Cycling enthusiasts are aware of the significant impact proper cycling shoes can have on both comfort and performance. When cycling in a studio or on a path, the best cycling shoes are compatible with your pedals, pleasant to spin in, and fitted with sturdy closures to ensure they stay on.
Best Cycling Shoes for Women 2023
For activities like indoor cycling, you might not be able to use your ordinary sneakers or athletic shoes. The best women’s indoor cycling shoes should be purchased because wearing the incorrect footwear while cycling might result in chronic pain and other shoes. Since they are composed of breathable materials, they keep your feet cool and dry, reducing sweat odor and irritations.
In terms of design, these are constructed in an ergonomic way to give your feet the maximum support possible as you cycle without putting undue strain on your leg muscles. The outsoles of these shoes, which are contoured for a stronger grip on the bicycle pedals for both indoor and outdoor use, are another feature that sets them apart from conventional shoes.
Purchasing the right cycling shoes is a smart move if cycling is one of your main forms of exercise. Before you begin your search, though, we’ve compiled a list of the best cycling shoes for women right here to make your job easier. Take a look to choose the ideal combination for you, which may make your cycling workouts relaxing and simple.
Read on to learn more about the best cycling shoes for women to buy in 2023:
Ride Concepts Hellion Clip Women’s
- Protective and Supportive
- Good Power Transfer
- 413g Weight
Difficult singletrack, and particularly technical descents, are where the Ride Concepts Hellion Clip really shines. The support and comfort of the shoe on extended rides surprised our testers. The Hellion Clip also boasts excellent power transmission, is comfortable for hiking, has enough foot protection, and is reinforced in all the right areas, earning it our top rank for all-mountain riding.
The Hellion Clip Women’s features excellent trail absorption and lateral rigidity. Our feet remained firmly in place when pushing up tough hills because of the rigid EVA midsole and PowerDrive nylon shank, which do not bend underfoot and provide good power transfer. We never lost stability when descending a route that was littered with baby heads, and the EVA midsole attenuated trail vibrations.
With reinforced toe and heel areas, the synthetic Microfiber uppers are firm. A thickly cushioned tongue and ankle collar offer comfort and security. The expanded cleat box with a “runway” and Ride Concepts Clip Grip rubber sole make it simple to clip in. The Hellion Clip Women’s biggest flaw is its breathability, compromising its performance in our other metrics.
Crankbrothers Mallet Boa – Unisex
- Fantastic Fit
- Very Good Power Transfer
- Large Cleat Opening
- Excellent Trail Absorption
Although the Crankbrothers Mallet Boa is intended to be a downhill and enduro shoe, our testers discovered that this well-made, comfy shoe also made a fantastic trail shoe. Finding your desired cleat location is simply because of the big Match Box cleat aperture, and even with SPD cleats, clipping in and out is simple thanks to the sloped outsole. Right out of the box, this sneaker is really comfortable. With a mid-volume fit and little to no lateral slop, the Boa and velcro closures let you customize the fit to your foot, which helps with huge power transfer maneuvers, especially on bumpy step-ups.
Overall, the Mallet Boa received high marks from our testers, especially for fit, although there are some drawbacks. Despite having a perforated toe, tongue, and mesh windows at the midfoot, the shoe doesn’t breathe well, which is particularly apparent on hot and muggy days. Despite this, we can’t ignore how much more comfortable and powerful the sneaker is than its rivals in our selection.
Specialized 2FO Roost Clip – Unisex
- Easy to Walk in
- Very Good Power Transfer
Although the new Specialized 2FO Roost Clip may appear to be a simple street shoe, this lightweight lace-up shoe offers superior power transmission at a cost that is quite affordable. The Roost Clip is a multipurpose mountain bike shoe that, with the exception of downhill riding on lifts, is light enough for cross-country rides and comfy enough for epic all-day trail rides. On hike-a-bikes, the SlipNot FG sole offers excellent grip and the ideal degree of flex. A significantly sized cleat aperture and more than 1 14″ of fore/aft positioning makes it simple to find your ideal cleat position when it comes to pedaling.
The relaxed fit of the Roost Clip, as noted by our testers, has an impact on the shoe’s overall power transfer. On steep climbs or complex step-ups, the shoe did not cause any heel lift, but we did observe some lateral slop into the midfoot. The Roost Clip offers excellent power transfer despite our mid-foot movement, especially for a lace-up shoe. Overall, the Roost Clip beats more expensive shoes in many of our test criteria, sometimes even better. The Roost Clip is a wonderful option if you’re searching for an all-purpose mountain bike shoe at a reasonable price.
Scott MTB Elite Boa Lady
- Good Power Transfer
- Good for Walking
The Scott MTB Elite Boa Lady has the functionality and appearance of much more expensive footwear. The MTB Elite Boa Lady offers premium performance and features at an affordable price point. It has a Boa lacing, an adjustable footbed, and a nylon and composite outsole. In our testing, we discovered that the MTB Elite Boa Lady’s power transfer was superior to many other shoes at and above its price point. We were able to effectively transmit power into our pedals thanks to how controlled and rigid the Elite Boa Lady felt.
The MTB Elite Lady Boa weighs 351 grams for a EU39, which places it in the center of the pack among the shoes examined here. However, it provides a great deal more forefoot protection than comparable XC-type shoes, which is a characteristic we think is crucial when choosing a shoe, especially when they are so similar in weight and style.
Nevertheless, they don’t provide as much protection as the more robust trail and gravity shoes we examined. Additionally, the soles are not as walker-friendly as models with full-coverage rubber soles and more toe flex. These, in our opinion, are a decent choice for the rider looking for an affordable XC-style shoe with good power transfer and comfort.
