Best Bike Shoe Reviews 2018

When it comes to cycling, regular shoes just won’t cut it. Whether you’re racing on the road or tearing up a mountainside, you need a pair of shoes that will give you the speed and comfort you need to power through your course. There are many great cycling shoes out there, but we’ve done most of the work for you and compiled a list of five of the best bike shoe brands. All you have to do now is read our review to make a choice. You should note that the brands we featured have other bike shoe variants you might want to check out for more options.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Enclosure
Insole
Weight
Cleats Compatibility
Our Top Choice
Five Ten Freerider Contact Cycling Shoes
Five Ten is appropriately dubbed the “Brand of The Brave” because their shoes, like the Freerider Contact, are built for people who want to explore and excel in comfort and style.
Comfortable. Durable. Stiff sole. Perfect for all-day riding. Stylish. Good traction. Lightweight. Extra protection for your toes.
Not great for extremely wet surfaces, but amazing otherwise.
Mountain Biking Shoes
Laces
Rubber insole
390g
Flat Pedal Compatible
Best Value
Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex Cycling Shoes
Louis Garneau was created by a cyclist who knows what cyclists need. It’s why their footwear like the Women’s Multi Air Flex work so well, because they were made for performance.
Great value for money. Increased pedaling power. Water-resistant. Breathable material. Great for all day riding. Versatile. Great fit. Secure enclosure.
Some users report a misfit, though it is often a mix-up that’s easily fixed.
Versatile Cycling Shoes
Velcro Straps
Ventilated EVA insole
280g
SPD cleats Compatible
Vittoria Ikon Cycling Shoes
Vittoria is an Italian company that understands the importance of blending style with comfort and performance, and they show that with the Ikon Road Racing Shoes
Stiff-soled for great power transfer. Very comfortable with breathable material. Lightweight. Secure. Innovative design.
Lining on inside may not be glued well.
Road Shoes
Vittoria SSP Micrometrics closure
Performance Moldable Insole
229g
Three-bolt Cleats Compatible
Shimano RP3 Road Cycling Shoes
Shimano has been manufacturing cycling shoes for over 20 years, and during that time, they’ve grown and produced on great shoe after the next. One such model is the RP3 road shoe.
Comfortable. Secure fit. Perfect for entry-level cyclists. Efficient. Affordable. Reduced tension. Lightweight design.
Limited color options, but the choices available are classic.
Road Shoes
Two hook & Loop Straps
Adaptable Cup Insole
285g
SPD & SPD-L Cleats Compatible
Giro Rumble VR Mountain Bike Shoes
With over 30 years in the industry, Giro is a top brand when it comes to sportswear for cyclists. Their Rumble VR Mountain Biking Shoes offer good function for a great price.
Great support. Stellar traction for both biking and walking. Stylish look. Affordable price. Water-resistant and breathable. Comfortable and fits great.
Not very stiff or firm.
Mountain Biking Shoes
Laces
EVA Insole
452g
SPD Cleats Compatible

(Updated )
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Watch Our Bike Shoe Review

How Do I Choose the Best Bike Shoe?

You have been looking forward to the long biking weekend with your friends in the mountains. Dreaming all week how much fun you’re going to have pedaling away on your fortified mountain bike. You even fitted it with a new pair of mountain bike tires and replaced the old bike seat. Here comes the weekend you’ve been waiting for and the cycling party kicks off. You enjoy the mountain breeze hitting your face and combing through your hair. Bump! Wobble! Slide! You manage to regain control and keep pedaling on the gentle slope.

It happens again, and again, you feel your feet beginning to ache and your temper beginning to boil over. Your feet keep sliding off whenever you hit a bump. It seems planned, as your feet look like they’re taking turns to punish you. The long-awaited biking trip is fast becoming such a drag, and this is just the first day.

How perfect it would have been if you had the right bike shoes on, in this case, a pair suited for mountain biking. Yes, there are different types of bike shoes for different types of cycling. The best bike shoes are well suited to your riding style and are super comfy. Bike shoes work in tandem with the pedals, so you have to be sure the pair you’re considering will work with the pedals you have. Or, you could go a step further and change the pedals too.

