Ask any cyclist, whatever their skill level, and they are likely to tell you that their shoes are their favorite piece of kit. When you begin taking the sport more seriously, it is usually the first gear you buy, and it immediately gives you the feeling you can rider better, longer and faster. Nowhere is this more true than in bike touring, in which long hours on the saddle and numerous miles on the counter are an everyday affair.
The best touring bike shoes are those that will help you get the most out of your bike, enclosing your foot in a protective shell, reducing the risk of injury, and making it stick to the pedal so force can run flawlessly from your legs through to the crankset. The feeling you get on the bike is never the same as before once you make the switch and bring a pair of top rated shoes for bike touring with you. The market is full of valid options, so read on to discover more about the best shoes for bike touring that you can find today
How To Choose Touring Bike Shoes – Buying Guide
Type Of Shoe
The types of touring bike shoes vary widely across the range, since they have to cover the needs of riders of all skill levels. The ones that are designed for power and performance will more closely resemble road shoes, being very light and rigid so to maximize the amount of power transferred to the pedals. The soles of road shoes will have no rubber whatsoever, keeping only room for the cleats. Mountain bike and touring shoes sit somewhere in the middle, since they are designed to be more versatile and also allow the rider to walk, while remaining compatible with cleats. Flat shoes are another option if you prefer versatility over everything, since they don’t have space to clip into the pedal but maintain their position thanks to friction and a stiff sole. Riding sandals are also available, as you have seen in our touring bike shoes reviews, which also have a stiff sole and grippy outsole. They are one of the best options for very warm days.
Compatibility With Pedals
The two most common kinds of pedals you can find on touring bikes are flat and clipless. Flat pedals, as the name suggests, are simply a flat piece of metal with small spikes designed to hold on to the sole of the shoe. There are the simplest kind of pedal and the easiest to get off of, while not the best for performance. Clipless pedals are named somewhat confusingly because they are designed to indeed let you clip your shoes in them to make your feet and pedals work as a whole. Therefore, when you purchase touring bike shoes, you must check what kind of pedals your bike has since different kinds of shoes are not interchangeable. You might get away with using some clipless shoes on flat pedals, especially if the sole has enough rubber to allow you to walk, but this is far from ideal and will never let you get the most out of your bike.
Size And Fit
Size for touring bike shoes goes along with the size of your everyday pair, even if certain models tend to fit larger or tighter. We recommend checking with the manufacturer to find out if the shoes you’ve set your sights on has any surprises in store. The fit around your foot should be snug, tight enough to prevent any unwanted wiggles but not too stifling to prevent you from working at your maximum. Lace closures and BOA systems are the best to precisely adjust the fit, while Velcro straps are easier to operate and less expensive, but usually not as precise.
Most touring shoes are made out of a combination of a synthetic upper and a rubber sole. The uppers need to be resistant to water since they will likely come in daily contact with mud and dirt. Some of the higher-end models also propose leather, which is an excellent addition since with time it adapts nicely to the shape of your foot, but may be a little less breathable. Soles are mostly rubber but often reinforced with nylon, carbon or even glass fibers, since they need to be stiff to give your feet some solid resistance to push against.
Since many touring bike shoes can also be used as sneakers, manufacturers have been paying close attention to the way their shoes look, not just at how they perform. Many shoes double nicely as low hiking boots or even running shoes, which won’t make you feel out of place even if you take a stroll through town. Buying a well-performing touring shoe doesn’t mean you have to miss out on style.
Q: Why Do I Need Special Touring Shoes?
Bike touring means spending long hours on the bike, so you need something that will keep your feet comfortable and well protected while allowing them to perform to their maximum on the pedals. Furthermore, like some pairs of mountain bike shoes, touring shoes have a thick enough sole for the rider to walk on, so it's very useful to have a single pair of shoes that can do almost anything on a trip.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Regular And Touring Shoes?
Bike touring shoes differ from regular walking shoes because they have a section of their sole which is dedicated to cleats. This enables the rider to clip into the bike's pedals and exert much more force than what they would be able to do with regular shoes. This, in turn, makes the whole riding experience more efficient and can increase the distance cycled in a day.
Q: How To Size Shoes For Touring Bike?
Using your normal shoe size is a good starting point to find out which ones are the correct touring bike shoes for you. They do have to fit snugly around the foot so it might be worth buying slightly smaller shoes that what you normally would. Some models, however, also tend to fit large so check what the manufacturer recommends before making your purchase.
Globo Surf Overview
Just as a good mtb helmet takes good care of your head, and a bike computer helps in finding the road, touring bike shoes are your feet’s best ally. Take your time to read through our reviews to find the best fit for your needs, since they will be with you for many hours and miles on the road. The right touring shoes can make a real difference in your riding, and relieve you from having to worry about your feet. This, in turn, leaves you free to focus on enjoying the ride, which is what made you get out of the house in the first place.