Do I Need Special Shoes for Spin Class?

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If you want to get the most out of spinning, having the right equipment is critical.

If you participate in a spin class, you will know that the intensity of the workout can sometimes make you exhausted, but the endorphin kick after a session is amazing and makes it worthwhile.

If you’re new to spinning or even if you’ve been spinning for a while, you may wonder if you need special shoes. There are a lot of differing opinions out there.

This article will help point you in the right direction of things you need to think about and also we recommend 3 shoes below to give you a good starting point.

Table of Contents

Do I Need Special Shoes for Spin Class?

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Although many people wear their normal tennis shoes during a spin class, there are advantages to wearing a specialized pair. Consider the following reasons for purchasing your own pair of spin class shoes. 

  • Spin shoes allow you to clip into the spin bike pedals. Why would you want to clip in, you may ask? Clipping in keeps your foot stable and allows you a greater level of peddling power. 
  • The right shoes also keep you safe when walking around the gym. You need an aggressive outsole to keep your feet on the pedals and prevent slip and falls on the gym floor. 
  • Spinning produces a tremendous amount of sweat, including on your feet. If you are committed to spin classes, you are going to need a shoe that has extra breathability. Spin shoes keep your feet cool and comfortable during the most intense of spin classes. 

The truth is, having the right shoes ensures you can peddle safely and effectively. Although some gyms rent out spin shoes to their customers, it is better to own your own pair. 

Will Normal Cycling Shoes Fit Spin Class?

Most tennis shoes are going to be too wide and bulky to allow you to get your foot balanced on the indoor bike pedals.

It is important to note that most spin bikes have adjustable pedal straps that allow you to fit almost any shoe in place. If you talk to most spin instructors, you will hear they highly recommend you purchase a pair of spin shoes or at least wear a pair made for cycling

Cycling shoes are much slenderer than traditional gym shoes. It is important to note that most cycling or spin shoes do not come with cleats. You will need to purchase these separately to ensure you can clip in to the spin bike pedal.

It is also essential you realize these clip-in cleats allow for a quick release when it becomes necessary. Most cleats will allow your foot to release from the pedal by twisting your heels or suddenly pulling your foot upward. 

What to Look for in a Spin Shoe?

Before we delve into the details of what to look for in a spin shoe, you need to know the different types of cycling shoes.

Being aware of these types will help you select the right one for your spin class needs, no matter the intensity or class experience.

Indoor Cycling Shoes

Indoor cycling shoes are considered a hybrid between the other types, mountain bike, and road cycling.

These shoes have a slimmer profile than mountain cycling shoes and a thicker rubber outsole to allow you to walk around the spin class studio without falling. 

Indoor cycling shoes are also a bit heavier than the other types. Most people purchase these shoes for spin class because they have a more aggressive tread that keeps you balanced. 

Mountain Cycling Shoes

While some people wear mountain cycling shoes for spin class, this is not recommended. These shoes are typically heavier and less efficient. The rubber sole has a recessed cleat that may not be right for spin class. You also cannot equip these shoes with a cleat clip for the pedals. 

Road Cycling Shoes

Road cycling shoes are much stiffer than mountain cycling or indoor cycling shoes. The extreme stiffness of this shoe may make pedaling difficult in spin class.

You will find less resistance in your feet with indoor cycling shoes. 

Now that you know the three types of cycling shoes and why indoor cycling shoes are ideal for spin class, you need to know what to look for in a pair. 

  • You will need to consider the sole before purchasing a pair of spin class shoes. You will find indoor cycling shoe soles will be made of different materials, including plastic, carbon fiber, fiberglass, or a combination of the three. It is best to choose a sole that is stiff and will offer stability on the pedal. You will also need to make sure you choose a shoe that is compatible with the pedal system of your spin bike. 
  • You are going to find most spin shoes have an upper that is fabricated and highly breathable. Because your feet can sweat extensively during an intense class, you will want to be sure your shoe offers airflow that will prevent a buildup of bacteria that could lead to odors and even fungal or bacterial infections. 
  • You will also need to choose a spin shoe that has the right closure system. Closure system options include Velcro, ratchet, and laces. Do not choose a lace system because your laces could come undone and get tangled in the peddle system. For ease and comfort, most spin bike instructors recommend Velcro. 

Our Top Three Recommendations – What Shoes to Wear to Spin Class

Although there are many cycling shoes on the market that will work well for spin class, there are some that offer better performance than others. We would like to introduce you to our top three choices so you can select the right one for your spin class needs. 

nike superrep cycle
  • If you use Peloton or Zwift, these shoes will be perfect because of their pedal compatibility. 
  • Nike Superrep Cycles are highly comfortable and lightweight, allowing you to push yourself to its limits without foot fatigue. 
  • We really like the wide toe box of these shoes and consider them a bonus because many spin shoes are slenderer in the toe box and can cramp your toes.

shimano
  • We like the single strap of these spin shoes because they make for easy donning and removal. 
  • You can install the pedal system of your choice on these shoes so they work with any spin bike. 
  • These shoes offer the maximum level of ventilation, allowing your feet to stay dryer and more comfortable in class. 

giro rumble vr 2
  • This clipless shoe is versatile, allowing you to wear it for more than spin class alone. 
  • The high-quality synthetic upper breathes and keeps your feet cool and comfortable. 
  • The midsole is light and flexible, absorbing shock and keeping you from developing foot pain. 

Conclusion – Do I Need Special Shoes for Spin Class?

While some people wear regular cycling shoes or even tennis shoes to spin class, this is not something we recommend. Spin class becomes highly intense and pushes your body to the limits.

Without the right shoes, you could be uncomfortable and your lack of focus could lead to performance issues or at the very least not enable you to get the most out of the experience.

If you are going to participate in a spin class regularly and need inspiration, we hope the three recommended shoes give you a good starting point.

Wearing these shoes will allow you to experience the highest level of comfort, support, and protection. The right shoes will cradle your feet in support and allow you to clip in properly to the pedals for a safer ride.

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