Great road cycling shoes

When it comes to road cycling, correct choice of shoe is fundamental. Naturally, there’s the importance of the comfort factor: if you’re going to be on your bike for hours on end, you don’t want sore feet. But just as crucially, there’s the role shoes play in efficiently turning your effort into forward momentum. Pick the wrong type of shoe and you could find a lot of your pedalling input is used to flex the sole rather than spin the gear. So here’s a selection of some excellent and efficient cycling shoes that won’t break the bank.

Things to consider

Closure system

Velcro is easy and simple to use, but it doesn’t close a shoe as tightly and efficiently as a ratchet or buckle system.

Foot support

Many shoes now come with interchangeable insoles, arch supports or mouldable footbeds that really aid comfort.


Cycling shoes tend to come in European sizes (43, 44, 45, etc, rather than 8, 9 10). Even then, sizing can be a little small, so it’s a good idea to try on before you buy. Cramped toes while cycling are extraordinarily painful.

Reinforced outsoles

Outsole construction is very important for power transfer, so look for reinforced outsoles with added glass-fibre, composite material or — ideally — carbon-fibre.

Shimano RP5 and RP5W Women, £76.99-80.99

The RP5 features a secure ratcheted buckle top strap — which is a marked improvement on the Velcro-only options you tend to find at this end of the market — and comes with the added advantage of a carbon-fibre composite plate on the outsole for improved power delivery.

Shimano RP5
RP5W Women

Northwave Sonic 2, £79.99

The really exciting thermowelded outer construction might win in the aesthetic and technological stakes, but it’s the Sonic 2’s ‘NRG Air Carbon’ reinforced outsole with five air vents for cooling that hits the mark in terms of both comfort and performance.

Northwave Sonic 2

Giro Apeckx II, £99.99

Although famous for its helmets, Giro’s cycling shoes have really made a mark in recent years. The Apeckx II combines a supple bonded and welded mesh upper with an impressively stiff DuPont Zytel outsole. There’s also a micro-ratcheting, low-profile buckle and a supportive, anti-microbial footbed.

Giro Apeckx II

Bontrager Race DLX and Race DLX Women’s, £99.99

A fantastically detailed road cycling shoe with a Bronze Series reinforced composite outsole for power transfer, a Micro-Fit buckle for security, and an ergonomic inForm footbed, which is designed to offer extra room and comfort from the ball to the mid-foot.

Bontrager Race DLX
Race DLX Women

Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100 Road Shoe, £109.99 to £129.99

Is the Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100 all the road shoe you could ever need at an astonishingly low price? Very probably yes. Does it have a carbon outsole? Check. Does it have an advanced BOA single rail quick and secure closure system? Check. Does it have interchangeable insoles to aid comfort? Check. Does it even come in a range of colourways including funky yellow? Check again. A really fantastic option for everyone from leisure roadie to racer.

Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100 Road Shoe

Click here to see Evans’s full selection of superb cycling shoes