How Should Cycling Shoes Fit

One of the most common mistakes seen amongst people who go cycling is wearing the wrong size cycling shoes. This problem is second to only one problem and that is wearing the wrong shoes completely. Few people are aware of the purpose and importance of cycling shoes and why one cannot just wear any shoe when cycling. Cycling shoes are built with the sole purpose of being worn during cycling. They are designed in such a way that helps wearers keep their feet rigid while cycling. This helps to ensure that all the power from their feet is transferred directly to the pedals. While cycling shoes are not suitable for walking, running, or any other such activities, it is can make a huge difference in your cycling experience. 

How Should Cycling Shoes Fit

Let us take a look at the answer to that question, as we dive into the ideal way cycling shoes should fit your feet. There are seven factors that you should keep in mind when purchasing the right cycling shoes.

  • The length of the shoe

It is crucial that there is no extra room at the front of your cycling shoes. When you are cycling, it is important to wear shoes that fit snugly on top of your big toe. While a gap of around a few millimeters is allowed for comfort, anything more is a bad fit.

If you are confused as to how you are going to make sure the length of the shoe is a good fit, then align the back of your foot with the end of the shoe. Make sure that your heel is in full contact with the end of the shoe. Now check to see how much gap there is between your big toe and the top of the shoe. If the gap is less than a centimeter, you are good to go.

  • The width of your foot

The part of your foot which has the most width is at the front as well as the heels of the feet. There are people who have dysfunctional toes which makes their feet wider at the front.

Incidentally, your heel is the part of your foot that comes in contact with the pedal and applies the most pressure. It is important to make sure that there is no extra space at the sides of your foot when you are wearing cycling shoes. This is because the movement to the sides can cause serious injuries.

To check that you are wearing cycling shoes with the right width, all you have to do is put them on and mimic the motion of cycling. If you feel any kind of discomfort or extra pressure, then you know that pair is not fitting you right.

  • A firm grip

The ideal cycling shoe will provide your feet with a firm grip around the heels of your feet. There are two ways for you to test that out. Firstly, under no circumstance should your feet slip out of the shoe when you walk wearing them. The second is that the shoes should not pinch your feet.

As a matter of fact, there should be zero movements around your heels. The cycling shoe should fit comfortably yet firmly on your feet. Both the back and the front of the shoes must fit firmly and the shoes should feel snug when you wear them.

  • A good enclosure

It is crucial for any kind of sports shoe to have a good locking system, and it is no different for cycling shoes as well. Cycling requires a lot of pressure on your feet and it makes a huge difference to have quality shoes that are properly secured.

Under no circumstances should Velcro or buckles be used for cycling shoes. As for shoe laces or twist fasteners, if the top part of your shoe forms wrinkles after it has been tied, then it surely is not the right fit for you.

  • The sole of the shoe and the material

When it comes to cycling shoes, it is best for you to buy shoes with stiff soles. This because stiffer soles provide better performance and are more comfortable for the user.

The stiffness of the sole helps maintain the stability of the feet as well as preventing injuries due to fatigue. On the other hand, the material should only be stiff at certain points while still maintaining sensitivity in other areas of the foot.

  • The quality of the insole

All cycling shoes have a fitted insole inside of them. Although these insoles are enough to provide the basic cushioning to your feet, they are not the best for long term usage during cycling.

These insoles are extremely thin, making them not good for your feet. So it is a good idea, to purchase custom insoles made specifically for the purpose of cycling, as it will make the whole experience so much more comfortable.

  • The heel support

Lastly, the support provided by the cycling shoes for the heels. The heels of your cycling shoes should never pinch your feet. They should fit firmly and feel comfortably snug. Your heel should not move around while you are wearing the cycling shoes and the back of the shoe should provide the necessary support to prevent that.

The Importance of a Well-fit Cycling Shoe

Now that we have talked about how the perfectly right sized cycling shoes should fit you, it is time to take a look into the importance of wearing well-fit cycling shoes. You may be surprised by the impact cycling shoes can have on your overall cycling experience. 

