Cycling shoes are of great importance for cycling. They make the experience more comfortable and they provide a greater efficiency and control of your bike while riding.
There is a wide variety of biking shoes on the market, but some of them stand out from others because of their exceptional features and high performance. There are brands that manufacture extremely cheap cycling shoes, even below $100, but that does not mean that they cannot get very close to such expensive models in terms of quality and durability.
In this article, we will review some of the best cycling shoes retailing under 100 dollars. Keep reading for more information.
Different Types of Cycling Shoes
There are shoes that are designed for all kinds of cycling, from cyclocross, mountain biking and road riding, triathlons, and spin classes. Each one of them has different features to suit the intended use.
Check out the different types below:
Road Bike Shoes
The road bike shoes offer the most power transfer as they have stiff soles and wide cleats. They are compatible with a 3-bolt cleat and a pedal set-up. It is difficult to walk with them because the cleats are exposed, sticking out.
They are great if you use them on the road and do not spend a lot of time on your feet. They are the shoe of choice for triathletes.
Mountain Bike Shoes
Most mountain bike shoes have stiff and rugged soles that are specifically made to offer traction on rough terrain. Additionally, they have a 2- bolt cleat design that allows you to walk around them with little struggle.
Walkability is one great feature of mountain bike shoes, especially when you get to a section that you have to hike. Racers and gravel riders often use these shoes too.
Cyclocross shoes are mountain bike shoes but have spots in the sole that you can fit spikes for extra traction when you are running or jumping over barriers. In cyclocross, you will spend endless hours jumping from your bike to run up steep hills or clear obstacles.
Indoor Cycling Shoes
Indoor cycling shoes have soles with grippy treads and recessed, walkable 2-bolt cleats just like the mountain bike shoes. They are the kind of shoes that you can rent. However, if you have a peloton bike you should look for 3-bolt road shoes.
A Review of Best Cycling Shoes under $100
Tommaso Iuliano Cycling Shoes
This is a pair of cycling shoes by Tommaso. The manufacturer specializes in high quality bike-related products for competitive cyclists. The Tommaso Iuliano are an affordable model with some interesting features to show you.
They are completely made of synthetic materials, with mesh uppers and rubber soles with great gripping power on the pedals.
For greater stability, they feature Velcro straps so your feet will not slip out while pedaling at high speeds. Furthermore, they have ventilation holes all over the place to keep your feet cool during hot summer rides.
- Very sturdy and comfortable due to their synthetic nature
- Great sizing choice offered by their manufacturers
- Easy to put on/take off thanks to Velcro straps;
- Stable in wet conditions due to the rubber soles with good grip
- Not so durable as models made of leather
- No breathability on warmer days because of their nature
Sleuth DLX Bike Shoes
This is a cycling shoe for cyclists that are more aggressive. These are so comfortable; you can wear them all day long. They have an adjustable Velcro strap that prevents your foot from slipping inside the shoe during fast rides.
Furthermore, they are made of leather and have breathable "mesh" panels to keep your feet fresh even on hot days.
- Highly comfortable thanks to their mesh panels
- Adjustable Velcro straps for better stability
- Excellent choice of color available (you can choose between black and white)
- Not as stable as shoes with stiffer soles
- No ventilation holes or other materials that would allow airflow
Fizik Men's R1 R2B Bike Shoe
The Fizik Men's R1 are a top pick for professional cyclists in terms of both performance and comfort. They have stiff, carbon soles that offer great power transfer to the pedals when you ride, while still being flexible enough to keep your feet comfortable during all-day rides.
Their uppers are made of synthetic materials with ventilation holes so your feet do not overheat inside them even when riding for several hours in hot weather. Their upper straps are adjustable so they can fit various foot sizes.
