What budget for road cycling shoes
You want to buy your first road cycling shoes or renew your current pair? There is no shortage of models! Here is a small guide that will help you to choose between the models.
First of all, there are several types of tightening: 2 Velcro, 3 Velcro or with micrometric strap.
The 2 scratch tightening is for entry-level models (less than 50 dollars). This type of tightening is often recommended for beginners because the foot will be less well maintained in the shoe than with a system with 3 scratches or a micrometric strap.
The 3 scratch system is a model very sold by the brands. Very well placed in price (it is necessary to spend between 60 and 140 dollars), it offers a good support of the foot as well as a great comfort of use.
Finally there is the system with micrometric strap. This system is often coupled with one or more velcro straps. There are top-of-the-range models with a 100% micrometric tightening. It allows you to adjust your shoe very precisely to your foot but also to tighten it while riding (we often see the pros tighten their shoes before a sprint finish for example) to have a fixed foot and get a maximum performance in the pedal stroke. There are “strap” or “wheel” type tightenings. The system varies depending on the brand and the patents they hold or use. The prices of shoes with micrometric straps vary between 100 and 350 dollars.
Road Cycling shoes with Composite, fiberglass or carbon sole
Then you have to take into account the composition of the sole: composite, fiberglass or carbon.
More flexible than the fiberglass or carbon sole, the composite sole has the advantage of being very well priced. It can be found on entry-level models at less than 50 dollars, but also on mid-range models (often with 3 velcro straps between 60 and 140 dollars) or on the first models with micrometric strap (between 100 and 160 dollars). This type of sole is recommended for beginners or for cycle touring. It is also used by some cyclosportives.
More rigid than the composite sole, the fiberglass sole is less and less present in stores since the arrival on the market of carbon soles. Nevertheless, we can find composite soles that are reinforced with fiberglass to gain in rigidity.
As for the carbon sole, rigid and light, the vast majority of high-end shoes are equipped with it. Coupled with a micrometric strap it allows the cyclist to transmit a maximum of energy to the pedal. To combine comfort and optimal performance, the carbon soles are now multi-density (the thickness is not the same throughout the sole) and ventilated (manufacturers manage to make vents in the sole).
Finally, the coating of road bike shoes is now very ventilated. Indeed, brands now use microfiber, mesh and nylon materials on most of their models (from the first price to the high-end model). The difference is in the finish.