Cycling Shoes You probably know someone or have heard of “spinning classes” from someone. Maybe, you’re already a part of a spinning class. Spinning also referred to as “indoor cycling” is a form of exercise with classes focusing on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity, and recovery. It involves using a special stationary bicycle with a weighted flywheel. The flywheel along with other mechanical components replicate what it’s like to ride a real bicycle. Resistance can also be altered as per your liking. A typical class involves a single instructor who leads the participants through routines that are designed to simulate situations similar to riding a bike outdoors. Some of the movements and positions include hill climbs, sprints, and interval training.
Think of spinning as riding a normal bike. Just like on a normal bike, your fit and position need to be spot on. A wrongly adjusted spinning bike can cause aches and pains over time. If the exercises are not done correctly or the rider’s position is bad, injuries can occur; problems with the lower back and knees are most common.
Spinning is taken very seriously by people attending spinning classes – cycling shoes are a common accessory that can be spotted at most spinning classes. Just as in the case of cycling on the road, cycling shoes can help out in a big way. Cycling shoes are a lot more efficient than compared to normal running shoes. Besides, if you’re already attending a spin class, chances are that you have already been recommended cycling shoes by your trainer.
WHAT ARE CYCLING SHOES AND WHY DO I NEED THEM?
Cycling shoes are one of the greatest performance-enhancing accessories to have that can really transform your cycling – the same applies to indoor cycling. You can experience the same adrenaline-pumping action indoors – with the help of cycling shoes and pedals you can elevate your indoor cycling experience to new heights.
REASONS WHY YOU NEED CYCLING SHOES
- Cycling shoes have a stiff sole, which allows you to apply more force while pedaling.
- By connecting your shoe to the pedal, you will utilize more muscle groups throughout the pedal stroke.
- In addition, to increase force output, the stiff sole of a cycling shoe allows you to transfer power more efficiently from your feet to the pedals. A rigid cycling shoe protects your feet from the stress of pedaling.
- Studies have shown that the use of Cycling shoes leads to reduced occurrences of knee injuries. Modern-day clipless pedals now offer varying degrees of rotational float (0° to 15°). These free float pedals allow the knee to travel in a more linear and natural motion while pedaling thus reducing the stresses on the knee.
If you still feel that cycling shoes aren’t for you then you can use the toe-straps provided on the pedals at the gym. Most indoor bikes come with these straps pre-fitted to the pedals. They’re not as efficient as cycling shoes but are a good stepping stone if you’re not too sure.
FEATURES TO LOOK OUT FOR
There are primarily two kinds of cycling shoes that you can look at for your spin classes. Both perform and function similarly – road bikes shoes use a clipless pedal-shoe combination where cleats at the bottom of the shoe attach securely to the pedals. Road shoes are usually stiffer and lighter for the highest possible performance gains. They’re meant to fit super snug too which further increases your power and efficiency.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have MTB shoes that cater to riders riding in off-road scenarios. These shoes feature a 2-bolt design whereas road shoes feature a 3-bolt design. On MTB shoes, the cleat is recessed into the sole making it easier for you to walk around. The only disadvantage here is that the MTB shoes are often not as stiff and are quite a bit heavier.
We’d recommend sticking to MTB shoes for spinning as they are also usually cheaper and give you the freedom of walking around without waddling. However, if you already own a road bike or are planning to purchase one soon then a road shoe is a god idea – you could use it for the spin classes and your road rides. At the end of the day, since you’re cycling in a stationary position any cycling shoe will do fine. Consider ventilation and retention systems as a priority as the fit is essential.