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Cycling Shoes

Cycling shoes come in a variety of designs depending on the type and intensity of the cycling for which they are intended. Modern cycling shoes include hollowed or perforated sections to easily insert cleats for clipless pedal systems such as Shimano's SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) and LOOK.

Road shoes have a smooth, rigid and inflexible sole, and are bent slightly at the ball of the foot to allow power to be transferred and focused in the toe. The quality of the shoe depends upon the rigidity of the sole, material of construction, breathability and overall weight of the shoe (the lighter the better). Road shoes normally have a protruding cleat that makes them unsuitable for walking. Larger road-specific cleats are attached by three bolts, though two-bolt attachment of mountain-style cleats is also supported on some shoes.

MTB shoes have a recessed cleat and studs along the sole so that mountain riders can negotiate difficult terrain off their bikes. Mountain-style cleats are smaller than road-specific cleats and are attached to the shoe with two bolts.
Popular Cycling Shoes - Men's (View all Cycling Shoes - Men's)
Giro Trans Shoe
$89.99 - 225.00
Giro Gauge Shoe
$79.99 - 225.00

"Float" is defined as the degree of movement offered by the cleat within the pedal before release begins. This can be highly important to prevent damage to knees, as most people's pedal stroke does not occur along a single axis. Many standard road pedal systems ship with a 6 degree float cleat. SPD-SL, LOOK Delta, LOOK Kéo, and Time cleats are also available in 3 degree and 0 degree float. Road pedal systems commonly color-code cleats by the amount of float offered (red, black, etc). Some pedal systems have a fixed non-adjustable float, such as 6 degrees for Crank Brothers. Most cleats develop more float as they wear out.

Other pedals, namely the Speedplay Zero series, offer an adjustable float which can be restricted to only outward movement. This prevents the heel of the foot from swinging inward towards the bike, but still offers 3 to 6 degrees of outward float. Most medium and high-end road pedal systems also have tension release adjustment screws, which can be used to tailor the amount of effort needed to release to the rider's individual preference.

Sole Material
Soles for cycling shoes are usually divided into three categories. Inexpensive shoes mostly use an injection-molded plastic sole, which is economical, but heavier and more prone to flexing. Mid-range shoes may use a combination of plastic and carbon fiber, plastic and fiberglass, or an all carbon fiber sole. All manufacturers' high-end competition level shoes manufactured post-2002 use carbon fiber soles. The sole material and amount of tread used in a shoe can dramatically affect its weight. For example, an expensive pair of road shoes with carbon fiber soles can weigh 650 grams, while a budget-priced pair of mountain bike shoes might weigh 850 to 900 grams.

Some mountain bike shoes have a slight amount of engineered flex in the toe area forward of the cleat mount. This assists in walking off the bike and climbing obstacles when a rider may be carrying the bike. Generally, the more expensive a mountain bike shoe is, the less frontal flex it will have.
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