Best Road Bike Cycling Shoes [Review] in 2021
written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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Your feet are the most important point of contact on the bike, keeping them comfortable and protected will transform your experience as a rider. There are thousands of options to choose from, which can sometimes make it a challenge.
It always brings up the same question which road cycling shoe is best for me?
Don’t you worry your pretty little cotton socks.
I have researched 56 different road cycling shoes to find the best fit for you, looking into all the right features such as comfort, stability, and performance.
You will find that these shoes vary in different styles, features, and price. This means that searching for the best is not an easy task.
My aim is to help you identify the best products that will give you the best value for your money. I have done the research for you to come up with a list of the best cycling shoes that will give you the best performance.
I will give you the full download of the best road cycling shoes but first, let’s get onto my best picks.
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
Top 10 bikes shoes for road cycling
Fizik Tempo R5 Overcurve Road Shoes
If you are searching for an exemplary cycling shoe that will be sure to deliver peloton-crushing performance and sleek style to your road cycling experience Fizik Tempo R5 is the top of my list.
When it comes to on-bike performance there are few that can argue with the R5’s reputation. An instant road classic, they sport the famous Overcurve construction that uses a staggered collar to wrap around the ankle.
And let’s talk about the color. Who doesn’t like gun-metal? You’ll have all the cyclists turning their heads.
When it comes to efficient power transfer and a stiff pedaling platform, the R5s never disappoints
The nylon composite outsole is capable of delivering fierce power transfers, but still, it’s also tuned for comfort too- such as sprint efforts to long mileage rides it provides the ideal balance for all your rides.
The R5 system works flawlessly. Regardless of how hard or how long you ride, I can guarantee your feet will stay comfortable.
Don’t just take it from me go check it out now!
Latest deal: Fizik Tempo R5 Road Shoes
Fizik RI UOMO BOA Road Cycling Shoes
Looking for a road cycling shoe designed to reward the best performance on your ride? Look no further than the Fizik RI UOMO BOA, even from their look, you can easily tell that they are designed to provide the best performance.
Made up of the world’s finest leather.
The outsole is made of 100% woven carbon fiber to provide a sturdy platform. They also feature 100% Kangaroo leather which is soft and lightweight, meaning that apart from their excellent performance, they are also durable.
They are stiff therefore transfer power very well. These will give you the illusion of effortless speed.
They might not be the best for those who are searching for affordable options due to their high price tag but they are worth every penny.
Don’t just take it from me go check out the reviews, I feel they speak for themselves.
Made of world’s finest leather
Carbon fiber outsole
They are a bit hard
Latest deal: Fizik RI UOMO
Louis Garneau Men's Carbon LS-100 3 Cycling Shoes
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced cyclist, these shoes have everything you would expect from high quality road cycling shoes.
Their major selling point is the X-comfort zone technology which allows you to ride comfortably. Unlike others, they allow your feet to swell up which is a great feature, especially during the hot season.
The outsole features a patented carbon composite for maximum power transfer.
Apart from that, they also have a patented CoolMax carbon sole which allows your feet to cool down during hot days.
Another awesome thing is that they use the BOA closure system which is easy to adjust.
So are these the ones you’re looking for?
You bet! Go check it out.
BOA closure system
Suitable for beginners
Very comfortable during hot days
X comfort zone technology
Latest deal: Louis Garneau LS-100’s
Tiebao Road Lock Pedal Cycling Shoes
If you’re looking for road cycling shoes that reward both performance and comfort while still making you look good then the Tiebao Cycling shoes are the ones for you.
These ones are among the most stylish cycling shoes you will ever find. Apart from their beautiful appearance, they also feature an anti-slip lining which prevents your foot from lifting when pedalling.
A quick closure, classic triple hook straps are also added for comfort. In addition, they come with a removable sock liner and a flexible forefoot.
Don’t forget that they also have a breathable mesh that prevents your feet from sweating.
Overall I can bet that these stylish shoes will get heads turning- go check them out.
