Best Road Bike Shoe Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
If you are here, you are clearly looking for the best road bike shoes. But how do you find them? So many products out there and so many are so similar, with only slight differences, that it is really hard to tell them apart and be sure that the one pair that you choose is really going to be the right one. After taking into consideration several models, we found out that the Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoe Carbon Reinforced may be the one that will probably fit the most qualities and functions for a road bike shoe. As it is made of synthetic fabric, it will be more durable than others, while the BOA IP1 closure is simply modern. The highly resistant outsole also deserves a shout out. If this model is not available, you can try the Fizik R4B Uomo BOA Carbon that comes with many similar features.
The synthetic fabric used to create the shoes has several advantages, such as being able to stretch more than others. The outsole is resistant thanks to the use of carbon reinforced nylon. We also can’t forget the BOA IP1 closure system which will make life easier.
The shoes can be a bit narrow for some people, especially for those that have wide feet.
As it is made of synthetic fabric that gives it the classic advantages, it has a resistant outsole made out of reinforced nylon and it has a modern closure system, this shoe is worth a look.
The product is made of 100% kangaroo leather, so it is softer and lighter than similar models. The BOA IP1 control will change the game when it comes to tying the shoes. The craftsmanship is typical of handmade shoes from Italy, making them a true stand out.
While solid enough, the outsole is not created out of carbon, like most models are.
This model comes with plenty of features to make you like it, from the different types of leather used to the handmade craftsmanship, so you simply have to check it out.
Also To Consider
The reverse mount buckle will make sure to keep the shoe on your feet. The high-density synthetic leather is a good choice for breathable fabric, while also making it a good choice for people who would like to invest less money in road bike shoes.
This shoe can be a bit narrow in some cases, so be extra careful when taking the measurements.
The high-density synthetic leather makes this shoe a cool choice for everybody who wants something affordable, but also of higher quality, so check this product out.
10 Best Road Bike Shoes (Updated Reviews) in 2020
With so many options of road bike shoes out there, it’s pretty easy to become overwhelmed. You just want a good pair, but choosing one now seems impossible since the options available for you are basically endless. Worry not for we have created this helpful guide for you, that is surely going to put things in perspective a lot better.
- 1. Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoe Carbon Reinforced
- 2. Fizik R4B Uomo BOA Carbon
- 3. SHIMANO SH-RP301 LSG Men’s Bicycle Shoes
- 4. Diamondback Men’s Century Elite Clipless Road Cycling Shoe
- 5. Giro Techne Men’s Road Cycling Shoes
- 6. Sidi Men’s Wire Vent Carbon Cycling Shoes
- 7. SHIMANO SH-RP400 Bike Shoes Mens
- 8. Sidi Ergo 5 Mega Carbon Road Cycle Shoes (Wide)
- 9. Mavic Men’s Cosmic Ultimate II Road Cycling Shoes
- 10. Sidi Women’s Alba 2 Road Cycling Shoes
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoe Carbon Reinforced
These road cycling shoes are synthetic, and as you know, this fabric has a lot of advantages. Among them, we can mention the fact that it’s more stretchable than other fabrics, it’s more durable and less expensive, which gives you already a pretty good idea about the overall quality of these shoes.
Among the materials used to create this product, we can mention the microtex and reflective heel cap. These are high-performance professional cycling shoes that were designed in Italy, a country well known worldwide for quality shoes. The outsole has to be resistant, which is why the manufacturer has made it out of carbon-reinforced nylon.
As it stands, this pair of shoes from Fizik is one that you should definitely check out, as it has many advantages that you are probably looking for in such a product in the first place and they are not even that expensive.
The outsole is made out of carbon-reinforced nylon so that you will be sure to get durable performance, no matter for how long you use the shoes.
The pair is made out of synthetic material, which comes with several advantages that you will enjoy, such as the fact that it’s stretchable, durable, and not that expensive.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that the product is a high-performance professional cycling shoe, designed in Italy, so you have another advantage going on there.
The closure system is a top one as well, being the BOA IP1, which should make handling the shoes much easier, as easy as you would like.
