Best Road Cycling Shoes 2021

What could be more blissful than grabbing a bike from the backyard, giving it a little oil here and there, and hitting one of the longest roads you can find on a hot summer day. Then again, if you are planning on a long bike trip, you definitely have to gear up for what’s headed your way. Your bike relies on your feet for fuel and torque. If you can’t do that right, road trips on a bike would not be as much fun, if there is no sufficient power delivery. This is because you need right footing on the pedals and conventional shoes will not help you achieve that. This is why you want to trying out the Best Road Cycling Shoes 2021 out there, and oh boy can they make the whole experience more thrilling.  

Buying Guide

When you do buy your first pair of road bike shoes, you’ll notice that the sole is quite different from what you usually see on conventional footwear. The soles are made from stiff materials and shaped like hooks. The cleats on the shoes allow you to clip on to the pedals for maximum power delivery. However, the choice of terrain will guide you towards certain types of bike shoes as there are choice for mountain biking, regular bike rides and road cycling. Road bike shoes have minimum tread and are purpose built for extreme road cycling enthusiast and athletes. Therefore, they are not meant for long walks. 

Build Quality

There are certain key features that you must look out for when you are in the market for a pair. The shoe outsole shoes be smooth, with no tread marks. Other than that, the sole should feel really stiff and sturdy for seamless power transfer to the pedals. If it bends or given in to minimum pressure, either the salesman is trying to food you or the quality of the shoes are terrible. Other than that, you will find cleats beneath that protrudes out from the sole. Once you begin your search and try them on, one after the other, looking for something that are light-weight and have great ventilation. As bonus tips, get something that is made from carbon fiber, as you will get something extremely durable, lightweight and rigid. This is how you will ensure efficiency and performance. 

How They Should Fit

You are looking for something that will give you a different and a more refined cycling experience. Therefore, the right kind of bike shoes should fit comfortably from the very beginning. Heels should not slide here and there though, and your arch should feel supported and snug. Other that that, the toe area should be wide enough so that your toes can wiggle a little.

Bike Shoe Accessories

Bike shoes come with a range of accessories. They may either have laces or straps to give you the tightness you deserve. Even though Laces will give you a comfortable and the best customizable fit, they can often get dirty. Make sure to tuck them away so that they do not get tangled in a chain that has no guard. That’s why hook-on straps are better and a much safer choice. The more that straps a road bike shoe has, the more the adjustability. There are also road bike shoes with notched cam straps with buckles and dial cable laces. They are user-friendly, and offer better and consisted fit compared to laces or straps, but not very budget friendly. 

Price Range

Road bike shoes are made by several different brands. You can find them in prices to as much as $500 and as low as $50. However, budget friendly prices do not mean low quality as there are brands that cater to this market segment as well, and also deliver the quality required to get a rising enthusiast on to the right foot. 

Therefore, today we are here to drop in a few interesting recommendations you cannot really do without. We have hand picked the choice we are about to discuss below and promise you are going to love every penny spent on these monsters of road bike shoes. 

Image

Product

Features

Price

Buy

PEARL IZUMI PRO Road v5

PEARL IZUMI PRO Road v5

Dual Boa IP1 reels

Water-shedding PI Dry technology

PRO Air Carbon Power Plate

$$$

Fizik Aria R3

Fizik Aria R3

laser-perforated Microtex

dual Boa IP1-B dials

non-directional carbon sole

$$$

Giro Empire SLX

Giro Empire SLX

3-BOLT CLEAT COMPATIBLE

Easton EC90 SLX2 high-modulus carbon outsole

One-piece Synch wire upper Lace

$$$

Sidi Wire 2 Carbon

Sidi Wire 2 Carbon

soft instep closure system

vent carbon sole

matt techpro microfiber (upper material)