A bit snug
Latest deal: Tiebao Shoes
Smartdoors Women’s Road and MTB Cycling Shoes
Smartdoors Women’s Cycling Shoes are specially for professional road cycling.
The upper side is made of a high-density PU and a breathable mesh which is good for maximizing performance while keeping your feet cool.
The insole is made of a breathable material that also features antimicrobial properties. A feet heel’s liner is also added to boost stability.
These materials are able to reduce the weight and the good thing is that they are also resistant to wind for maximum comfort when riding.
These shoes will make you feel like you’re riding a cloud while riding like the wind.
Why not give them a go and go check them out.
Made of quality materials
Insole has antimicrobial properties
The standard cleats requires an adapter
Latest deal: Smartdoor Shoes
Giro Savix Mens Cycling Shoe
Now, these ones are specially made to provide maximum comfort to the user. If you’re looking for extreme comfort these are the ones for you.
These make a great cycling partner for any journey and suitable for any level of cycling ability.
Their set and forget strap which makes them easy to wear and remove, getting you on the road in no time.
Trust me that’s not everything.
They are lightweight and very comfortable which makes them an excellent choice for beginners with a layer of mesh to enhance breathability.
Rather than a flat sole, like some cheaper shoes, there are reinforced areas that add a bit of strength and stiffness. I’ve used these for several rides now without any flex when pushing on the pedals while standing out of the saddle.
I can assure you comfort on your journey in these shoes, but go look at the reviews.
They use BOA dial
Universal cleat system
They are a bit snug
Latest deal: Giro Savix
Mavic Cosmic Elite SL Cycling Shoes
One of the most outstanding things about these shoes is that they hug your foot closely in specific places to provide maximum comfort. Getting you cruising in no time.
Speed, comfort, and flawless style are the perfect pair when it comes to the construction of the Mavic Cosmic SL Ultimate Road Cycling Shoes. Each ounce of effort you put into your ride is maximized at the pedals getting you up those climbs faster than ever before.
When the road projects up and you’re fighting gravity with every pedal stroke, you’ll be glad for the feather-weight and supremely stiff Cosmic Elite SL Shoes upon your feet.
Not only are these shoes perfect for road cycling they can also tackle those tough hills that feel like they’re never-ending.
You can wear or use this shoe for many hours without any discomfort. So comfy you may forget they’re even there.
High quality insole
Quality design for stability
A bit small
Latest deal: Mavic Cosmic Elite
Triseven Premium Nylon Triathlon Cycling Shoes
Triseven Premium Nylon Shoes comes one of the top of our list as the most reliable cycling shoes you can find today.
To start with, they are very lightweight and are purely designed to provide comfort and to enhance your performance.
Apart from the fact, that they are made of synthetic and microfiber nylon material, their sole is made of carbon to boost stability. Perfect if you’re looking for performance excelling rides.
These shoes feature a tall heel loop that allows you to transition easily, featuring reflective elements to enhance safety.
Not only are these shoes easy to get on, but the sturdy nylon outsole also provides excellent stability while the insole is well ventilated to keep your feet cool even on the longest of journeys.
Ride like a pro with Triseven- go check them out now.
Money back guarantee
A wide strap for easy transition
Latest deal: Triseven Premiums
Venzo Men’s Bike Cycling Shoes
Sick of coming home from a long and exciting journey and taking off your shoes to a stench bad enough to knock out a whole room? The Venzo cycling shoes are perfect for preventing those horrid cheesy smells after a long day.
These shoes are not only perfect for smell extinguishing bad smells these shoes can also tackle any activity.
Whether you are searching for quality shoes you can use for touring, MTB off-road riding, spin class, and commuting, these are the most versatile shoes on my list.
Even more, they are very stiff, preventing the loss of energy when riding.
Overall the shoe is light and of good quality, the pedal also has good quality and is light with adjustable features to make the clicking of the shoes easier getting you on the road in no-time.
