If you’re riding a bike more and more, why not get the best bike shoes for your ride? These are the best road cycling shoes that are rated by the top cycling experts and shoppers. They have reviews, images, and more.

Finding the best road cycling shoes can be a daunting task. With so many brands offering their own models, it’s hard to differentiate between the quality of each. But, if you’re an avid cyclist who loves to ride on the road, has to train for the upcoming spring season, or is simply looking to upgrade their bike, let us help you pick the right shoes. Here we will review the 29 most essential road cycling shoes, which are suitable for every kind of cycling enthusiast.

What are the best road cycling shoes on the market? With so many options available, it can be tough to find the right pair for your riding style and needs. However, there are some classic road cycling shoes that have stood the test of time, and are still being ridden by cyclists around the world, many of whom have been using them for years.. Read more about best budget cycling shoes and let us know what you think.

Because your feet are one of the most essential contact areas on a bike, it’s critical to choose the right cycling shoes. However, there is so much option that deciding what is best may be difficult. But, thankfully, you’ve arrived to the correct location.

We’ve put in the miles to make sure you receive the finest cycling shoes for your needs, riding style, and budget.

Is it necessary to spend a lot of money on the most recent professional model, or will a less expensive alternative suffice?

Some riders like dazzling white disco slippers, which may be difficult to keep clean (particularly in a climate like the UK); others prefer traditional black, which some may find dull.

Cycling shoes may also differ greatly in terms of fit (we have a guide to broad cycling shoes) and purpose. It’s easy to throw money at an issue and wind up with a pair of shoes that don’t fit your specific foot shape or riding style.

Check out our guide to the best road bike pedals if you’re looking for something to clip into. If road cycling isn’t your thing, or if you prefer SPD over SPD-SL pedals, check out our buyer’s guides to the best mountain bike shoes, best gravel bike shoes, and best mountain bike pedals.

Continue reading for our buyer’s guide to road cycling shoes after you’ve examined all of your choices.

Our professional reviewers have tested and evaluated the best bicycle shoes for 2021.

Here is our complete ranking of the finest cycling shoes, as determined by our professional testers. Every shoe feature has been ridden and evaluated, so you can trust our judgment.

  • £320 / AU$499 RC9 Shimano S-Phyre
  • Carbon Boardman: £80
  • Road+ Boa Bont Riot: £150 / $182
  • £110 / $120 Tempo R5 Powerstrap by Fizik
  • £275 / $385 for Surge Pro Giant
  • Sidi Wire 2 is a sequel to Sidi Wire. costs £330.
  • S-Works 7 Specialized: £340 / $400 / AU$500
  • Torch 3.0 Specialized: £200 / $200
  • £349 / $399 Helix Reflex / Bont Helix
  • £99 / $129 Buckle Bont Riot
  • £325 for the Hologram of Bont Vaypor S
  • £270 / $325 Knit Bontrager Ballista
  • £300/ $399 XXX Bontrager
  • £350 / $376 Fizik R1 Infinito knit
  • £265 / $300 Aria Fizik R3
  • £140 / $149.99 Tempo Overcurve Fizik R5
  • £330 / $350 / €350 Fizik Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Fizik Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Fizik Vento Infini
  • £115 / $143 Cosmic Boa Mavic Mavic Cosmic Boa Mavic Cosmic Boa
  • £175 / $230 / €199.95 Revolution 2 of the Northwave
  • £120 / $130 for the Tour of Pearl Izumi
  • £100 / $120 / AU$150 Scott Road Comp Boa
  • £130 RC5 Shimano
  • £170 / $225 RC7 Shimano
  • £359 / $549 Sidi Shot
  • £330 / €420 Sixty Sidi
  • S-Works EXOS specialized: £450 / $500 / AU$600
  • Torch 1.0 Specialized: £90 / $110
  • £70 for the RC 520 Triban
  • £120 RR900 Van Rysel

Shimano S-Phyre RC9

Shimano RC9

One of our favorite shoes is Shimano’s S-Phyre RC9. Shimano

  • As tested, £320 / AU$499
  • Our best-selling road shoe
  • Overall, an outstanding performance.

For a long time, Shimano has quietly been producing some of the finest cycling shoes, and the S-Phyre RC9 is one of our favorites. Shimano just released a new version, and if it’s as excellent as the previous model (the only shoe to get a perfect five-star rating), it’s one to look for.

