When you go bicycle touring, you meet all kinds of people. They range from those who are fussy about the kind of gear they wear to those who seem not to care at all and are touring with almost nothing. While both of these styles have their own pros and cons, proper cycling touring has its own rules that everyone abides by.
One of the most important rules is regarding footwear. From professional cyclists who often go touring to hippies, what you choose to wear on your feet is important. In fact, you cannot get away with wearing just any shoe. Because your feet are in constant contact with your bicycle while touring, you need to properly protect them.
This article reviews the best cycling shoes. The products listed here have been thoroughly assessed to see if they offer comfort, support and efficiency. Their structural design also weighed in.
Comparison table for the best cycling touring shoes
Sidi Dominator 5
100% mesh and Lorica
BONT Vaypor S
Suede, leather blend
Giant Surge Pro
Specialized Torch 3.0
TPU upper, carbon sole
Best cycling touring shoes
Sidi Dominator 5 is a sleek looking mountain bike shoe that is well designed to go on cycling tours. It has a stiff sole and a well-supported heel cup to protect your feet.
- Made of 100% Lorica and mesh
- Upper material made of durable, vented and supple Lorica Microfiber
- The closure system is soft instep with Ultra SL buckle for quick adjustments on the go
First, Sidi Dominator 5 is made entirely out of Lorica and mesh. For the upper part, there are strategically placed vents to ensure the shoe is breathable even during hotter seasons. This upper part is also designed with Lorica microfiber making this shoe highly long lasting.
Second, you can easily adjust this bike to your preferred arrangements. This can be done using the Ultra SL Buckle for swift adjustments. The soft instep closure mechanism also helps eliminate any pressure points.
Sidi Dominator 5 is not without its own disadvantages. One of these is that Dominator 5 tends to run small. Before settling on a buy, make sure you have properly analyzed the sizing chart for a snug fitting shoe. For Dominator 5, you can go up half a size to see if that will give you the perfect fitting compared to your actual shoe size.
- Highly durable compared to similarly priced products
- Plush padding on the tongue
- Has the option of adding toe spikes to the package
- Proper fit for many
- Quite expensive
Sidi Dominator 5 costs a tad more than the average cycling touring shoes. However, it is well worth the extra penny because it comes with unrivaled features found in premium quality shoes. For instance, its upper material is plush and soft to the skin. The breathable mesh also comes in handy to maintain cool and dry shoes even during the summer.
This shoe has pocket friendly prices with still great features and a very stylish design. For the first few times wearing it, this shoe may be way too on your ankle but with time it will go away.
- Sold in sizes 5 to 42 (UK sizes)
- Lace-up closure
- 3 bolt cleats
- Fitted with vents for a breathable shoe
- Weighs 512g
Mavic Aksium makes it to the list for a number of reasons. First, it has good ventilation as it has small pinprick holes on the sides of the shoe. Also at the bottom of the shoe there are small vents for added air circulation. The heel cup on the other hand is given plush padding to ensure comfort. There are small reflectors on the outside of the shoe to add on visibility. Mavic has a very elegant look to it. It is fitted with a lace-up design that makes it look more retro compared to the shoes with a dial or straps to close them.
The lace design ends up making it light in weight. With size 42, the shoes weigh only 512g making it very comfortable to have on for a long period. The laces help to distribute pressure all over the foot more evenly as they cross the foot five times. As much as you cannot adjust the laces while you are on a ride, these shoes are already equipped to be the perfect fit without performing any tweaks.
Thirdly, the sole on Aksium can only hold 3 bolt cleats that can move backward and forward making it better than the fixed bolt design. It comes with three color options that are dark and keep up with the retro design. It also has a wide range of sizes so you can easily find one that fits your leg and whole workout gear.
- Has a clean evocative design
- Has a high quality sole
- Comfortable to wear during all kinds of weather
- Available in many sizes
- You cannot adjust laces when riding
- Few bolt cleats
This shoe is very comfortable to wear even during long rides, they are also filled with great features and has a great look to it. Though, you cannot adjust your laces easily on a ride. Some people might find this as a deal-breaker while others do not mind really.
Bont Vaypor shoes come in white complete with all you need to go on a cycling tour.
- Available in sizes 36 to 50
- Comes in black or white
- Stack height is 3.6mm
- Weighs 230g
- Compatible with a 3-bolt cleat system
This is a pro cycling shoe that is popular among athletes and amateur riders alike. Their structural design is their most prominent feature. Bont Vaypor S shoes are designed to be high performance and super comfortable at the same time. It does not sacrifice one for the other. For instance, it is heat moldable and it has a carbon fiber body.
To add, Bont Vaypor S upper is a blend of suede and synthetic leather. You can be assured of a material that is sensitive and soft to your skin. The tongue also has properly placed vents that ensure proper airflow through the shoe at all times.
Even more on its comfort, Bont Vaypor S has a good quality padding that is high density memory foam. Its anti-stretch material also helps keep the shoe stable enough. This added support for your foot comes in handy when you usually go for long rides.
Another plus feature is that it is developed with cell technology that helps to keep away moisture from the shoe.
- Accommodate wider feet
- Comfortable to wear
- Has an adjustable retention system
- It has a stiff construction
- Not everyone is sold on its
The Bont Vaypor S shoes stand out because of a number of reasons. For example, they are remarkably stiff but still comfortable allowing you to have it on for over a long time. It is for sure giving you your money’s worth.
