Bike touring is fun, but it requires a lot of planning and preparation to be enjoyable. Touring bikes are suitable for long-distance cycling through states or entire cities for days or weeks. To make touring comfortable, you need the right cycling shoes.
There are quality pairs of touring cycling shoes available for men and women. We have listed the best touring shoes that will save you time and money before touring again.
- PEARL IZUMI X-Alp Cycling Shoes
- Vibram FiveFingers
- Shimano SD5 Cycling Sandals
- Five Ten Sleuth DLX
- Giro Men’s Mountain Cycling Shoes
- Tommaso Strada 100 Touring Cycling Shoes – Best Overall
- Tommaso Vertice Touring Shoes
- Lake Shoes MX145
How To Choose the Best Touring Cycling Shoes
Touring requires a specific type and make of cycling shoes. Shoes connect your foot to the pedal, and that is where you get all the power to keep cycling. Your cycling shoes should not be too soft or too rigid to be uncomfortable for a long-distance ride. If you need to know more about the right cycling shoes for you, here are some considerations to make.
It is impossible to predict the weather, and you don’t know what you will encounter on long-distance trips. You might have to ride through streams or when it’s raining, so having shoes with good ventilation will help. This feature makes it easier for them to dry so that you aren’t riding around in uncomfortable wet shoes. Breathable shoes are also better for touring cyclists due to the distance and nature of the rides.
Type Of Closure
The top of your cycling shoe is essential because this is where you adjust the shoe. You need to be able to quickly and efficiently adjust cycling shoes no matter where you are cycling.
There are three main types of closures that can help you. You can choose between laces, velcro straps, and BOA lacing.
Laces may not be the best option because you can’t adjust your shoe’s tightness while riding your bike. It takes much longer to loosen, and unless you are part of the Cirque du Soleil crew, you’ll need to get off your bike. Laces also get dirty quickly, and worse, stuck in your chain, which can be dangerous.
Velcro straps are more popular because they are quick and easy to open. You can adjust your shoe even when riding your bike. Unfortunately, you might have to clean them more frequently because they get dirty much faster.
BOA lacing is a good choice for most riders. It features a dial system so that you can evenly distribute the pressure across the shoe for a better fit. All you have to do is turn the dials to loosen or tighten the cycling shoes. They are also comfortable and more convenient when touring.
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The soles of your shoes will significantly determine your comfort when cycling. The midsoles are the layer in between your foot and the outer sole. They should feature quality padding to provide additional support for hours of pedaling.
Outsoles refer to the part of your cycling shoe that is in contact with the ground or pedals when riding. Touring shoes require outsoles that are soft and sticky to grip the pedal better when riding your bike. Some of the best touring cycling shoes have rubber soles and deeper grooves for a better grip, even when the weather is terrible.
Avoid choosing cycling shoes that are too rigid. These might be too uncomfortable for you to even walk with when off your bike. They should also be flexible for easier and faster movement.
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Clipless Shoes Or Flat Shoes
When deciding on the perfect cycling shoes, you can choose between clipless shoes and flat shoes. Flat shoes are compatible with a flat pedal which is the standard bicycle pedal. The flat pedal is compatible with almost any cycling shoe.
Clipless cycling shoes mean that your touring shoes clip into the bicycle pedal. Clipless shoes are great because you can quickly transfer power between your leg and the bike pedal. By clipping in your shoe to the pedal, you also exert power when pulling up when cycling.
You don’t have to worry about putting too much pressure on specific muscles when riding with clipless shoes. These shoes are also safer and improve your performance when cycling. Your legs will be stable, and your feet will remain connected to the pedals even when riding on rocky terrain. Although they might take some time to adjust to, they are worth the effort.
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The type and brand of cycling pedal you choose for your touring bike depends on the shoes you buy. Touring cyclists are advised to choose pedals with a broader platform that is more diverse. If you are buying clipless shoes, you will need pedals with clips for attachment.
