Best Road Bike Shoes Money Can Buy

Your feet are in constant touch with the paddle and a proper cycling shoe is a must-have to enjoy the rides to the fullest. Along with comfort, the shoes are also vital for providing safety to the feet. There are tons of different brands of shoes in the market. However, we have specifically picked out the best so that you can attain greater efficiency and control in your rides. 

Manufacturers are constantly coming up with innovative technologies like carbon fiber soles with a different fastening system to ensure improved performance. We have selected the best road bike shoes in the market so that you can enjoy the cycling expedition to the max. Without any further delay, let’s take a look at our top picks. 

Some Of The Best Road Bike Shoes Out There:

Giro Savix Men's Road Cycling Shoes

Giant Surge Pro cycling shoes

SHIMANO SH-RP1 Cycling Shoe

Fizik R4B Uomo

Louis Garneau Course Air Lite II

Sidi Sixty

Pearl Izumi Pro Road V5

Giant Bolt Nylon SPD/SPD SL Sole Road Shoe

Is it Necessary to Wear Road Cycling Shoes? 

You can ride your bicycle wearing a regular pair of trainers. However, road cycling requires extreme power transfer to the pedals to attain the necessary speed during the ride. Your regular shoe will not be able to transfer the power efficiently like a pair that’s specifically designed for road biking. 

Road biking shoes have a stiff sole usually made with nylon, carbon, or composite material to ensure optimum pedaling efficiency. They are quite lightweight with plenty of ventilation so that you can enjoy your rides without feeling any foot fatigue or suffocation. 

However, keep in mind that these shoes are not designed for walking. The cleats at the bottom of the shoes make them uncomfortable for regular walking. 

Our Top 3 Picks 

These are our top 3 picks as the best road bike shoes out there. If you don't have time to read the whole article, going with any of these would be a safe bet. 

Giro Men's Road Cycling Shoes

Sidi Sixty

SHIMANO SH-RP1 Shoes

Here are some other good options you can go for:

Sidi Carbon Wire 2 Check Price on Amazon

Scott Road RC SL Check Price on Amazon

Our Ultimate Road Bike Show Review Begins Here

Giro Savix Men's Road Cycling Shoes


Giro Savix Men's Cycling Shoe

If you want to get your hands on the best road bike shoes without breaking the bank then the Giro Savix Men's Road Cycling Shoes is the one for you. It comes in 4 different colors so that you can pick the one that matches your personal taste. They have a quality finish with clean styling that gives it a super-premium look. 

The shoe is made with breathable microfiber with a mesh upper for better fit and breathability. The easy fit adjustment design makes it super cozy so that you don't feel suffocated even after long wear hours. They come in sizes from 6.5 to 14.5 and all of them are true to their sizes. 

The sole of the Giro Savix is one of its core attraction. The injected nylon outsole offers excellent power transfer. The shoes can accommodate both two and three-bolt cleats which make them highly versatile and suitable for road bikes. 

Also, the combination of stainless steel hardware and molded heel pads ensures greater durability. It also features a die-cut EVA footbed with medium arch support. 

Pros

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Breathable mesh design
  • True to size 
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Nylon outsole for superior power transfer

Cons

  • Heel pads tend to wear out quickly

Giant Surge Pro cycling Shoes

If you’re looking for the Maserati of cycling shoes then behold, you’re in for a treat. These shoes were worn by the team members of Team Sunweb in the pro peloton, you can understand the quality and reliability the pair offers. 

The Giant Surge Pro is a highly innovative pair that features the ExoBeam system where the forefoot and heel are connected by a beam of carbon. It has welded Microtex upper, laser-cut venting, and Boa dials that surely give this pair a premium appearance. It comes in two different colors and multiple sizes so that you can find the perfect match. 

It's wrapped up in PU synthetic upper with proper venting and soft padded mesh tongue. The best part is, the shoes weigh only around 564g that will feel super lightweight and comfortable on the feet. The sole is compatible with all three-bolt cleat systems. Also, there are markings in all directions for optimum cleat alignment. 