$$$

Vittoria Alisè

Vittoria Alisè

UPPER: Synthetic PU waterproof leather

Nylon Reinforced Sole

CLOSURE: Boa L6

$$

SiaeBikno Cheboo

SiaeBikno Cheboo

Made of breathable Micro-fiber

Water-resistant Nylon Sole

Ergonomic sole design for maximum grip

$$

Tommaso Strada 100

Tommaso Strada 100

Synthetic sole

fit all 3-bolt and 2-bolt cleat systems

rear reflective strip

Ergonomic three strap

$$

SHIMANO SH-IC500

SHIMANO SH-IC500

Rubber sole

Compatible with SPD / 2-hole Cleats

Easy to Walk In

Adjustable BOA Dial

$$

Fizik Tempo R5

Fizik Tempo R5

100% Synthetic

R5 nylon composite outsole

foot-wrapping Velcr

$$

 NAICUTE Cycling Shoes

NAICUTE Cycling Shoes

Locking buckle design

Anti-slip rubber

Ventilation

SPD 23 Bolt

$

1. PEARL IZUMI PRO Road v5

PEARL IZUMI PRO Road v5

 If you like things hand-made, if you like things that possess true engineering finesse, and if you are particular about the materials used to make something you want to buy, this will blend in to your demands like magic. Pearl Izumi spend 2 years designing the Pro Road V5 and integrated carbon-fiber into its construction. It automatically refers to light-weight, rigidity and longevity. At the same time, they also did not compromise in terms of comfort and design. Wearing one of these will surely turn a few heads around.

PROS

  • Water-Proofing PI Dry Technology
  • Lightweight
  • Durable

CONS

  • Slow after-sales service
  • Difficult to wear

2. Fizik Aria R3

Fizik Aria R3

About Brand: No other brand in the market today will offer you as much flexibility as the ones Fizik offer. By this we mean that the Aria R3 is designed to mold into your feet seamlessly due to its highly adaptive insole technology. Other than standing out in terms of aesthetics, the design is also dedicated to exceptional power delivery. Similar to other competitors within this price-range, the Aria R3 harbors a light-weight design and carries the brand-new BOA IP1-B dials to precisely control the fitness of the pair. Fizik believes in the philosophy of incorporating modern tech in each of its products. Therefore, proper ventilation and carbon-fiber sole for them is a no-brainer.

PROS

  • BOA IP1-B Dials for proper fit
  • Adequate Ventilation and temperature control
  • Laser-cut perforations

CONS

  • Inadequate packaging
  • No padding in mid-sole

3. Giro Empire SLX

Giro Empire SLX

 Giro is not of the most prominent makers of Road Bike Shoes today as they solely identify themselves as a dedicated cyclist accessory supplier. The company was founded in 1985, in Santa Cruz, California. Since then, they relentlessly strived to develop innovative ideas about how to build road bike shoes to enhance the riding experience. They abide by the philosophy of freedom and independence which you will find in the Empire SLX which has  sync-wire build to reduce overall weight of the show in addition to X-Static fiber that creates a breathable environment for your feet so that they stay cool no matter how hard your push yourself. Now that is an amazing product!

PROS

  • OMFORTABLE AND SUPPORTIVE FIT and aesthetic silver design
  • Easton EC90 SLX2 for powerful pedaling
  • 3-BOLT CLEAT COMPATIBLE

CONS

  • Lace adjustment for fitting
  • Limited color choices

4. Sidi Wire 2 Carbon

Sidi Wire 2 Carbon

A company that has been around for almost 60 years, SIDI dedicated itself to motorsport and bike clothing since its inception in 1960.

SIDI takes great pride in making protective wear for cyclists. They are built to last and harbor top of the line design and materials in its construction. SIDI has been used by professionals to win importance races and world championships. Traditionally, SIDI used wood and leather making the shoes. However, after the 1970’s, they shifted to use to carbon-fiber and high-quality durable plastics to give it a more distinctive look apart from its low tiered competitors who use conventional materials.