Shoes are shoes. In that vein, bike shoes come in various fancy designs, just like the regular ones. So, you don’t have to betray your style just because you’re going cycling. Go for the best pair that suits your needs, though – you don’t want to look good but uncomfortable. As you read along, you will come across more information that will help you select the best bike shoes for you.
Price
Size, design, and brand are the salient factors that affect the pricing of bike shoes. Don’t just get the most beautiful ones on the shelf because you can afford them. You have to consider certain factors, your budget among them. A decent pair from a respected brand can cost around $450, while a nice one that is also of good quality can sell for a little less than $100. It is better to wait until you can afford a good pair of bike shoes than opt for cheap bike shoes. They will sooner or later prove to be a waste of money, as they are poorly designed with inferior materials.
Features
Cycling feels great. It feels even better if you’re cycling in comfort, wearing quality cycling gear. The following are some of the features to pay attention to when buying bike shoes:
  • Type
  • Closure and Soles
  • Fit
  • Insole
  • Design
You will get a better understanding of these features and how they might affect your choice as you read on.
Construction and Design
As you must have known, bike shoes often need to match the pedals on your bike, so it is important to put that into consideration when making a selection. There are different types of bike shoes you can choose from, and they are highlighted as follows:
  • Road Shoes - These types are designed to be used with clipless road pedals, and have stiff and smooth soles and three bolted cleats. The cleats fix onto the pedal, giving you better control and pedaling efficiency. But note that the stiffer the sole, the more road vibration you will feel, which can lead to fatigue.
  • Mountain Bike Shoes - These are of two types. The clipless mountain bike shoes, which are designed for MTB pedals, are more versatile than the road variant. The cleats on these are bolted into the sole so they don’t protrude, making them easy to walk on. The other type is the flat-pedal mountain bike shoes, which are designed to be robust and have grippy soles so your feet stay on the pedal, even on rough terrains.
  • Leisure Cycling Bike Shoes - These are quite similar to the other mountain bike shoes, but are more flexible. They share some features with a regular hiking shoe. In this pair, it is easy for you to walk, ride, and even clip into the pedals if you want to enjoy the extra efficiency.
  • Triathlon Shoes - This type is similar to road shoes but are designed specifically for triathlons and training. Triathlon events involve swimming, cycling, and running, which means you have to take off the shoes at some point. These types are designed to save you time during that transition. With a large pull tab in the rear and Velcro straps, they are quite easy to put on and take off.
Bike shoes often use Velcro or laces as their fasteners. Velcro fasteners are less expensive and are quick and easy to use. You can even adjust your shoes on the go, which is almost impossible to do with lace closures. There are bike shoes that use hook and loop straps also. The soles of bike shoes are also made differently. Some have carbon soles, which are lightweight and often preferred, but are quite expensive. There are less expensive soles that are made of plastic, and you will often find some that are a composite of both materials.
Performance and Ease of Use
The main purpose of bike shoes is comfort. Cycling wouldn’t make much sense at all if the shoes aren’t comfy. To ensure the bike shoes serve their purpose, manufacturers go to great lengths to make them as comfortable as possible. The comfort of these shoes often rides on the fit and insoles. It is important to get the sizing of bike shoes right, or you might pay for it in money or in discomfort. Ideally, you should try out a few to know which feels best. Some advise that you get half a size smaller than usual so you can have a snug fit.

There are different insole designs to cushion your feet and protect you from the strain of pedaling. Some use rubber insoles, others have ventilated insoles, while you will also find the patented EVA insoles in others. Some have insoles that cup your feet to give you maximum comfort over a long period of time. Whether for cycling or not, shoes are shoes, and they pass for a fashion item. Like every other fashion item, they are a work of art. Bike shoes come in several beautiful designs, with as much aesthetic glamour as regular shoes. There are some pairs you will be tempted to rock to a party.

We hope this information will help you make up your mind on what you want from a bike shoe, after you have decided how you plan on using them.

What is the Best Bike Shoe?