These Tour de France-tested racing shoes have Shimano’s stiffest carbon sole. They aren’t inexpensive, but we were blown away by the fit, performance, and comfort. We think they’re gorgeous, too, especially in the electric blue.

Carbon Boardman

Best cycling shoes

At this price, a good front bumper and a replacement heel bumper are almost unheard of. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £80
  • Excellent value
  • Two dial adjustments and stiff soles

The Boardman Carbon shoes, which retail for £80, have an all-carbon sole and dual Atop dial adjustment, which is a less expensive version of the Boa system that works just as well. There’s also a replacement heel bumper included.

Internal cushioning across the bulk of the top improves comfort, and lots of ventilation keeps your feet cool. A wide toe box offers a little more room than typical cycling shoes.

Road Bont Riot+ Boa

Bont Riot Road+ Boa

Heat moldable Riot Road+ Boa sneakers by Bont. Bont

  • As tested, £150 / $182
  • Fit that can be molded with heat
  • Carbon sole design that is very rigid

The Riot Road+ Boa shoes bring Bont’s unique design philosophy to a lower price range with its extremely rigid, heat-moldable carbon soles.

The tub-shaped carbon soles are very rigid, resulting in a pedaling platform that is both efficient and supportive.

In comparison to other bicycle shoes, Bont says that their last provides a better anatomical fit right out of the box. However, you may completely customize the fit at home by baking them for 20 minutes at 70°C/160°F before putting them on and tightening them up.

Our tester discovered that they ran somewhat smaller than other shoes, so double-check the fit before purchasing (a good reminder not to just rely on the stated sizes with shoes).

Fizik Tempo R5 Powerstrap

Fizik Tempo R5 Powerstrap

The Velcro straps perform an excellent job of distributing stress evenly over the foot. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £110 / $120
  • Very relaxing with an equal tension.
  • For longer rides, this is a fantastic option.

These are among of the most comfortable road shoes we’ve tested, so they’re ideal for extended rides.

The soles are the same as those found on Fizik’s more expensive R5B, which means they aren’t the stiffest and don’t have interchangeable toe and heel bumpers.

We didn’t miss the Boa dials because of the consistent tension supplied by the dual Velcro straps.

They’re not the lightest at 626g for a pair of EU45s, but considering the performance on offer, the asking price is quite fair.

Giant Surge Pro

Giant Surge Pro

ExoBeam is a feature of Giant’s Surge Pro shoe. Giant

  • As tested, £275 / $385
  • Carbon sole design that is unique
  • Freedom of mobility for the feet

The Giant Surge Pro shoes have a unique carbon sole construction with rigid plates on the forefoot and heel connected by a ‘ExoBeam,’ as Giant puts it. This results in a strong, effective pedaling platform that does not limit the uppers at the sides of the shoe as a conventional flat sole would.

The benefit of this design is that your mid-foot and ankle have more range of motion, which adds comfort without sacrificing performance. The ability to choose from a variety of arch inserts provides a level of personalization.

They’re only available in black or white, so if you’re seeking for anything hot, you’ll have to search elsewhere. Aside from that, they’re a pro-level shoe at a reasonable price.

Sidi Wire 2

Sidi Wire 2

The Wire 2 sneakers from Sidi combine comfort and performance. Sidi

  • As tested, £330
  • Power transmission is excellent.
  • Comfortable to wear

The Sidi Wire 2 shoes aren’t the lightest on our list, weighing 660g for a size 45.5, but they look, fit, and function wonderfully – unless you’re a weight weenie, you’ll be quite pleased with a pair of them.

Our tester found them to be rather narrow, but she was able to quickly locate the appropriate size by just ordering a half size bigger than normal, which is something that few other manufacturers provide.

Sidi insists on using its own closing dials, which are perfectly functional. The main disadvantage is that, as compared to a normal Boa dial, they may be a bit difficult to use with gloves on.

Overall, these sneakers go about their job quietly, delivering excellent results across the board.

S-Works 7 (Specialized)

Specialized S-Works 7

The S-Works 7 sneakers from Specialized feature a broader fit. Specialized

  • As tested, £340 / $400 / AU$500
  • Fit is more generous.
  • Excellent safety and convenience

Specialized has lately put a lot of effort into expanding its shoe lineup, and the S-Works 7 shoes are the product of that effort.

