Finding the right cycling shoe is essential when looking to improve your performance & enhance your riding experience. A good cycling shoe can improve performance drastically by enhancing pedaling power & efficiency as well as allowing for easy adjustability and comfort.
Although with all the different types of cycling shoes available in the market it can be quite daunting trying to find the right choice for your specific needs.Which is why we decided to write this review.
We based our decision on these 5 factors: comfort, performance, quality of materials used, levels of adjustability, breathability. So without further ado, let’s take a look at our top 10 list!
Top 10 Best Women’s Cycling Shoes:
Pearl Izumi Elite IV women’s cycling shoes
First on the list is the Izumi Eliete IV this is a good choice if your looking for performance. It features a carbon outsole for greater power transfer and power efficiency.
The upper features direct-vent technology on the upper area of the shoe for breathability. The shoe is designed with a bi-directional closure system for easy adjustability to help you get the best fit possible.
The insole features longitudinal arch support for enhanced power and efficiency. Overall a good choice if your willing to pay a premium price for comfort, performance, & durability.
Fizik Tempo R5
Next on the list is the Fizik Tempo R5 which features a carbon fiber outsole for greater power and efficiency. This shoe is designed with a foot wrapping velcro closure system for a tight and secure fit.
It is also designed with a Microtex material upper. Microtex is a two-layered knitted fabric & is designed to direct moisture away from the skin. Although These shoes are quite narrow so they aren’t ideal if you have wide feet.
Overall good option if you’re looking for a comfortable, durable road bike shoe for optimal performance.
Giro Empire E70 Knit Cycling Shoe – Women’s
The Giro Empire E70 Knit is the first to incorporate knit technology to a cycling shoe & for a good reason these shoes offer incredible sock-like comfort and conforms with the shape of your feet.
The upper features a laced closure for a supple-yet-supportive fit. When it comes to performance the girl empire is equipped with a carbon outsole for greater power transfer & efficiency.
The shoe also features a supernatural fit kit footbed allowing for adjustable arch support for enhanced comfort and performance, it’s also integrated with a microbial fiber top sheet to combat odor.
Louis Garneau Women’s Multi Air Flex II
The Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex is perfect if you plan on walking with your shoe. It is designed with a flexible toe allowing you to walk & ride comfortably. The ventilated EVA insole reduces hotspots and overheating allowing you to perform comfortably.
Equipped with an HRS-80 retention keeping the heel in place, as well as hook & loop straps for easy adjustability.
The Louis Garneau is a 2 bolt cleat system & a good option for mountain biking, spinning, or commuting. Although the sizes do run smaller so you may need to go one size up.
Fizik R5B Donna BOA Shoe with Fuschia Trim
Next on the list is the Fizik R5B first thing you will notice about these shoes is the incredible design, it’s handcrafted & is specifically designed for women since its shape is adapted to the female anatomy.
The Fizik R5B Donna features a carbon outsole for greater power transfer & efficiency. The sculpted insole features heel support for comfort and performance.
The upper portion of the shoe is designed with Microtex material. Microtex is made of a two-layered knitted fabric & is designed to direct moisture away from the skin. Overall great design, comfortable, & enhances performance.
Sidi Genius 7 Road Bike Shoe Woman
If you’re looking for a shoe for ultimate performance and quality features then you should definitely consider the Sidi 7 road bike shoe. Featuring a microfiber upper which is lightweight, ecofriendly, and water repellent. It also features wide anatomical curve straps which distributes pressure evenly throughout the foot.
The Sidi 7 is also Easily adjustable with the two-way ratchet closure system. Designed with a reinforced heel which keeps the foot in an optimal position for performance and avoids the shoe being deformed due to prolonged pressure.
Also equiped with a carbon fiber outsole for stiffness increasing power transfer as well as effecieny.
Overall quite pricey but well worth it if you’re looking for high-quality features and enhanced performance.
SHIMANO SH-XC5 WOMEN’S MOUNTAIN SHOES
The Shimano SH-XC5 is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a shoe for cross-country, cyclocross, or gravel riding. Designed with a synthetic leather upper mesh for durability and breathability.
