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Upping your Peloton game starts at the bottom. That’s right—changing up your indoor cycling shoes also changes how you’ll feel (and perform) during your spin sessions.
While you can wear any of your sneakers for a cycling workout, legit cycling shoes can help keep your hips, knees, and ankles in line while you’re pedaling. They also contain less absorbent cushioning, so when you pedal all that power is going right back into the bike, Schuyler Simms, indoor cycling instructor at CYCLED! Studios, explains.
See some of the best Peloton-compatible shoes below:
Factors like the fit, closure systems, and sole material all contribute to how you'll feel (and perform) during your cycling workouts. "When your feet are comfortable and supported, you will be better able to tap into and build strength in your workout," says Peloton instructor Christine D'Ercole. "You will be able to work harder when needed with a more efficient transfer of power, which in turn will better serve your fitness goals and enjoyment of the ride overall.”
Luckily, there are great options (and colors) worth buying for every budget—some even include cleats. Read on to see the top-rated Peloton shoes, according to experts and customer reviews.
What should I look for in a cycling shoe?
There are plenty of good budget-friendly pairs out there, but if you’re looking to make an investment, you'll be happy to know that a good pair of cycling shoes should last you for years.
“Unlike sneakers that may wear down and you have to replace them, cycling shoes don’t have that need; you will replace the cleats though,” says Simms, who used one pair of cycling shoes for six years until she lost them at a studio she was visiting.
Speaking of cleats, you’ll likely have to purchase them separately from the shoes themselves. (And there are multiple types, so make sure you grab the ones that fit your Peloton bike.)
You can choose between several kinds of straps or traditional laces, but D'Ercole recommends investing in shoes with a locking mechanism that either ratchets with micro-adjustments or comes with a strong velcro closure to hug your feet. These will give you a supportive fit that prevents your shoes from slipping off.
Upper and sole type
Look for a shoe with a stiff sole, D'Ercole suggests. “If your shoes are bending each time you press down on the pedals, the shoe is absorbing and dissipating your effort," she explains.
"When the shoe is flexing, the body compensates, creating unnecessary fatigue." (And you know Cody Rigsby works you hard enough already.)
For indoor cycling, breathability is a must, Simms adds. Your feet are going to sweat (gross but true) and the more airflow you can get to them the better off your foot health is.
Caroline Shannon-Karasik is a writer and mental health advocate based in Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to Women's Health, her work has appeared in several print and online publications, including The Cut, Tonic, Narratively, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and DAME. She is currently writing a collection of essays.
Sabrina is an editorial assistant for Women’s Health. When she’s not writing, you can find her running, training in mixed martial arts, or reading.
Jasmine Gomez is the Commerce Editor at Women’s Health, where she cover the best product recommendations across beauty, health, lifestyle, fitness, and more. When she's not shopping for a living, she enjoys karaoke and dining out more than she cares to admit. Follow her @JazzeGomez.
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