Pros

  • Suitable for pro-level cycling 
  • SharkSkin lining at the heel keeps the foot in position
  • Breathable design with plenty of ventilation holes
  • Sole is compatible with a three-bolt cleat system 
  • Excellent stiffness level 

Cons 

  • Expensive 

SHIMANO SH-RP1 Cycling Shoe

The SHIMANO SH-RP1 Cycling Shoe is an excellent choice for those who’re looking for entry-level cycling shoes with an affordable price tag. It comes in two different colors and multiple size options. Also, ladies don’t feel out, the shoes come in both male and female variants.

It's wrapped up in synthetic material that provides superior durability and comfort. Also, it comes with the Shimano Dynalast feature with a toe-spring section that ensures optimal power transfer to the pedals. You can have more efficient pedal strokes with a lesser effort which will allow you to cycle for long hours. The reflective heel cup print comes in handy when you're cycling in the dark. 

The shoes are made with lightweight glass fiber carbon sole offers optimum stiffness and comfort. Its dual hook and loop straps so that you can quickly wear the shoes with the right fit. 

It’s compatible with both 3-hole and 2-hole cleats which makes it suitable for both road bikes and indoor cycling as well. This feature will come in super handy for the beginners who don’t want to spend a bucket-load on cycling shoes. 

Pros

  • Available for both male and female
  • Multiple sizes 
  • Affordable
  • Provides optimum stiffness and comfort

Cons

  • Comes in only two colors 

Fizik R4B Uomo

Fizik R4B Uomo

The Fizik R4B Uomo is specially designed for road biking so that you can enjoy your rides effortlessly. Fizik opted for a vented design on the R4B Uomo with carbon injected construction. 

The upper is made with a microtex laser-perforated fabric. It’s highly durable and lightweight at the same time. The best part is, despite the vented design, you can easily wipe the shoes clean in a jiffy. It weighs only about 255g a pair which is quite lightweight and comfortable. 

The pair delivers adequate stiffness with sufficient power transfer to the pedals. You can enjoy your rides all day long without any fatigue when you have these babies on. It uses the Boa IP1-A closure system which ensures a quick and secure fit. You can adjust in both directions which will help you tighten the shoes as per your liking.

Also, the Velcro strap at the front helps the shoe to snuggle to your feet. The tongue is made with heavy vinyl-esque material that conforms around the top of the foot. Another great feature of the Fizik R4B Uomo is its comfortable insole with superior curvature and optimum arch support. 

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Vented design for enhanced airflow
  • Available in multiple colors and sizes
  • Easy to clean 
  • Lightweight

Cons 

  • Slightly expensive 

Louis Garneau Course Air Lite II

Louis Garneau Course Air Lite II

Sometimes you feel the shoes are weighing you down as you pedal through downhill or uphill. Well, the Louis Garneau Course Air Lite II is an absolute godsend for those who’re looking for a lightweight pair. 

The upper of the shoe is made with high-density microfiber for efficient power transfer and enhanced breathability. The pair weighs only around 235g, however, the weight will vary slightly across different sizes. The carbon Air Lite outsole and the titanium inserts provide an ultra-light as well as rigidity. 

Louis has used its patented X-Comfort zone technology that offers plenty of room for expansion during the ride. The shoe upper has an elastomer-spandex that helps to avoid discomfort even after long hours of rides. 

Garneau used BOA dials that ensure a snug fit. You can adjust the fit as per your preference to have smooth riding experience. The Air Lite II features Ergo Air Transfo 3D insole with three adjustable arches. 

Pros

  • Boa IP1 micro-adjust dials
  • Hollow carbon sole with patented Ergo Air design
  • Breathable upper 
  • Available from size 38 to 48 
  • Ultra-lightweight 

Cons 

  • Available in three colors only 

Sidi Sixty

Sidi revolutionized cycling shoes and they have a wide range of incredible shoes for different modes of cycling. The Sidi Sixty is a limited edition that has been released by Sidi on its sixtieth anniversary. 

The faux-snakeskin design will immediately catch your design. The snakeskin is made with printed polyurethane leather that offers incredible durability and comfort. There's a toe overlay that offers extra protection and two-mesh toe for enhanced ventilation. The toe vent is closeable and you can just slide it close during winter and keep it open when the temperature is high.  

The sole is like the heart of a good cycling shoe. Sidi has included the latest Vent carbon sole that offers excellent stiffness with superior power transfer to the paddle. The shoes are true to size and they’re available in several different sizes. Each pair weighs around 617g that’s slightly heavy, however, you’ll not feel weighed down during the ride. 

