Best Insoles For Cycling Shoes (Why You Need New Ones)

Author: Amanda

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I just spent an excessive amount of money on a brand-new pair of cycling shoes. For that amount of money, you would think they would be just perfect! But that isn’t necessarily the case. Cycling shoes are made to promote the best possible transfer of power from your leg to your pedal. In addition, the soles are stiff to give you a hard surface to push against. 

However, many of us cyclists suffer foot cramps, numbness, tingling, and discomfort as we ride. In addition, we may find that we have hot spots, leg cramps, and even knee problems. If you’ve had a good bike fit and you’re still having problems, the culprit might just be your cycling shoe insoles. According to Ler Magazine, cycling can even cause problems with plantar fasciitis and insoles can help.  

In this article, we’ll talk about the best insoles for cycling shoes. We’ll also talk about why the insoles that came with your shoes might not be good enough and why you might need to get new ones. 

a pair of bontrager road cycling shoes

Key Takeaways

  • Feet and knee problems may be an indication that you need different cycling insoles 
  • Carbon shoes are very stiff and may cause pain and discomfort for recreational riders
  • If you grip your shoe with your toes, you may need extra support in your shoes to reduce foot fatigue
  • Insoles may help your shoes fit even better
  • Insoles can spread out the transfer of power to reduce pressure on the ball of your foot

How Your Feet Work

Your feet are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, and a whole bunch of muscles, tendons, and ligaments, according to This complex system works together to hold up your weight, help you move, and transfer force (such as to your pedals or the floor when you walk). In addition, the arch of your foot acts as a spring to help absorb shock as you step or jump. 

When you pedal, a lot of the force of your foot comes down through the ball of your foot. Stiff cycling shoes help to spread that power out over the shoe and direct as much of your force as possible into the pedal. But stiff shoes, such as carbon-soled shoes, can cause you to grip your shoe with your toes and cause fatigue or pain. 

If you were to go on a bike ride, you might pedal at an average of 90 revolutions per minute (RPM). So if you were to pedal for about 2/3 of a two-hour bike ride (because you are coasting for some of the time), you would pedal 7,200 rotations. If you don’t have cycling insoles, a lot of that pressure from all those rotations falls on the ball of your foot. 

That might cause foot discomfort and even numbness and pain no matter what kind of cycling shoes you wear. A good insole will distribute that pressure more evenly over the foot and add arch support and comfort to your foot. In addition, insoles can help promote blood flow throughout the foot. 

closed up look of cycling shoes

Insoles Can Help

The correct insole can also help your shoe fit better. This prevents your foot from sliding around inside the shoe. It also means you won’t have to crank your Boas down quite as tightly to get a snug fit, making the overall feel more comfortable. 

Refresh Your Old Shoes

You may also want a pair of cycling insoles to refresh your favorite pair of cycling shoes. Perhaps your insoles have worn out, but the rest of the shoe is just fine – your shoes can feel new again just by changing the insoles. However, insoles that are worn or have holes in them can also cause pain and discomfort. The sole has worn out unevenly. It can cause uneven pedaling or put pressure on your knees and even your back. 

Get Rid of Odors

Lastly, if foot odor is an issue, you might need to change your insoles to reduce the stink! No one likes putting on a smelly pair of cycling shoes. And if your shoes have gotten wet, they may have a peculiarly pungent odor. But, again, you can fix this easily with a new pair of cycling insoles. 

Why Do You Need Cycling Insoles? 

Cycling insoles are an essential component that must be present to ensure a ride that is both comfortable and efficient. They support your feet, enhance the distribution of pressure, and absorb stress to reduce the risk of injury. 

Your feet go through repeated movements while cycling, which may be uncomfortable and even painful if you don’t have the right support. Insoles may also assist correct issues such as overpronation or awkward posture and improve the alignment of your foot and body. 

Purchasing cycling insoles may, in general, increase your comfort, reduce injuries, and boost your performance when you are riding a bike.

