Unless you’re an avid cyclist who needs a specific cycling shoe, casual bicycle riders and bike commuters alike can generally get away with wearing an athletic sneaker while riding. There are, however, a few key details that you should look out for depending on the type of riding that you do.
Breathability and durability should be top of mind when shopping for the ideal biking shoe. The sole should also be a bit stiffer and grippier than your typical cross-trainers or casual kicks. This will help prevent your shoes from slipping off the pedal and also with transferring energy while you ride.
Proper biking shoes for mountain biking, road bikes, and beyond are definitely worth the extra investment. Here’s our definitive guide to the five best shoes for riding a bike all under $100. Your feet will thank you.
THE BEST SHOES FOR RIDING A BIKE
CHROME TRUK BIKE SHOE, $85
Chrome is one brand that just gets urban bike riding. The Chrome Truk Bike Shoe is both fashionable and functional — and even has a unisex look to them. The military-grade nylon upper is much stronger than canvas (sorry, Vans), and the style is designed with a reinforced sole and reflective details on the heel cup for extra safety. It comes in three colorways.
TREK BONTRAGER SSR MULTISPORT SHOE, $100
It should come as no surprise that Trek offers a wide range of cycling shoes. The brand has built out its collection to also include casual options for men and women. The Trek Bontrager SSR Multisport Shoe is ideal for bicycle commuting and bicycle errands because they easily go from pedal to pavement. Riders will appreciate the grippy glass-reinforced nylon plate and the shoe’s lace system with elastic lace keeper. Plus, every purchase comes with a 30-day test ride. If you don’t love ‘em, Trek will offer a refund or exchange.
GARNAEU WOMEN'S URBAN CYCLING SHOE, $65
Gone are the days of carrying an additional pair of shoes to change into. The Garneau Women’s Urban Cycling Shoe is a versatile option for bicycle riders who want to go with or without clipless pedals. The style is lightweight and constructed of mesh for breathability. These definitely go the extra mile and look cute, too. They’re also available for men.
FIVE TEN SLEUTH DLX MOUNTAIN BIKE SHOE, $96
Want a mountain bike shoe that also moonlights as a casual bike shoe? Look no further. The Five Ten Sleuth DLX Mountain Bike Shoe, an Adidas brand, are weather-resistant and styled with reflective details for bike riding after dark. The design takes cues from the beloved Adidas Samba and comes in four colorways.
SHIMANO SH-CT5 CYCLING SHOE, $85
Japanese brand Shimano makes a solid casual cycling shoe that you can wear straight from your bike commute into the office with ease. The Shimano SH-CT5 Cycling Shoe is constructed with an inner plank plate that effortlessly transfers power to your pedals making riding a breeze. It’s sleek and stylish and comes in four different colorways.
Don’t forget the last piece of gear you need to complete your bicycle riding uniform – a stylish helmet. Shop our vintage-inspired bicycle helmets here.