Sidi used a Velcro strap on this pair for the closure system. The interlocking plastic teeth around the Velcro tightly secure it so that the feet don't jingle around as you cycle. 

Pros

  • Full carbon sole construction 
  • Made with microfiber material with mesh vents 
  • Closeable toe vent
  • Outstanding design 
  • Compatible with 3-hole cleats 

Cons 

  • Slightly heavy 

Pearl Izumi Pro Road V5

From the upper to the carbon plate, the new 2020 edition of the Pearl Izumi Pro Road V5 is completely revamped to give the user the best road biking experience. It has knit upper construction to reduce any pinch points so that you don’t feel any discomfort during the ride. The knitted upper also provides higher breathability and reduced waste. 

The sole of the pair is redesigned after extensive research to provide the ultimate stiffness and power transfer. It’s lighter and more breathable than the previous versions. It comes in three different colors: atomic red, white, and black. It’s available from size 39 to 49 so that everyone can find the right fit. The shoes weigh around 486g, however, the weight varies a little depending on the size. 

It uses a Boa closure system with IP1 reels that allow 1-mm micro-adjustability. It features a dual-density footbed that’s ergonomically designed to provide maximum support with superior pedaling efficiency and control. 

Pros

  • Carbon power plate sole
  • Excellent ventilation 
  • Highly comfortable 
  • Lightweight and durable construction 
  • Available in multiple colors and sizes 

Cons 

  • Expensive 

Giant Bolt Nylon SPD/SPD SL Sole Road Shoe

The Giant Bolt Nylon SPD/SPD SL Sole Road Shoe is a flagship killer that will put many high-end name brands to shame. It has a seamless upper design that provides excellent protection. Also, the box toe area gives protection against any obstacles during the ride. The upper comes equipped with quickfit single ratchet buckle system and hook-and-loop strap for easy adjustments. 

It’s equipped with Force Drive clipless composite outsole to efficiently transfer power to the pedals. There are anti-slip studs in the front that pairs up with streamlines tread that provide excellent grip and traction. Most road bike shoes are not comfortable to walk on. However, the rear and front outsole of the shoes make it easy to walk on it as well. 

As you can guess from the name, the pair is compatible with both SPD and SPD-SL cleat configuration. This means it's suitable for both the 2-hole and 3-hole cleat system. Sounds like a great deal, right? The best part is, you can get all these amazing features at such an affordable price range. So, if you're a beginner who doesn't want to splurge on the shoe then this one is a must-have for you. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Compatible with 2-hole and 2-hole cleat system 
  • Clipless composite outsole
  • ErgoComfort insole 
  • AirStream 4-vent cooling system for enhanced breathability 

Cons 

  • Available in only two colors 

Sidi Carbon Wire 2

Sidi Carbon Wire 2

Sidi has been making cycling shoes since the 1970s. They surely know how to keep up their game and the Sidi Wire 2 is another great creation that will awestruck the users. It’s made with tech pro microfiber upper that makes the pair incredibly lightweight. It has a leathery feel to it with lots of tiny holes to pass the air to ensure optimum breathability. 

The Carbon Wire 2 feature Sidi’s patented closure system. It has a customizable soft instep closure system that you can ratchet on both left and right depending on your preference. It also includes the Techno 3-push closure system where you just need to push the dials to get the perfect fit and adjustments. 

The sole is made with carbon that’s known for incredible stiffness and power transfer to the pedals. The only downside about the shoes is that it has a narrow fit so it may not be true to the size. We recommend you to go half a size than your usual to get the right and perfect fit. 

Pros

  • Breathable upper design
  • Techno 3 Push dial closure system 
  • Lightweight
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • An adjustable heel retention device

Cons

  • Not true to size 

Scott Road RC SL

Scott is known for its amazing range of bikes. Well, they’re taking their bike shoe game to the next level as well. The Scott Road RC SL is a premium-quality shoe that will give you a superb road riding experience. 

The upper is made with synthetic material and it has Carbitex fabric strips which add extra stiffness to it. There’s also a flexible soft mesh that helps keep it lightweight and provides room for air transfer. This pair is an excellent choice for winter rides. 