If you go for flat shoes, you can buy flat pedals to ride comfortably. Some riders still prefer platform pedals because of how easy they are to use and convenient.
Review Of The Best Touring Cycling Shoes
PEARL IZUMI X-ALP CYCLING SHOES
A cycling shoe designed for touring and adventure – specifically, once they’re wet, they dry up in relatively short order. The upper of these cycling shoes are seamlessly bonded to provide comfort and additional breathability. This feature also adds to these cycling shoes durability, making them an excellent option for touring cyclists.
The quick-lacing closure is convenient and will keep your foot secure when riding on different terrains. This closure is convenient for adjusting when riding long distances. The upper construction also adds comfort whether you are cycling with or without socks. These shoes have a fiberglass-injected composite plate for additional power transfer to the pedal.
The lightweight EVA midsole adds comfort when riding all day. The outer sole features carbon rubber for better traction and durability. The rubber sole is soft and grips well on the rocks when riding. You don’t have to worry about these PEARL IZUMI cycling shoes wearing out after cycling for days or weeks.
The Vibram FiveFingers is the ideal cycling shoe for touring cyclists. These are good quality shoes that feel comfortable and offer protection when riding. They offer good toe articulation for outstanding balance and stability when riding on different terrains while touring. The Vibram FiveFingers shoes feature quality upper construction that is suitable for heavy training and performance.
As with all Vibram shoes, they match the experience of being barefoot while still offering protection for your feet. The design of these shoes is pleasing, with better fabric on the sides. The inner lining is similar to a sock. It is stiff at first, but once you wear them for a while, they become very comfortable. You might also need breathable toe socks to prevent your feet from smelling bad due to sweat or long hours of riding.
The modern lacing system has a softer feel and comfort when riding. It is perfect for lateral movements and more aggressive cycling. The rubber compound is excellent for both indoor and outdoor performance. You will have an easy time cycling with these shoes because it is like wearing foot gloves!
SHIMANO SD5 CYCLING SANDALS
If you are looking for quality and durable sandals for the next ride, you can try out the Shimano SD5 cycling shoes. You can expect nothing less than quality from Shimano.
The upper material is made of mesh and synthetic leather. The sole is made of rubber to ensure you are comfortable when riding. These shoes also feature a dual strap closure. These materials are durable to last you months, if not years, of bike riding.
The design of the Shimano SD5 is suitable for long rides because of the breathability and ease to wear. These cycling sandals with a fiberglass-reinforced rubber sole are also compatible with a two-bolt cleat. You will feel the soothing breeze on your feet and the traction on the pedals when cycling.
The Shimano SD5 is easy to slip on and off, which is convenient when touring. You will love having your toes free when cycling through nature. These shoe’s performance on the bike is excellent even when walking on the ground. You will hardly notice they are on when riding. If you are looking for complete ventilation when riding, the Shimano SD5 is a great choice.
FIVE TEN SLEUTH DLX
These shoes are a great multi-sport option. From a skate park to gravel roads, these offer a bit of something for all uses.
The rubber sole offers excellent traction and is comfortable for touring cyclists. It offers non-marking utility and an unbeatable grip that you won’t get from other cycling shoes. The dotty tread is suitable for pedal control and maximum grip when cycling.
These shoes feature a suede upper that provides flexibility during motion and comfort all day. You don’t have to worry about sore feet when cycling for long hours, which is normal when touring. It also features a lace closure to secure your feet. These offer traditional sturdy laces for a more secure fit when you wear the shoes.
The breathable textile lining on these cycling shoes also makes them ideal for cyclists looking for some additional comfort against the environment. The cushioned textile footbed also adds to the comfort you need when riding bikes all day or for more extended periods.
The Five Ten Sleuth DLX cycling shoes come in various colorways, perfect to match your apparel. If you are looking for durability and excellent grip from the next cycling pair you purchase, this is an ideal option.
