Friday, November 13, 2015

Should you buy Spinning shoes?

When I first started Spinning, I would ride in my running shoes. I knew that Spinning shoes were a thing among avid cycling students, but I wasn't convinced that I truly needed them (and couldn't really afford to buy Spinning shoes). That changed after I got my Spinning certification. If I was going to ride the lead bike, I figured that I should be setting a good example. Thankfully, Santa came to my rescue with a pretty schnazzy pair:

Should you buy Spinning shoes?
I've had my pink Spinning shoes for years and they, to this day, are perfect.
I don't ride without them.

Yesterday, I taught a 45-minute endurance ride (my personal favorite). And today, I thought it would be fun to educate you on the benefits of riding in Spinning shoes. Specifically, what to look for and how they help.

Should you buy Spinning shoes?
First and foremost, you really do not need to have Spinning shoes to take a Spinning class. Most bikes in studio settings are equipped with pedals that allow for both options. To ride with running shoes, you'll just need to slide your foot into the cage part of the pedal:

Should you buy Spinning shoes?
You might already be doing this, or if you're a Spinning newbie, you can rest assured that you won't be the only one in regular shoes.

But, are Spinning shoes right for you? My answer is "yes, absolutely...if you take classes regularly." It's absolutely worth the investment if you frequent the saddle.

Consider this: Spinning shoes are worn in a relatively clean and confined studio. So wear and tear is minimal. Bike shoes are not at all like running shoes. They don't need to be replaced after a certain number of miles. They just need to fit comfortably and securely for as long as you're using them.

So, want a pair?
Here are a few things to consider:

1) The sole of the shoe.
2) The clip style.
3) Overall fit.

Here's a closeup of the first two:

Should you buy Spinning shoes?
As you can see, the soles of my Spinning shoes are smooth. A lot of road bikers have this style, and the three-hole clip system is preferred. But most Spinning bikes use the two-hole clip, otherwise known as an SPD clip, which is what you see on my shoe.

I'll be honest: My shoes sound like tap shoes when I walk around the studio. It's not the safest option, but I'm not walking long or far in them, so it works for me. If you're prone to falling or have conditions that require extra caution, or if you just don't want to worry about it, get cycling shoes that have rubberized soles. The clip is recessed, so you won't even notice it.

Which one to choose? To each his own, as long as your choice is compatible with the necessary clip. Oh, and—you want them to be comfortable, specifically in the toe box. Spinning shoes aren't super padded, which is fine because impact is minimal. You want a bike shoe that holds your foot securely with plenty of wiggle room in the toes.

Beware not to pick a shoe that's too loose, as your foot will fly right out of it, which could lead to injury. Always, always properly tighten your Spinning shoes! If your feet ever go numb, then your shoes are probably too tight.

Once you clip in, you'll notice immediately why Spinning shoes are so awesome:

\Should you buy Spinning shoes?
1) They're quite breathable, and we all know how awesome airflow is in a Spinning class.
2) The stiff sole helps you put more power into your pedaling.
3) They secure your foot to the bike which increases stability.
4) With your feet attached to the bike, you can focus on engaging more leg muscles.

Bottom line, if Spinning is your thing and you aren't wearing bike shoes, you should get some. I promise it'll enhance your workout. A new instructor at my gym finally got himself a pair and said to me, "woah...yeah, such a huge difference."

Fair warning, they can be expensive, but there are literally shoes for everyone out there. Here are a few that I think are pretty sexy:

6 Pairs of Fashion-Forward Cycling Shoes for Spinning Class
1) Pearl Izumi Women's Tri Fly V
2) Giro Women's Facet Tri Cycling Shoe
3) Pearl Izumi Women's X-Project 3.0 Cycling Shoe
4) Northwave Women's Starlight 3S Road Cycling Shoe
5) Shimano SH-WR62L
6) SIDI Women's Genius Fit Carbon Road Shoes

PS: It's #fitnfashionable Friday.

Question: Do you ride in cycling shoes? Can you remember what it was like the first time you clipped in?

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