This pair is very lightweight yet offers enough rigidity for superior power transfer. It features two BOA dials and a toe cleat to provide comfortable fit and adjustments. It has a smooth sock liner so that easily slip in the foot and ride comfortably throughout the day. 

Scott has layered up the carbon on the sole to ensure maximum stiffness. It also helps to minimize the strain on the foot and keep foot fatigue away even after long hours of wear. 

Pros

  • Lightweight endurance design
  • Stiff carbon sole
  • Fantastic breathability 
  • Two BOA dials for easy adjustments 

Cons

  • Expensive 

Things to Consider Before Purchase 

A good pair of cycling shoes is a must to have an efficient and enjoyable cycling experience. Road bike shoes need to be lightweight and stiff in order to provide proper power transfer to the pedals. Manufacturers are continually coming up with innovative designs and technologies to create superior cycling shoes. 

Now you know the importance of a good pair of shoes, you should also consider several vital factors that play a pivotal role in determining the performance of the shoes. 

Sole Material 

The sole material plays a vital part in terms of providing comfort to the rider. The soles of the road bike shoes are generally made with carbon or plastic. The high-end shoes are generally equipped with carbon soles. Carbon soles are highly preferred for road cycling due to their incredible rigidity and fast performance. However, the price is generally on the steeper side for the carbon-made shoes. 

Construction

Whichever pair you buy, make sure it has a top-notch construction with impeccable durability to get the best value out of it. We have done rigorous research to pick the best road bike shoes to ensure the utmost durability in the construction. 

Well-constructed shoes will be able to handle the heavy beating and be suitable for all kinds of weather conditions. No matter how far you travel, be it raining or snowing, a pair with hard-wearing characteristics will have you covered. 

Ventilation 

Shoe manufacturers consider ventilation as one of their top priorities when they’re designing the shoes. We have reviewed the best road bike shoes in the market and all of them come with excellent ventilation properties. 

Cycling is a heavy physical activity and our feet tend to get sweaty, especially during summer. If your feet tend to get extra sweaty or if you cycle for long hours then tries to get a pair that has mesh holes with optimum ventilation. 

Fit

The shoe should fit well from the start to the end. There should be enough room around the toe area so that you can wiggle it and feel comfortable. Also, the arch should snug and ensure proper support to the feet. You should opt for a pair that true to size and needs to be quite snuggly to ensure that it doesn’t move back and forth as you pedal.

Cleat Compatibility

Road bikes are generally compatible with three-bolt cleat mount. All the shoes that we reviewed offer three-bolt cleat compatibility so that you can pedal with optimum efficiency. Make sure that your pick a shoe that matches the cleat compatibility. 

2-hole: This pedal system is more suitable for bike tours and it’s more compatible with mountain bikes. 2-hole cleats make it easier to walk in and they're slightly similar to walking shoes.

3-hole: This one is widely used in road bike shoes due to their enhanced stability compared to the 2-hole system. It has a wider design which helps to transfer the power to the pedals more efficiently. The shoes that we reviewed are all compatible with the SPD-SL (3-hole) system. 

4-hole: The 4-hole system is known as Speedplay and it’s not much used on cycling shoes. If you prefer to buy a pair that has a 4-hole system then you should also buy a baseplate that can be converted into a 4-hole system. 

Straps

No one wants a pair that doesn’t fit properly to the feet. The road bike shoes most like come with buckles, BOA lacing, or Velcro strap. You should opt for the one that matches your preferred mode of fastening the shoes. 

Velcro straps are quick, reliable, and lightweight. You can easily fasten them up when you're in a rush. The Buckle system is also quite sturdy and you can easily make the adjustments as per your liking. BOA lacing is the lightest of them all and it’s the most advanced fastening technology that is widely used by many road bike shoe manufacturers. 

It depends on your personal preference and you should pick the one that you find the most reliable and comfortable. 

Weather 

You should always keep the weather condition in mind when you’re shopping for road biking shoes. If you cycle during summer then you should always opt for a breathable lightweight pair. Make sure that there is optimum air transfer so that your feet don’t feel suffocated or sweat excessively. 

For winter, you should always go for a pair that will keep your feet warm. You can opt for leather or synthetic material as they are known to provide better protection against temperature. 

