best road bike shoes review

Best Road Bike Shoes For Improved Experience: Reviews 2021

Wanna ride your bike in comfort and reach your maximum cycling potential with every pedal stroke you make?

If yes, start by investing in the best road bike shoes.

Unlike the typical sneakers, the cycling shoes have a stiffer sole that ensures all the power produced by your feet goes straight to the pedal, without being absorbed by your shoe cushion.

This way, you’ll cycle more efficiently, with reduced fatigue, and get there fast!


The market is filled myriads of cycling shoes, which gives you a hard time when looking for the perfect pair.

Don’t give up though;

I’ve crafted this post to help you get a superb pair of shoes without headaches.

Below, you’ll get a lineup of the freshest, best cycling shoes from reliable brands that will dramatically transform your biking experiences.


Plus I’ve included some exclusive info on how to easily select your ideal cycling shoes.

Discover more details below…

Why You Need a Pair Of Road Bike Shoes?

By not wearing road bike shoes, you miss out on top benefits they come with it, which propel you to your full cycling potential.

In this section, I’ll discuss with you how wearing cycling shoes when riding your bike can give you greater riding experience.

Firstly, wearing shoes specially made for bike riding improves your pedaling performance. They come with a stiff sole design that directs all the force produced by your leg muscles to the pedal- allowing you to pedal with less resistance (and without getting easily fatigued).

Secondly, cycling shoes clip in (or locks into place), ensuring they don’t easily slip around. This minimizes chances of hip, knees, and ankle injuries.

Thirdly, the art of these shoes locking into position improves your comfort when cycling. They prevent the numbness that results from your shoes getting squeezed into the quite narrow two cages.

Lastly, these cycling shoes tend to largely target your core and glutes better when riding, thereby improving your muscle-building factor or workout quality- for those who ride for fitness purposes.

Now you know why you need to wear that pair of road bike shoes. Next, we take a look at some of the top-best cycling shoes that you can order today to start enjoying the benefits mentioned above…

10 Best Road Bike Shoes Picks:

1. 2018 Shimano Men's RP1 Bicycling Shoes Review:

SHIMANO SH-RP1 High Performing All-Rounder Cycling Shoe, Black 2017,...
1,611 Reviews
SHIMANO SH-RP1 High Performing All-Rounder Cycling Shoe, Black 2017,...
  • The SH-RP100 (RP1) is a Versatile 5-Hole Outsole: Compatible with both SPD / 2-hole and SPD-SL 3-hole cleats and clip-in pedals (cleats not included)
  • Stiff and Lightweight Sole: Fibreglass reinforced sole for maximum power transfer

The 2018 Shimano Men's RP1 Bicycling Shoes is an entry-level shoe designed for all new riders out there who want to improve their cycling performance and speed. With reasonable pricing, this shoe is an upgrade of an earlier model (the 2017 R065, to be precise) from the same company. It comes designed to introduce you to the full benefits of clipless bike riding.

Made for male cyclists, this shoe comes with synthetic uppers for increased strength and longevity. It comes with an extra-wide dual hook & loop closure straps which offer you an extra secure fit- facilitating maximum power transfer to your pedals. In addition to that, it comes with a glass fiber reinforced nylon sole which teams up with the synthetic and fabric upper to form an incredibly lightweight shoe.

Because this shoe is compatible with both 2 bolt and 3 bolt cleats, it’s pretty versatile…and you can choose to use it on the roads as well as in your favorite spin class. As for the looks, the updated shoe features a stylish, gorgeous matte black finish that makes them look great on your feet, on every bike!

Highlighted features:

  • Synthetic material uppers
  • Upgraded cycling shoe for 2018
  • Secure, reliable fit
  • Lightweight design
  • Indoor cycling friendly

2. Fizik R5 UOMO BOA Road Cycling Shoes:

Fizik R5 UOMO BOA Road Cycling Shoes, Black/Red, Size 43 Black/Red
14 Reviews
Fizik R5 UOMO BOA Road Cycling Shoes, Black/Red, Size 43 Black/Red
  • High performance profession cycling shoe designed in Italy
  • Materials: Microtex / Reflective Heel Cap

The Fizik R5 UOMO BOA Road Cycling Shoes is a mid-priced shoe that deserves a place on this list of top-of-the-line road bike shoes. It’s actually Fizik’s most accessible shoe that has inherited a great deal of its features from its previous cousins from Fizik- the R1 and R3.

