When you are getting yourself cycling shoes, it is better for your own safety that you don’t go with cheaper options and pick your protection and comfort over the price. There are however, really good options out there with a smaller price tag on them but even those are somewhat pricey. This is why doing a bit of research is necessary before you buy yourself a pair of cycling shoes. To make this easier for you, we did the research for you and put together a list of some of the best cycling shoes out there. Let’s get right into it then!
Best Leather Cycling Shoes
Provides great performance
2 bolt cleat compatible
Offers a durable design
Giro Republic LX
Made from high quality leather
Offers a laced closure
Compatible with 2 bolt cleats
Vittoria 1976 Evo
Comes with a synthetic sole
Has a breathable design
It is hand stitched
Bont Vaypor Sprint Road
Gives you both comfort and speed
It is completely heat moldable
Has a unisex design
Sidi Alba 2
Made from synthetic leather
Premium quality design
Has a vented mesh design
Comes with a rubber sole
Has a lightweight midsole
Has a vented synthetic leather design
1. Shimano SH-RP2
If you want something that offers you both comfortability and durability at a price that is quite reasonable, especially for a well-known premium brand like Shimano then the SH-RP2 is exactly what you need.
This shoe doesn’t just manage to give you a stylish look but it also when you’re out riding those long or even short distances, it manages to give a great anti-skid protection. When it comes to keeping your feet protected from the trail debris and also kept dry, Shimano has been making shoes for years just for that and they have made a pretty good name for themselves with their leather shoes.
When it comes to adaptability and style, Shimano proudly stands second to none with their high quality shoes and they have countless positive reviews about the quality and aesthetics of their shoes. This shoe offers you a range of colours to choose from and they are great to be used both by beginners and even more experienced professional riders.
These shoes do a great job at making sure that your feet are both dry and warm with their high tech features and most other leather shoes may provide you with the same but with this shoe’s special shape and construction, it does it a lot better. With the hook and loop straps you can get tight fits with ease.
2. Giro Republic LX
This shoe was designed by Giro to give you the performance standards from the modern shoes with a retro style to it. The Republic LX by Giro isn’t just focused on style, it makes sure your feet get the maximum comfort when you have it on.
Giro’s main reason for choosing the specific color of sepia leather was because they wanted to invoke the feeling of the old times when wearing these leather shoes showed a sign of professionalism and class.
This shoe ensures that your feet stay in place when you’re riding with the shoe’s no tie tightening feature that takes just an easy bit of adjustment to get working. If you’re someone who is serious about cycling then this shoe is definitely something worth looking at, due to the not just stylish but the durable and high performance design.
You also get a padded and sturdy heel with leather upper which makes the shoe more comfortable. The Republic LX is definitely a great choice for both professional and beginner riders.
3. Vittoria 1976 Evo
If you’re looking for something to give you that classy premium feel while being lightweight, durable and comfortable when you’re out riding for long periods of time, this Vittoria 1976 Evo is for you.
This shoe is constructed from classic Italian leather and to make things better it is also hand stitched to make sure of the perfection you’ll get out of it. While being very stylish and great for both seasoned and beginner riders, these shoes give you the best no matter the riding condition you throw at them.
You can wear these shoes with regular clothing outside of cycling purposes unlike your traditional shoes for cycling. Moreover, they have a pretty secure fit and are quite easy to wear.
With all the well thought features and the premium quality materials used to make this, the price you’re paying it completely fair. This shoe is very comfortable and can withstand any weather condition or roadway when you’re riding. However, these are not the shoes for you if you’re someone with wide feet since they do have a pretty narrow design.
4. Bont Vaypor Sprint Road
When it comes to the design of the shoe, Bont shoes have an actual feet like design. Their toe box has a more anatomically correct rounder and broader design when you put it up against any other brands. With the Vaypor Sprint Road, Bont achieves better foot support with the heel cup, the outsole that is shaped like a bathtub and the arch support.
