All shoes are not designed equally, and this includes cycling shoes.
There are different types of riding shoes depending on your discipline and your preferences. Today, we’re going to cover a few of the broad strokes on the differences in cycling shoes.
First of all, there are 3 main styles of riding shoes that you’ll encounter – road, mountain, and casual. Typically, these shoe styles differ in a few ways: the sole, the outsole, the cleat style, and the pedal style. Let’s start with the soles.
Cycling Soles – Road bike shoes usually have the stiffest sole of the group. The stiffer the sole, the better power transfer you have from your pedals. Mountain bike shoes are stiff, but not quite as stiff as road bike shoes, and casual bike shoes are the softest of them all. Do you feel like Goldilocks yet?
Outsole – The outsole of a riding shoe is the tread! Road riding shoes have the smoothest tread of the bunch. They aren’t designed for walking around, so there is no need to think about any sort of grip requirements. Mountain and Casual riding shoes will have a grippy bottom, in case you get in some terrain that you might need to hike around obstacles or just want to grab a bite to eat after or beer a ride.
Cleat Style – You will notice a big difference here from road shoes compared to the mountain or casual shoes. In road shoes, the cleats are protruding from the soles. You can hear them as people walk around – they sound like tap shoes. Mountain and casual bike shoe’s cleats are recessed into the sole, or they aren’t there at all. This makes it easier to walk on the trails when needed. If you don’t ride clipless, you’re going to want some mountain or casual biking shoes, so your foot can grip flat pedals.
Pedal Style – Road biking shoes typically use a 3-hole pedal style, mountain bike shoes and casual bike shoes utilize a 2-hole style. The 3-hole style offers the most stability and energy transfer, which is why you’ll so often see it in road riding shoes. Whichever style your shoes use, make sure to match it up to the pedal manufacturer, or you’ll be in some trouble.
CBB Featured Brands – There are a ton of shoe brands on the market. Some shoes fit narrow feet specifically, some fit wider. Shoes can range from $50 up to several hundred. We carry a wide variety of cycling-specific shoes. Make sure to come to see us for Five-Ten and Giro, two of the best quality brands.
No matter what type of shoe you ride, we’ve got you covered. CBB carries a huge selection of different riding shoes and we can special order almost everything you’d need. If you’re not sure about the differences in cycling shoes and what you’d like to wear, just ask us. We’re happy to help.