Road bike shoes

How Should Cycling Shoes Fit? – Simple Guide

Lately, I’ve been asked the same question over and over and it is how should cycling shoes fit?

It’s actually a great question, and with this simple guide, it’s definitely easier to buy new cycling shoes. There are few things to pay attention to when choosing your new cycling shoes, and once you know what to look for, you will do great.

Also, this problem occurs to people who haven’t bought cycling shoes before, but also to people who need a pair of new ones.

That’s why in this post I will tell you the best way to find the right cycling shoes that will fit you perfectly.

Are Cycling Shoes Really Necessary?

Are cycling shoes really necessary

They are not really necessary since you can ride your bike with normal street shoes, but are they worth it, that’s another question.

They are really worth it and that’s mostly because of their advantages.

Cycling shoes will make your riding more efficient since the shoes are attached to the pedals, which gives you the ability to pedal all the way through 90°.
With street shoes, you can only push the pedals, while with cycling shoes you can push but also pull on the backstroke when cycling which makes you more efficient.

Also, not to mention that your feet can never slip off the pedals with cycling shoes.

They also prevent injury, and in my opinion, they make me feel safer on a bicycle when riding at high speeds and even when hitting bumps on the road.

Types Of Cycling Shoes

If you are new to the cycling shoe world, and you don’t know much about it, let me explain you the types of cycling shoes and what would you need to pay attention to.

There are two main types of cycling shoes which are: road bike shoes and mountain bike shoes.

Road bike shoes

Road cycling shoes

Road bike shoes are made for road cycling due to their construction and features.

They offer lightweight construction, smooth outsoles, good ventilation but they are really stiff and not flexible.
A reason behind being very stiff is in order to facilitate power transfer to your pedals.

You could probably guess that walking with them isn’t the nicest feeling, however, they do really well on a bike.

Pedal compatibility

You must understand that once you get the shoes, you need to have a cleat which you will attach to them and which will be compatible with your pedals.

Road bike shoes usually use 3-hole cleat system or a 2-hole cleat system, and you need to make sure that they are matched with your pedals.

Mountain bike shoes

Mountain bike shoes

Mountain bike shoes are there for the same purpose, however, they are made a little bit different than the road bike shoes.

They have a fairly stiff sole for efficient pedaling, but they have enough flex and rubber outsole which makes them comfortable to walk and to handle the slick or rugged terrains more easily.

Pedal compatibility

Mountain bike shoes use only 2-hole cleat system, so make sure you pay attention to that before making a purchase. Also, make sure to match your 2-hole cleat shoes with compatible pedals.

The Fit

It can be a little bit tricky to purchase the cycling shoes if you don’t have the idea what to expect of them and which fit is alright and which isn’t.

Cycling shoes which are well fit should be snug in the heel, but you shouldn’t be pressed against the end, which means you should have a little bit of room for toes.

Also, a shoe should hold your forefoot stable without pinching or any kind of restriction.

It’s not complicated, and once you know what to expect out of the fit, you will know when your cycling shoes are fitting you perfectly.

Take your time, and try out as many shoes needed in order to find the ones you feel comfortable with.

Another useful tip is to make sure your heel isn’t going up and down inside the shoes. If that’s the case, you will need to try a different size.
However, when trying out cycling shoes, be aware that due to the stiffness of the soles, there might be a  little bit of slippage in your heel when you walk.


Road bike shoesAs you are aware of a bike maintenance, there is also a way to maintain every piece of cycling equipment you own.

To clean your shoes, simply use a towel or rag to wipe them. If there is a dirt, brush and a warm water with a little bit of soap will do the job.

If you decide to wash your cycling shoes, make sure to dry them afterward. Do your best with the towel, and then remove the footbeds for faster drying.

Replacing the cleats will happen once your cleats are worn out to the point when disengaging from the pedal happens unintentionally. Also, if you happen to crash and one of the cleats break, it would be the best to replace the cleats since they won’t work properly.

Just make sure you get the right cleat replacements which will match your pedals.


Choosing cycling shoes might be a bit of a hassle, however, it’s worth it.

The process isn’t complicated, and once you know what to look for out of the shoes, you won’t have any problems.

Just take your time, try as many as possible and take it easy.
Also, give yourself some time to get used to the clipless pedals, if you haven’t used them before.

Cycling shoes are a really great and efficient piece of equipment, but that doesn’t mean you need to wear them on all rides.

I personally prefer to use them on long distance rides, instead of short ones.


Which shoes and cleats do you use?

Let me know in the comments, but also let me know if you have any questions or if you have any information which you think could be added to this post.

Also, feel free to share this post on social media. It might help someone else as well.

Enjoy your ride, and stay safe! 🙂


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *