What Kind of Shoes Do I Need for a Peloton Bike?

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The Peloton Bike is a new spin on indoor cycling that encompasses more than just an exercise machine. Riders are able to stream live and on-demand classes, compete in challenges with other riders, watch videos of instructors leading their favorite classes, browse through curated playlists, and more. To do it all, you’ll need some Peloton-friendly shoes.

Just about every major shoe manufacturer makes shoes and cleats that work with the pedals on the Peloton bike so you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect pair.

The Peloton bike comes with two types of pedals: SPD and Look Delta. The Look Delta is the newest version of the traditional clipless pedal. It allows you to clip in and out of the pedal with one quick motion. If you are riding on the Peloton bike with Look Delta pedals, you will need cycling shoes with cleats.

Tommaso Pista Women's Indoor Cycling Ready Cycling Shoe Bundle - Black/Pink - Look Delta - 40

Cycling shoes are designed to be secured onto your pedal, which means that they are stiffer than running shoes.

The most important thing is to make sure that they have cleats attached so that they can clip into your pedals. You can find a complete range of Peloton-compatible shoes on Amazon.

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Can You Ride a Peloton with Regular Shoes?

When you’re riding on the Peloton bike, you have two options for how to attach your feet to the pedals. If you have cycling shoes with cleats that clip into the pedals, then you can use those.

But if you will be riding with sneakers, Peloton recommends clipping toe cages onto your pedals instead. The cages will hold your feet securely.

However, Peloton doesn’t come with those pedals so you will need to request them when ordering or if you already have a Peloton you will need to purchase the caged pedals separately.

The trainer shoes that work with the Peloton bike are generally lightweight and comfortable enough for indoor cycling. The padded soles and extra cushioning help with comfort and shock absorption during your ride. A built-in tread pattern allows you to use them outdoors as well.

You should wear shoes designed for biking or spinning when using your Peloton bike. Running shoes and gym shoes will not be nearly as comfortable to ride in and they will make it hard to get the resistance set correctly.

The shoes should also be flexible enough to move freely as you pedal, so they do not restrict or hinder your pedaling technique. You will want a pair with a snug fit as well, as they should be supportive as you move up and down on the pedals. Shoes with split uppers will allow your feet to breathe as you work out without sacrificing support.

Pros of using toe cages:

  1. Toe cages are compatible with almost any type of footwear or shoe, so you can use them for indoor cycling classes or outdoor rides in your regular sneakers.
  2. Toe cages don’t require special shoes because they fit onto your existing pedals.
  3. They offer an extra level of security over just using your sneakers when riding, especially when sprinting or when making sudden movements during an indoor cycling class.

Cons of using toe cages:

  1. Toe cages may not be the best option if you’re already familiar with clipless pedals and want to ride in them for personal preference reasons because you find clipping in easier than unclipping or simply like the added control you get from having your feet attached to the bike at all times (note that Peloton recommends clipping in).
  2. Toe cages aren’t ideal for outdoor riding because they can sometimes interfere with pedaling efficiency depending on the angle at which your foot hits the pedal (for instance, if your foot hits the top part of the pedal). They also tend to be more difficult to install.
  3. Peloton recommends using the pedals your bike comes with because that is how you get the ultimate experience with their product.

As for style, most Peloton trainers wear whatever shoe they like best or whatever is most comfortable for them during their workouts. Some people choose running shoes, but whatever shoe you choose should be supportive and nonrestrictive when pedaling on indoor cycles.

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Can You Use Tiem Shoes with Peloton?

The Delta pedals that come with Peloton bikes (and many other indoor cycles) are SPD-compatible, meaning they’re attached to the bike with a pair of two-sided metal cleats called SPDs.

That means they’re not compatible with Tiems. If you want to use your Tiems on a Peloton bike, you’ll have to replace its Delta pedals with something that’s compatible with them.

SPDs and Tiems are both attached to your shoes by a single screw, but they look very different (the SPD has all the parts and the Tiem has none) and they attach to your shoe in different ways (the SPD attaches with a standard screw and the Tiem attaches with a hex nut).

TIEM Slipstream - Black-Black - Indoor Cycling Shoe, SPD Compatible (Women's Size 9)

The original Peloton bikes were outfitted with Look Delta cleats, which are designed for road shoes. The company has since moved on to SPD-SL cleats, which are more common in the fitness industry, but it still recommends looking for road shoes with SPD-SL compatibility if you’re planning to take your Peloton bike out of the studio.

The same goes for any other spin class you might take at a gym or studio that uses pedals with SPD-SL compatibility.

If you already own a Peloton bike and want to add Tiem shoes to the mix, you’ll have to get new pedals. The Tiem shoes won’t work with the Peloton Delta pedals.

Peloton’s pedal system is proprietary, so you can’t just replace the Delta cleats with SPD-SL ones. But since Tiems are compatible with SPD-SL pedals, you can purchase replacements from Peloton. The Tiem shoes are compatible with both indoor and outdoor bikes, but they’re not compatible with Peloton’s Delta pedals.

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Can You Use Your Own Cycling Shoes with Peloton?

Yes! Peloton’s app is very flexible when it comes to cycling shoes. You can use “normal” shoes with SPD cleats, or you can use clip-in shoes without any cleats. If you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis or have Orthotics, you may want to look into SPD-SL pedals instead of normal pedals.

If you choose to use your own bike shoes instead of your Peloton shoes, you need a pair that is compatible with 3-hole cleats. Most cycling shoes have this option, and they will typically fit right onto the pedals with no issues.

If you are using normal clip-in pedals, you will not be able to use your own cycling shoes, but if you are using SPD-SL pedals and if your cycling shoes have an SPD cleat on the sole of the shoe, then you should be able to pair your own cycling shoes with Peloton.

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Do I Need Clip-in Shoes for Peloton?

While your favorite athletic shoe will work just fine for indoor bike sessions, if you want the experience to be as authentic to an outdoor bike ride as possible, we recommend using cycling-specific shoes.

Cycling-specific shoes have stiff soles and stiffer uppers which provide more power transfer to the pedals of your Peloton bike. The more power you put into your pedal stroke, the harder your bike resistance goes up.

If you are not transferring all of your power into each pedal stroke then you are actually putting yourself at a disadvantage because it means that you are putting less effort into each rotation of the pedals.

Cycling-specific shoes will make sure that every bit of power in your leg muscles is transferred to the pedal stroke which will, in turn, increase your workout efficiency.

The bike comes with SPD-style cleats, so you’ll need some SPD shoes or something similar to use with them. The good news is that if you already have SPD shoes, they’ll work just fine with your Peloton bike. If you don’t have SPD cleats on your shoes, then you can buy a pair of toe clips that will work as well.

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In summary, by default, all Peloton bikes are sold with SPD-compatible pedals. The Peloton shoes are designed to work with these pedals.

If you prefer to replace the pedals on your bike with ones that do not have SPD-compatible cleats, you will need to use shoes that are compatible with the Delta-compatible cleats.

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