8 Peloton-Compatible Cycling Shoes You Can Buy on Amazon
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The rise of the Peloton bike
Countless Americans have saddled up and joined the Peloton exercise bike craze, especially over the last year. The early days of the pandemic led to the temporary closure of gyms and other fitness centers, leading people to take their fitness home.
In case you’re not familiar, Peloton is a company that sells at-home gym equipment, most notably their well-known cycling bike.
They also offer a streaming subscription that you can buy so you can join in on live fitness classes while using your at-home equipment. (You can also download and use their fitness app for $13 a month even if you don’t have a Peloton-specific bike or treadmill.)
Peloton sells cycling shoes to go with the bike, but you can also use Peloton-compatible shoes and save some money too.
Here’s what you need to know about indoor cycling, what to look for in a Peloton-compatible shoe, and the best pair for your budget.
Benefits of indoor cycling
If you’re planning on purchasing a Peloton bike, or any of these exercise bikes, there are plenty of potential benefits.
Easier to exercise to at home
Not having to leave your house to go to the class, or even get your bike out of the garage, is a major plus.
“This is perhaps the biggest advantage and reason we see the growth in popularity of indoor cycling,” says Roger Adams, a Texas-based certified personal trainer, doctor of nutrition, and owner of eatrightfitness. “It’s easy to use, requires very little training to figure out, and has a short learning curve—even the least athletic among us have no problems mastering the stationary cycle,” he says.
Can be more intense than outdoor biking
While bike riding tends to be a more leisurely outdoor activity you do outdoors to enjoy the surroundings and get some fresh air, indoor cycling is positioned more as a serious, focused workout, explains Adams.
“Indoor cycling tends to have more organized workouts, especially if you are following a pre-programmed routine, than your outdoor bike riding,” he says. “This type of activity is done at a high level and is performed for training purposes usually for triathlons or long-distance cycling events.”
More gentle on your joints
If you have a bad back, knees, or ankles, cycling will likely be more gentle on sensitive muscles and joints, explains Stephanie Mansour, a Chicago-based weight loss coach and corporate wellness trainer.
“High impact exercises like jumping and jogging may hurt sensitive joints, but cycling, however, is gentle on these muscles,” she says. “Because you aren’t landing on the ground harshly, cycling can be a good way to switch things up and give your joints a rest.”
(Avoid indoor cycling knee pain with these tips.)
Boosts heart health
Cycling is a great exercise for your heart.
“Maintaining a cycling routine is a great way to lower your [low-density lipoprotein] LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise your [high-density lipoprotein] HDL (good) cholesterol,” says Adams. “Also, keeping consistent with your cycling program will help you keep your glucose levels under control and make you at less risk for developing type 2 diabetes,” he says.
(Here are some heart-healthy products to have at home.)
Reduces body fat and adds muscle
After several months of cycling, you can expect to see a loss of body fat, notes Adams.
“Also, by adding some resistance or hills to your routine, you can also add some muscle to those legs in the process,” he says. “Body fat is used from all over the body as you exercise, so you will gradually notice leaning out from all over your body, as long as you pair your hard work with a healthy diet.” (Here’s how to lose body fat with these easy workouts.)
What to look for in cycling shoes
The issue is that many of these purchases are quite expensive, especially when you factor in add-ons, such as Peloton shoes ($125). But before you throw on any old pair of exercise shoes, it’s important to understand why cycling-specific shoes are key.
“Shoes for cyclists actually clip in so you can keep your feet firmly attached to the pedals without worrying about them coming off, which allows you to focus on speed, climbs, hills, and crushing your workout without fearing that your foot will come off of the pedal,” explains Adams. “Also, foot fatigue or pain can be a limiting factor to your workout—the wrong shoe can stop you in your tracks.”
There are three important factors to consider when buying spin shoes: the sole, ventilation, and in this case, whether it has a three-hole cleat for your at-home Peloton bike.
An ideal pair of spin cycle shoes should have nylon soles versus carbon (this is common in most sneakers). The reason: Shoes with a carbon sole tend to be more rigid and lightweight, which is good for walking, but when it comes to spinning, you want a pair that can provide you with flexibility and comfort, especially around the ankle area.
A stiffer pair can even cause irritation, especially when you pick up speed during your spinning sessions.
When working out, it’s important to make sure there’s consistent airflow to prevent your feet from overheating and getting sweaty.
To keep your feet cool, you need to look for shoes that have mesh. This mesh will promote airflow and keep your feet cool and dry.