In comparison to the previous generation, they have a roomier toe box and a more generous Form Fit last, making them a better fit for somewhat larger feet.

The Dyneema Mesh uppers and Body Geometry designed footbed provided a snug fit without limiting your feet in any manner, and we found them to be extremely pleasant.

The FACT Powerline carbon sole, according to Specialized, is the stiffest it’s ever made, and it seems to be good enough for Peter Sagan’s enormous power outputs.

They also look the part, with a sophisticated finish and a variety of color choices.

Torch 3.0 by Specialized

Specialized Torch 3.0

The Torch 3.0 shoes from Specialized feature a roomy fit and lots of stiffness. Specialized

  • As tested, £200 / $200
  • Performance, weight, and comfort are all factors to consider.
  • Price

The Specialized Torch 3.0 shoes don’t have the S-Works name, yet they perform like shoes that cost £100 more.

The Torch 3.0s feature a similar fit system with two Boa dials and a Velcro strap across the forefoot, which is clearly inspired by the S-Works 7. This allows for accurate and simple fit adjustments.

However, in order to get the shoes on, we had to unhook the top Boa lace from its anchor, which was a little annoyance.

However, once they’re on, they’re fantastic. The fit is roomy, with excellent arch support and enough of support around the heel cup to keep the shoe from slipping when climbing or running.

The stiffness index for the FACT carbon sole is 8.5, compared to 15 for the S-Works shoe, but we found them to be sufficiently stiff for everything.

Bont Helix / Helix Reflex

Bont Helix

The Helix is Bont’s most expensive shoe. Bont

  • As tested, £349 / $399
  • Designed to suit you perfectly
  • The sole is very light and rigid.

The Helix is Bont’s top-of-the-line racing shoe, with a design that is almost completely focused on transferring maximum power from your feet to your pedals.

They are heat moldable, like are all Bont cycling shoes, for a fully personalized fit. They also feature a tub-style sole, which contributes to their extreme rigidity. Bont also makes a reflective Reflex version of this shoe if you need a little more visibility without compromising elegance.

Bont has fortunately switched to a Boa closure system, which allows for simple adjustments both before and during your ride.

The price is high, but these shoes genuinely feel unlike anything else on the market. The level of stiffness is a bit bonkers, to be honest, so they’re not really an endurance-focused shoe. If you’re looking for pure performance though, look no further.

Bont Riot Buckle

Best cycling shoes

The Riot Buckle offers a lot for a relatively low price. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £99 / $129
  • Soles that can be heated and molded
  • For the performance, there is a great deal to be had.

The Riot Buckle from Bont is one of the lightest and best-performing shoes available at its price, weighing 632g for a pair of EU size 45s.

The tub-style sole is comparable to Bont’s top-end Helix shoe, except it’s made of carbon-reinforced fiberglass instead of carbon fiber. This change in material shouldn’t concern you since the Riot’s sole still provides excellent power transmission.

Baking them is the only way to really optimize the fit, so make the effort. Ours were extremely comfortable after they were customized to our feet, and the Velcro strap and ratchet system closing worked well. The uppers, on the other hand, are a little stiff.

Bont Vaypor S Hologram

Bont Vaypor S Hologram road cycling shoe

One of the most eye-catching choices on the market is the Bont Vaypor S Hologram. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £325
  • Carbon structure that is ultra-thin and ultra-stiff
  • Customizable fit thanks to a heat-mouldable upper.

The Vaypor is a high-priced choice, but if you like the general form – the arch is quite high – it provides excellent foot retention and stability.

The ‘bathtub’ carbon structure is very rigid, and the heat-mouldable top may be remolded an infinite number of times to fine-tune the fit.

This holographic version isn’t for timid, introverted people, but it provides helpful exposure and helps explain the somewhat astronomical price tag.

Bontrager Ballista Knit

Best cycling shoes

The Ballista Knits are an excellent choice for lengthy rides, particularly in hot weather. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £270 / $325
  • This is a fantastic option for warm weather.
  • Ideal for extended rides in hot weather.

Bontrager’s Ballista Knit is a winning sneaker that fully embraces the woven trend.

The use of a single Boa dial and lightweight materials throughout results in a pair of shoes that weighs just 554g for an EU 45 pair. The Ballistas have a V-shaped vent on the bottom that lies ahead of the cleat and has a rubber toe bumper, so you won’t scratch the super-stiff carbon soles.

