A Guide to Choosing Spinning Shoes

Published: 01st April 2009
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Making any major purchase requires expert knowledge. Choosing spinning shoes is no different. Spinning shoes are a very specialized product. To start with, I suggest shopping at a bike shop that specializes in fitting biking shoes. Employees should be well versed on fitting techniques and proper fit. It's not as simple as going in to buy a pair of tennis shoes. A trained staff is a great resource. Considering the amount of days you will spend in your spinning shoes, it's well worth it to ensure you get a shoe that fits.

Similar to buying dress shoes or any other shoe, you'll end up trying on quite a few pairs of spinning shoes before you end up with one that feels just right for you. Some are thin, some are wide, some fit too loosely, some run too big or too small, etc. In this respect, it is similar to buying other pairs of shoes. They are all a little different.

Bring socks with you that would be typical of the socks you'll wear when at your spin class. Don't try to fit spinning shoes with your work socks or any other sock that wouldn't be typical of what you'll wear. This may seem very basic, but you would be surprised how many bikers take back biking shoes because they say they don't fit like they did in the store. In most cases, they bought spin shoes without wearing socks they would wear for spinning. If you are just getting started and are not positive what socks you will wear, I would recommend getting a moisture wicking sock. You can purchase those at most sporting goods stores. They might cost a little more, but are worth the extra money.

As a first word of advice, get spin shoes with Velcro fasteners. I know, your initial thought is that it looks like something a kid would be wearing. For bikers and spinners, there is practical function to this however. As you cycle, shoes strings can easily get wrapped around the pedals or tangled in a sprocket or belt. You really don't want to know what happens what a string gets tangled while you are riding. Get Velcro.

Spinning shoes will feel odd when you first try them on. They have a rigid layer towards the balls of your feet where you will be applying pressure while pedaling. Don't worry. This is normal. While standing still, they'll feel fine. When walking, they'll feel a bit clumsy. Spin shoes are not meant for running and you shouldn't be trying it. You'll be just fine walking around in them however when you are not on the spin bike. They'll be perfectly fine for working out with weight machines. Stay off the elipticals and other machines requiring impact with your feet.

You shouldn't buy a spinning shoe without a rigid toe area. Some expert biking shoes will not have a rigid toe. For the every day spinner, you'll want to avoid advanced shoes.

You'll also notice that some spinning shoes look similar to regular hiking or workout shoes and some look unusual with the toe area slick and smooth. There really is no reason to purchase ones with the slick toe area. Get the shoes that look like standard shoes. The spinning shoes with the slick toe area can only be used clipped in to your pedals. The shoes that look normal have the cleat just slightly recessed and work very well for other activities in the club and basic walking around. The bikers I know who ended up with the slick toes regret their selection. Buy the ones that look like normal shoes.

Next time you go to your spin class, ask your teachers what types of cleats are required for the spin bikes in your class. Most all bikes anymore use SPD cleats but there are exceptions. This is a very important step. You'll have to get spinning shoes that work with cleats that will work with the spin bikes in your gym.

When you try on spin shoes, pay particular attention to your heal slipping. If the heal doesn't stay firmly within the shoe, you will develop blisters. You'll obviously be abandoning your shoes quickly if you develop blisters.

Getting properly fitted shoes is not a difficult task but it should be taken as seriously as purchasing a running shoe. You'll spend thousands of hours on a spinning bike with your spin shoes. A proper fit is critical.

J Patton is the contributor to Spinning Shoes and All Things Spinning, a site dedicated to covering all topics related to spinning. http://www.healthandspinning.com can help you to choose spinning shoes and with many other topics related to spinning.

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