Is it worth the investment? YES! Ok end of post … Just kidding, but this will be a short one.
Over the past year I have taken quite a few cycling classes and started to do the math. Typically if you sign up for a cycle class, the studio will let you borrow a pair of cycle shoes for free the first time and then charge you $3 every time after to rent them, and for those of you who have never taken cycle class, the answer is YES you do have to wear special shoes for class. Anyways, for a decent pair of cycle shoes, it’s going to cost you around $130-180. Mine were $150, however, a lot of studios will run specials on their merchandise throughout the year or even give you a % off if you leave a review, which is what I did at DEFINE Bellaire so my shoes ended up being like $120. Now let’s do some math. I had a month membership to DEFINE of unlimited cycling AND won a 10 class pack to soul cycle PLUS I had a few class pass credits which I wanted to use to try out a few cycle studios. Point being, I only had to 40 classes my entire life for this to be a good investment, and guess what?!?! I have way exceeded that by now. Not only do I no longer have to pay to rent shoes, I also don’t have to wear someone else’s stanky sweat soaked shoes. BUT before you run out and buy some shoes, there are a few things you should know.
Cycle shoes have these clips that lock your foot to your pedal so when you are sprinting or out of the saddle, your feet don’t go flying off the pedal. So let’s take a look at the two main types of clips for indoor cycle shoes. There are the ones that feel like you are walking around with a massive rock under your foot and you can hear someone walking up from a mile away, those are called three-hole (commonly called “Delta”) system. Then there are the clips that are much more subtle and flat on the bottom called two-hole (commonly called “SPD”) system. SPD shoes are much more attractive, mine are gorgeous, but are typically harder to clip in for new riders. It took me forever to figure out how to clip in after I bought my pair because I was so use to the Delta clips, but not i’m so use to it that it’s hard for me to use the Delta clips on the rare occasion I forget my pair at home.
Anyways, I don’t think I have ever come across a studio that didn’t accommodate both types of clips. The pedals on these bikes are two sided, one side uses the Delta clip and if you flip the pedal over, the other side uses the SPD. I am in love with my SPD cycle shoes by TIEM pictured below. Not only are they comfortable, but they also just look like normal tennis shoes vs the clunky ugly Delta clip shoes. One day I was signing in at Soul Cycle with my cycle shoes in hand, clearly visible and the guy behind the counter was like, do you need cycle shoes, and I just looked down at my shoes and was like… you mean these?? He like had a fit over how nice they looked and had a million questions about them because he thought they were so cool. Anyways, to wrap this nonsense of a post up is basically just to say that if you are going to take 40 or more cycle classes in your life, it is totally worth it to buy your own shoes ANDDDDDD I highly recommend the TIEM ones I have. They are so pretty 🙂
(Left) Delta Clips – notice the bumps on the bottom (Right) TIEM SPD Clips – notice the flat bottom like a tennis shoe