The number one feature of this shoe is the carbon-reinforced nylon outsole- this is incredibly lightweight, super stiff, and durable. As you already know, a stiff sole plays a massive role in ensuring maximum power transfer to the road while maintaining optimal pedaling technique.

Featuring Boa IP1 closure system (or dial fastening system if you like), this shoe grants you amazingly high levels of customization in terms of a reliable fit. Besides this dial system, the shoe presents you with a micro-strap closure that offers you an even more secure, snug fit.

Inside this shoe, you’ll get Fizik’s ultralight insole that decently supports your arches while absorbing the road vibrations for a more comfortable ride. The uppers are constructed from the highly breathable microtex fabric w/nylon mesh to give you the ultimate ventilation- making them ideal shoes for riding throughout the year.

Highlighted features:

  • Lightweight microtex uppers
  • BOA IP1 closure system
  • Fizik cycling insole
  • Carbon reinforced nylon sole
  • 3-hole road cleat compatibility

3. Pearl iZUMi Men's Select RD IV Cycling Shoe Review:

PEARL IZUMI Men's Select RD IV-M Cycling Shoe, Black/True Red, 42...
65 Reviews
PEARL IZUMI Men's Select RD IV-M Cycling Shoe, Black/True Red, 42...
  • 1:1 anatomic closure: eliminates hot spots and removes pressure from your instep
  • Select 1:1 power plate: composite fiber plate for lightweight stiffness and durability; direct-vent technology for cooling and drainage

If you want to get a cycling shoe with the look and feel of a pro-cyclist without smashing the proverbial piggybank, invest in this Pearl iZUMi Men's Select RD IV Cycling Shoe. The nicely designed shoe comes with all the features you’d expect in a high-end model to give you a new meaning of road bike riding.

One thing that makes this pair a popular choice among bikers involves the 1:1 anatomic fastening system it comes. This comprises forefoot straps positioned at an angle of 25 degrees to follow your foot contours excellently. And this helps significantly reduce pressure, eliminate hot spots, and improve security and comfort. Thanks to the super-stiff synthetic sole design, this shoe facilitates the maximum transfer of power to your pedals so that you can ride easily, without getting quickly fatigued.

Keep in mind that this shoe is compatible with the three bolt SPD pedal system, making it even more suitable for your road bike. With the included EVA foam plus rubber heal bumper, you’ll enjoy better stability and comfort when walking with these shoes. Don’t forget its Select insole which offers you transverse and longitudinal arch support when riding your road bike.

Highlighted features:

  • Upper: rubber/plastic/textile/steel ring
  • Synthetic sole
  • 1:1 anatomic closure
  • Select 1:1 power plate
  • EVA foam and rubber heel
  • Select insole
  • SPD compatible

4. Venzo Road Bike For Shimano SPD SL Look Cycling Bicycle Shoes & Pedals:

The Venzo Road Bike For Shimano is another highly affordable shoe that all beginner riders can invest in. Probably the main reason why these shoes have racked up loads of positive reviews comes from the fact that they come with quality cleats- the Wellgo RC-5- so you won’t have to spend extra money to buy them.

Other than that, these shoes also come with 2 Velcro straps to offer you a comfortable fitting. The included ratcheting mechanism, which you can easily adjust even when riding, allows you to fine-tune your fitting to the best possible level. They boast of a flexible forefoot design plus running shoe beveled heel for optimal energy transmission and comfort.

The uppers of these shoes comprise a highly breathable mesh and synthetic to improve airflow and keep your feet comfortable during long rides. A removable microfiber sockliner is also included. And the fact that they’re compatible with all the SPD, SPD SL, and Look KEO style pedal types makes them a highly versatile pair.

Highlighted features:

  • Best value cycling shoes
  • Low cut design for light and fast fit
  • Compatible with both 2 bolt and 3 bolt cleat styles
  • Lightweight, quick drying, breathable synthetic uppers
  • Bonus: shoe cleat included

5. Gavin Elite Road Cycling Shoe:

Gavin Elite Road/Indoor Cycling Shoe - 2 and 3 Bolt Cleat Compatible
942 Reviews
Gavin Elite Road/Indoor Cycling Shoe - 2 and 3 Bolt Cleat Compatible
  • Micro adjustable buckle for fine tuned fit and comfort
  • Nylon fiberglass sole with air-flow vents

Take your road bike cycling to the next level with the Gavin Elite Road Cycling Shoe. The moderately priced pair comes fully engineered to enhance your cycling experience, improve your pedal stroke power/efficiency, optimize your foot-to-pedal connection, and even offer you more control over your bike.