- Stiff yet comfortable sole;
- Perfectly ventilated upper section
- Adjustable heel/toe areas
- Non-slippery rubber outsole
- Not very durable for a carbon sole
Northwave Scorpius 2 Plus Cycling Shoes
The Northwave Scorpius 2 is a lightweight yet durable model perfect for beginners and recreational riders. They have rubber soles with good grip, so you will not slip off your pedals when it's wet outside.
They also feature two adjustable Velcro straps that keep the feet in place while pedaling fast and at high speeds. Furthermore, they come in half sizes, so finding the perfect fit shouldn't be a problem.
- Lightweight and durable
- Many color and size choices to choose from
- Good ventilation due to their design
- Great gripping power on slippery surfaces thanks to rubber soles
- ·The uppers are cheaply made of synthetic material
SIDI Dominator 5 Cycling Shoes
These high-performance cycling shoes are manufactured by the Italian company SIDI, which is well known for creating some of the best biking footwear available today. They have a full carbon sole that offers strength and responsiveness when pedaling at top speed, necessary attributes even for amateur cyclists.
Their upper part is composed of microfiber leather for comfort, breathability, and durability. They are available in 6 different colors so you can find the one that suits your tastes best.
- Very light due to their totally carbon soles
- 100% waterproof because they use microfiber leather
- Comfortable and breathable upper material
- Available in a wide range of sizes and colors
Expensive choice when it comes to good cycling shoes under $100.
Giro Jacket 11
These are high-performance shoes manufactured by Giro, a company specialized in bike gears for competitive cyclists. The uppers are made of synthetic materials with good ventilation holes to keep your feet fresh even when the weather conditions are hot. They have leather insoles that can be replaced, allowing for greater comfort over time.
Their microfiber soles offer excellent grip on pedals while being more flexible than fully carbon models. You can find them in white or black color.
- Flexible yet sturdy
- High degree of breathability
- Comes with replacement insoles (leather)
- Not very durable because of their nature
- Not as great grip as it is with models made of full carbon
Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick Shoes Cycling Shoes
These particular shoes by Vittoria have been built with performance at the utmost level in mind. They feature synthetic suede u for maximum breathability, while the rubber soles and heel offer a great grip and pedal stability.
They also have microfiber uppers, Lycra tongues, and Velcro straps for an easy fitting and removal. A great feature of these Vittoria cycling shoes is that they come with replaceable insoles which you can change later on as your needs change.
- Very affordable model
- Great ventilation due to the synthetic uppers
- Lightweight because of their carbon fiber sole
- Easy to take care of thanks to removable insoles
- The mesh material might not be as durable as leather models
- Not 100% waterproof because they use microfiber leather
eS Accel Slim Road Bike Shoes
If you want a comfortable and high quality pair of cycling shoes that will not break your bank, then these eS Accels are the right choice for you. They have rubber soles with excellent grip on wet surfaces. The upper part is made from good-quality microfiber leather, which helps keep your feet fresh during rides to work or in hot weather conditions.
They also have a 100% money back guarantee so you can try them risk free in case they do not fit correctly to your needs.
- Very affordable when compared to other models in their category
- Lightweight and flexible, thanks to their full carbon sole
- Great ventilation through their synthetic uppers
- 100% money back guarantee
- Sizing is a bit tricky if you pick the wrong size for you, it might be uncomfortable or even painful.
Giro Empire VR90 Cycling Shoes
These Giro cycling shoes have been designed with a stiff and responsive sole that makes riding a lot easier, especially when going uphill. This is due to their high-quality carbon fiber material used in construction.
It also has ventilated uppers made from synthetic materials for breathability and easy cleaning, as well as soft insoles that make these shoes very comfortable. They come in different bright colors so you can choose one according to your taste.
- Withstands weight because of their full carbon sole
- Elevated level of comfort due to the soft insoles included
- Very affordable for this type of shoes
- Not 100% waterproof because they use microfiber leather
- They might not fit perfectly if you pick them in a wrong size (sizing chart is provided).
