In the first (hyperlink to post 1) we discussed the why behind buying your first pair of spin shoes, and gave some background on what the benefits are to riding with spin shoes vs trainers. This post is going to highlight all the tips and tricks you can use to help buy your very own pair of spin shoes for the first time, and there might even been some insight for veteran buyers as well!
Different styles of spin shoes
There are two types of cleats that are used with the clip-in pedal systems, SPD and LOOK. The SPD system has a recessed cleat, and two holes in the sole, where the LOOK Delta which are non-recessed cleats with a protruding cleat, and will have three holes in the sole. Before purchasing your shoes, it is important to learn what type of pedals are on the bikes at your studio. This will help prevent you from purchasing the wrong style cleats, here at Wheel House our bikes are equipped to fit both SPD and LOOK.
Not only are the cleat styles imperative to the type of shoe you might be purchasing, the type of sole is an important and can change the price of your shoe. There are three types of soles that can effect the price point of your shoe and the firmness of the sole. The cheapest version is a nylon sole and this will be heavier shoe and have more flexibility to it. Next is the nylon and carbon blend, this provides a medium feel for weight but it also provides more stability, and finally is the fully carbon sole which will be the most expensive but is the lightest shoe, and stiffest giving the most support. The type of sole you pick is all preference based, and your own budget may even play a large part in the choice.
Does Brand name matter?
Yes and no. Just like any other type of purchase, there are going to be higher end brands and sometimes you are paying for the name and not quality, others you pay for quality. We would not recommend going out and buying the most expensive pair of shoes you find because you might find that you hate that fit. We recommend going to the store trying on multiple brands within your set price point. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the different styles and fits of various brands, be sure to keep an open mind during this process, following your gut on what fit feels right. Most people once they find a pair that fits will stick with the same brand for years to come.
Buying online vs in store
In the technology age where buying online is as easy as 1-2-3 it is important to understand the importance of a brick and mortar building and the benefits that come with those. I am not here to tell to not shop online, do it! You never know if you can get a better deal – in terms of price, return policy, it is always good to shop around. One of the best parts of buying or going into the store is that there are employees there that know their stuff! I mean if you work in a bike shop you chance are you are into cycling and will know a thing or 20 about the products you sell, the benefits of each products etc. Not only are these people going to be a wealth of knowledge, but they are likely to have stock that you can try on, feel and compare in a very tangible way that you do not get with online shopping.