The shoes seem to be a bit on the narrow side. That will not be a problem for everybody, but you should keep that aspect in mind when you buy them, in case you have wider feet.Buy from Amazon.com for ($139.95)
2. Fizik R4B Uomo BOA Carbon
Products made by Fizik are handmade in Italy, which is a clear indicator of quality, as handmade products generally tend to be of a higher quality and they inspire more confidence in people who are interested in buying them. The craftsmanship is easily noticeable, or should we say, not easy to notice, which is how you know it was done well.
The materials used are of high quality and the general aesthetic of the shoes is a superior one, which is going to help you be noticed with ease. So what are they made of? 100% kangaroo leather which gives them a very soft touch, on top of making the product lightweight and making it more durable, overall.
The BOA IP1 control is in charge of how your shoes are shaped, making them more likely to fit you better, while also letting you enjoy the comfort you deserve and a higher level of performance.
The craftsmanship of these shoes is really impressive, which is something that comes with the territory as the products are handmade in Italy.
The 100% kangaroo leather makes the shoes very soft to touch, lighter than other models, plus it gives them a longer life span.
The shoes come with BOA IP1 control which has the role of ensuring that the shoes will be snug on your feet, so you will feel comfortable, and they will fit you properly.
The overall aesthetic of these shoes is really pleasant and in line with how road bike shoes should look, helping you blend in and stand out at the same time.
The sole of the shoes is not completely made out of carbon, which is a downside, but it seems like the soles are stiff enough to make the product last for a long time, except maybe if you are a professional road racer.Buy from Amazon.com for ($200)
3. SHIMANO SH-RP301 LSG Men’s Bicycle Shoes
If you are looking for a pair of bicycle shoes that offer you some high-performance features, then this pair could be the one you are looking for. Thanks to their design, these shoes tend to work very well for people who identify themselves as being recreational cyclists, but also for the club, so you have a very good reason to be interested in them.
What makes these shoes special is the fact that they are made of high-density synthetic leather that has perforations in it to improve your fitness, while also making the shoes more breathable, so you are not going to sweat as much while you do your bicycle exercises, a thing we are sure many people will be happy to hear about.
One other benefit that you will get from the fact that these shoes are made out of synthetic leather is the fact that this fabric is less expensive than real leather.
The super-low profile is a cool thing, and the reverse mount buckle will help your feet be secured by the shoes, so you are not going to drop them as you ride the bike.
Your skin will be able to breathe better thanks to the use of high-density synthetic leather that has perforations in it exactly for that reason.
The high-density synthetic leather also has other advantages, such as the fact that it is a cruel-free product and less expensive than real leather.
The design was created by having recreational cyclists in mind, so these shoes seem to be a fit for this type of exercise, at that level.
One downside that we have noticed in these products is the fact that the shoes tend to be a bit of a tight fit. If you have wide feet, it seems unlikely that you will be able to wear them, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem for people with narrow feet.Click to see the price on Amazon!
4. Diamondback Men’s Century Elite Clipless Road Cycling Shoe
These shoes are made using a combination of durable synthetic leather with breathable mesh. This has a really important role, as it is going to let you feel much more comfortable while wearing the shoes, while at the same time keeping your feet secure, since you don’t want to have any accidents because of slippery shoes.
The level of comfort, but also the one of efficiency are both highly increased by the decision to have the outsole made out of rigid nylon-fiberglass composite, so you will always be sure that your shoes will resist any challenge. For easier adjustments that can be done on-the-fly, the shoes have a forged micro lock buckle and a closure with two straps.
Of course, you also have to be sure that walking in these shoes is just as comfortable. Thankfully, the TPU walk pads that are situated near the toes and the heels are here to make sure that that is exactly what is going to happen.
The combination of durable synthetic leather and breathable mesh aims to make you feel more comfortable when wearing the shoes, while also offering you increased security.
The outsole of the shoes is made out of rigid nylon-fiberglass composite, which is going to increase the level of efficiency of the product, but also the level of comfort.
The shoes have a forged micro lock buckle and a two-strap closure which will let you adjust them easily and on-the-fly.
The TPU walk pads that are placed around the toes and heels have the role of making you feel more comfortable, especially when you have to walk in these shoes.
