by Katie Duzan
As with most sports, cycling has an array of gear made specifically for it. Cycling shoes, for example, are designed to help a cyclist perform better. While regular tennis shoes or sneakers slip on the pedals of a bike, cycling shoes grip the pedals. The stiffness of the soles of these shoes combined with the ability to fasten to the pedals of the bike allow for optimum efficiency when cycling. If you are participating in cycling, it is necessary to buy biking shoes to get the most out of bike rides without wasting energy.
Focus on where they're used: Road-cycling shoes are usually streamlined and light and have minimal tread since you will spend little time walking around in road-cycling shoes. Mountain-bike shoes, on the other hand, often look like hiking shoes. They are still stiff and have clips, but mountain-bike shoes usually have tread and are reasonably comfortable to walk around in.
Decide on clips: There are two different types of clip pedal systems for biking shoes. Mountain-bike clips are good for mountain bikers and for beginning road cyclists. The clips for mountain bikes are easier to get into and out of and get riders used to clipping in and out. Road-bike clips are for experienced road cyclists. They are better at delivering power to the pedal for road cyclists, but hard to get in and out of. Be sure to buy biking shoes that match the kind of clip system you want to use.
Look at specialty shoes: There are bike shoes made specifically for triathletes. These shoes are fast-drying, since these athletes have to cycle immediately after swimming, leaving them with wet feet if they don't have bike shoes suited to the purpose. They are also easy to slip on so that they don't waste your race time fidgeting with putting on shoes. If you plan to do a specific kind of biking, look for bike shoes that match your activity.
Look at style: Bicycle shoes come in a variety of colors and styles. After finding the right bicycle shoe, choose a shoe that shows some personality. Bike shoes range from plain to colorful, so there's something for everyone.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions on choosing a size. Cycling shoes' measurements translate differently from brand to brand, so pay attention before ordering to avoid buying the wrong size.