Whether you’re in it for the long haul, or just doing some cycle touring, you’re much better off with good women’s cycling shoes. Wearing the right footwear that provides comfort and efficiency fitting, with a specialized focus on design is how you should be treating your overworking feet.

Women’s cycling shoes for your choice

It might sound like a meticulous process, with the huge selection of brands, the vast range of types and all those technical-sounding criteria to keep in mind. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to save you time scouring the web, and help to find your right cycling shoes.

What to consider

  • Riding type

The first thing is to decide what kind of riding you’re committing to. The two widely split demand groups can be leisure/touring cycling and performance/road cycling. Shoes for the recent focus more on comfort and practicality, with a flexible base that makes walking about when you get off much easier. Meanwhile, more-serious-cycling shoes are recognizable in their stiff soles and external cleats that ease the complicated process.

  • The power transfer

Before delving deeper into the selection criteria, I’ll state the rule of thumb to choose the perfect gear: efficient to maximize the power transfer from your feet to the pedals; comfortable so that the long ride is more enjoyable than draining. And perhaps good looking for that extra bit of motivation.

What to look for

Features of SOLES & CLEATS

The typical soles of shoes you’ll find are made of nylon, composite or carbon fiber. This characteristic, again, serves the ultimate purpose of transferring your maximum energy through the pedals, propelling you forward with the minimal effort. You’ll find these shoes highly stiff, especially for those at the top-end of the spectrum.

Usually, functional footwear will have some external 2-hole or 3-hole cleats that bind to the pedals.

3-hole cleats

There are more to the cleats than meet the eye. The chic and edgy looking system balances the power over the whole surface area, making your strokes more competent.

Note that with little flex, and the large external cleats attached, walking about isn’t the most pleasant thing to do while wearing these. You’ve been warned!


Often overlooked by a cyclist, the fastening system is, as a matter of fact, one of the most important factors to look out for. Various options are available, but not every one of them does the job of securing your shoe on your feet equally well. The cheaper option, Velcro straps, is hard to adjust on the move or to give the precise fit. Ratchets solve this problem but are quite troublesome since they require both hands to assemble. Topping it all, dials are secure, easily adjustable and give that perfect fit.

Dials fastening

Whatever the system you choose, keep in mind that you wouldn’t want the discomfort and power loss when the feet move around inside women’s cycling shoes while pedaling.

WEIGHT of women’s cycling shoes

On the other hand, weight is often the emphasis of both marketers and users. It’s true that the more premium shoes are, the lighter they will be. However, experts have regarded this a matter of little importance. Cycling enthusiasts shouldn’t worry too much about this.


Having hot and sweaty feet is the last thing anyone wants during any weather, especially when you’re on a long ride. Shoes worth looking for are those that have synthetic or leather uppers, with several mesh panels to help with ventilation. The better the women’s cycling shoes, the more breathable they get, thus the more comfort for your valued feet.


It’s a terribly wrong assumption that all brands manufacture the perfectly same shoe size. You are well advised to go and try them on to find the best fit; just remember to wear the same pair of socks during the process.

At this moment, I’ve attached a table of shoe size and how to convert them across different regions. For UK size, use the US size plus ONE size, then convert to European sizes.

How good women’s cycling shoes should perform

As briefly mentioned, proper cycling footwear must be efficient in transferring power. Well-chosen shoes will keep your heel immovable while assuring some freedom for the toes and protect the midfoot. This way makes every effort of yours count, without any loss of power.

This ideal state depends on the sole’s stiffness and how well your shoe fits. Size matters, but so does the closure system. How to tell if one is good when trying on? Well, you should notice if your foot is wrapped securely across the top of your midfoot, if the insole supports your arch thoroughly, and if your heel is nicely kept in place.

Suitable footwear should also bring customers the ultimate comfort over time. This thing means, they provide excellent ventilation and do not come with any pressure points that pain your feet, and are perfect for adjustment for different situations (loosening for swollen feet, changing temperature, etc.).

Some recommendations

The specialized S-Works 6 has been rated the best women’s cycling shoes by many reviewers. The shoe is said to have great performance rating, by ensuring long-lasting comfort while maximizing the power transfer. Its drawbacks are it’s hard to get into and may not fit well with heavy socks. Plus, the pair is expensive and never on discount. You can read more reviews here, or watch a visual presentation of it.

Another more affordable option is the Shimano SH-WR42, best suited for serious enthusiasts. The pair has the ultimate stiffness that transfers the best power from your feet to your pedals. However, it’s not the most comfortable women’s cycling shoes for longer rides and can get quite warm with heavy socks. Hear more about other opinions here.

Final world

So, there you have it. Always keep in mind that the journey to finding the perfect women’s cycling shoes isn’t effortless; you’d have to try a few and get the idea of how good footwear should behave. If you’re familiar with this, share with us your opinions and recommendations to better inform everyone. We’re glad to hear from people with the same enthusiasm!



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