To help you achieve all this, the nice looking shoe presents you with a set of impressive features. Among them, it offers you two straps plus micro-adjustable buckle fastening system. These combine to give you a perfect custom fit whenever you ride. Its upper part is made of synthetic microfiber leather. This has mesh panels that help maximize airflow for a more comfortable ride.

Thanks to the rigid nylon fiberglass sole, you’ll achieve maximum pedal stroke power and efficiency without any struggles. Overall, the shoe feels incredibly lightweight- a factor that adds to its excellent performance. And just like our previously discussed model, this Gavin is also compatible with the SPD, Look, SPD-R, and SPD-SL cleats.

Highlighted features:

  • Micro adjustable buckle for improved fit, comfort
  • Nylon fiberglass sole w/airflow vents
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Compatible with SPD, Look, SPD-R, and SPD-SL cleats

6. Shimano Men's RP3 Road Cycling Shoes:

The Shimano Men's RP3 Road Cycling Shoes is the best deal for all male cyclists who wish to upgrade their cycling experience. The pair is like other Shimano models in that it features a lightweight, fiberglass reinforced nylon sole. The stiffness and rigidity of this increase the amount of power transferred direly to the pedals. And this gives you a more efficient, all-round performance.

Other than the solid bottom, this shoe features synthetic leather uppers that promote stability and strength for long-lasting performance. Unlike its competition, this shoes features an integrated air intake & exhaust system that provides your feet with smooth, continuous ventilation- keeping them cool and fresh during your rides.

And yes, the popular Shimano's Dynalast technology is integrated into this shoe as well.  For those who don’t know, this mechanism facilitates smoother, more energy efficient upstrokes- taking your cycling experience to an even greater level.

Talking about versatility, this shoe is compatible with both SPD and SPD-L style cleats. This is to mean that you can is to ride not only your road bike but also your mountain bike! Thanks to the dual offset straps with micro-adjust ratchet, this shoe is sure to offer you a more snug, pressure-free fit. You can use this shoe with the Shimano PD-A520, PD-540-LA, PD-R540, and PD-R550 pedals.

Highlighted features:

  • Lightweight fiberglass-reinforced nylon sole
  • Shimano Dynalast for more efficient upstroke
  • Synthetic leather upper
  • Integrated air intake/exhaust system for smooth airflow
  • Supple padded tongue for added comfort

7. Gavin VELO Road Bike Cycling Shoe:

Gavin Men's VELO Road Bike Cycling Shoe, Black/Red, 42 EU
150 Reviews
Gavin Men's VELO Road Bike Cycling Shoe, Black/Red, 42 EU
  • Compatible with: Look, SPD, SPD-R & SPD-SL cleats (cleats and pedals sold separately)
  • Nylon fiberglass sole with air-flow vents

Also from Gavin, we have another comfortable, high-performance shoe for both competitive and recreational cyclists. Like the other Gavin model we discussed at position 5, this shoe comes with a pocket-friendly cost without compromising its quality.

You’ll quickly note that the shoes share a variety of features with its earlier Gavin cousin…for instance, it comes with an upper synthetic leather construction with air vents to keep your feet cool when riding in hot summer or for more extended periods of time.

The shoe also comes with 3 hook and loop straps closure system that enables it to give you a better fit and support. Thanks to the rigid nylon fiberglass outsole, this shoe will provide you with the ultimate comfort when riding while maximizing your pedaling potential.

The above-mentioned materials also make this shoe feel light on your shoes, minimizing chances of getting easily fatigued when riding. We also can't fail to mention the molded heel cup as it helps keep your heels stable, plus the reflective heel tab that increases your visibility at night (for increased safety). As for the cleat compatibility, this shoe can work with SPD, Look, SPD-R, and SPD-SL cleats.

Highlighted features:

  • Nylon fiberglass sole with airflow vents
  • Lightweight shoe
  • A variety of sizes available
  • Synthetic microfiber uppers
  • Compatible with SPD, Look, SPD-R, and SPD-SL cleats

8. Shimano Women's SH-RP2W Road Shoes:

Shimano SH-RP2 Women's Touring Road Cycling Synthetic Leather Shoes,...
276 Reviews
Shimano SH-RP2 Women's Touring Road Cycling Synthetic Leather Shoes,...
  • Synthetic, Imported, Recommended Use: Cycling.

