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If you plan on becoming a regular indoor cyclist, I highly recommend picking up a pair of cycling shoes with cleats that attach to the pedals. Here’s why…
  • Theresa Christensen

So you’ve finally taken a few Cycle classes at Fitness Incentive. That first one was probably a little rough, but the rush of endorphins left you wanting to come back for more. It doesn’t take long to get hooked on indoor cycling. I’ve noticed that I consistently get asked the same questions once a member has attended a few weeks of Cycle classes. The first is, “When is my butt going to stop being sore, and should I buy a gel seat?” I always chuckle at that one. That soreness goes away after a few weeks of attending regularly. In my professional opinion, you should not buy a gel seat. It’s too easy to lose it or forget it at home, and then you’re back at square one with a sore butt. The second question is, “Should I buy the shoes?” “The Shoes” that they are referring to are cycling Shoes. If you plan on becoming a regular indoor cyclist, I highly recommend picking up a pair of cycling shoes with cleats that attach to the pedals. At Fitness Incentive, all of our bikes have “clipless” pedals that you can slide right into to attach your foot to the pedal. You’ll find that almost all indoor cycling gyms use this type of pedal system, making your shoes a universal investment.

Here are just a few benefits to riding with cycling shoes:

1 – The most important quality that a cycling shoe can have is a stiff sole. When cycling, you want all of the power from your legs to go directly into your pedal stroke. With a flimsy sole, you are losing power through your foot.

2 – Having your foot attached to the pedal improves your pedaling efficiency. There is more power behind the pushing motion on the downstroke as well as the pulling motion on the upstroke, therefore giving you a more efficient workout.

3 – You’ll have more stability, especially during sprints. The clipless pedals can be flipped over to expose a “toe clip,” which is a cage to hold your sneaker. Each toe clip has an adjustable strap to tighten and secure your sneaker to the pedal. While this is a safe and effective way to pedal, there is always a trepidation that your foot can come flying out of the pedal – especially at high speeds. When you are clipped into the pedal with cycling shoes, this is nearly impossible.

4 – Breathability – we all know by now that it gets hot in the Cycle room. There’s nothing like breaking a great sweat and releasing those endorphins! Cycling shoes are typically made of a mesh upper, allowing your feet to breathe comfortably.

5They last a LONG time. I bought my first pair of cycling shoes in 2005 and used them for both indoor cycling and outdoor mountain biking, and they lasted me for 14 years. Two of those years were spent as an instructor, using them sometimes 2-3 times per day. So if you find a great pair that costs a little bit more, spend the money. Chances are they will be the only pair you ever have to buy.

Those are the benefits, now here are some tips for buying the perfect pair:

1 – Shop local. Babylon Bike Shop offers a 15% Fitness Incentive member discount. They are constantly changing up their inventory with the latest styles, and they are very helpful with fitting and helping you pick out the right pair for you.

2 – Get fitted in person. Cycling shoes tend to run small and narrow. Always get fitted in person, even if you are considering buying your shoes online.

3 – Get a shoe with recessed cleats. This allows you to walk easily since the cleats are built into the soles of the shoe. When they are not recessed, they stick out from the bottom, making it difficult (and noisy) to walk.


They say, “Life is short. Buy the shoes.” I agree with that, but ditch the padded gel seat. Wear those calluses like a trophy, won by an indoor cycling champion!

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About the Author

Theresa Christensen

Theresa Christensen is a certified Cycling Instructor at Fitness Incentive. She is also the Artist/Owner
Theresa Christensen Art, Voted Best Artist on Long Island 2015 and 2017 by The Long Island Press

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