How to Choose Cycling Shoes?

How to choose cycling shoes?

Just like running, cycling shoes also come in various technicalities and designs to support the type of cycling you do! Read on to find out more.

Not all shoes are alike. Walking, cycling and even regular shoes offer specific functionality. 

When it comes to cycling shoes, similarly, not all cycling shoes are not created the same.

There are those specifically designed for mountain biking (also known as MTB shoes), while others are designed for road cycling conditions.

Here’s a look at how to choose cycling shoes for specific types of cycling.

How to Choose Cycling Shoes?

Why is it essential to choose cycling shoes?

You might decide to use your regular shoes for cycling instead of investing in a pair of cycling shoes, but you will soon realize that your everyday shoes are not designed for cycling.

Bike shoes might seem unnecessary, but they are necessary to increase your comfort and efficiency while cycling.

When cycling, your body and bike must work together as one unit. Cycling shoes are designed to help you do that – they help transfer energy from your feet to your pedals efficiently. 

They also ensure comfort during long bike rides and go a long way in preventing blisters and hot spots.

Cycling shoes also ensure your feet don’t slip off the pedals. The soles are built sturdy to help them remain on the pedal.

If you are wondering where to buy cycling shoes in Singapore, you are in the right place.

Here we look at the difference between road cycling and MTB shoes, what to look for in road cycling and MTB shoes, and what cycling shoes Singapore has to offer.

How to Choose Cycling Shoes?

Why are road cycling shoes different from mtb shoes?

Road cycling and MTB shoes are not the same.

Let’s start with the terrain. Roads are usually even, smooth, and paved. Bikes for road cycling are designed to be lighter than most other types of cycles.

When road cycling, cyclists must maintain their bodies in one position for a long time.

Road cycling shoes must ensure maximum comfort for long periods, so they are designed sleek and lightweight, snug, offer excellent ventilation, and sport stiff soles.


Mountain terrains are rough, uneven, and rugged. The bikes used for mountain biking are much heavier and sturdier than road bikes.

MTB shoes are designed to match the terrain and the bikes used for mountain biking. 

Mountain bikers use their entire body to control the mountain bike, and they must shift their body weight – often having to stand for sustained power and to remain balanced.

The shoes must offer a good grip on the pedals and be easy to clip. On rugged terrain, bikers must adjust their feet constantly, so MTB shoes are designed with flexible soles.

How to Choose Cycling Shoes?

Road bike shoes

Most road cycling shoes are strictly designed for cycling and not for walking. In fact, some shoes can be challenging to walk in because of their bigger cleats and stiff soles.

Some shoes, however, are designed for cycling and walking – just in case you must walk with your bike – even for short distances.

Most road cycling shoes come with a three-hole cleat system that works with road-specific cleats and pedals.

Road cycling shoes offer both laces and a closure system of ratcheting straps or POA cables, and what you decide to go with is a matter of your preference.

A good pair of road cycling shoes offer the following features:

- Stiff soles (stiffer than mountain bikes)

- An excellent closure system (laces, POA cables, or ratcheting straps)

- A three-hole cleat system

- Rigidity for foot and ankle

- Good ventilation

- Excellent comfort

How to Choose Cycling Shoes?

Road/gravel bike shoes

A nifty in-between for hybrid riders!

The Triban RC 500 Lace Road & Gravel Bike Shoes is a lightweight pair suitable for both road and gravel biking.

A nylon, fibreglass-filled sole and heel stiffeners provide excellent stiffness for efficient pedalling. Perforation on the forefoot offers good ventilation for long hours on a bike.

The PU rubber sole provides long-lasting comfort even when walking.

This pair is also compatible with SPD cleats/pedals.

How to Choose Cycling Shoes?

Mountain bike (mtb) shoes

Mountain bike shoes are available as both clipless and flats – the choice is a personal preference. 

However, the shoes you choose must offer great flexibility, and they must also have a recessed cleat to get off your bike and walk comfortably on rough terrain. 

MTB shoes often come with a two-bold system that makes it easier for you to clip in and out of and adjust multiple positions on the pedals.

A good pair of MTB shoes offers the following features:

- Heavy, beefier body made of durable material

- Flexible soles

- Recessed two-bold cleat

- Multidirectional lugs for good grip

Rockrider Mountain Bike Shoes are available in two styles. 

While one is designed for 1.5-hour wear and SPD compatible, the other is for 2-hour wear and SPD and platform-pedal compatible. 

Both pairs offer excellent fitting for comfort, multidirectional lugs for superior grip during cycling and walking, hybrid soles with stiffener, and a two-hole cleat compatible system.

Tips for buying cycling shoes

- Understand what you will use the cycling shoes for – road cycling, MTB, triathlon, or commuter.

- Choose between clipless shoes and flats. While clipless shoes offer efficiency and offer better rear-wheel control, flats can help you develop skills.

- Ensure the pair you choose is lightweight and stiff.

- Consider the compatibility of the shoes with the pedals.

- Ensure the pair you choose has a secure closure system.

- Cycling shoes are designed to fit snugly. When choosing a cycling pair, you might want to go down half a size from your regular shoe size.

- There should be little toe-room, and the shoe should hold your forefoot well. The ball of your foot should fit comfortably on the broadest part of the shoe.

- The insole must be durable and comfortable – you can choose between fibreglass and carbon fibre-filled soles; both significantly improve your cycling efficiency.

So there you have it – everything you need to know about the cycling shoes Singapore offers. 

While ‘cycling shoes’ is a general term used for all types of shoes designed for cycling, there are differences in the use of these shoes. 

It’s never a good idea to substitute road cycling pair with an MTB pair of shoes, so choose wisely with this guide!

How to Choose Cycling Shoes?

Written by: jason tan

Cycling digital sports leader, decathlon singapore

Having a good pair of cycling shoes makes all the difference!

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