Bontrager does offer a set of rubberized waterproof overshoes intended especially for the knits, as well as a DWR (durable water-resistant) coating for the Ballistas.

If you’re accustomed to tight, stiff-fitting shoes, these will feel odd at first, but once you’re on the bike, the fit, in combination with the material, is fantastic.

Bontrager XXX

Best cycling shoes

The carbon in the rear is protected by a removable heel bumper, while the front is protected by bonded rubber toe bumpers. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £300 / $399
  • Excellent fit
  • Well-crafted

The XXX in their name indicates that they are Bontrager’s top-of-the-line shoes, as used by the company’s athletes. You get the stiffest of stiff soles with lots of under-foot airflow, as you’d expect. A size 45 pair weighed 568g, which was light but not the lightest in the class.

The TPU top has just a few seams, as well as a variety of ventilation holes that help keep your feet cool and a sticky layer at the heel to minimize lift.

The asymmetric, tongueless closure has two Boa IP1 dials for lots of adjustability, and the well-structured footbed and heel cup assist avoid overheated feet. The Bontrager XXX shoes check all of the boxes for a pro-level shoe, but they lack any standout features. 

Fizik R1 Infinito Knit Fizik R1 Infinito Knit Fizik R1 Infini

Best cycling shoes

The R1 Infinito Knit sneakers from Fizik are stiff enough to race in. Fizik

  • As tested, £350 / $376
  • Stiffness of race shoe
  • As cozy as a pair of slippers

The Fizik R1 Infinito Knit is made of a flexible, extremely breathable knitted fabric that is just on style. The aim is to use natural materials to complement conventional synthetics, allowing for a more comfortable fit and improved ventilation.

If the weather becomes bad, a water resistant coating keeps them from letting in too much moisture, but they’re still more of a fair-weather shoe.

We discovered that they perform best while riding hard in hot weather, since the flexible knitted fabric can accommodate your foot swelling due to the heat. The sole is firm enough for racing, while the uppers are soft and supportive, with excellent foot stability.

Fizik R3 Aria

Best cycling shoes

Fizik’s R3 Aria shoes are stylish. Fizik

  • As tested, £265 / $300
  • Elegant design
  • Wraparound upper design that works

The uppers are made of Fizik’s famous Microtex material, which is also used on the saddles. It not only gives the shoes a sleek look and a soft fit, but it is also very durable, simple to clean, and weather resistant.

The front Boa dial adjusts the forefoot fit, while the back dial adjusts the overlapping heel surround, resulting in a tight, even fit with no fabric bunching or pressure spots.

The sole has dedicated vents and tiny laser-cut holes that provide greater airflow than you would think. For the price, the pedaling stiffness is really remarkable.

Fizik R5 Tempo Overcurve

Best cycling shoes

The term ‘Overcurve’ alludes to a staggered collar that wraps over your ankle. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £140 / $149.99
  • Excellent convenience
  • There are many color and size choices available. 

The R5 Tempo Overcurve shoes are well perforated to keep your feet cool, although there are no perforations in the toe or composite sole. The Overcurve bit refers to a differential cut to the inside and outside of the opening, to accommodate the different heights of the ankle bone on each side of the leg, a nice ergonomic feature.

You get one Boa and a Velcro strap, which makes it simple to use but lacks the flexibility of two Boas. With a weight of 560g (size 42) and no sole vents, the Overcurves aren’t exactly light for the price, but with six colors and half sizes, there are plenty of choices. 

Fizik Vento Infinito Carbon 2

Fizik Vento Infinito Carbon 2 road cycling shoes

The Vento takes the R1 pro-level shoe’s design approach and refines it into a lightweight alternative that maximizes comfort and fit while maintaining rigidity through the sole. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £330 / $350 / €350
  • Exceptionally light, firm, and comfy.
  • Expensive

The Vento Infinito Carbon 2 shoes are based on Fizik’s pro-level R1 shoes, but they’ve been tweaked to produce a shoe that’s light and comfortable.

The uppers of the shoes are composed of a lightweight and flexible Microtex fabric. A 60mm band runs across the center of the top and is secured by a Boa dial with micro-adjustment. These operate together to distribute pressure evenly throughout the foot, resulting in a sock-like fit.

The carbon sole has enough lateral flex to avoid cramping and discomfort, but there is a stiffness ‘spine’ running from the cleat region to the heal.