What to Look for In a Pair of Cycling Insoles 

Thin and Light. First of all, you need a pair of insoles that are thin and lightweight. You don’t want to add unnecessary weight to your kit or make your shoes feel heavy, especially if you paid extra money for lightweight shoes as I did! Once your shoes are on, they should be light and thin enough that you forget they’re even there. If your insoles are too thick, they’ll absorb too much of your power and might make it hard to get your shoes on. 

  • Durability. Insoles have got to last. Optimally, you’ll be able to use them season after season. They need to wear evenly so that they don’t create additional problems for your feet and body. 
  • Good Fit. You need to find insoles that fit your feet. You need the right width and length as well as arch support. 
  • Offer firm but comfortable support. Of course, they need to make your shoe more comfortable, but they need to be firm enough to not interfere with the transfer of power from your foot to your pedal. 
  • Fit your cycling shoe. Your insoles need to work with your cycling shoe and not against it. If it’s too thick, you won’t be able to wear the shoe comfortably, and if it isn’t wide enough, your insole will slip around. 

That being said, what are the best cycling shoe insoles? Let’s take a look. 

Best Insoles For Cycling Shoes (Top Pick)

G8 Performance Pro Series 2620 insoles

This series of insoles were created to maximize the power transfer between your foot and the pedal. These are highly adjustable to fit your feet, strength, and flexibility. In addition, these insoles help to promote flex at the front of the foot and increase blood flow to your foot, so your pedaling feels more comfortable and protects you from injury

  • Thin and lightweight
  • Available in 5 arch heights and 11 position options
  • Narrow heel cup
  • Inbuilt metatarsal pad
  • Provides airflow
  • Increases foot flexion
  • Increases blood flow to your foot
  • Reduce foot pain and numbness from the repetitive motion of pedaling
  • Optimizes your power transfer over a greater surface area

These insoles also have optional extras to dial in the fit and relieve specific issues. The Custom Heel Wedges clip on the heel of the 2620 insoles and help correct varus/valgus alignment issues. And the Metdomes help to increase blood flow to the foot, which can alleviate toe and foot numbness and regulate foot temperature.

These will help to reduce plantar fasciitis and flat foot symptoms. 


  • Highly adjustable to dial in the position
  • Five arch heights and 11 positions 
  • Improves power transfer and cycling performance


  • Expensive, especially with the optional heel wedges and Metdomes 
  • It can be complicated to adjust, and you may have to test out different fittings

Our Verdict

These insoles are the best if you are experiencing severe foot pain and discomfort on the bike. Of course, they are expensive and will take a little work to get right, but if you have the patience to fettle with the fit and the money to invest, we think these are the go-to insoles. Once you have found the adjustment that works, you can repeat this and always get a consistent fit. 

Cycling Insoles (using insoles for arch support)

Bontrager inform Biodynamic insoles

Bontrager’s insoles consider the 3D shape of your foot’s arch to align and stabilize your feet. This gives better pressure distribution and energy transfer, improving your alignment. 

  • These insoles will improve foot control, comfort, and pedaling efficiency
  • Improves knee alignment with proper arch support 
  • Heel cups will stabilize and properly align the foot 

The metatarsal pad reduces and eliminates hot spots on your feet 


  • Increases comfort and energy transfer 
  • It helps to stabilize feet and knees
  • Heal, Arch, and Metatarsal support
  • Bontrager Unconditional Guarantee


  • You need to visit a Trek store to be sure of the right arch support size 

Our Verdict 

We like these insoles because your local Trek store can measure your feet with their in-store arch sizer equipment to ensure you get the correct fit for your arch type. Then, it’s just a case of trimming the insoles to fit your shoe – use the original insole as a template. The arch and heel cups are super supportive and don’t bend or collapse. When I tried them, I had no issues with the fit or feel and found them to be a super quick option to replace the standard insoles and get good foot support.

Sidas Custom Molded Footbeds

Sidas is known for making custom insoles for various sports, including cycling. For example, the Bike Pro Custom Insole was developed alongside the ASTANA pro cycling team. Getting your hands on these insoles does require a visit to a professional fitter with the tooling to take a mold of your feet and create the custom insoles.

