As with any walk of life (get it?), the right shoes can set you up for success. The wrong shoes can lead to soreness, and even injury. This is doubly true when it comes to indoor cycling. Your choice of cycling shoes can take your MYX workouts up to another level. So, we asked MYX's own Shaun to share his thoughts on indoor cycling shoes and bike cleats.
Q: Why choose cycling shoes over regular athletic shoes?
Comfort and confidence! Bike shoes have adjustable straps. This is great for people with wider or smaller feet. Next, bike shoes let you generate force the right way. You’re supposed to push down and generate power from the ball of your foot. That’s the widest point of the average person’s foot. Unlike regular athletic shoes, a cycling shoe has a stiff or inflexible sole. So, wherever you push down on the shoe, it’s delivering equal power in each pedal stroke. This is why you sometimes hear cyclists say they can generate more energy or force with bike shoes.
Q. Do bike cleats really give you more energy?
Cleats don’t have special powers. They do give you a sense of security (from knowing you won’t slip off the pedal). Security leads to confidence — which leads to more power.
Q. Can cycling shoes or cleats prevent soreness?
Many people don’t realize the shoe isn’t as important as cleat placement. The cleat should feel like it rests toward the ball of your foot. The tip should point between your big toe and your second toe. It shouldn’t be fixed straight ahead. This positioning makes it easier to pedal. Correct placement of bike cleats allows for optimal leg position, which can prevent soreness in your knees or ankles.
Q. Is there a “best” bike shoe out there?
It isn’t about a brand or getting your “normal” size in regular shoes. It’s about getting the right fit for your feet. The “best” shoe is the most comfortable shoe for you. It should conform to your foot and be made for the activity you’re using it for. Make sure there is a thumbnail’s width between the big toe and the top of the shoe. Check the space around the middle of the foot. Many aches and pains result from too-small shoes.
As Shaun says, “The best gift to yourself is to be present. When you’re confident, knowing each pedal stroke is the same with no slipping, you’ll be more likely to focus on your workout and have fun.”
We agree! Set yourself up for success with pain-free cycling. One of the best ways to do that is by choosing a shoe that feels great and works with you to reach your goals.