When choosing a pair of shoes for cycling, you need to ensure that they look good, feel good and will add to your performance. The sole, material and cleats are all important things to consider when picking a pair of cycling shoes. Keep in mind what you want as you read our review and you will find it easy to select the best bike shoes for you.
Our Top Choice
The Five Ten Freerider Contact is a brilliant mountain cycling shoe built for performance and improved biking and climbing thanks to its innovative rubber outsole built with stealth mi6 rubber. Not a fan of tying your laces? Then try Five Ten’s impressive Kestrel Lace which has a stealth C4 rubber outsole for great traction and a Velcro lace strap.
Five Ten Freerider Contact Mountain Biking Shoes – EVA midsole and Stealth Mi6 Rubber

Five Ten Bike Shoes FREERIDER CONTACT-M– Dark grey/Orange


Features
Dubbed the Brand of the Brave, Five Ten has been creating high-friction footwear for those daring enough to go rock climbing, wing suit flying and mountain bike racing. It’s a family-owned company that puts a focus on craftsmanship along with high performance and style. They’ve been around since 1985 and are known around the globe for their high-quality footwear.

While Five Ten has many great shoes for sports performance, the one which we chose to feature is the Five Ten Freeride Contact. It’s a great biking shoe that not only works for mountain biking but also hiking or walking the trails. The best thing about these shoes is how simple and attractive they look. They also come in great color schemes like dark orange and grey, black and red, and soar-green and night shade. Five Ten also produces a Freerider Contact for women, which also cost $150.

Here are some of the features in its favor:
  • It’s the lightest model in the Freerider line
  • A toe cap is built in for added protection
  • A novel contact outsole built with stealth mi6 rubber for improved climbing ability
  • Built with a compression-molded stiff EVA midsole for great shock absorption
  • Has a simple low-profile design built for performance
The Freerider Contact is one of many types in Five Ten’s Freerider line of biking shoes.
Best Value
The Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex bike shoes are great for any cyclist. Their HRS-80 retention system positions your heel in such a way that it increases your pedaling power, giving you more speed than ever before. Looking for something a little less expensive with similar build and features? We recommend the Carbon LS-100 cycling shoes. You lose the benefits of the extra pedal strength, but keep the majority of the other features and functions.
Louis Garneau Women’s Multi Air Flex Cycling Shoes – Ventilated EVA insole & SPD cleats

Louis Garneau Bike Shoes 1487232 - Black


Features
Louis Garneau is a family-owned company created by Canadian cyclist Louis Garneau in 1983. Even though the Garneau company was started in Louis’ parents’ garage, he worked tirelessly to develop quality sportswear for fellow cyclists. Sadly, back then, using garbage bags while racing in the rain was a reality for many competitors, including Louis, which is why he created a company to do what others didn’t. Fast forward to the present and Louis Garneau merchandise is distributed in over 50 countries with production plants in Mexico, America and their country of origin, Canada.

They create various types of athletic wear for cyclists, snow athletes and more. They understand that no two people are the same, and design performance wear that suits individual needs. We were pleased when we learned about the Louis Garneau Women’s Multi Air Flex cycling shoes. It’s a shoe that offers great value for $99.99. Whether it’s racing, commuting or just a pleasure weekend ride, the Multi Air Flex cycling shoes are a great fit. They also come in stylish colors such as black, white and asphalt.

Here’s what you get when you purchase them:
  • Feet that are kept cool and dry thanks to the synthetic leather and mesh upper designed to be water-resistant and breathable
  • Increased pedaling power courtesy of the HRS-80 retention system
  • Reflective heels which increase visibility
  • The ability to ride all day long without discomfort because of its roomy fit
The Vittoria Ikon is a brilliant pair of cycling shoes with a unique design and innovative rotor with double closing for increased security. But if those are a bit too pricey, check out the more affordable Speed Cycling Shoes which are built for long rides without discomfort.
Vittoria Ikon Road Cycling Shoes – SSP Closure & One Frame Technology

Vittoria Bike Shoes IKON-U - Black


Features
Celestino Vercelli, a professional cyclist, began Vittoria in 1976. They’ve been around for 40 years and have made strides in the cycling world, most notably as the first Italian company to produce colored cycling shoes. Time has passed, but one thing has remained the same: Vittoria has continued to produce high-end cycling footwear, helmets and apparel for cyclists.