These shoes are wide and roomy, which is a good thing, in theory, but as the old saying goes, too much of a good thing … meaning, that, for some people, the shoes could be a bit too roomy.Buy from Amazon.com for ($109.99)
5. Giro Techne Men’s Road Cycling Shoes
The manufacturer has created these shoes with the idea of giving them a timeless design and, indeed, we can say that the lines of this product are pretty good and nice enough that you could wear them for years to come and people wouldn’t know you’ve had them for years. The upper part has the classic three straps design, also made out of synthetic material.
On top of that, the upper part also has a breathable mesh, which will let your skin breathe much better, so you will also sweat a lot less when wearing these shoes. The outsole is injected with nylon and it has a universal cleat mount, for extra durability, so you can really wear these shoes for years to come.
Regarding the footbed aspect of these shoes, we can mention that the product has die-cut insoles, which again, aims to give the product a longer period of usage.
The upper part has a classic three straps design and is made out of synthetic fabric, while also including a breathable mesh, all for your comfort and superior strength.
The outsole of the shoes was injected with nylon and includes a universal cleat mount, which is going to make the shoes be much more durable, in the long run.
The footbed of the shoes comes with die-cut insoles, which is also a feature aiming to let the product be used for a long period of time.
The shoes have a timeless design to them, combining elements that never went out of fashion for road bike shoes, so they will always look fresh.
The size of the shoes may not exactly match the sizes that are presented by the manufacturer, which means that it is better if you pick a size bigger than what you are used to wearing.Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.95)
6. Sidi Men’s Wire Vent Carbon Cycling Shoes
This pair of shoes for men from Sidi is surely one that will catch your eye thanks to the futuristic Sci-Fi elements that are present in the design. But what is even more important is the fact that these shoes are really made to give a good performance as road bike shoes, as a direct result of the features that are included in their design.
The Double Techno 3 Push System is one of the main attractions of these shoes, as it allows you to make the necessary adjustments so that the shoes will fit you perfectly. The device lets you arrange the laces as you please, just by spinning one button that is placed on the shoehorn, making the pair rather hi-tech.
The Soft Instep 3 Closure System also has an important role, as it makes sure that the shoes will stay on your feet as long as you want them to.
These shoes really have a cool design that seems inspired by Sci-Fi movies or futuristic fashion so you will surely stand out in the crowd wearing it.
The Double Techno 3 Push System has the role of making sure that all adjustments of the laces are done correctly and equal, on both sides.
The Soft Instep 3 Closure System is also really cool, since it has the role of making sure that the shoes will stay on your feet at all times.
On top of everything, this pair of road bike shoes from Sidi has a replaceable heel pad, so if it gets overused in time, you can change it with ease.
If you have flat feet, you may notice that the soles can be a bit too rigid for you, but it is not anything unbearable and it really shouldn’t matter for other types of feet.Click to see the price on Amazon!
7. SHIMANO SH-RP400 Bike Shoes Mens
This pair of road bicycle shoes from Shimano is also a top contender for various reasons, one of them being the fact that this is an affordable product, for which you needn’t have to spend a lot of money to get. The high-performance of these shoes is also something to write home about, as you won’t have problems with them in that regard.
Since they are endurance shoes, they are built to be resistant and deal with being used over and over again without losing the qualities that made them special in the first place. One of the things that make these shoes stand out is the high-density synthetic leather with perforation which will make them fit better and let your skin breathe.
Letting your skin breathe is a very important feature that a road bike shoe needs to have as you will naturally sweat a lot so if your skin can breathe, you won’t have damp socks in the shoes.
The fact that the product is an affordable one surely will make you interested, as many people will look for something in this price range.
As they are made to be endurance shoes, you don’t have to worry about their level of resistance, since they are most likely going to last for a long period of time.
The high-density synthetic leather with perforation will make you feel more comfortable and let your skin breathe much better.
The shoes have a Boa L6 dial for quick and precise micro-adjustments so you can do that in just a couple of seconds and the laces will always be even on both sides.
While not an ugly design, these shoes seem to be a bit less spectacular than others you can find online, from an aesthetic point of view, at least, but that is what could actually make them a good choice for people who want something less flashy.Click to see the price on Amazon!