Louis Garneau Tri X-Lite Cycling Shoes
These Louis Garneau cycling shoes have been built for performance at the highest level. They are made of synthetic leather uppers that offer excellent breathability, while their injected nylon soles are stiff enough to help you pedal without any discomfort. You can also change their insoles later on if your wishes change.
They are very lightweight and durable, which makes them great shoes for both professional cyclists and beginners. Their BOA Coiler dials allow for quick adjustments according to your needs, whether they are about safety or comfort.
They retail for $54.99, quite a reasonable price considering their quality and design.
- High degree of durability
- Great ventilation due to their microfiber leather make up
- Very safe thanks to the BOA Coiler dials
- Comfortable to wear
- They are not waterproof because they have microfiber leather uppers
- Sizing can be a challenge
SiS GO Carbon Road Cycling Shoes
These SiS GO cycling shoes are made of full carbon for optimal stiffness during riding. They have breathable synthetic leather uppers with mesh panels, which provide high levels of ventilation.
The rubber soles offer great grip on pedal surfaces while the titanium inserts help improve stability of your feet on pedals thus making cycling more efficient. You will also love the shoes' Velcro straps that allow for quick and hassle-free adjustments according to your needs.
- Very lightweight
- Comfortable due to the breathable uppers
- Flexible soles that provide great grip on pedal surfaces
- Very safe with their titanium inserts used for stability
- Highly durable because of their full carbon make up
- Sizing is a bit confusing
Lake MX176 Road Cycling Shoes
These Lake cycling shoes are made of synthetic leather for durability and soft insoles that make them very comfortable to wear. They also have rubber soles with great grip on pedal surfaces, which ensures improved performance while riding.
Besides, they have been built ergonomically in order to provide your feet proper support without giving you discomfort thanks to their low-cut design. You will also love the shoes' quick lacing system that allows for easy use according to your needs.
- Highly durable due to their synthetic leather build
- Comfortable because of the included insoles
- Provides great grip on pedal surfaces
- Perfectly safe thanks to the low-cut design
- They don't come with instructions for sizing can be tricky if you get them in a wrong size
- Sole might not provide you enough stability so they might not be that great for cycling uphill
Buying Guide for Cycling Shoes
When shopping for cycling shoes, there are things you need to keep in mind so that you get a quality shoe that will serve its purpose.
Here is what to consider:
Make sure you get your correct size so that you will not have any discomfort or foot pain while cycling. You can measure your feet with a piece of paper, draw some lines on it, and place it on the floor. Then trace the outline of each foot by standing barefoot on top of it. Look for thick socks that are closest to what you will wear while cycling in order to find out how wide your feet are because if the shoes are too tight, you are going to hurt yourself.
Another thing at which to look is proper ankle support for safety reasons; if they aren't well padded enough they might lack stability resulting in getting injured when riding downhill or even during uphill climbs.
Longevity and performance
Finally yet importantly, if you buy cycling shoes that will last long and serve their purpose in a proper way, you're going to save yourself some money because it won't be necessary for you to replace them.
If you are a beginner cyclist I would recommend shoes with rubber sole instead of carbon one which are better suitable for start.
Avoid cycling shoes with plastic sole because they are not as durable as rubber one.
In terms of price, they have different price range. The price will depend on the features and materials used. However, it is important to note that the price is nothing compared to the advantages that you will get.
Though cycling is one of the most enjoyable activities to do, it can also be very risky. That is why you should always ensure you have the right gear and shoes are an important component.
Choose shoes that will work well even with the clipless pedal system. Additionally, they should keep your feet strongly attached to the pedals.
All the cycling shoes I mentioned above are great and will serve their purpose by providing you with proper support, stability, and safety.
However, if you are a beginner cyclist or someone that is on a budget then go for Louis Garneau because they will not cost you too much and they will still provide the same features as other cycling shoes at this price range such as BOA Coiler dials, which allow for quick adjustments according to your needs.
It is up to you what cycling shoe to choose but overall it comes down to personal preference