Can You Ride Peloton Without Cycling Shoes? (Our Fitness Expert Says YES)

Can You Ride Peloton Without Cycling Shoes

Home fitness is a thriving industry, and part of its success is that it caters to various budgets. You can keep fit by following fitness routines or yoga classes for free online, and equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, and bands are easy to have in your home! Another option is to go all out and get something more costly that can be seen as a long-term health investment, such as a Peloton bike or a treadmill. Most of the time, these types of equipment require additional accessories. For example, do you need cycling shoes to ride the Peloton bike safely?

Wearing cycling shoes while using a Peloton bike is ideal because they are comfortable, built to absorb shock, and designed to grip various surfaces. The cycling shoes prevent the foot from slipping and subsequently pulling a muscle. Additionally, the footwear should mold effortlessly to the foot. Otherwise, problems such as blisters and other injuries can occur.

While it is highly recommended to wear cycling shoes on a Peloton bike, is it possible to go freestyle while exercising and do away with expensive, specially designed shoes? With treadmills, there is a danger of slipping off the machine because of the design of the surface of the treadmill platform itself, so adequate grip is needed. When it comes to Peloton bikes, most people assume that suitable footwear is just as necessary. So, can you use Peloton without cycling shoes?

Let’s take a look at whether or not cycling shoes are absolutely necessary, what different types are available, and how to find the right shoe for you!

Do I Need Special Shoes to Ride Peloton?

If you choose to buy footwear for certain forms of exercise, the easiest way of finding something suitable is by purchasing a specific shoe for your chosen workout. While there are shoes specially made for running and cycling, you can also complete a Peloton cycling workout in standard sports shoes as long as your feet can be secured and locked comfortably into the pedals.

Going completely barefoot is not recommended, especially with Peloton cycling. This is because your feet can slip out of the pedals, as the locking system cannot be used. Furthermore, you can also cut your feet on the sharp edges of the specially designed pedals themselves.

Because of the unique pedal design and system that accompanies a Peloton bike, there are cycling shoes that are made for the bike itself. The type of pedal found on a Peloton bike is a Clipless pedal. It is part of what is known as the Clipless system, and this is made up of a pair of bike cleats, clipless pedals, and specially designed cycling shoes.

Despite being known as the Clipless system, Peloton bikes use clips to secure your feet to the pedals. This has replaced what was known as toe cages, but both do the same job of securing the foot so you do not slip out of the pedals during a cycling session. If this were to happen, you would be at risk for muscle injuries and even lacerations.

The pedals used on Peloton bikes are compatible with Look Delta systems, and these use a cleat that connects the shoe to the pedal. You can get an online visual demonstration of the simple process of how to clip in Peloton shoes, as well as how to attach Peloton cleats.

Peloton Cycling Shoes

Cycling shoes are not the same as classic sneakers because they need to be designed to allow the foot to move in specific ways. There isn’t much support at the ankle with a regular shoe, which is required to help generate more ankle movement vital for powering the pedals.

Also, the sole of a cycling shoe is not as flexible as a standard sports shoe either, and the reason behind the rigid design is so that you can push harder against the pedal base and generate more power and speed without the shoe giving way or bending out of shape.

The Shimano RC1 is under $100 and is compatible with Delta cleats. For women, the sizes range from 4 to 12, and the men’s sizes range from 7 to 13.5. The clips are not sold with the shoe and need to be purchased separately. This shoe is lightweight and has synthetic leather uppers and a firm sole. A noticeable difference is the fact that there are no laces with this shoe. Instead, three Velcro straps are provided to create an adequately tight fit. An adapter can be purchased to make these stylish shoes SPD cleat compatible, as well.

Image Credit: REI











Another great Peloton cycling shoe is the Fizik R5. It is a unisex cycling shoe with an attractive design that scores highly on style. You can purchase it in a narrow or medium fit with hook and loop straps. The cleats are also SPD-SL and Delta compatible.

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What Other Shoes Can I Wear When Riding a Peloton Bike?

If you don’t buy shoes made explicitly for Peloton, the next best thing is to purchase Peloton compatible shoes. These are also perfectly designed for the Peloton bike and can even be cheaper. The positive aspect of such shoes is that you will not have any issues when it comes to locking your feet into the Peloton pedals, but this does depend on what pedals you choose to use.