While Peloton shoes offer breathable upper and mesh ventilation at the base of the shoe, Mansour notes that with Peleton bikes, you can use any type of cycling shoe that has a three-bolt cleat mount (what connects the shoe to the pedals).
“The Peloton uses Delta-compatible cleats, but you can mount these onto any pair of cycling shoes with a 3-screw hole setup,” she adds. (Delta is a popular triangle-shaped cleat.)
The best Peloton-compatible cycling shoes
Here are the best indoor cycling shoes compatible with your Peloton bike that can fit every budget. (We included one pair you can splurge on.)
Gavin Road Bike Mesh Cycling Shoes
You really can’t beat the bargain on these Gavin cycling shoes. At just a fraction of the price of most Peloton-compatible cycling shoes, these offer the two- or three-bolt cleat mount, a perforated insole that’s lightweight, quick-drying, and comfortable, and a fiberglass-infected nylon sole that maintains its structure well.
“These shoes provide foot stability with hook and loop straps and are a good choice for those who are just getting started with cycling,” adds Mansour.
(Here are the benefits of owning your own indoor cycling shoes.)
Santic Lock-Free Cycling Shoes
If comfort is one of your top priorities when shopping for a cycling shoe, you’re in the right place with the Santic Lock-Free Cycling Shoe. It has an ergonomic design that provides maximum comfort, even on the toughest of rides.
It’s great for both beginners and veterans of the sport thanks to its extra thick heel cup with a curved inside structure. These are not clip-in shoes, but they can help prevent injury by keeping the ankle supported and in position.
Mebike Lady Cycling Shoes
The funky design of this cycling shoe from Mebike makes it quite popular, but the fact that’s its comfortable, durable, and lightweight makes it a true no-brainer purchase. It has rotary buckles and Velcro straps that conveniently position your foot into place and prevent you from losing your laces on your ride. T
he insole is an EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) footbed—an elastic shock-absorbing material—that is super comfortable as well as temperature-regulated.
(Here are the best slip-on sneakers for women.)
Fizik Tempo Powerstrap R5
Fizik’s cycling shoe (for both indoor and outdoor) has a nylon sole, a Velcro closure (the PowerStrap), and a three-bolt cleat mount.
The PowerStrap allows you to adjust the tightness of the shoe with two straps (one in the instep and the other midfoot) to prevent any looseness during your workout. A plus: The silicone inside the shoes by the heel prevents your feet from slipping.
Giro Women’s Cycling Shoes
It’s no surprise that this beloved fitness brand, Giro, which also makes impressive ski equipment, creates Peloton-compatible cycling shoes for women. They are made with a breathable microfiber and mesh interior that prevents overheating while you’re in the middle of your workout and a three-strap closure that keeps your foot firmly in place and prevents ankle turning. The injected nylon outsole offers superior durability.
(Doing outdoor workouts? Check out the best cold-weather jackets for walking or running.)
Vittoria Hera Performance Road Cycling Shoes
Just like the Peloton cycling shoes, this pair from Vittoria Hera is only made for three-bolt cleats. They are made out of a synthetic PU upper (i.e. faux leather) and a nylon sole which allow for maximum flexibility during your ride and prevents a fit that’s too constricting.
Other key features include an integrated closure, micro-adjustable buckle system, and a double strap that wraps fully around the foot for a secure and uniform fit.
Tommaso Strada Spinning Shoes
These factory-direct cycling shoes from Tommaso cut out the middleman, which keeps costs down without sacrificing value. They carefully and precisely blend comfort and performance to create a versatile cycling shoe that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
“These are compatible with Peloton and have ventilated mesh areas within the shoes that help keep your feet cool and comfortable,” says Mansour. “With lock Velcro straps, these shoes offer a great fit with added security,” she says.
(For post-workout comfort, here are the best slippers for your feet.)
Venzo Cycling Bicycle Cycle Road Bike Shoes
If you’re looking to splurge but not on the Peloton pair, try these attractive and functional Venzo cycling shoes. They were created with award-winning technology made to fit the pedals of the Peloton.
“They’re quick-drying and breathable, so you don’t have to worry about sweat,” says Mansour. “These shoes are also flexible, lightweight, and compatible with Peloton, making them worth the money.”
Other notable features include their breathable mesh that keeps your feet nice and cool even during intense sweat sessions, as well as their flexible forefoot that ensures maximum comfort.