Made of raw and new materials
Stiff and sturdy sole
Latest deal: Venzo Cycling Shoes
Tommaso Strada 100 Road Touring Cycling Spinning Shoes
Looking for a level of quality and value in a road-bike shoe that the competition can’t touch? Tomasso Strada is one of the best.
They are made of long-lasting synthetic leather which hugs your foot perfectly to provide all-day comfort with ventilated parts which keeps your feet cool when cycling.
With these shoes, you are able to exercise your muscles fully with each push and pull. The soles are reinforced with fiberglass to provide maximum stiffness and power transfer.
But here’s the kicker.
They come with Look Delta Cleats which are compatible with all types of cleats. As proof of quality, these shoes come with a 2 years warranty.
These will be the most suitable road cycling shoes you should consider.
Made of long lasting synthetic leather
Allows you to exercise fully
2 years warranty
A bit wide
Latest deal: Tomasso Strada Shoes
DHB Dorica Road Shoe
Are you looking for a smart and comfortable road cycling shoe with a premium look and smooth pedaling efficiency at an affordable price point? These shoes will add a touch of class to your cycling kit while still providing outstanding comfort and versatility without breaking your bank.
The elastic lace retainer mid-way down the shoe to keep things secure, tidy, and to ensure they don’t get caught up in your chainrings. This means you can get on the road in no time, reaching your climax without any issues.
The nylon sole offers the right amount of balance between pedal efficiency and compliance for performance gains, as well as providing comfort all day.
But that’s not all.
The perforation holes on the top of the shoe increase breathability for warmer weather riding, or more intense training sessions, while the toe-box width has been increased to accommodate a slightly wider forefoot or a thicker pair of socks for those cold rides.
Not only are these shoes smart and comfortable they are prepared for any weather condition. 94% of people recommend this product so we can all agree, these are an all-around quality pair of shoes.
High quality but afforadable
Need to go a size lower than your usual
Latest deal: DHB Dorica Road Shoe
Bont Riot Road+ Cycling Shoe
Now if you’re looking for shoes that provide comfort and pure performance the Bont Riot is my ultimate choice when it comes to cycling.
These are the very best heat moldable shoe on the market today thanks to Bont’s it has taken 36 years to perfect so it is extremely stiff but pliable at relatively low temperatures.
Instead of the traditional nylon composite, Bont Riots feature carbon fiberglass composite sole which rewards more stiffness assuring that you won’t be wasting power. Ensuring maximum performance while still remaining lightweight.
The chassis has been strengthened while including carbon across high-stress areas, sandwiched between layers of fiberglass to maximize strength.
These are a personal favorite of mine. I’ve always been used Bont and these shoes are perfect for cyclists with wide feet.
With the molding technology, it allows the shoe to fit perfectly around your foot shape, enhancing maximum comfort.
Go take a look for yourself.
May not be a perfect fit for everyone
Latest deal: Bont Riot Road+ Cycling Shoe
Fizik R1 Infinito Road Shoe
When it’s time to blow away you and your opponents, the unrivaled power transfers and comfort of the Fizik R1 Infinito Road Shoe will give you a secure lead both in the footwear and racing department.
These are the best road cycling shoes, leading the class in performance, the R1 Infinito creates intelligent implementation using high-end technology to ensure you get the best experience out of your ride.
The Boa IP1-B dials allow adaptable fitting on the go. Eradicating pressure points, the intensity of your ride can stay high for every second of your journey.
Its full carbon outsole is highly ventilated for maximum temperature control, working alongside the new mesh footbed for airflow. Integrating breathability, strength, and flexibility, the finished article is an explosive power transfer allowing you to soar past opponents with ease.
These are the very best, the dual adjustment points most useful for easing pressure once out, perfect for longer rides.
Go check out the prices.
May not be a perfect fit for everyone
Latest deal: Fizik R1 Infinito Road Shoe
DMT KR1 Swarovski Road Shoes
Stand out from the rest with the dazzling special edition DMT Road Shoe KR1 Swarovski, maximum performance road cycling shoes embroidered with real Swarovski diamonds.