If you choose SPD pedals, then the Pearl iZUMi All-Road v4 for women is an excellent choice. They come in two color options – white navy and black shadow gray. The interior offers arch support, while the three Velcro straps hold the foot firmly into position without creating pressure points. The SELECT insole is built to last but is still lightweight, and it offers enough stiffness to initiate the best contact with Peloton pedals.

Image Credit: Outdoor Gear Lab

The Giro Apeckx II Cycling Shoe can be worn by both sexes and comes in red, white, and black. There is quite a range of size options, making this shoe more appealing than other cycling shoes that tend to have a more limited size range. The Giro Apeckx II offers adequate ventilation for the feet, helping to keep them cool and dry. While the sole is stiff, it still provides a comfortable pressure-free fit. It is also half the price of other Peloton shoes, but there is no compromise in quality. The shoe also supports SPD-SL/Look Delta Cleats and regular SPDs.

Image Credit: Outdoor Gear Lab

CyclingDeal Universal Cleat Cycling Shoes get their name because they are compatible with 2-bolt and 3-bolt cleats, which means that they support SPD, SPD-SL, Look Delta Keo, Crank Brother, and Speedplay. Thus, you can choose whatever pedal system you wish, and these shoes will fit the bill!

Image Credit: Amazon

This cycling shoe’s design helps keep the feet cool and comfortable during the most vigorous of workouts, and they surpass Peloton cleats when it comes to quality. They have 3-strap Velcro fasteners that help to support and hold the feet in position, allowing you to apply maximum pressure to the Peloton pedaling system. Another plus is that the heel itself has a design suitable for Peloton and other cycling pursuits.

Another notable shoe is Roknemo Men’s and Women’s Cycling Shoes. They are lightweight and versatile thanks to the materials used in their build. The Roknemo is a perfectly designed shoe for spin bikes like the Peloton because of the firm sole and grip that help lock the feet securely into the pedals. However, if you have wide feet, you may want to pass on these shoes because they have more of a narrow fit. Otherwise, they do the job of aiding spin bike performance levels well, and they even have the potential to help you correct bad posture while you are cycling!

Image Credit: Amazon

Peloton With or Without Cycling Shoes

There are many advantages to buying shoes specially designed for spin bike workouts. The uppers on such shoes are often soft and padded, offering protection for the feet while also locking them securely in position. Despite the snug fit, they still allow your feet to remain cool and comfortable at all times. They are also light on ankle support, allowing for the flexibility needed to push down on the pedals.

When it comes to heel design, the sole tends to be more rigid than standard exercise shoes. This is deliberate because considerable force is needed to help push the pedals into motion. A soft, flexible sole will not be adequate in helping to generate the force required to get through a spin class. The goal of a cycling shoe is to provide you with maximum cycling comfort and safety while you are participating in vigorous spin classes.

You may be wondering if can you ride a Pelton with regular shoes. Suppose you are an occasional visitor to the world of spin classes. In that case, a general shoe for various sporting activities is a cheaper and more flexible option than specially designed cycling shoes. Cycling shoes do come at quite a hefty price, and they are also not as versatile as a general sports shoe because of their particular design. However, whether or not you are a regular Peloton user, it is still that the heels of your shoes are adaptable and allow the use of cleats and other Peloton toe clips. Also, try and choose a shoe with as stiff of a sole as possible!

All shoes designed for strenuous activity allow feet to breathe, and universal training shoes are the same. Most types of sneakers are meant to keep us light on our feet, and it’s not only cycling shoes that will keep your feet comfortable while on a Peloton bike. If your non-cycling shoes can meet the requirements mentioned previously, then you should be more than able to ride a Peloton with regular shoes as long as they secure your feet into the locking system.

Finding the Appropriate Shoes for Indoor Cycling

You have finally purchased your indoor bike, and now it is time to find the right shoes!

