added comfort and adjustability. The soles of the shoes are designed to be universally useful, usable for any kind of bike from spinning bike trainers to extreme mountain bikes.

Attachable cleats are also available for further grip if needed, but they aren’t built into the shoes, keeping them easy to use for more casual cycling methods as well as the more intense options. The fastening on the upper consists of 3 velcro straps, holding them securely on your feet. This method is fast and easy to put on and take off, and easily adjusts the shape of the shoe to fit your feet.

+ 3 strap fastening
+ Universal sole
+ Nylon construction
+ Die cut insoles
+ Attachable cleats available

Why We Liked It – A good, lightweight, adaptable cycling shoe, the Giro Techne Women’s Cycling Shoe is a good choice for anyone intending to use a single pair of shoes for many different types of cycling.

2. Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoe – Carbon Reinforced

Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoe - Carbon Reinforced

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Built for strength and stability, the Carbon Reinforced Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoe is a sturdy footwear option for intense cycling and long-term use. With a range of different fastening options available, the Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoe is perhaps more of a family of shoes than a single model, as this selection of fasteners radically changes the feel of the shoe. A casual, looser drawstring option is available, as is a heavy-duty dual Velcro strap model, and finally a hybrid version with a single Velcro strap and a drawstring at the top of the shoe.

Whatever the fastening option you choose ends up being, the upper of the shoe is made from breathable Microtex for comfort and foot health, while the sole is made from sturdy carbon reinforced nylon, giving it a stiffer feel but a higher level of durability than most pure nylon sole options.

+ Multiple fastenings available
+ Breathable upper
+ Cleat compatible
+ Sturdy soles
+ High comfort insoles

Why We Liked It – The range of fasteners available makes the Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoe a good choice for a variety of different shoe preferences; no matter how you like to wear your bike shoes, one of these options should fit you well.

3. Shimano SH-RP2 Women’s Touring

Shimano SH-RP2 Women's Touring

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Shimano is a great, reliable brand for most cycling products, making a range of high-quality components and accessories, and their SH-RP2 Women’s Touring Road Cycling Shoes are no exception. Made from a mixture of faux leather for strength and mesh for breathability, these are sturdy and functional shoes built with a breathable lining to keep your feet fresh, cool and healthy.

They have a 3 strap Velcro fastening for strong grip and a comfortable fit, and the sole is made from solid nylon reinforced with glass fiber, reducing flexibility in exchange for greater strength. In addition to this, the Shimano SH-RP2 Women’s Touring shoes are compatible with both 2 and 3 bolt cleats, giving a wide range of potential uses.

+ Faux leather and mesh construction
+ Compatible with both 2 and 3 bolt cleats
+ Reinforced nylon sole
+ 3 strap fastening
+ Breathable lining

Why We Liked It – The faux leather and mesh construction of the Shimano SH-RP2 Women’s Touring Road Cycling Shoes is unusual in a market dominated by purely nylon footwear, and the breathability of the mesh should benefit foot health greatly.

4. Giro Apeckx II Cycling Shoes

Giro Apeckx II Cycling Shoes

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The Giro Apeckx II Cycling Shoes are a futuristic-looking pair of glossy, high-tech bike shoes with a number of notable features. Built from a sturdy but supple bonded and welded mesh upper and an unusually rigid DuPont Zytel sole, they offer an exceptionally lightweight construction combined with a high level of strength and durability.

These bike shoes are fastened with the usual 3 straps, 2 of which are Velcro, but the third clasp is with a ratchet tightened buckle for a higher level of closure and grip. The insoles are made from antibacterial EVA foam, offering a high level of arch support and more protection from bacterial infection than most alternative models.

+ 3 strap fastening
+ Lightweight
+ 3 bolt cleat compatible
+ Antibacterial EVA foam insole
+ Rigid sole

Why We Liked It – Light and sturdy but loaded with extra features, the Giro Apeckx II Cycling Shoes are a high-quality pair of bike shoes ideally suited for most users. The standout feature is the strong foot support and antibacterial insole, though.

5. Diamondback Men’s Century Clipless Road Cycling Shoe

Diamondback Men's Century Clipless Road Cycling Shoe

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Another sturdy pair of bike shoes, the Diamondback Men’s Century Clipless Road Cycling Shoe is designed for versatility and flexibility. Unusually for a pair of cycling shoes, these come with walk pads at both the heel and the toe of the shoes, enabling far more comfortable walking than most other cycling shoes, and giving more flexibility in use.

In addition to this, the soles are made from a rigid nylon-fiberglass composite, increasing strength and stability, and feature attachment point compatible with a range of cleat styles. The insole is made from washable EVA foam for greater comfort and hygiene, keeping your feet clean, comfortable, and safe.