Our feet have over a hundred ligaments, twenty-six bones, and a total of thirty-three joints, so it is natural that our foot health should be a major point of concern for us, especially since cycling involves huge pressure on our feet.

Wearing the right size shoes that fit properly is extremely useful for preventing injuries. Something a lot of people do not know is that, even though our feet stop growing once we become adults, they do change shape over time. 

The position of your cleats on your cycling shoes is very important as it is what determines what part of your feet will be impacted by the most pressure. For instance, if the cleats are positioned too forward, then your toes will undergo the most impact and it will cause strain on the muscles of your legs. The best thing you can do is ensure that the balls of your feet are aligned with the axle of the pedal. Another factor that can impact the positioning of the cleats on your cycling shoes is the length of the legs. It is a common condition to have one leg a bit longer than the other one, in that case, the problem can be solved using shims or wedges. People who have problems with angulations at the front or the back of their feet can also correct that by using wedges.

How Do You Know If Cycling Shoes are Too Small?

How Should Cycling Shoes Fit

Photo by: soroush-karimi

We have already discussed how you will understand the shoe you are eyeing is maybe too big for you. However what about cycling shoes that are too small for your feet. Well fitted cycling shoes are supposed to feel a bit tight as they are meant to be closely fitted.

However, that does not mean that the shoe will feel unnecessarily restrictive. Cycling shoes that are fitted well also tend to have a bit of space at the top so your toes can move freely and without any restrictions.

The whole point of wearing cycling shoes is to maintain the stability of the front of your feet, as that is the part that puts the most force on the pedals while cycling. So it is essential that there is a balance where your feet are still firmly covered by the shoe while your toes still have some room for movement.

Another thing everyone should be aware of is the fact that cycling shoes are not designed in a way that they will stretch over time after more and more usage. So it is very important that when purchasing a pair, you make sure that they are comfortable and snug.

They should fit without any sort of discomfort and they should not compass your toes in any manner. As we already mentioned, if you end up purchasing cycling shoes that are a bit too tight, there is no way to make them loosen up a bit. If your toes are touching the toe cap of the cycling shoes while pedaling then you should know that it is the wrong size for you.

The best way to avoid purchasing the wrong shoe is to simply put them on, and do the circular motion of cycling.

Some Pro Tips to Make Your Shopping Easier

So, you already got the idea which things to look for while searching the best-fitted cycling shoes. Hold on, we have some more tips for you! Sure, you should analyze the features to determine how should cycling shoes fit perfectly on your feet. However, by applying a few tips you can have your own Cinderella moment!

How Should Cycling Shoes Fit

Photo credit- The New York Times

Cycling Socks

Most of you might love wearing socks while cycling. They help to keep your feet safe from any dust and also secured inside the shoes. It’s always wise to bring your cycling socks while giving a trial to your cycling shoes. You’ll understand how rightly the shoes fit you for your regular movement.

After Work Shoe Shopping

As you spend most of your day, you’ll notice that your feet have swell up to a full size. It usually happens in a hot, sunny day when your feet perspire a lot. The same happens when you are spinning or cycling. Keeping this issue in mind, we recommend going for shoe shopping at the end of the day. Ley’s just say, the later you go, the more you can be able to grasp your shoe size.

Opt for the Half Size

Study shows that half-sized cycling shoes fit more accurately than a full size. As interesting as it sounds, you’ll find shoes half size bigger than its corresponding ones and still having the same sole length. So, the difference relies on the upper material of the shoes. You won’t need much extra space at the front of the shoes. So, half-sized cycling shoes are the best choice in this case.

Final Words

As we have mentioned over and over again, in this article it is essential to wear cycling shoes that fit perfectly in order to prevent any sort of injury. With that being said, we hope this article helped you learn all about the right ways to check if your cycling shoes fit.

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