Vittoria has numerous cycling shoes that are not only comfortable, but stylish. The one we’re featuring is the Ikon, a pair of high-end road cycling shoes that cost $500. They were launched in 2014 but to this day maintain their stance among Vittoria’s finest productions. They were made in Italy and carry a unique design with one frame technology to add their competitive aesthetic. Their colors schemes are orange with black, full black, and white and green.

Let’s take a look at what the Ikon has to offer:
  • Built with microfiber technology/li>
  • Nylon mesh upper support for breathability and comfort
  • New rotor with double closing is the first of its kind
  • Anti-slip fabric inside prevents heel lift when you’re powering through a hill or past a competitor
  • Stiff Vittoria UD carbon sole for increased power transfer
Because of the success of the Ikon road shoes, Vittoria has also created an Ikon Mountain Biking shoe with new features to give you the best performance on the mountain side.
The Shimano RP3 is a great road shoe thanks to its SPD and SPD-SL cleat compatibility along with the lightweight nylon sole. But if you’re a triathlete and need a pair of shoes that won’t quit, check out Shimano’s TR9, a unisex triathlon shoe with a carbon composite sole for comfort and impressive power transfer.
Shimano SH-RP3 Road Cycling Shoes

Shimano Bike Shoes RP3


Features
A juggernaut in the cycling industry, Shimano is a Japanese multinational company that not only provides cycling equipment but also fishing tackle and rowing equipment. They currently hold 50% of the global cycling market and recently dropped prices for their products in the US, giving you the benefit of getting quality cycling equipment for less.

Given Shimano’s size and resources, it’s no doubt that they’ll produce high quality gear that’ll add to their name and that they did with the RP3 cycling shoes. Available in classic colors such as black and white, the SH-RP3 Road Shoes are ideal for recreational cyclists. They provide comfort without skimping on performance. These shoes retail for about $120 which is a good midrange price.

Here are some of its features:
  • Has an off-set strap which takes tension off the highest point of your feet
  • The tongue is supple padded, which feels terrific and adds to the overall comfort of the shoe
  • Uses Shimano’s Dynalast technology to improve pedaling compatibility and efficiency to reduce tension on your calves, hamstrings and forefoot
  • Manufactured with a lightweight glass fiber nylon sole for improved overall performance
The rumble VR are a terrific pair of cycling shoes with vibram rubber outsole that makes them great for either pedaling or simply trekking through the woods or up the side of a mountain on foot. However, not everyone likes to ride the mountain. For the competitive racer in you, we recommend Giro’s Factor ACC which comes with an Easton EC90 ACC carbon fiber sole for increased pedaling power.
Rumble VR Mountain Biking Shoes - Available in 5 Colors

Giro Bike Shoes – Black & Red


Features
Established in 1985 by Jim Gentes, Giro is a manufacturer of outdoor sporting accessories from helmets to gloves to cycling shoes. They provide it all. Their gear is not only for professionals, but also recreational cyclists and beginners who ride more for pleasure than competition. They focus on design and performance, giving you sportwear that not only serves you well, but looks great too.

Their RUMBLE™ VR mountain biking shoes are simple yet effective. They retail for around $80 and are available in several different colors including dress blue/gum and black and glowing red. These shoes would look as great for a time at the movies as they do when you’re on your bike tearing up the side of a mountain.

The Rumble VR sports these great features:
  • A vibram rubber outsole that gives your stellar traction for both on-bike and on-foot exploration
  • Built to give you a precise fit that will hug your foot like it was built for it
  • The microfiber and mesh upper gives your breathable, water-resistant coverage
  • The SPD cleats compatible bottoms also work with clipless pedals, flat pedals and toe clips
  • EVA midsole provides great support for the medium arch in your feet

Get the Best Bike Shoe of 2018!

Thanks for reading our bike shoes review! A great pair of shoes can make all the difference in a match or an all-day cycling journey. If you haven’t decided yet, remember that the brands we featured have other bike shoes you can check. Who knows, you might find the best bike shoes for you among them.

Our Top Choice
Five Ten Freerider Contact Cycling Shoes
Best Value
Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex Cycling Shoes
Vittoria Ikon Cycling Shoes
Shimano RP3 Road Cycling Shoes
Giro Rumble VR Mountain Bike Shoes