These shoes are almost ideal in terms of comfort and performance, but they come at a hefty price.

Mavic Cosmic Boa

Best cycling shoes

On Mavic’s ‘index of energy transmission,’ the nylon and fibreglass Energy Comp sole scores a 50 out of a possible 100. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £115 / $143
  • Outstanding performance
  • Lines that are simple and elegant.

Despite the single Boa closure’s neat appearance, the Mavic Cosmic Boa shoes are simple to obtain a comfortable, secure fit from. Despite the fact that the nylon/fibreglass soles are mid-rated for stiffness, we found them to be perfectly enough for our rides. 

To keep you cool, there are over 100 laser-cut vents in the uppers and two additional vents in the soles. The Mavics appear very professional, especially in white, because to their ultra-clean lines. However, due to Mavic’s tight fit, you may wish to go up half a size. 

Northwave Revolution 2

Northwave Revolution 2 road cycling shoes in white

The sole of Northwave’s Revolution 2 sneakers is made up of a variety of materials. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £175 / $230 / €199.95
  • A good balance of cleat rigidity and flex elsewhere.
  • Speedplay compliant, with a high-visibility option

The Revolution 2 shoes combine sprint-level power transmission with a dose of comfort-inducing flex, thanks to a sole made mostly of carbon-reinforced nylon and an all-carbon plate beneath the cleat. There’s a lot of stability here, thanks to the well-shaped footbeds and strong arch support.

The Revolution 2s may be equipped with Northwave’s adapter to accept four-bolt Speedplay cleats, and there’s also a space for Look’s cleat finder. Northwave’s SWL2 dial is used to close the loop. It’s not as user-friendly as a Boa dial in our opinion, but it’s still easy and efficient.

The sneakers are available in black or a plum fade color scheme, as well as the hi-viz silver version that we tried and liked for its overall brightness.

Pearl Izumi Tour

Best cycling shoes

The Tour’s sole is composed of nylon, with a big carbon-reinforced plate for the cleat – and the combination has proven to be extremely successful. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £120 / $130
  • Lace-up styles from the past
  • Stiffness and flex are well-balanced.

The laces on the Pearl Izumi Tour shoes give them a vintage appearance while keeping the weight down to 504g (size 42) and providing a snug, secure fit. For cool feet, there are many vents in both the top and the sole.

A big carbon plate beneath the cleat beefs up the nylon sole on the bottom, providing rigidity where it’s required but flex where it’s not – 8/14 on PI’s stiffness index. This is ideal for long rides, but not so much for racing.

BOA Scott Road Comp

Best cycling shoes

Scott’s Road Comp BOAs are an excellent first shoe. Scott

  • As tested, £100 / $120 / AU$150
  • Excellent value for money
  • Fit and performance are excellent.

Despite being Scott’s most affordable road shoes with Boa closures, the Scott Road Comp BOAs function well.

The sole is made of nylon and glass fiber composite, which helps keep the price low. Although it is not as rigid as a complete carbon sole, it is more than sufficient for daily usage.

The fit is more roomy than Scott’s higher-end, racier shoes, making them more comfortable with thick socks.

They also have a wide variety of colors and appear quite elegant for an entry-level sneaker.

Shimano RC5

Best cycling shoes

Shimano’s new RC5 racing shoes borrow a lot of technology from the company’s elite S-Phyre racing shoes. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £130
  • Carbon soles that are stiff
  • Lines of elegance

The Shimano RC5 shoes look the part, featuring a sleek, minimalist top that is a carryover from the Shimano S-Phyre. You could even confuse the S-Phyres with a blue metallic variant. 

A new seamless midsole cuts the weight of a size 42 pair to 504 grams and lowers the stack height by 3.3 millimeters. The wide toe vents on the carbon-reinforced composite soles allow for a surprising amount of cleat position adjustability. 

The tongue-free, wrap-around uppers are fastened with a single Boa dial and a bottom Velcro strap for a secure fit and quick on/off. The sneakers have a lot of ventilation and are extremely breathable. Wide fit is available in a variety of sizes.

Shimano RC7

Best cycling shoes

The RC7s can easily compete with more costly sneakers in terms of performance. Jesse Wild is a character in the film Jesse Wild

  • As tested, £170 / $225
  • For the money, it’s really light.
  • These are a great steal thanks to trickle-down technology.