8. Sidi Ergo 5 Mega Carbon Road Cycle Shoes (Wide)
A model that gets a little bit more flashy, but doesn’t overdo it is this one, courtesy of Sidi, which takes classic elements and combines them with modern and futuristic ones for a very pleasant overall aesthetic that aims to capture the attention of as many people as possible and we can say they have done it with success.
The upper material of these shoes is techpro microfiber which is a big advantage, as it will let you feel more comfortable overall, but also let your skin breathe better, so you will not sweat as much, compared to other road bike shoes that don’t present such features. So, comfort is the name of the game, in this case.
The closure is done using two Techno 3 Push dials and a hook and loop strap, all of these features working together to make sure that the shoes will stay fit on your feet at all times.
The upper material of these shoes is techpro microfiber, a cool feature that will allow your feet to feel more comfortable and to breathe better so you won’t sweat as much.
The closure is really high tech as it involves 2 Techno 3 Push dials and a hook and loop strap that will keep the shoes on your feet at all times.
The sole is also very resistant, as it should be for such a product, since it was made from twelve carbon composite material, so you don’t have to worry about it.
On top of everything, these shoes have one more trick up their sleeves, as they have cleat compatibility with three bolts.
While the shoes are very comfortable, no doubts about it, you can have some problems fitting your feet inside, as they’re rather tight and narrow, but it’s nothing that you can’t solve with a bit of help from a shoe spreader.Buy from Amazon.com for ($399.99)
9. Mavic Men’s Cosmic Ultimate II Road Cycling Shoes
One of the top picks from the men’s collection, when we talk about road bike shoes, comes from Mavic, one model that really manages to pop out being this one. If we take a look at some of the features that make it stand out, we will quickly see why it ranks among the fan favorites and why it has a slightly bigger price than others.
The lace-up closure is one of the things that are interesting about this shoe since the way it was implemented will make it sure that you are going to feel the shoe tight on your foot and you won’t come across any incidents in which it accidentally falls off.
Since safety is highly important, it should be a given, so it’s nice to see that it’s being taken seriously by the manufacturer. The colors used in this shoe make it a bit more flashy and easy to stand out than some other models on the market.
The lace-up closure means that you are not going to risk having your shoes fall off accidentally, since they will be tightly fit on you, for extra safety.
The outsole is made out of carbon, a wise choice, as it guarantees that you will not have problems with the shoes, from a resistance point of view.
Another cool feature of this shoe is the Ergo 3D Tongue which lets you maneuver it with ease and make you feel the comfort that you need.
The design is really interesting, the combination of yellow and black is a rare one, which will make it stand out in your group of friends, no doubt about it.
While it’s not highly expensive, the fact that you can find road bike shoes that are much cheaper than this pair puts this one at a disadvantage, especially when it comes to those who want a cheaper pair of road bike shoes.Buy from Amazon.com for ($91.05)
10. Sidi Women’s Alba 2 Road Cycling Shoes
If you are going to spend your time pedaling, you might as well do it in style and be a bit extra about it also. One pair of road bike shoes that seems to fit that description very well is this one, from Sidi, which is aimed at women. The black, grey, and red used for the design make it a stand out in any store.
The shoes have a heel cup, a common feature for the Sidi brand, which has the role of making sure that you will always get the most comfortable fit possible. The seams of the shoe are double stitched in all of the areas that are considered to be of high stress, so the durability of the product should really be exemplary.
One aspect that will let your skin breathe, so it’s an important one, is the vented mesh side and toe areas, a much needed feature for these shoes.
These shoes have a heel cup, present in many Sidi shoes, that has the role of offering you the most comfortable fit possible for your feet.
In order for durability to really be a thing, the seams of these shoes are double stitched in all of the areas in which high stress by effort will be produced as you exercise.
The vented mesh side and toe areas are very modern, in that these areas were created to be able to let your skin breathe better.
It has an anti-slip heel pad that you can replace as it wears out and you can also replace the toe vent system, so they’ll always be like brand new.
Even if they come with plenty of benefits, these road bike shoes have a disadvantage, which is their price. They are far from being the most affordable on the market, so surely, some people will immediately say no to them, simply because of that, regardless of their pros.Buy from Amazon.com for ($214.99)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
How do you find the best road bike shoes? Checking out road bike shoes reviews is a great starting up point as from there you will get the main idea of how such a product should be in the first place. There are so many road bike cycling shoes models out there that it’s impossible to keep track of them.
