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Cycling shoes for every type of cycling

Cycling consists of three categories being road, mountain and triathlon. Cycling shoes, like any other athletic footwear, are designed specifically for a type of cycling.

In all three types, the cycling shoe must maximise the power between foot and pedal. Other elements to consider are weather conditions in rainy or hot climates and they must be comfortable.

Cycle footwear manufacturers offer a range of shoe types, prices and designs. Fizik and Giro cater for narrower feet whilst Shimano shoes provide for wider feet. Northwave have a reputation for quality and offer shoes in all disciplines. Other reputable brands include Garneau, Izumi and RP3.

Road cycling shoes

Road shoes usually feature stiff soles and rigid outsoles to maximise power to the pedals and provide extra foot support. Most cycling shoes are fitted with clips to fit a compatible bicycle pedal. Also, these shoes can have cleats, which are studs on the sole that provide extra grip. Cycling shoes are made from breathable fabrics such as mesh to keep feet cool. Most road cycling shoes are designed to be worn without socks, to prevent sweating. In Australia, where the climate is hot, cycling sandals with cleats are often used.


There are four distinct types of mountain biking being downhill, four cross, cross-country and trail quest. The terrain is usually rough, so durability is key. Otherwise, there are two options for cycling shoes depending on the pedal type, which are clipless shoes or flats-pedal shoes. Mountain biking shoes are often abbreviated to MTB.

Flat-pedal shoes have stiff soles and are designed to fit pedals with large platforms. SPD shoes are designed to maintain the grip on the pedals.


Triathlon cycling shoes are modified road cycling shoes designed to maximise the power put into your bike. The fit must be tight as any movement of the foot inside the shoe, diminishes the transfer of power. Like road cycling shoes, triathlon shoes are generally worn without socks and feature a stiff sole. Triathlon shoes use quick fastening Velcro, to release the foot easily.

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