With these high-end cycling shoes, you will sure to have heads turning. Radiate your way past the competition and impress your cycling group with these fabulous road shoes.
These full engineered 3D knit offers a breathable and flexible fit. The structure and thickness are varied across the upper with thicker sections found where you require more amazing stability and thinner material where you need enhanced ventilation.
These are a well-executed, comfortable performance road cycling shoe. They’re slightly pricey, perfect for if you’re looking for a high-end road shoe with no budget.
Embedded with real Swarovski diamonds
Breathable and flexible
Latest deal: DMT KR1 Swarovski Road Shoes
Gaerne Volata Carbon Road Shoes
Looking for a cycling shoe that harmonizes both comfort and race-bred stiffness? Then you’ll be interested in this sexy number, they are a precise, easy to adjust fit guaranteed.
These shoes mold to the foot and offer exceptional breathability, providing comfort for all-day cycling. The integrated heel cup, with anti-tendinitis shape and heel grip, holds the foot stable with every pedal stroke.
Every inch you’ve sweated and suffered to gain in training is transferred to the pedals thanks to the super-stiff EPS Light Weight Full Carbon Sole.
This is sole is not only stiff, but it’s also extremely lightweight so no extra weight to haul uphill and it’s ultra-thin too, delivering the most natural pedal stroke possible- you might even forget you’re wearing shoes.
For this price point, these shoes are a steal.
May not be a perfect fit for everyone
Latest deal: Gaerne Volata Carbon Road Shoes
Giro Savix Women's Road Shoe
Now I know what you’re thinking I’ve given you tonnes of options for men but only two for women. But I can guarantee you these are the very best.
This universal outsole allows you to mount either mountain bike or road cleats, you can use this for any ride you choose.
With a single dial and a set-and-forget front strap, you can quickly get in your shoes and get on the road, tackling any obstacle.
People love the easy tie on these as you can really gauge how tight you want them, in order to make the most comfortable fit. It is suggested you always go up half a size so you have a nice snug fit.
These are great shoes and worth the price.
Can be used for both mountain biking and road biking.
Set and forget strap
Advised to go up half a size for right fit
Latest deal: Gaerne Volata Carbon Road Shoes
Best Road Bike Cycling Shoes Buyers Guide
Now I know what you’re thinking- why are cycling shoes so important, can’t I just use normal trainers? You can if that is what you prefer but for professional cycling, it is advised that you get proper cycling shoes for the job.
But what is the point of cycling shoes?
The main purpose of bike shoes is to improve pedal efficiency, especially going up hilly roads or terrains. The shoes created with stiff soles, maximizing the energy transfer from your legs to the pedal.
You’re able to use your hamstrings to a greater degree when pulling the pedal up because your foot is attached to the pedal.
They not only increase force output a rigid cycling shoe protects your feet from the stress of pedaling. But that not all, studies show that having the right cycling shoe decreases the likelihood of knee injury.
What are the benefits of road cycling shoes?
If you own a bicycle, you must always ensure that you are wearing quality cycling shoes when cycling. There are many benefits of road cycling shoes such as:
- Comfort– As compared to ordinary shoes, cycling shoes feature stiffer soles and breathable upper. They also have air vents which allows air to circulate. As a result, they keep your feet dry and free from sweat.
- Energy transfer– Due to their unique design cycling shoes provides excellent energy transfer from your feet to the pedals. They also have a stiff sole which prevents the shoe from bending.
- Long-lasting– You will also find that most of these shoes are made of quality materials to enhance durability. Again, they are more attractive as compared to the ordinary shoes.
What makes road cycling shoes different?
As compared to mountain bike cycling shoes, road biking shoes contain a stiffer sole. The sole is made of carbon or plastic to enhance rigidity. Due to this rigidity, they provide the best power transfer and efficiency. They also have cleats and are not easy to walk in. However, they are more lightweight as compared to the mountain bike cycling shoes. The best road bike shoes features a three hole cleat system.