The shoe is equipped with a carbon fibre reinforced midsole for greater power transfer, it also features rubber outsoles in order to shed mud and provide solid traction. Overall a good choice for off-road riding.
Giro Women’s Espada Boa
Our next pick is the Giro Spada Boa this shoe combines the best features for performance and comfort. Featuring a carbon outsole for enhanced power transfer & efficiency, as well as a breathable microfiber and mesh upper which conforms to the shape of your feet for a comfortable fit.
This shoe is also quite easily adjustable, designed with a Boa L6 closure dial for quick and easy adjustability. Overall a good road bike shoe for comfort & performance.
Tommaso Pista Women’s (Best For Spinning)
If your looking for a cycling shoe for spin class then look no further than the Tommaso Pista. This shoe is specifically designed for spinning, featuring Dual cleat compatibility allowing you to use these shoes on any pedal system.
Designed with a durable synthetic leather upper for durability and breathability, ventilated mesh helps to cool your feet in order to prevent hotspots & avoid irritations. Overall best choice for spinning comfortable, durable, and provides quality performance.
SHIMANO Women’s RP300W
The Shimano women’s RP300W features glass-fiber-reinforced nylon soles for greater power transfer and efficiency. Designed with an Off-set Strap which helps relieve tension at the highest point of the foot. These shoes are also well ventilated, dries rapidly, and it quite comfortable.
Why Look For A Women’s Specific Cycling Shoe?
The main difference between women’s specific cycling shoes compared to unisex or men’s shoes is women’s specific shoes are designed to be narrower and smaller and allow for a better fit. Another reason is style, most unisex or men’s shoes have limited color & style options, a women-specific shoe typically comes with a wide range of color options.
Cycling Shoes Buyers Guide:
When looking for cycling shoes there are a few things you should look out for to determine what features would suit your riding style best.
When it comes to the sole of the shoe there are 3 materials used in the sole of the shoe. They are Carbon, Plastic, A Mixture of both Plastic & Carbon.
When it comes to high-performance carbon is the way to go. All high end, high-performance cycling shoe soles are made of carbon, and that’s due to the stiffness of the sole. The stiffer the sole the less energy loss due to the shoe bending. When it comes to carbon soles there are levels of stiffness, with the higher level being stiffer. For example; A stiffness of 11-13 is used in top performance shoes whereas 10-8 is mid-ranged.
Beginner shoes are made of plastic which tends to be more comfortable but not as good for performance.
When it comes to closure systems there are 4 main types of systems Velcro Straps, Ratchet Buckles, Laces, BOA Dials.
BOA Dials: BOA Dials provide the best adjustability & are typically found in most high-end shoes, as they offer 1mm adjustment increments allowing you to get a precise fit.
Ratchet Buckles: Ratchet buckles are another easily adjustable closure system although they don’t provide the same level of adjustability as BOA dials.
Velcro Straps: Velcro straps don’t offer increments of adjustments such as BOA but they do offer strong security, durability, and comfort. And they’re the least likely to get damaged.
Laces: laces aren’t the best option mainly because it’s hard to adjust them on the go but they do tend to be the lightest.
When looking for cycling shoes it’s important that your cleats are compatible with the pedals on your bike.
Most road bikes use SPD-SL type cleats which contain a 3-hole pattern, whereas most mountain bike & commuting shoes use SPD which contains a 2-hole pattern. A three-bolt cleat is larger and provides you with greater pedaling power. Whereas 2-hole cleat is recessed into the sole and it is easier to walk around in.
Fit is another important element to be aware of when looking for cycling shoes. Some shoes come narrower whereas others come wider, which is why it’s essential to try on the shoe before purchasing. If you’re looking for wider cycling shoes then take a look at our list of the top cycling shoes designed for wider feet.
There you have it our list of the 10 best women’s cycling shoes. When it comes to finding the right shoe the most important element is the fit, which is why it’s important to consider women’s specific cycling shoes over unisex or men’s shoes especially if you have narrow or small feet. We hope this guide helped. Happy Riding!