You have enjoyed cycling over the last couple of months in Malaysia. You have not only added more kilometers into your cycling tracks, but also joined a community of urban cyclists in your city. Is it time for you to get a pair of cycling shoes?
If you just want to join a spinning class or ride a bike within a close distance around the inner city, you can stick to your badminton or tennis shoes. However, if you are a long-distance bike commuter or a cycling enthusiast who wants to join more cycling tours, it is important to choose the right shoe which are specifically designed to match your needs. Here are some things you need to consider:
- Understanding the benefits
The difference between regular sports shoes and cycling shoes is in the soles. While the first one is usually designed for flexibility, the latter is designed to convert your foot into a solid platform. The stiff-bottomed cycling shoes clip right into the pedals to make your ride smoother and more efficient.
With the right cycling shoes, you will be able to transfer more power and balance to every pedal stroke. Also, these will help engage a lot of leg muscles more than you did before. The best thing of all, there is no risk of pedal slip hurting your foot or shin.
- Choosing the right model
From road bike, mountain bike, to triathlon shoes, there are many options in the market that could easily overwhelm you. Check for lightness, ventilation, and versatility. Get someone who has more experience in this matter to guide you through the selection process.
It might not be the best option to buy your first cycling shoes through an online store, unless you know it has a really good return policy and after sales service. Another trick is to try on several shoes at a store, and then wait for a discount on the specific model that you are aiming for.
- Installing the clipless pedals
When buying cycling shoes, you also need to buy new pedals for your bike. Clipless pedals come with cleats that are compatible with certain types of shoes – for example, Shimano shoes are made for SPD and SPD-SL cleats. As you progress as an avid cyclist, you will have the urge to buy more shoes and attach new cleats by yourself, but you can always take your bike to the nearest bicycle shop to get more assistance. Having a set of hex wrenches would be the best investment for your bike, as you will use them a lot.
- Maintaining the quality
It is important to follow the care and maintenance instructions for your cycling shoes in order to keep their quality. Although it is comfortable to wear them for a walk, you want to limit the use so that you do not make the cleats dirty or wear them out too soon.
Always make sure that all cleats or pedals are clean before using. If the shoes get wet, leave them to dry in open air, but keep away from direct sunlight or direct heat – do not be tempted to use a hairdryer. As a general rule, you should not keep your shoes in airtight containers.
Now that you know the basic rules, buy the right cycling shoes that suit your needs because comfortable shoes would also mean longer rides.