For all the female riders in the house, this is your part…the Shimano Women's SH-RP2W Road Shoes comes designed to grant you efficient comfort on all your recreational rides. And it’s suitable for all cyclists on a tight budget, including the beginners. It features Shimano’s Dynalast women-specific fit to help ergonomically secure your foot for enhanced upstroke performance.

The shoe exhibits excellent versatility since it’s compatible with both 2-bolt and 3-bolt (or SPD and SPD-L) cleats- making it perfect for both outdoor rides and indoor training. With its lightweight, fiberglass-reinforced sole, this shoe grants you direct connection to your pedals for the ultimate power output and better riding experience. The synthetic leather upper takes the shoe strength and stability to a whole new level!

You’ll appreciate the integrated air intake/exhaust system as it takes a central role in keeping your feet fresh and dry all along your ride.  You’ll also appreciate the triple asymmetrical straps as they keep your feet safe from the uncomfortable pressure. The flexible padded tongue ensured more comfort. The shoe can work with Shimano PD-A520, PD-540-LA, PD-R540, and PD-R550 pedals.

Highlighted features:

  • Synthetic upper construction
  • Shoe weight: 509g
  • 2-bolt, 3-bolt cleat compatibility
  • Glass fiber reinforced nylon
  • Supple padded tongue for added comfort
  • Lightweight, fiberglass reinforced sole

9. Giro Men's Treble II Bike Shoe:

Giro Men's Treble II Highlight Yellow/Matte Black Bike Shoe - 42 M EU
242 Reviews
Giro Men's Treble II Highlight Yellow/Matte Black Bike Shoe - 42 M EU
  • Molded EVA footbed with medium arch support. Aegis treatment

Hooray! We’re almost getting to the end of our list. At this point, I’d like to introduce you to a top-quality (but affordable) shoe from a top-rated brand- Giro. This is the Men's Treble II Bike Shoe engineered to keep your feet content, comfortable and your pedal strokes efficient. It boasts of a simple, classic design that looks great on any road bike.

As a top-quality shoe from Giro, you expect this shoe to boost your cycling performance. Gladly, it does just that. It comes with a rock-solid injection nylon bottom. The sole is so stiff that it facilitates direct transfer of power directly to your pedals. They’re designed to work with both 3-bolt cleats and 2-bolt cleats- making them versatile shoes for use with both road and off-road/mountain bikes.

This Giro also gives you the best in terms of comfort. It has an EVA footbed that grants your feet excellent cushioning and comfort. Besides, the synthetic upper has air vents to facilitate airflow inside your shoes so that your feet remain dry and cool during long rides. This shoe will perfectly conform to your feet contours. And with the Velcro straps, you’ll achieve an even better fit.

Highlighted features:

  • Top-quality, breathable synthetic fiber upper
  • Classic 3strap fastening system
  • Compatible with 2-bolt and 3-bolt cleats
  • Molded EVA footbed w/medium arch support
  • Aegis anti-microbial treatment
  • Weighs 290 grams
  • Injection nylon outsole

10. Tiebao Road Cycling Shoes Lock Pedal Bike Shoes:

Tiebao Road Cycling Shoes Lock Pedal Bike Shoes Cleated Bicycle...
567 Reviews
Tiebao Road Cycling Shoes Lock Pedal Bike Shoes Cleated Bicycle...
  • Anti-slip lining wraps up the heel,stops your fot lifting as you pedal.3 classic triple hook loop straps,seamless tech makes the strap clean and neat; Quick closure,comfortable fit,reliable in...
  • Durable Toe Box:Front PVC toe cup promotes more protection;Constucted with firm sandwich structure that resists impacts;Integrated toe bumper extends from the outsole,protect your foot against rock...

Finally, we have the Tiebao Road Cycling Shoes Lock Pedal Bike Shoes. These are also budget shoes that feature double-injection fiberglass-injected nylon sole to help improve the rigidity and comfort of your shoe during cycling. And this ensures you don’t get fatigued easily when pedaling in long rides.

The shoe’s upper design is characterized by lightweight, highly breathable, quick-drying mesh and synthetic upper. Needless to explain, such an upper design is sure to make your feet comfortable all day long. Inside the shoe, you’ll get a sufficiently perforated insole that helps drain all the sweat and moisture from cycling and environment- assuring you of even more comfortable rides.

Like all the other shoes we’ve discussed above, this model is compatible with the 3 bolt pedal system. In addition to this, it can work with other styles of cleats- like SPD and Look KEO- making it a highly versatile shoe. If you want a road bike shoe that gives you the best value for your money, don’t look further!