Ride Concepts Traverse – Women’s
- Excellent Foot Protection
- Great for Hike-a-Bike
- Excellent Power Transfer
The demands placed on a rider’s shoe by tricky terrain make factors like impact absorption, support, and protection even more crucial. The Ride Concepts Traverse is an extremely sturdy, safe, and supportive shoe for riding downhill and on tricky terrain. This well-designed shoe handled everything we threw at it, including tricky descents, rough desert hike-a-bikes, and chilly mountain rides, and never let us down.
The Traverse absorbed track chatter and vibrations, unlike other shoes that left our feet uncomfortable after riding technical parts of the terrain, impressing our testers with its rigidity and capacity to absorb trail impacts. Thanks to its asymmetrical medial collar, the Traverse also offers the highest protection of all the shoes we examined. It also received high marks for its remarkable comfort both on and off the bike.
Due to the increased ankle support and protection it offers, the Traverse is the heaviest shoe we tested, coming in at 450 grams (women’s EU40), 82 grams heavier than the average weight of all the shoes we tested. The Traverse checks all the boxes for the rider looking for highly effective, protective, and comfortable shoes that can withstand the rigors of tricky descents littered with rocks, high-speed landings, and impacts from drops and jumps.
Bont Vaypor S
- Wide Sizing Available
- Stiff Sole
- Great Power Transfer
- Comfortable Fit
The Bont is unquestionably the shoe of choice for pro riders with wide feet. The shoe has an unyielding sole that extends to form part of the heel cup, creating a mono piece that holds its shape.
The shoe is available in five widths, including wide and double-wide. The upper may feel bulky at first, but it’s designed to be heat-molded around your foot, giving you all the benefits of a stiff upper without the painful complications that come with it.
To be clear, all Bont shoes are handmade, which means that there may be minor size differences and that transferring cleats from one pair to another may take some time.
Fizik Infinito R1 Knit
- Good Arch Support
- Excellent Breathability
- Firm Heel Cups
- Prevents Slipping
Fizik delivers once more with the Infinito R1 knit, the fabric version of its popular Infinito R1. After a few rides to break it in, we found the woven material to be extremely comfortable, allowing for maximum flexibility and breathability in the front areas of the foot.
The top of the foot and the double Boa closures provide the necessary support, while an ultra-rigid heel cup keeps everything in place. The sole is a full carbon, unidirectional, and extremely stiff. The only drawbacks are that they run on the narrower side and that the cleat holes are located further forward than most, but they are an excellent choice for people with small feet. The inset around the front of the ankle also needs to be broken in.
These shoes are designed to be performance racing shoes and are an excellent choice for riders who ride in hot summer weather.
Bontrager Velocis Women’s
- Lightweight Shoes
- Easy-Clean Material
- Thin Sole for a Responsive Ride Feel
- Multiple Colors Available
Trek’s in-house component and finishing brand, Bontrager, provides excellent value with the Velocis. One of our favorite features of the shoe was the combination of one Boa and one velcro strap, which provided the benefits of the Boa system at the price of a velcro system.
The material is easy to clean, and the carbon/fiberglass composite sole allows for cleat placement adjustability. We did notice that they were a little snug through the met-head area (where the toes begin), so if you have wider feet, go up a half-size. On the other hand, the toe box was round and spacious, allowing our kids to wiggle even after they got hot.
If you want the benefits of the Boa system without breaking the bank, the Velocis is a great mid-range option.
Northwave Jet 2 Road Shoes
- Cleat Fitting
- 263g Weight
Northwave has been making shoes for over 20 years, which is why we trusted it with a true entry-level road shoe. The Jet 2 Shoe combines the functionality of a road pedal (three-bolt) and a mountain bike (two-bolt) system.
They are designed for comfort and breathability and are suitable for wider feet. While the performance may suffer, as a result, the two velcro straps ensure a secure fit.
It may not be as elegant or as micro-adjustable as a Boa or ratchet system, but it is an excellent choice for those who are new to road cycling and want to try cleat shoes without making a large investment.
Many factors influence your choice of clipless mountain bike shoes, and we’ve just reviewed the best cycling shoes for women. When making a decision, we recommend that you read through our reviews and consider the type of riding you’ll be doing, your foot shape, and your budget. Also, don’t be afraid to wear a shoe that isn’t intended for that purpose. Cross-country shoes can be worn for all-mountain skiing and all-mountain skiing shoes. We hope that putting the best-rated shoes to the test has helped you narrow down your purchase decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Cycling Shoes Gender Specific?
Women’s cycling shoes aren’t always available, but some brands do. These are made with a women’s specific ‘foot last,’ which is a mold around which the show is built and is ergonomically designed for women’s foot shapes.
While everybody is unique, measurements show that women have shorter and narrower feet on average. Because their shapes differ slightly, it is not always possible to offer smaller sizes with the same proportions. If you have trouble wearing unisex shoes, a women’s specific design may be better for you.
What’s the Best Material for Cycling Shoes?
Shoes are made of two types of materials: leather and synthetic leather, with knit fabric technology, which is thrown in for good measure. Choose a knit shoe for its superior breathability and lightness, leather for its natural ability to mold and adapt to your feet, and synthetic leather for a smooth, durable, and easily cleanable surface.
How Do I Check for Cleat Adjustment?
When looking at the sole of your shoe, look for one that allows you to adjust where you place your cleat to ensure you have the proper setup and cleat placement for efficient power transfer. This varies greatly between shoes and feet, so adjustability is essential.