Can You Use Mountain Bike Shoes For Spinning? | PedalChef

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There are various types of shoes that you can wear for spinning classes. But, can you use mountain bike shoes for spinning? This post has the answers.

Are mountain bike shoes ideal for spinning? Can you use road bike shoes for spinning classes?

You can use mountain bike shoes for spinning. However, this will depend on the pedals of the spin bike that you are using. Most mountain bikes feature two-bolt cleats, meaning they will not be compatible with a pedal that supports three-bolt cleats.

In this guide, we will take a closer look at spin shoes, the benefits of investing in a pair of spin shoes, as well as the key considerations when using spin shoes. Also, we will explore the possibility of using mountain bike shoes for spinning.

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Spinning or indoor cycling has been around for quite some time. And, its popularity appears to be growing stronger by the day. The reason behind its growing popularity is that it provides a low impact activity to exercise, burn calories, raise your heart rate and boost your lung capacity.

Besides, it’s practiced indoors. Even if the weather outside is harsh, you can still enjoy your workout. So, if you are yet to give this type of workout a try, you should probably consider getting into it now.

But, to participate in a spinning class and enjoy a quality workout, you will need a proper pair of spinning shoes.

About Spin Shoes

As their name suggests, spin shoes are shoes that have been specifically designed for spin cycling classes or indoor cycling. They feature a special clip, which attaches to the pedals of the indoor cycling bike that you are using.

These shoes are designed in a way that will enhance your safety while participating in an indoor cycling class while making your working enjoyable and smoother. Spin shoes are a requirement in almost all indoor cycling classes. So, you will either have to purchase a pair or rent one from the studio to participate in the class.

Why Purchase Spin Shoes

You may be probably wondering whether there’s any need of using spinning-specific shoes. After all, you can simply use your pair of sneakers that you normally wear to the grocery store or whenever you take your dog out for a walk, right?

Well, wearing a spinning-specific pair of shoes during your indoor cycling classes comes with numerous benefits. And, your ordinary pair of sneakers can’t provide the same level of benefits as a pair of spinning shoes.

First, spinning shoes come with stiffer soles compared to ordinary sneakers. So, unlike your pair of jogging shoes, the soles of spinning shoes are much stiffer. And, this stiffer sole will allow you to transfer more power to the pedals. Consequently, you will be able to pedal faster, which means you will be able to burn more calories for every spinning session, compared to someone wearing an ordinary pair of sneakers.

Second, spinning shoes can also help to prevent injuries. As mentioned above, these shoes come with a stiffer, sturdier sole compared to conventional training shoes. And, thanks to their sturdiness, they will keep your foot flat during the cycling session, thus helping to prevent a wide range of misalignment injuries.

Third, spin shoes will also ensure a balanced workout. Indoor cycling entails a series of pushing and pulling down on the bike’s pedals. And, since spinning shoes usually attach to the bike, they will make this pushing down and pulling up much more easier.

At the same time, the pushing down and pulling up work will be balanced between the front thigh muscles, quads, glutes, hamstrings as well as the muscles in back of the leg. As a result, you will hit all the major calorie-burning muscles in your legs which translates to a balanced workout.

About Spin Shoe Rentals

Most spin cycle studios offer rental spinning shoes. So, instead of purchasing a pair, you also have the option of renting a pair from the studio and wear it throughout the spinning session.

While a shoe rental may appear affordable and convenient for a beginner, it’s highly advisable to purchase your own pair instead. As much as these shoes are properly and thoroughly cleaned, you may still end up getting an infection from them.

Second, rental shoes may not fit your feet properly, considering dozens of people with different feet configurations have worn them. As a result, your spinning workout session will not be as smooth as it would have been, if you were wearing your own pair of shoes.

So, if you are looking to join a spin cycle class, it will be highly advisable to have your own pair of shoes as opposed to relying on the rental ones. While buying a pair of spinning shoes may appear more expensive compared to renting one at the studio, the investment will be worthwhile down the road.

Considerations When Buying Spinning Shoes

There are a couple of factors to consider when buying a pair of spinning shoes, to ensure you end up with the right one. These factors include the type of cleats, sole, upper and closure system.


There are two main types of cleats or clips found in spinning shoes. These are Delta and SPD. SPD cleats feature a two-hole system while Delta cleats feature a three-hole system. The main difference between these two types of spinning shoes is the type of binding or cleat with which they are compatible with at the studio. So, before you purchase a pair of cycling shoes, you need to ensure they are compatible with the studio’s pedals.


Indoor cycling shoes come with soles made of different materials. Some of the materials used include carbon fiber, plastic, fiberglass as well as a combination of some of these materials. The main differences between these materials are lightness, stiffness and cost.

Plastic is the cheapest one. However, it’s also vulnerable to flexing. On the other hand, carbon fiber soles are the most expensive. But, they are also the stiffest and lightest. Fiberglass soles tend to fall somewhere in between.


Just like the sole, indoor cycling shoes also feature different upper materials and designs. Breathability is the main consideration when choosing the upper. So, make sure you choose a pair of shoe with a lightweight and highly breathable upper material.

Sizing and Fit

Sizing is yet another important factor to consider when you are buying spinning shoes. As you may expect, there’s a possibility of your feet expanding during the cycling session. And, if you purchased an exact feet, there won’t be any space for your feet to expand into. As a result, you will have an unpleasant experience. To this end, it will be highly advisable to purchase a shoe that’s at least half a size bigger.

Closure System

Spinning shoes come with different closure systems. They include Velcro straps, laces, Boa and ratchet systems. When it comes to the closure system, you should consider buying a pair of spinning shoes that has Velcro straps. Besides being the most affordable, spinning shoes with this closure system are the easiest to get on and off.

Types of Spinning Shoes

There are three types of cycling shoes on the market today. They include road cycling shoes, indoor cycling shoes and mountain bike shoes. Each type of shoe is designed for a particular purpose. Can you use mountain bike shoes for spinning? Yes, you can also use mountain bike shoes for spinning, as long as the pedals of the trainer you are using has a two-bolt system.

In Summary

While it may appear like an unnecessary expense, it will be highly advisable to invest in a dedicated pair of spinning shoes if you are looking to join a spinning class. Using a dedicated pair of spinning shoes will make your workout more efficient, effective, safer and productive. And by implementing the tips we’ve shared here, you should be able to purchase the right pair of spinning shoes, which aligns best with your budget, preferences and needs.