Cycling shoes – minimal effort, maximum output
Modern cycling shoes serve one main purpose: to perfectly transmit the power from your foot to the pedal. These shoes reduce the loss of energy when pedalling, so your leg muscles are more efficiently put to use. Saving your energy is particularly useful on longer stretches and steep ascents to ensure you can pedal for longer and more effectively.
Maximum power transmission – how does it work?
Two elements come into play when talking about optimal power transmission from the cycling shoes to the pedal: the mechanical connection between the sole and the pedal, and the stiffness of the sole. The amazing connection between the pedal and the sole is made possible by the so-called click pedals and the cycling shoes’ built-in cleats. The combination of the two ensures these shoes are great for pedalling uphill. It allows you to pull the pedals up from the back, letting you cycle uphill at lightening speed. The stiffness of the cycling shoes’ sole is also an important factor. The stiffer it is, the less energy that flows through the sole, which facilitates the power transfer.
Shoes for different uses
Bike shoes have a variety of different features depending on their recommended use. There are special types of shoes used for a racing bike, a mountain bike and a trekking bike. Road bike shoes have extremely stiff soles because the pedalling depends on weight. Their soles aren’t typically profiled because they’re not meant for you to constantly get off your bike and push it. Mountain bike shoes either have a stiff sole (racing-oriented) or a sole with a tread suited for walking (all-mountain-oriented). The MTB sole will always have some sort of tread that makes walking on unpaved surfaces possible.
Bike shoes for trekking tours are generally less stiff and provide a natural rolling foot movement when carrying your bike.
Plus, like most types of shoes that have a special sports function, you can get models that are either tailored to men or women. The main difference here is the fit, and sometimes also the look.
They should fit like a glove
When buying cycling shoes, you should prioritize a firm, good fit. If you end a long day of cycling with blisters on your heels, ankles and toes, then that can turn you away from cycling for a while. When selecting a size, you should ensure that your heel sits comfortably inside the shoes, and the toe box shouldn’t be too tight to avoid pressure points. You can often add an insole to perfectly adjust the shoes. In addition, the fit is also influenced by the different types of closures. Ratchet and hook-and-loop fasteners enhance the shoes’ stiffness, while lace-up shoes are much more comfortable.
An overshoe lets you wear your bike shoes in all weather conditions. Even though some wind and splashing water can be quite refreshing when riding in summer, it’ll send shivers down your spine in the colder seasons. Depending on your needs, you can get overshoes that are lightweight, wind-repellent and/or water-repellent for quick downhill rides on your racing bike, or more durable models with mudproof and waterproof features for muddy mountain bike trails.
Cycling shoes that are available on the market
There are cycling shoes from various manufacturers out on the market. Giro, Sidi, Pearl Izumi, Shimano or Northwave all produce cycling shoes for different uses and levels, and they offer a wide range of sizes and fits.