The main fabric
If you want to make sure that you are on your way to finding the best road bike shoe model, one thing you must pay attention to is the fabric from which the shoes are made of. Regardless if you pick Shimano road bike shoes or a cheap road bike shoe, the important thing is to have a fabric that lets your skin breathe.
As you exercise, you will sweat and notice the inside of the shoe can become damp rather fast. The role of road bicycle shoes, in this case, is to make sure that you won’t sweat too much by allowing your skin to breathe properly. Cheap road bike shoes can be a hit or miss when it comes to this.
While shopping for bicycle road shoes, sizing is highly important, as you can imagine. The road bike shoes sizes can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, which is why you have to be extra careful regarding the measuring necessary for a perfect fit. You don’t want some wide road bike shoes that fall off of your feet.
Then again, you wouldn’t want a pair that is too snug or narrow either, as it wouldn’t be comfortable to wear it. Road bike shoes wide fit tend to be good, so when you check out the road bike shoes size, make sure that you are going after something that will really fit you, as that is the most important aspect.
As you work out a lot with these shoes, you will need not only the most comfortable road bike shoes, but also ones that can resist a lot of wear and tear. Specialized road bike shoes can do wonders in this case, as can carbon road bike shoes, as they were made to be as resistant as possible.
You may find some affordable road bike shoe model but while the price may be tempting, what you really need to look out for is how much potential it has to last a long time. After all, it is a waste of time and money to invest in a new pair of road bike cycle shoes after just a couple of months.
Spring vs winter
Generally speaking, many road bike shoes can be used regardless of the season, as you will notice in pretty much all road bicycle shoes reviews online. But, if you live in an especially cold area, you may need to check out winter road bike shoes so that you are sure you will be kept warm at all times.
Road bike clip shoes are also highly important, as they stop you from slipping, even if often they won’t be the most affordable road bike shoes you can find. Check out this road bike shoes review and the other ones too, so you will make a smart investment, for a long period of time.
Womens road bike shoes are often more feminine, but that should be the last thing on your mind, as the safety that road bike shoes with cleats offer you should be above that. So don’t go for the cheap shoes just because they are cheap, go for the ones that will keep you safe and comfortable.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How should road bike shoes fit?
A good road bike shoe should fit you quite tightly, being snug in the heel area, but without starting to put too much pressure on the instep. On top of that, around the end, you should have a bit of space for your toes as well, so as not to restrict their movement.
The whole point of road bike shoes is to keep your forefoot stable and to be able to give it enough power so you will be able to pedal without stopping, even at full speed. As a result, we can say that you will need to find a pretty good balance between being tight and letting your feet wiggle a bit.
Many models aren’t made to stretch as time goes by and you wear them, which makes it more important that when you buy the product, it should be comfortable for you to wear from the get-go.
Q: How to install cleats on road bike shoes?
You must change shoe cleats as soon as they start to wear out, as they can become dangerous for your safety. Start by cleaning the said spot and then grease the threads of the captive nuts – you can use a needle-nosed grease gun to help you with this.
Continue by fitting the cleat hardware. It should be firm enough that engaging and disengaging should be done with ease. Basically, you will want to position the cleat so that it’s slightly below your big toe. The tip of the cleat would be ideally placed below the middle toe so you will get a centered position.
You are bound to have to make some slight movements up and down, until you have found the exact spot. After you’ve found the spot you wanted, tighten the bolts of the cleat one more time, but don’t apply too much pressure, and you should be good to go.
Q: What are the main closure systems used for cycling shoes?
When talking about the main closure systems that are used for road bike shoes, we can divide them into three big categories: the Velcro straps, the ratcheting buckles, and the wire laces which are tensioned using dials, a good example being the ones that are created by Boa.
We may also mention a fourth type – the lace-up cycling shoes, which have also gained popularity, after a period in which it looked like they were out the window, probably returning as a sort of throwback to the good old days. This type is rarer, but still pretty cool and popular.
All types that we have mentioned have their pros and cons, depending on how you look at things, but there is no definitive bad type or good type. It all depends on how you prefer things to be and what types are you already accustomed to when it comes to shoes.