+ Faux leather and mesh upper
+ 3 strap fastening
+ Walk pads at heel and toe
+ Compatible with multiple cleat styles
+ Rigid sole

Why We Liked It – The walk pads at the ends of the Diamondback Men’s Century Clipless Road Cycling Shoe are a great touch, adding a bit more flexibility to your use of the shoes and allowing you to comfortably walk short distances as needed.

6. Tommaso Strada Elite – Road Bike Cycling Shoe

Tommaso Strada Elite - Road Bike Cycling Shoe

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Tommaso pride themselves on making high-quality bike shoes at budget prices and the Tommaso Strada Elite Road Bike Cycling Shoe is definitely one of their best models on the market in 2020. Designed for extreme versatility, the Strada Elite is compatible with a very wide range of different cleat styles and is optimized for anything from commuting to road biking to full-blown tour cycling.

These shoes feature a 100% carbon fiber cleat plate built into the comfortable nylon sole, allowing a greater power transfer with pedal stroke, losing less energy than more flexible soles. The upper and insole are constructed with breathable mesh parts to keep your feet fresh and cool even in high-intensity cycling situations, and all of these features combine to make a high-performance shoe ideally suited for a wide range of different uses.

+ Breathable construction
+ Carbon fiber cleat plate
+ Reel Knob lacing system
+ Compatible with a wide range of cleat styles
+ Versatile design

Why We Liked It – The carbon fiber cleat plate makes the Tommaso Strada Elite Road Bike Cycling Shoe stand out from the crowd, offering unparalleled strength and stroke power without compromising on comfort. This is a pair of shoe ideal for improving performance in pretty much any style of road cycling.

7. Venzo Mountain Bike Bicycle Cycling

Venzo Mountain Bike Bicycle Cycling

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While most of the bike shoes covered in this list are focused on road cycling, the Venzo Mountain Bike Bicycle Cycling Shoes are designed for mountain biking, and therefore come with inbuilt cleats and a sturdier design than most others.

With a rigid rear half to the soles and a more flexible front half, the Venzo shoes are designed for heavy use and precise control on rough surfaces, keeping you fully able to feel the pedals beneath your feet and giving a more responsive ride. In addition to this, a set of special pedals are included, designed for the cleats on the shoes to interface with precisely and closely for a stronger grip on the pedals.

+ Specially designed pedals included
+ Compatible with all Shimano pedals
+ Flexible front, rigid back
+ Breathable construction
+ Mesh and synthetic upper

Why We Liked It – The Venzo Mountain Bike Shoes are a bit different from most alternatives, with a design specifically focused on mountain biking. That makes them less useful for road cycling but helps them to give an even greater performance boost than all-purpose cycling shoes when used for mountain biking.

8. Tommaso Pista 100 Women’s Spin Class

Tommaso Pista 100 Women's Spin Class

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The Tommaso Pista 100 Women’s Spin Class shoes are designed specifically for spin cycling and peloton, and therefore offer extremely high performance for those specific activities. The selection of included cleats is designed to perfectly fit any standard spin pedal style, while the interior padding of the shoe ensures a high comfort level through even the longest of spin cycling sessions.

These shoes are built to last, with a synthetic leather upper for extreme durability, and the sole is reinforced with fiberglass to maximize power transfer, letting you ride faster and harder for longer, and adding to the toughness of the shoe to keep the soles in good condition even after heavy use.

+ Cleats included
+ Built for spin class
+ Dual cleat compatibility
+ Durable faux leather upper
+ 3 strap fastening

Why We Liked It – The performance boost available from shoes specifically designed for spin cycling such as the Tommaso Pista 100 Women’s Spin Class cycling shoes can be substantial, and far higher than that of all-purpose cycling shoes. These bike shoes are a great choice if you’re dedicated to spin cycling and less likely to want to use them for road cycling.

9. Giro Carbide R Cycling Shoes

Giro Carbide R Cycling Shoes

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Like the Venzo Mountain Bike Bicycle Cycling Shoes discussed above, the Giro Carbide R Cycling Shoes are designed specifically for mountain biking. A little less premium than the Venzo model, these are relatively simple bike shoes for those who want a functional piece of equipment with no extra frills.

The steel toe spikes built into the sturdy nylon sole give strong toe protection as well as allowing a high level of power transfer from each pedal stroke, reducing the energy input required for high-performance mountain biking. The insole is made from EVA foam, shaped for strong arch support, and has been prepared with an Aegis anti-microbial treatment to keep your feet fresh and reduce the risk of infection from intense long-term cycling.

+ 3 strap fastening
+ Breathable synthetic fiber upper
+ Steel toes
+ Anti-microbial EVA foam insoles
+ Sturdy construction

Why We Liked It – The Giro Carbide R Bike Shoes are a good no-frills option for the dedicated mountain biker who doesn’t want to invest in complex extra features and would prefer something that just gets the job done.