Highlighted features:

  • Synthetic uppers
  • Fiberglass-injected nylon sole
  • Anti-slip lining wraps up the heel
  • Durable toe box
  • High-density synthetic fiber and mesh upper
  • Compatible with SPD, SPD-SL. and Look KEO style cleats

What To Look For Before Buying One?

Due to the many cycling shoe options available on the market (and more are being added btw), the task of choosing a specific pair that matches your needs and expectations becomes quite tricky.

Below, I’ll share with you the exclusive info I promised you at the beginning of this post on how to get your ideal road bike shoe easily.

Basically, the process involves taking into account the factors below:

Get a well-fitting shoe

When looking for a cycling shoe, the first thing you’ll need to do is check whether it fits you well. The better the fit, the more comfortable the shoe becomes.

However, note that getting the right might be pretty hard, given that shoes from different brands vary in terms of length and fit.

When looking for the best size, you should factor in your feet shape- whether it’s narrower, medium, or wider.

The best way to get a size that fits you perfectly well is trying the shoe before buying it. This way, you’re sure to go home with the best-fitting shoe for you.

Check the Sole

The road bike shoes come with different sole designs. That said, we can divide these soles into three main types- rigid, medium, and soft soles.

Soles with a softer feel are usually cheap, and mostly contain nylon as the key material. Putting a lot of pressure on your pedals with such a sole cause it to bend, resulting in power wastage.

I strongly recommend you to go for a stiffer sole. This is made using carbon to give it a lighter feel while facilitating maximum transmission of power- increasing your overall biking speed and performance.

What about the closure system?

Road bike shoes also differ in terms of the closure system. The most common methods you’ll find in these shoes include the Velcro and dial.

Most of the entry level shoes feature up to 3 Velcro straps, which makes them easy to close or remove. However, keep in mind that this Velcro will wear after some period of use, and tend to offer limited support to your feet.

They’re ideal for everyone who wants simple, affordable cycling pair.

Higher end shoes tend to feature a better closure system. You might come across a model with Velcro straps plus a buckle. With the buckle in place, you can easily tighten your shoe to offer you greater support.

Other shoes come with the dial and wire system…the wire is usually wrapped around the dial, and on turning the dial, you either loosen or tighten the wire. This way, you adjust the wire to give you a good fit.

Know the type of shoe you want

It’s also essential that you check the type of shoe you buy for cycling, based on the condition you’ll be cycling in.

If you intend to cycle throughout the year, then you’d be better off with thicker shoes that will help you easily survive through winter.

If you’re looking for shoes to use in summer, make sure you get a breathable pair that facilitates smooth airflow to prevent your feet from soaking in sweat.

For winter cycling, go for winter shoes. They should be waterproof, extra-high, and come with a warm lining.

Biking shoe cleat type

After buying your cycling shoe, you’ll need to purchase cleats as well.

A few manufacturers tend to include the cleat with their shoes, while others don’t. If you’re not lucky to get them alongside your cycling shoes, then you’ll need to buy them.

That said, it’s crucial to check the type of cleats that your shoes will accommodate, given that some can take three bolt cleats and others two bolt cleats.

The three bolt cleat is ideal for your road bike shoes. They offer you a broader platform for the ultimate power transfer to your bike pedals.

Getting a shoe that works with both 3-bolt and 2-bolt cleats means more versatility.


Of course, you should also consider the amount of money you’re willing to spend in a shoe.

The truth about the cost of these shoes is that they vary from model to model. In other words, you’ll come across both low cost and high-end models.

If you’re on a tight budget, check for shoes made with durable materials, with all the basic features included. Finding the right shoe with a limited budget is possible.

If you’ve some cash to spend, however, don’t hesitate to order that high-end model that comes with all the features that make a superb cycling pair!

All in all, ensure you set a budget to help you narrow down your choices.

Final Verdict

Your chance to unlock your full road bike riding potential is finally here!

Wearing a great pair of cycling shoes enables you to easily pedal your bike without getting quickly fatigued. It helps boost your riding comfort. And it improves the quality of workout if you’re riding your bike for fitness reasons.

The task of getting the perfect bike for you has never been easy, with the thousands of options available on the market today.

But after reading this post, line after line, you’ll have no problem picking that pair that will make you addicted to your road bike.

Also, you can go through our list of carefully selected, freshest line of top-rated biking shoes reviews above to get a superb shoe without struggling.

Now you’ve got nothing on your way to enjoying your cycling!

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