Bontrager Velocis is a high performance shoe in terms of stiffness and comfort. It is fitted with a sole made of carbon composite making them stiff enough to race on but it does not get to the point of causing any discomfort.
- Perforated synthetic upper material for ventilation during cycling and hot summer months
- Two way closure system
- Carbon composite dole for more stiffness
- Weighs 237g
- Comes in sizes 40 to 48
These cycling touring shoes have a sleek look that might make you think they cost more than they do. They are available in white, black and blue. The design is compact and just simply eye-candy.
Regarding is material composition, the upper material is synthetic. The synthetic uppers give the shoe the sharp look of leather. This also makes it very easy to wipe down your shoes after a ride. This is important especially if you purchase the white shoe. You need not wait until you are done with the cycle tour to clean your shoes. It also comes in a wide range of sizes from 40 and 48.
It has 2 closure systems, one being the boa dial system which is at the top of this shoe. You can adjust the shoe incrementally and also pulling it out will release the laces. The other closure is the Velcro strap which is lower down and it helps to keep your foot in place inside the shoe ensuring a perfect fit for you and adds on the comfort of this shoe.
The only imperfection with this shoe is that it might not be able to remain comfortable when it gets really hot. It is fitted with only two small vents on top of your toes. This ventilation will not be enough especially for the hotter days making your foot very warm. This can be quite uncomfortable.
- The buckles are easy to adjust
- The design is eye catching
- Has a well-balanced sole
- Could do with more ventilation
The sole of the Bontrager Velocis cycling shoes is made of carbon composite. This alone makes the shoe well balanced between comfort and also stiffness. The finished look of this shoe is also classy and has great adjustability for the perfect fit. It is good cycling touring shoe.
A new addition to Giant’s brand, the Surge Pro shoe is an innovative cycling shoe. Its sole is made entirely out of carbon making the shoe lightweight and sturdy as well. Giant Surge Pro is a favorite among teams in the WorldTour.
- The tongue is a soft padded mesh
- One closure system
- Perforated synthetic leather uppers
- Sizes ranging from 41 to 45
The Giant Surge Pro shoe is a creative and unique shoe. Its forefoot and the heel are connected together by a beam of carbon instead of having the common flat midsole. With this design it is able to maintain the stiffness as well as to reduce any stress on the ankle and knee joints. It allows very little independent movement for the lower leg and heel during pedal strokes on a ride. Also, the beam sole is lighter as compared to the full sole making the overall shoe light in weight.
Giant Surge Pro is also easy to use. It has the advanced boa dial system to help you adjust the shoe in order to achieve a perfect fit. This pulls the upper part from a low point. With gentle nudging, you can easily get the most comfortable fit for you.
It is also comfortable because of the proper airflow in it. The upper is made of synthetic leather which has perforations for good ventilation. This is enough to keep your feet cool and dry during long riding sessions as well.
The heel and more rigid surfaces are fitted with a matt surface while the forefoot has a smoother finish. Another plus is that it is sold at a fair price considering the materials used in its construction.
There is really not much to dislike apart from its color retention.
- Lightweight so that it does not take a toll on your body
- Has a flat sole that performs well
- Overall classy finish and look
- The uppers are supportive of your mid-foot especially
- The shoes discolor unevenly
The feature that stands out the most is the upper of this shoe. It is very supportive making the shoe be kind on the joints and connections. As is also expected for a World Tour level shoe, it is light in weight. With a pick of either black or white this is one of the best buys for cycling touring shoes. Extra support goes a long way in protecting you from injuries and strains that often come with touring.
Designed by Specialized, Torch 3.0 is no less a high-end shoe than others by this brand. It is lower priced but it has all the quality features that are synonymous with specialized shoes.
- Comes in 5 colors including an eye-catching acid lava color as well as black and white
- Weighs 250g
- Variety of sizes between 39 to 49
- 1 closure system
- Chic, modern-looking design
As much as the specialized torch 3.0 shoes are less expensive, they do not fail in offering great comfort for a biker. The heel cup feels comfortable. It has a relaxed fit and is wide as it offers more foot space. It is also not very stiff which makes it less durable but it adds on the overall comfort of the shoe.
This shoe comes in a variety of sizes that range from size 39 to 49 and also half sizes between 41 to 45making it easy to find one that fits you. It weighs only 250g making it light and easy to have on for a long time. It is fitted with synthetic leather at the rear and mesh at the front and the dole is a composite sole.
Another impressive feature of this bike is the stylish design it comes in. The 5 different colors to choose from also run deeply. Some of the available colors include hyper green and acid lava.
The only downer with this pair of shoes is that it still quite expensive compared to other cycling shoes.
- It has a great design and feels
- The shoes offer a good and secure fit
- It is comfortable to wear for long periods
- It costs quite a lot of money
Compared to the specialized s work, Torch 3.0 is a lower priced shoe but with impressive features as well. For example, it is way more comfortable and less race focused. This shoe also offers a good level of performance but is altogether comfortable. It is a finely balanced fit between these two factors.
For anyone who is even remotely into cycling touring, proper shoes are essential. While the ideal shoe for you greatly varies, it all leads down to a few factors. The best cycling touring shoe is one that is comfortable, sturdy, breathable and durable as well. Cycling touring comes with its own harsh challenges so you need shoes that are able to keep up with your performance.
This article has reviewed all the best quality options. Indeed, there is a wide range of options. Be sure to assess each carefully. Beyond the factors stated above, it also does not hurt to go for good-looking shoes. If you are up for it, a pop of color is bound to do some good.