FAQ

Q. Do I really need shoes for riding road bikes?

Ans: Regular trainers and running shoes have different construction compared to cycling shoes. A pair that’s designed for road bikes will keep your feet firmly locked over the pedals and ensure efficient power transfer between your feet and pedal. This feature comes in extremely handy when you’re cruising around rough terrains or riding downhill. 

Q. Can female cyclists wear men's shoes?

Ans: Yes, absolutely. Many female cyclists prefer wearing men’s shoes. However, if you have narrow feet then we recommend you to get shoes that are specifically designed for women. There are many amazing brands of road bike shoes that are catered towards female cyclists. 

Q. How long does it take for the shoes to properly break-in? 

Ans: Well, some pair come already broken in from the manufacturer and they don't require any additional breaking time. However, some pairs need some time to properly break-in. It also depends on how often you wear the shoes and how much you ride wearing it. The more you wear it, the sooner it's going to break in. 

Q. How long will the cleats last?

Ans: It's not possible to determine the exact time it takes the cleats to wear down. This depends on how frequently you ride and the miles you put it. Also, your riding style plays a vital part in determining the longevity of the cleats. Try to change the cleats before they get too worn out to ensure optimum performance from the shoes. 

Q. Which closure system is the best?

Ans: Road bike shoes come with Velcro straps, BOA dials, and a ratchet buckle system. All of them have their pros and cons. It depends on the rider whichever one he/she prefers the most and find more comforting. We have reviewed shoes with all kinds of closure system so that you can easily pick the one you like the best. 

Q. Are these shoes suitable for all kinds of weather conditions?

Ans: We have reviewed the best road bike shoes in the market that are catered toward different weather conditions. One pair may not be suitable for all types of weather. You should opt for the one that’s suitable for your environmental condition. 

Q. Is there any money-back guarantee or warranty for the shoes?

Ans: No, the shoes don’t come with such facilities. The shoes that we picked are highly durable and long-lasting. With a little care and maintenance, they’ll last you a long time. Make sure that you clean the shoes after the ride and give them occasional deep cleaning to extend their lifecycle. We have also included a guideline that you can follow for the cleaning process.  

How to Deep Clean the Shoes? 

Regular cleaning is a must to lengthen the lifecycle of the shoes. Along with regular cleaning, you should also follow a deep cleaning regime to get the best performance from the cycling shoes. Here's easy to follow a deep cleaning method to get the best output from the shoes.

Remove Insole 

The insole absorbs all the sweat that comes out of the feet as you cycle. The first step is to remove the insole and soak them in lukewarm soapy water for a while. This will help to take out all the dirt and gunk from it effectively. 

However, if you don’t have enough time or patience then soap them up and brush gently. Once you’re done, run them thoroughly under clean water to remove all the traces of soap. Make sure that you don’t squeeze the insole to hard as that may deform the shape and ruin the quality of it. 

Dry the Insole 

It’s important to completely dry up the insole to retain its quality. Also, germs grow more rapidly when they’re kept in a moist environment. Keep them in a well-ventilated place so that they are dried up quickly. 

Even if there is any germ remaining after the wash, they’ll not be able to thrive in that environment. If it’s taking too long to dry down then use power to quickly dry it up. Make sure that there is no moisture or water left in the insole. Don’t put the insole back in the shoes until it’s fully dried down. 

Clean the Upper 

Wipe out the shoes with a damp cloth after every ride. This will help to get rid of the dirt buildup and refrain from any external damage. Clean the upper with a brush using lukewarm water and soapy water to get remove all traces of dirt from the shoes. Rinse off the soap with cold water and keep the shoe in a dry place to air dry it quickly. 

Final Thoughts 

The importance of a good pair of shoes is more than you think it is. Your cycling journey will be a lot more fun and effortless if you have the right pair handy. Finding the best road bike shoes can be hard but not an impossible task to do. We have carefully scrutinized the shoes in the market and made out top picks from them. 

All the shoes that we reviewed work exceptionally well for road biking. You can efficiently transfer the power to the pedal and ride all day long without any foot fatigue. We have also included a buying guide to help you out in this shopping process. 

Make sure you get the right fit to enjoy the convenience of the shoes to the fullest. Pick your best match and get ready to have an awesome road cycling experience. 

Resources

1. There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum.

2. There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum.

3. There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum.

4. There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum.

1. There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available