PROS

  • soft instep closure system
  • 3 push system adjustable heel retention
  • 4 single techno-3 push system techno

CONS

  • Poor sizing options
  • Poor after-sales service

5. Vittoria Alisè

Vittoria Alisè

Vittoria, apart from Fizik, is one such company that tries to build shoes that will deliver all the purpose its high tiered competitors offer but at a more affordable price range. The only difference is that they work really hard on making the aesthetics too very distinct. You will not find any road bike shoes that look quite like the Alisè in the market today

PROS

  • Nylon reinforced sole
  • Boa L6 closure
  • PU water-proof leather make

CONS

  • Limited design options
  • Heel has no traction

6. SiaeBikno Cheboo

SiaeBikno Cheboo

SiaeBikno is all about making you feel like you’re about to get     on your Bat-mobile on the way to save they world. If SiaeBikno made a list of what they left out when making the Cheboo, the list would really have nothing. Use of durable materials, making them lightweight and convenient to wear, adaptability to all pedal types and making them incredibly safe through proper padding but also making them resistant to high pressure when delivery maximum force to the pedals makes Cheboo one of the best choices for road bike shoes.

PROS

  • Adjustable Rotating buckle
  • Hook and Loop Strap with a single dial (Hybrid)
  • Ergonomic fit design for maximum comfort

CONS

  • Nylon Sole
  • Solid cleats do not come in the box; buy separately

7. Tommaso Strada 100

Tommaso Strada 100

 Tommaso targets cyclist that are more into regular bike rides. Similar to SiaeBikno, the Tommaso Strada 100 is an all-around road bike shoe designed for outdoor, indoor, fitness or commuters riding. This is an entry-level choice for cyclist with a three-hole pattern shoe for clipless riding. The build also carried a stiff fiberglass polyamide reinforced sole for accurate power delivery to the pedals.

PROS

  • Compatible with 2/3 hole cleats
  • 2-year warranty
  • Factory Direct delivery
  • US Based Service Staff

CONS

  • Not compatible with Pelotons
  • Difficult to screw-in cleats due to deeper threads

8. SHIMANO SH-IC500

SHIMANO SH-IC500

 Shimano is a Japanese MNC that manufactures bike component, and other sport accessories such as rowing equipment and fishing tackles. Other than that, Shimano also specializes in road bike shoes that are compatible to SDP pedals. They come with BOA L6 dials and this is something that you can easily walk with and also facilitates efficient power transfer to the pedals due to its grippy rubber sole and recessed cleats.

PROS

  • User can walk freely
  • Made for both indoor and outdoor cycling
  • Quick and precise adjustment with BOA dials

CONS

  • No spares included
  • Limited sizes available

9. Fizik Tempo R5

Fizik Tempo R5

Fizik is the contender for the best road bike shoes, making it difficult for us not to recommend the highly demanded Temp R5 road bike shoe. This is one the most innovative offering Fizik has built just for you. It has Velcro fittings for having that enveloping fit feel. Fizik also believes in custom fit with all of its finished products. That’s why the Tempo R5 have separate controls that adjust instep and midfoot adjusting capabilities for maximum compression and customized fit.

PROS

  • 100% Synthetic
  • Adequate perforations for ventilation
  • Power-strap adjustable

CONS

  • Narrow build
  • Can get dirty easily

10. NAICUTE Cycling Shoes

 NAICUTE Cycling Shoes

 If you’re setting out to a new journey towards become a cycling enthusiast, Naicute has you covered with its advanced features that most high-tiered manufacturers offer at a very affordable price. Given its affordability, Naicute has not flunked in terms of quality and is very highly recommended by users who have tried it out for the first time when setting out on to their road cycling endeavor. Naicute makes road cycling shoes that are built to delivery a variety of use such as roadriding, commuting, touring, indoor spinning etc.

PROS

  • Breathable Mesh
  • Multi-purpose use
  • Hybrid buckle with lace and tightening dial
  • High Quality nylon sole
  • Reflective materials on top

CONS

  • String System lacks adequate rigidity

Final Words

Amongst the abundant recommendations we have outlined for you, our personal favorite is the SIDI Wire 2 Carbon. It’s the totality of what a road cyclist would expect from a road cycling shoe. Quality materials, longevity, ventilation, adequate rigidity, safety, and lightweight construction makes this the ideal choice for any cyclist today. 

Other than that, SIDI has invested years of research and development in making the best and the safest road bike shoes out there.

You can also read: How to Choose Cycling Shoes

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