These insoles will: 

  • Reduce foot fatigue 
  • Increase comfort 
  • Increase ride feel 
  • Improve stability, posture, and knee alignment 
  • Reduce friction and overheating 
  • Help you deliver more power with each pedal stroke 


  • Help reduce overheating and moisture
  • Durable and antibacterial 
  • Improves alignment from the feet to the knees and back 


  • Expensive 
  • Only available from a professional fitter with the necessary equipment
  • Questionable if you can get a consistent output with each pair of insoles 

Our Verdict 

Each pair of insoles are molded to and created for your feet. Each pair will be custom, but the challenge may be consistently producing the same output each time. It may depend on the fitter, the tooling, and how you position your feet each time. There are a number of variables here that could mean you get slightly different outcomes (of insole fit) each time the process is done. For this reason, I’d stick with insoles manufactured by the same method and adjustable to dial in the fit.

Giro Prolight Shoe Supernatural Fit Kit

These lightweight shoe insoles have three different levels of arch support. They’re designed to support the foot arch and reduce vibration and pressure from riding. These are thin and antimicrobial to reduce hot spots and odors. In addition, they’ll help maintain the original fit of your shoe so you can swap out your worn-out cycling soles. 


  • Great for replacing worn-out insoles 
  • Affordable priced 
  • Customizable 


  • Hard to find 
  • Only available in red (but who will see them anyway!)

Our Verdict 

We love these insoles because they’re thin and lightweight. So if you’re a real weight-weenie like me, or if you’re shoes are already tight, and you need something thin, these might be just the thing for you. 

Solestar BLK & Kontrol

These insoles were created for the performance-minded cyclist. And while they do offer some comfort, they’re more focused on stability and injury prevention with a strong arch and metatarsal support. 


  • Hold feet firmly in place
  • Offers arch support and metatarsal support. 


  • Lacks heel cup 
  • Not intended for vibration dampening; better for short rides 

Our Verdict 

These aren’t the comfiest insoles in town, so if you need comfort, you can skip over these. But this design is an excellent choice if you are looking for injury prevention for your crits or a little extra stability in your shoe. 

Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Insoles 

When it comes to insoles, you won’t know until you try! There is a lot to gain from choosing a good insole: foot stability, comfort, reduction in pain and discomfort, injury prevention, and even better power transfer. 

A pair of insoles is a great purchase, not a huge investment, so you may want to get a pair and see if they help. On the other hand, if you’re nervous about purchasing your insoles, you can always visit your local bike fitter and get their opinion. 

Have you swapped out the basic insoles you got with your shoes for more supportive ones, and have they made a difference? let us know about your experience solving cycling-related foot issues in the comments below!


What are the best shoes for cycling?

There are plenty of great cycling shoes available from major manufacturers. The best ones are the ones that fit your foot and offer support and comfort, as well as stiff soles and good power transfer. Companies such as Shimano, Pearl Izumi, Fizik, and Bontrager all make excellent cycling shoes, to name a few. 

Are Cycling Shoes Worth it?

Yes, a good pair of cycling shoes are worth the investment. Cycling shoes will support your foot for cycling movements, transfer power from your leg to your pedal, and enable you to clip into your pedals (if you have them). In addition, they have stiff soles, which will help make pedalling more efficient. 

Should I wear my orthotics in my cycling shoes?

If you usually wear orthotics, you may want to wear them in your cycling shoes. But check with your doctor first to ensure it’s the right choice for your situation. 

Arch Type Test: What Arch Type Do You Have?

The easiest way to test your arches is to step on a piece of cardboard immediately after getting out of the shower. Look to see how wide your foot is on the cardboard. For example, if the outline of your foot left behind when you step off the cardboard is very thin, you have high arches. If it’s very wide, you have average arches. You can also have your arches measured at your local Trek store. 

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Amanda discovered a deep-rooted passion for encouraging others through her love of all things cycling, writing, and inspiring hope. You'll likely find Amanda pouring over bike specs and tech, riding road, gravel, CX, and track.