Shimano’s departing and well-liked RP7 shoes were replaced with the RC7s.

There’s a lot of overlap between these and the top-of-the-line S-Phyre RC9s, and we were surprised to discover just a single gram of difference in weight between size 45 RC7s and RC9s.

The RC7s outperform more costly sneakers and punch far above their weight. They’re stiff enough to compete in without being too stretched up for everyday usage.

The dual Boa dials may be a bit harder to get the tension just right than those seen on more costly shoes, but this is a minor issue.

Sidi Shot

Best cycling shoes

Sidi’s Shot shoes include their own adjustment dials. Sidi

  • As tested, £359 / $549
  • Italian design is timeless.
  • Construction is sturdy.

The Sidi Shots are one of the most costly sneakers on the market, but their attraction is impossible to ignore.

They aren’t the most technologically sophisticated sneakers on the market, but they have a solid build that makes them feel like they’ll last a long time. And, of course, there’s the traditional Italian design. With so many cycling shoes beginning to look the same, we appreciate Sidi’s commitment to the traditional euro-pro style.

With an adjustable heel enclosure and two of Sidi’s unique dials across the front, the fit throughout the shoe may be changed in an unusual manner. Sidi’s dials are somewhat more difficult to operate than Boa dials, resulting in a shoe with a lot of adaptability.

The carbon sole isn’t the thinnest on the market, but it’s very rigid. This isn’t a lightweight shoe, but it’s designed for racing, and a young Colombian named Egan Bernal just won a major bike race while wearing these shoes.

Sidi has recently launched the Shot 2, an upgraded version of the Shot with a new carbon sole.

Sidi Sixty

Faux-snakeskin Sidi Sixty road cycling shoes

These faux-snakeskin versions may be one of the more out-there designs from Sidi, but there is no hiding the wealth of tech within. Robert Smith / Immediate Media

  • As tested, £330 / €420
  • Excellent fit and comfort
  • It’s heavier than some of its rivals.

The Sixty shoes, which commemorate Sidi’s 60th anniversary, are available in a number of styles, including the limited-edition snakeskin finish that was tested.

A single, centrally-placed Techno 4 dial and a front Velcro strap, which work in tandem with the sturdy heel cup to keep your feet securely in place, are used to close the shoe.

Sidi’s Vent carbon sole has also been upgraded. It’s well-shaped and reinforced for lots of rigidity, and it has a closeable vent to keep airflow beneath your feet from becoming too warm in the winter.

Sidi’s shoes are designed to endure, with a variety of interchangeable components and replacement parts. The Sixty shoes, however, are a little heavier than other choices in their price range, weighing 617g each pair in size 45.


Best cycling shoes

The S-Works EXOS sneakers from Specialized are just 173.6 grams each shoe. Specialized

  • As tested, £450 / $500 / AU$600
  • Design that is unique
  • Exceptionally light

We all know that aero is important these days, but it’s always interesting to see ultra-lightweight parts pop up now and again.

The Specialized S-Works EXOS shoes are one of those items that makes you go “Wow,” and our test pair (size EU45) weighed an incredible 347.2g. It only weighs 173.6g each shoe.

Thankfully, given the price, this weight loss does not come at the cost of functionality. They have a Dyneema mesh top, which is a lightweight and supple synthetic fabric that does not stretch.

In comparison to the Specialized S-Works 7, the sole is thinner. This also helps to save a few grams, although the sole is still very stiff. It gets a 13 on Specialized’s Stiffness Index, which is the same as their S-Works 6 shoe.

The breathable mesh uppers and low weight made them perfect for riding in hot weather and on lengthy hills, according to our tester. Unfortunately, such cutting-edge technology isn’t inexpensive.

1.0 Specialized Torch

Best cycling shoes

For 2020, Specialized’s highly acclaimed and justifiably popular entry-level road shoes have received a significant update. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £90 / $110
  • Adjusting the Boa dial 
  • Comfortable all-day wear

The updated for 2020 version of Specialized’s entry-level road shoe replaces Velcro straps with a Boa L6 dial and crossed cord top closure, resulting in a weight reduction of approximately 50g per pair. 

Underneath, there’s a pleasant nylon composite sole that’s firm enough. Body Geometry insoles from Specialized assist with this. They’re made with the same technology as Spesh’s pro-level shoes, and have a design that supports the foot’s natural contours.