10. Gavin Off Road Mountain Cycling Shoes MTB

Gavin Off Road Mountain Cycling Shoes MTB

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Another pair of dedicated mountain bike shoes, the Gavin Off-Road Mountain Cycling Shoes MTB are sturdy and durable, with soles designed specifically for intense mountain biking. These are very specifically designed shoes with little focus on versatility, as they are only compatible with SPD cleats, meaning that it is important to check your pedal design before purchasing.

If you happen to have the right cleats and pedals, however, the Gavin Off Road MTB shoes are a great choice, with a rigid but lightweight nylon fiberglass sole for high-level force transfer on every pedal push. The uppers are made from durable faux leather with breathable mesh panels, keeping your feet cool but also well protected during rough cycling sessions.

+ SPD Cleat compatible
+ 3 strap fastening
+ Faux leather and mesh upper
+ Lightweight
+ Rigid sole

Why We Liked It – A sturdy option, the GavinOff-Road Mountain Cycling Shoes MTB offer high performance and good foot care with minimal frills. These are good lightweight shoes with strong enough construction to protect your feet in even the roughest of environments.

Cycling Shoes Buyers Guide

Most bike shoes come with a 3 strap Velcro fastening system, which provides a strong grip on your feet while still being easy to adjust to different foot shapes. This also has the advantage of being quick to put on and take off, speeding up the process of changing between your regular shoes and dedicated cycling shoes when getting on and off the bike.

Alternatives are available, however. Some models offer drawstring closure, which is even faster but less secure and offers less precision when tightening the shoes. Alternatively, ratcheted buckles are used on certain models of a bike shoe, allowing very precise tightening of the shoe through a ratcheted dial attached to the closing strap. These areas secure as shoe fastenings come, but a little fiddlier to put on and tighten than some of the alternatives.


The soles of most bike shoes are made from a strong, solid nylon material, giving stability and strength without adding much extra weight. These soles tend to be a little flexible, however, so most higher end bike shoes reinforce them with something. The material used for this ranges from fiberglass to steel, with the more premium options tending to use carbon fiber for the lightest possible rigid sole.

The main difference between the different reinforcing materials is in their weights, but there will also be slight differences in feel and flexibility between them. Rigidity is important for high-performance cycling, as it increases the amount of force transferred from your foot to the pedal as you push the pedal down.

More flexible soles absorb more of the force, while more rigid options transfer closer to 100% of your input to the pedal, reducing the energy input required for strong, high performance pedaling.


Bike shoes require cleats to properly interface with the pedals on the bike. There are, however, a range of different cleat styles available, and both the interface with the pedals and the interface with the soles of the shoes themselves needs to be considered. Read up on which types of cleat the shoes are compatible with before making a purchase, as incorrect cleat options will not fit to the shoes or pedals, causing problems as you try to cycle!

Why do I even need dedicated cycling shoes?

The interfacing cleats mentioned above are the primary reason for choosing to wear dedicated cycling shoes. This close interface prevents your feet from slipping, keeping them comfortable and stable on the pedals no matter what you do. Cycling shoes are also lightweight and strong, protecting and supporting your feet in the specific movements and strains of cycling in ways that more general sports shoes will not provide.

Do I need different types of shoes for various forms of cycling?

While you don’t actually need different types of bike shoes for different forms of cycling, the difference between mountain biking and spin cycling is substantial; they put a strain on different areas of your feet and require fairly different approaches. As such, a dedicated pair of shoes for one type of cycling can substantially improve your performance.

Good all-around bike shoes will improve your performance in pretty much every type of cycling, but the maximum performance boost is always going to come from something specifically designed to fit the kind of cycling in question; mountain biking shoes have more focus placed on strong grip and rigid toes, while spin cycling shoes are likely to be more lightweight and relatively rigid across the entirety of the sole.

These offer different benefits and therefore will be most effective when used on the corresponding form of cycling. So while you may not need specific shoes for different bikes, it’s certainly something worth considering if you do a lot of cycling on different types of bike.


Whatever your planned usage, a good pair of bike shoes are an essential part of your cycling wardrobe. Some of the shoes above are designed for versatility, ideal for cycling to work or spinning classes, while others are more specifically designed for high-speed road cycling. Consider your cycling plans before buying, and choose whichever pair of shoes seems to fit your personal needs best.

When it comes to a market as complex and technical as bike shoes, there is no objective best pair of shoes, and what matters is choosing the right shoes for you personally, based on whichever criteria matter most to your cycling habits and foot care needs.

The cycling shoes discussed above are among the best readily available shoes on the market in 2020, and all of them are good, durable purchases for most purposes. Hopefully, the breakdown above will clear up some of the more confusing aspects of shopping for bike shoes and help you to understand which features are most important to your personal cycling style, helping you to buy with full confidence that the shoes you have chosen are the best possible pair of bike shoes for you.

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