You can also get a custom fit out of this shoe since it is heat moldable and just requires you to toss in your home oven. Apart from the amazing fit that Bont offers you in this shoe, you also get a proper stiff sole, dual BOA IP1 closure system and the Durolite upper with the suede leather lining. All this combined, the Vaypor Sprint Road is definitely a great cycling shoe.
5. Sidi Alba 2
Sidi is a brand with quite a bit of recognition in the world of cycling shoes. With their premium quality, style and performance the price tags on their shoes are completely worth it.
The Alba 2 comes with the same sole that most high end expensive models use, the Millennium 4 Carbon Composite sole and it also has heel and toe lugs which are replaceable. You also get a surprisingly stiff sole for the price of this shoe. The leather gets some added durability and scratch resistance from the upper synthetic Politex material.
Similar to a BOA dial this shoe has a closure system on top called the Techno 3 dial which also lets you adjust the fit while riding. Even though the Alba 2 are more on the cheaper lineup of Sidi, it still has that great stylish design that Sidi is known for.
6. Shimano SH-XC5
If you want to upgrade your mountain bike riding experience in a more affordable way then these shoes are definitely the way to go. You get a snug and tight fit on the mid foot from the thermoplastic polyurethane or TPU that is used in the upper and also the BOA dial. You get a stiff rubber sole that has mud shredding treads and is also very grippy. For messy situations, it also has a spike mount.
This shoe still manages to be really comfortable and lightweight, given all of the reinforcements that it has on. With these pairs of cycling kicks, if you want you could even get a heel cup that is lower and smaller to provide your ankle with more movement avoiding any sort of unwanted pressure on the ankles or any slippage.
If you’re someone who takes cycling seriously then you need to be serious about the shoes you get as well. While it may be a bit hard to choose a good pair of cycling shoes and it can get quite expensive, it is important that you make the right decision since this is something your performance is also dependent on. You need to consider the fact that the key point of contact between your bike and yourself are your feet, meaning they need to be well protected from any sort of injuries or risk you may come across when riding.
A good pair of cycling shoes will provide you with more efficiency, power transfer, comfort and a lot more features that will all help to increase your overall performance when you’re riding. Leather is a premium material and offers the top quality style, functioning, performance and moreover they are also more comforting to wear in many cases, so let’s take a look at some.
Your feet need to be well protected and comforted with the shoe that you choose to go with or you’ll be affecting your own performance for the worse and won’t be making improvements.
When you’re out to buy cycling shoes and you want something with a more premium feel and quality then you will end up investing quite a bit of money, which is why it is important to do your research beforehand and consider a couple of things.
The Fit of the Shoe
This may be obvious but it is one of the most important things that you need to check when you’re getting yourself cycling shoes. Some brands provide you with a much bigger range of sizes and fit to choose from and there are some brands that even let you have a custom heat mould fitting.
Something you should also keep in mind is that manufacturers often have different fittings for the same size and also the size conversion across US, EU and UK also vary a lot of times.
The Shoe Construction
If you’re looking for a lightweight and more efficient option then soles made of carbon fiber are definitely the ones you should go for since they give you a less strainful pedaling and ensure a better transfer of power and energy throughout the pedal.
Shoes with leather, synthetic materials and even knitted uppers are pretty common now but it’s important that you choose a shoe that has a more breathable and properly ventilated upper for better air circulation inside the shoe.
The traditional options that are used for closures are velcro, laces and BOA dials. While you do get a more comfortable upper foot fitting with laces, you can’t make adjustments while riding, velcro straps can give a much similar adjustability but they tend to wear out after a year or so of use. Rotatable dials are much more secure and easier to use.
It is important to take the comfort of your feet into consideration when you’re buying cycling shoes. Of course with premium quality materials like leather, comfort would be no question but doing a proper research always helps. We hope this list helped you find something that is suited to your needs to help you get riding!
You can also read: Best Indoor Cycling Shoes