How to Choose the Best Cycling Shoes
Size– Before buying, you need to know the exact size you are looking for. This means that you should pick those that match the size of your feet. In case you are not sure, you can check the size chart provided by the manufacturer.
Comfort- You should also ensure that the shoes are made of soft and comfortable materials. They should also be lightweight and durable.
Breathability– The best cycling shoes should be breathable. They should also have air vents to facilitate airflow.
Design– These shoes are also available in a different design. This means that you should pick the design that suits you most. You also need to compare the colors.
Key things to Consider When Buying Road Cycling Shoes
Sole materials – If you are searching for quality-cycling shoes that will give you the best performance, you need to look for those that have a carbon sole. This one is very stiff and lightweight.
Ventilation – The best cycling shoes should have a mesh to allow airflow. This will also prevent your feet from sweating even if you are cycling for long hours.
Closure system – The closure system will determine how easily it is to tighten or loosen the shoe but it will depend on various cycling conditions. For example, when cycling in triathlons, you will require an easy to adjust closure system. Below are the common types of closure systems.
BOA Dials – These ones are designed to give you a precise fit. Every time you turn the dial, the wires are loosed or tightened by 1 mm. The most expensive and modern cycling shoes usually use this system. The most incredible thing about it is that apart from being the most effective, you can easily replace the BOA dial system.
Ratchet buckles– As compared to the BOA system, ratchet systems are more sturdy and very reliable. However, they are not very precise as compared to the BOA dials. The only disadvantage is that they are not easy to replace. You might be forced to buy a new pair of shoe in case it breaks.
Velcro straps – These systems have been in use for quite some time. The good thing about them is that they are durable and lightweight. However, they do not provide the best precision as compared to the ratchet system and the BOA dials.
Laces –Laces are a bit outdated but they are the easiest and lightest to replace. However, they are hard to adjust. If you are involved in recreational cycling, this system might be a good choice.
Cleat system and the pedal – Your shoes should match with the style of your pedals. Below are the most common types of cleat systems.
SPD- 2 holes – If you frequently participate in bike tour or use the bike for commuting, this is the best cleat system. It is also suitable for mountain bikers because the cleat system allows you to walk easily.
SPD-SL – This one has 3 holes. It is the most common type because it is more efficient and stable than the SPD. It also has a wider design as compared to the SPD.
Speedplay- 4 holes – This system has 4 holes and requires you to use a base plate so that you can easily convert it to a 3 or 4 hole system.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are expensive cycling shoes worth it? The more expensive shoes are more comfortable and durable than the cheaper ones.
Why do cyclists wear cleated shoes? Cleated shoes help to keep your foot rigid. This means that no power is lost through the feet when using them. All the power goes directly to the pedals from your feet.
How should cycling shoes fit? Cycling shoes should feel nice and snug without being restricting. When trying shoes on in the shop, you don’t want to have your toes against the end of the shoes or feeling like you’re squeezing your feet in. But similarly, you don’t want the shoes to feel loose roomy.
Are cycling shoes really necessary? Cycling shoes make your ride smoother and more efficient. If riding is a dominant part of your workout routine, cycling shoes are a valuable investment.
Do clip-in cycling shoes make a difference? Cycling shoes lock into place, they don’t slip around, so you are more likely to be aligned. Additionally, it avoids and reduces ankle, knee, and hip injuries. Overall it makes your ride more comfortable.
Can you walk in cycling shoes? Usually, these shoes are worn by mountain bikers and commuters, have recessed cleats, making them easier to walk in.
If you have been searching for the perfect shoes for cycling, these are the best cycling road shoes you should consider. You will find that they are very lightweight, durable, comfortable, and easy to use.
They also come with different features and prices to suit your requirements. Again, they all have attractive designs since they come in different colors. Any of them will give you the best value for your money.
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.