The Torch 1.0 shoes are light and comfortable enough for all-day riding, at 530 grams for a size 42, but we missed the two-bolt cleat option that commuters like.

Triban RC 520

Best cycling shoes

Although there isn’t much in the way of cutting-edge technology, they are a robust pair of road shoes. Immediate Media/David Caudery

  • As tested, £70
  • Excellent value
  • It’s versatile enough for gravel riding or commuting.

Decathlon’s low-cost shoes are durable and comfortable enough for extended rides and commuting. We’ve even used them for gravel riding, as long as the terrain isn’t too harsh or muddy.

Simple laces and straps provide a secure fit, although we had to tighten them to prevent the heel from rising slightly while walking.

They’re not exactly light, but at this price, they’re still excellent value.

Van Rysel RR900

Best cycling shoes

The top shoe in Decathlon’s road shoe lineup is yet another feature-rich, low-cost option. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £120
  • Excellent stiffness in the sole
  • Colors are vibrant and well-made. 

This top-of-the-line model from Decathlon’s Van Rysel brand is a great deal. The center rib of the all-carbon sole offers remarkable rigidity, as does the Boardmans’ two Atop dial closures.

The soft synthetic uppers, which are perforated on either side and on the tongue but not on the toe, counteract this. The Van Rysels seem to be well-made, with a variety of high-gloss iridescent color choices. However, at 592g for a size 42, they’re not exactly light.

What to Look for When Buying Cycling Shoes

Bont Vaypor Classic cycling shoes

Cycling shoes, such as Simon Bromley’s Bont Vaypor Classic cycling shoes, are difficult to top. Immediate Media / Simon Bromley

With so many choices, shopping for cycling shoes may be a headache, and your local store is unlikely to have anything you want to try on.

If you’ve been riding for a long, you may have a better sense of what works for you, but it may be intimidating if you’re just getting started. With that in mind, we’ve put up a quick buyer’s guide to help you get started.


Cycling shoes, like any other shoe, are constructed around a ‘Last.’ This is basically a foot-shaped mould that shoe companies use to create their footwear.

Every brand has its own last, which is based on their fit philosophy. Finding a form that is right for you is clearly crucial, but the only way to do so is to try on shoes. So either go to a store in person or purchase from an online merchant with a solid return policy.


Specialized carbon-soled cycling shoe

Carbon soles provide excellent performance and power transmission. Alex Evans is a writer who lives in the United

When it comes to cycling shoe bottoms, carbon is the material de jour, as it is with most things bike-related. It makes sense, however; carbon is valued for its stiffness while being lightweight, making it an excellent material for cycling shoe bottoms.

The disadvantage is, of course, the price. To save money, entry-level shoes usually use nylon or glass fiber composite soles. These are likely to be a little more flexible than complete carbon soles, but they’ll still be miles ahead of ordinary training shoes, so it’s not a big loss if you can’t afford carbon.

system of closure

Best of Gravel Shoes

Along with the more traditional velcro, the Boa dial is a common closure system for bicycle shoes. Immediate Media / David Caudery

Today, three major closure systems are in use. Velcro straps or wire laces with micro-adjustable dials are the most common (Boa and similar).

Occasionally, you’ll receive a mix of the two. Velcro straps are often seen on lower-end shoes because they are inexpensive, functional, and simple to apply. Due to its capacity to precisely regulate fit, Boa and other comparable dial systems tend to prevail on higher-end shoes.

Traditional laces have also had a resurgence in recent years, so if you like a more traditional appearance, you’ll have a few more choices today; just keep in mind that you won’t be able to change your shoes on the bike.

Other characteristics

It’s usually a good idea to think about what kind of riding your shoes are made for. Many road cycling shoes, for example, are intended to be used in hot weather, which means they’re extremely breathable and won’t provide much protection from the elements.

Whether you live someplace where the weather is often chilly and damp, you should think about whether those types of shoes are actually the best option for you or if you’d be better off with something more durable.

If you’re looking to get yourself a new pair of cycling shoes, you’re in luck, as there are 29 top-rated models from brands like Mavic , Five Ten , and Specialized . We’ve rounded up the best road cycling shoes in 2019.. Read more about specialized cycling shoes and let us know what you think.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • best cycling shoes
  • best women’s cycling shoes
  • road cycling shoes
  • best road cycling shoes 2017
  • best non cycling shoes for cycling
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