Indoor cycling shoes (for use at Alpenglow)

Shimano XC5 womens mountain biking shoes, which work as spinning or indoor cycling shoesWe get a lot of questions about bike shoes. The lingo can be opaque and confusing, and not all bike shop employees are familiar with indoor cycling classes, so aren’t sure what to recommend. Never fear, we’re here to help!

First things first, our bikes take SPD cleats, so you’ll need two things: SPD compatible shoes and the SPD cleats themselves. You connect the cleat to the bottom of the shoe with a hex or Allen key, which we have at the front desk of the studio.

I wear Shimano’s XC5 Mountain Bike Shoes with SPD cleats. I’ve had this pair of shoes since opening the studio in 2018 and they are still going strong! I have no idea how many classes I’ve taught in them but it’s a LOT. They show no signs of wear. I’m really impressed with them! I like that they have a firm sole, which helps prevent foot cramps; and the laces don’t ever get caught in the pedals. I was concerned they would be kind of flimsy when I first got them, but I was wrong.

Another thing I love about these shoes is the cleat sits recessed in the bottom of the shoe, so they don’t scuff up the floors. You all know how crazy I am about our floors, so this is a biggee for me :)

If you’re considering making the transition from sneakers to cycling shoes, DO IT! You’ll get so much more out of each pedal stroke, plus it really helps prevent foot cramps. Clipping in is much easier than fiddling with the straps on the bike’s pedal cages too.

side by side comparison of the bottom of two cycling shoes, the one on the left has the correct, SPD cleat for use with our bikes. The other cleat won't clip in properlyAny of our instructors can help you learn how to clip in and out. It takes a little getting used to, but is well worth the effort. Yes, I’m a clipless evangelist! (Why are they called clipless when you are actually clipping in? I don’t know, but agree, it is confusing.)

Remember: when shopping for shoes, mention you need SPD compatible shoes and SPD cleats. Sometimes the bike store folks don’t know what we mean by “spinning shoes.”

If there’s any confusion at the shop, you can show them this picture. On the left are SPD-style cleats (YES) and on the right are, confusingly, SPD-SL, which do not work with our bikes (NO). (These shoes are so dirty because they are my outdoor bike shoes!)