GIRO MEN’S MOUNTAIN CYCLING SHOES
The Giro Men’s cycling shoes are an ideal addition to your cycling attire. These shoes are comfortable and suitable for adventures on trails, paths, and roads. The suede synthetic is breathable with a mesh upper for a supportive fit. With quality laces, you can adjust the fit of these shoes to get a really snug fit. These laces are one of the lightest closures available that is still very secure.
The injected nylon plate allows for efficient power transfer. With these shoes, you can enjoy energy efficient pedaling and better performance when touring. The outer sole offers high traction for better grip and stability when you are riding your bike. These cycling shoes work with 2-bolt pedal and cleat systems, including Crank Brothers, Time ATAC, and Shimano SPD.
The Giro’s includes a die-cut EVA footbed that offers medium arch support. Your feet will be well balanced and reduce risks of injury when biking. Overall, these shoes are high-quality and easy to wear when you go touring.
TOMMASO STRADA 100 TOURING CYCLING SHOES
The Tommaso Strada 100 are touring cycling shoes that offer maximum comfort and excellent power transfer. It adds to your pedalling efficiency and performance when touring. These are the perfect shoes if you want to try out clipless riding. The Tommaso Strada 100 features a 3-strap design for a secure fit when riding.
These shoes are built for cycling and come with cleats and an installation wrench. This Strada pair is also compatible with all cleat types, perfect no matter which pedals you intend to use. Comfortable for long periods with durable synthetic leather that hugs your foot on the upper side. With ventilated mesh portions, you can keep your feet nice and cool.
The low profile hook and lock velcro straps offer precision and add comfort when riding. With a fiberglass-reinforced sole, you will experience optimal stiffness and maximum power transfer when cycling. This pair is an ideal choice for riders who want the most out of each pedal stroke.
TOMMASO VERTICE TOURING SHOES
The Tommaso Vertice Touring shoes are yet another quality cycling pair of shoes from Tommaso. Some great features of this pair include the ultra-rugged grippy Vibram sole and reinforced toe box. It can easily handle whatever trail you choose to ride. You can count on these shoes to offer you a fantastic grip, stability, and weather resistance.
It has a quick and reliable closure system to keep your feet secure. The velcro straps will offer you a perfect fit every time you wear the shoes. The extra padding will ensure these shoes fit like a glove. The inner shank plate allows for optimum power transfer, meaning you can conserve energy during long rides.
No matter where you are riding, these shoes will provide you the support and performance you need.
LAKE SHOES MX145
You can be sure to get quality cycling shoes when buying from Lake.
The design of the MX145 offers a more extensive and roomier toe box for a more comfortable feel when riding. This space helps provide better foot control through the heel of the shoe and the forefoot. The sole of this cycling shoe is stiff for better efficiency when pedaling. It also features an outsole with anti-slip lug inserts.
The Lake MX145 features a dual side pull or push BOA lacing system. This closure is secure and has releasable guides. You will have an easy time getting them on and off your feet. It also offers easy fine-tuning to remain snug throughout your ride. You can quickly adjust the shoe’s tension on your heel and forefoot without having to worry about it being too tight. Definitely don’t want to be constricting blood flow during long rides!
With these features, you will get plenty of traction off the bike. The upper, waxed canvas and leather feature a waterproof membrane to prevent water from getting into the shoes. If you are looking for something warmer the next time you go touring, these would be an ideal choice.
Bicycle touring is always an adventure every time you get on the bike, and one piece of essential gear you need is cycling shoes.
With a quality pair, you can increase your pedaling power and efficiency. Additionally, they should provide you comfort during those long rides. When choosing the best touring cycling shoes, you should consider whether you are going for flat shoes or clipless shoes. They should also be well-ventilated, comfortable, and have a firm grip for a more enjoyable ride.
If I had to choose one? The Tommaso Strada 100 cycling shoes. The key benefits:
- They are comfortable with durable synthetic leather on the upper area of the shoe
- The velcro straps are low-key to not only offer security but a more flexible fit when pedaling
- Well-ventilated to keep your feet cool when cycling
You will enjoy wearing these comfortable shoes the next time you go touring!
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