Spin Class Bike Shoes Buying Guide

Spin Class Bike Shoe Buying GuideMaybe you are taking spin class and have been using your running shoes. However, maybe you want better foot position to avoid discomfort or want a stiffer sole so you can transfer more power to the pedals. There are many good reasons to upgrade to bike shoes for both outdoor and indoor cycling. If you are having trouble figuring out which ones to get, we can help you find the right spin class bike shoes.

The biggest issue is that different bike pedals require different cleats. And different cleats require different shoes. If you get the wrong shoes, there will be no way to attach the cleats you need for the bikes at your gym/cycling studio. We don't want that to happen, so in this article we will walk you through the process of looking at cleat style, determining bolt pattern, and finding compatible shoes.

If you looking to buy both pedals and shoes for your bicycle (instead of just shoes for spin class) take a look a look at our more comprehensive Bike Shoes, Pedals, and Cleats Buying Guide article.

If you want to know why they are called clipless pedals, take a quick look at our Why Are They Called Clipless Pedals? article.

Pedal Style and Cleat Style

First, you need to know what kind of pedals are used in the cycling studio or gym that you attend. Most spin bikes use SPD-style pedals, but we've seen some that use Look Delta or other styles. Even though some styles look similar, or have similar sounding names, they are not interchangeable.

Cleat styles are not interchangeable

The most reliable way to answer this question is to find folks in your class who are wearing bike shoes and ask them what kind of cleats they have on their shoes. Maybe even take a picture.
You need the correct cleats for your spin class

Shopping for Cleats

You will need to buy a set of cleats for your shoes to attach to the pedals.

  1. Go to the Pedal & Cleats section of our website.
  2. In the left navigation column, under Pedal/Cleat Type, select Cleats.
  3. In the left navigation column, under Cleat Style, select the style you need for your spin class.

Cleat Style and Bolt Pattern

Cleats are bolted onto the bike shoes, so you need to know the bolt pattern of your cleats to get the right spin class bike shoes. Fortunately, it will be either 2-hole or 3-hole.

You can tell from looking at the cleat, or go to the Additional tab of the cleat product listing and see what it says for Cleat Bolts.

The bolt pattern of your cleats help you find the right shoes

Bolt Pattern and Bike Shoes

Now, you are ready to pick out your shoes.

Some shoes only work with 2-bolt cleats. Some shoes only work with 3-bolt cleats. But some shoes have holes drilled for both styles so they can use either. When you select the bolt pattern you are looking for, this will narrow the view to just the shoes that work with your cleats.

The other compatibility issue may be the shape of the pedals and the amount of tread on the shoes. Specifically, mountain bike shoes have chunky tread designed for walking up steep loose terrain. Some mountain bike shoes may have so much tread that they don't fit on the pedals at your gym/cycling studio. Take a close look at the pedals you will be using, and maybe even ask the others in your class if you can look at their shoes. (You can control how much tread your shoes have in step three, below.)

The final step is to choose the style and color that appeals to you. You can even get spin shoes that look like sneakers.

Cleat bolt is the most important thing to consider when choosing spin class bike shoesShopping for Spin Shoes

  1. Go to the Bike Shoes section of our website.
  2. In the left navigation column, under Cleat Bolts, select the number of bolts your cleats use.
  3. To avoid the problem of too much chunky tread, in the left navigation column, under Bike Shoe Type, play with the different options.*
  4. In the upper-right corner, change Sort By to Price: Low to High.**
  5. You can use the left navigation column to narrow your search some more: Men's Bike Shoes vs. Women's Bike Shoes, Manufacturer, Size, Color, etc.

* Commuter shoes and BMX/dirt jump shoes will typically have the most casual styling, and no extra tread. Road shoes have the least tread; they are typically designed for 3-hole cleats, but there are some 2-hole options as well. Mountain bike shoes have the most tread; if you need 2-hole shoes, you may want to look at some of these to increase your options.

** Even the least expensive shoes are fine for spin class. More expensive shoes are lighter, have stiffer soles, and are more aerodynamic. You can read through the descriptions of the shoes you are interested in to see what they offer. Lightness, stiffness, and aerodynamics are all important when you are racing, but far less so for spin class bike shoes.

Enjoy Your Spin Class Bike Shoes

All you need to do now is wait for your package to arrive, bolt your cleats onto your shoes, and head off to class!

If you have any questions at all, please let us know!


For further reading:
Why Are They Called Clipless Pedals?
Bike Shoes, Pedals, and Cleats Buying Guide

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Katherine is our Content Champion. She has done triathlons in the past, and now focuses on mountain biking and long-distance gravel riding. She still has a soft spot in her heart for weird multi-sport events like indoor triathlon and aquabike. She also teaches indoor cycling.