  1. The main thing to consider when searching for specific shoes to compliment your indoor cycling exercise routine is to consider what cycling machine you have purchased. Not all are the same, and some use different systems to clip feet securely to the pedals. So, if you have a Peloton bike, your search should focus on Peloton-specific or Peloton adaptable footwear.
  2. Carry out a search for indoor cycling shoes. This helps to narrow down the thousands of options out there for shoes that can also be used as outdoor cycling shoes. It is the best way forward for those who have their minds set on buying shoes designed explicitly for exercising within their homes.
  3. Knowing your foot size is obviously a great help, but knowing if you have wide or narrow feet is equally important. If you get the size right but the overall fitting style wrong, your feet may not even fit into the shoe. This is a significant risk of online shoe purchasing. Cycling shoes tend to be more narrow than wide, so you must read the descriptions carefully if you have wider feet.
  4. If purchasing the shoes online makes you too nervous, visit a special cycling accessories store where you can try them on before you spend any money. The specialist knowledge of the staff can also be extremely helpful. Even though online returns are now straightforward, this approach still saves you from having to organize an online return of the shoes.
  5. Most stores allow returns of shoes if they haven’t been worn outdoors or damaged in any way. However, these terms often include a limited time for you to return the product. Make sure to try out your new cycle shoes immediately after purchasing to see if they meet all your needs.

What Are Peloton Toe Clips?

Peloton toe clips are critical from both a safety and performance perspective. They are used to secure the foot to the pedals during a spin workout and help prevent accidents that can occur if your feet slip out of the pedals.

Peloton pedals need special toe clips to keep the feet secure, and using them also increases the range of footwear that can be used during a workout. This is a bonus for those who want to ride with general footwear instead of Peloton specific shoes. A secure foot allows the rider to maximize their upward and downward pedaling efficiency when it comes to performance. This helps riders meet speed and distance targets while remaining secure on the Peloton.

Exustar Clip-in Pedal Adapters are compatible with default Peloton pedals. They are easy to install and click onto the Peloton pedal base itself. They accommodate all shoe sizes and offer a secure cycling experience. This adaptor converts SPD-SL, Delta, and Keo pedals to clipped pedals where straps and toe cages can be utilized. These can be purchased for around $39.

CyclingDeal Toe Clips Cages can convert Look Delta Pedals into dual function pedals. This makes the Peloton pedaling system more flexible, meaning that you can use the Peloton bike without specialized cycling shoes. The adapter itself is constructed with a quality alloy, which means it is built to last. In addition, the toe cages are made of thermoplastics, increasing the durability of the toe clip cages. Finally, a 2-year warranty usually accompanies the purchase of this item for extra peace of mind.

The toe cages tend only to weigh 350 grams, and the size can be adjusted from 130mm to 145 mm. This means that a wide range of shoe sizes will fit into these toe clip cages, and this can be done by removing the pedal binding by undoing the bolts. The cage platform then needs to be installed on the Peloton pedals using the new bolts provided. This will allow you to secure your foot to the platform using the buckles provided.

Other toe clips to consider are the Drbike with Toe Clips/Cages and the Retrospec Pedals with Toe Cages and Clips. The Drbike clips are compatible with many on-road and spin bikes, including Pelotons. The Retrospec Pedals are one of the cheaper options on the market and should also be considered, as they have the added bonus of producing a road bike experience to your home workouts.

Related Questions

Are Peloton Shoes Returnable?

Peloton shoes can be returned if they are faulty or do not fit comfortably. If they have been purchased directly from Peloton, then all you have to do is follow Peloton’s return policy. However, all stores have their own return protocols. Generally, it is best to keep all labeling intact on the shoe until you are certain that they are a good fit. Furthermore, do not wear Pelotons outside if you are thinking of returning them within the time limit offered.

Are Peloton Shoes Sold in Stores?

The easiest way to buy all your Peloton accessories, including shoes, is directly from Peloton. However, other stores also sell Peloton shoes and Peloton compatible footwear.  Some stores may even offer special discounts on Peloton cycle shoes, making it cheaper than buying them directly from the Peloton store itself. Well-known online stores are a great starting point if you want to purchase Peloton accessories without using the Peloton website itself.

Are Peloton Shoes SPD Compatible?

The SPD cleat is a small silver clip while the Look Delta cleats are bigger triangular clips. These offer more secure foot to pedal locking, and Peloton shoes are currently only compatible with these three-bolt Look Delta cleats.

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