Cycling shoe advice

12 April 2016

As Cinderella once said so poignantly, “One shoe can change your life." But did you know that one shoe can change your workout too? (Ok maybe a pair of shoes can change your workout … don’t go to the gym in just one shoe.)

Take a look at what our friend Violette Gajic, a seasoned group exercise instructor at the Blocker Norfolk Family YMCA, had to say about the science behind finding the right shoe for your workout:

“When I started branching out into different aspects of fitness, I thought it was all hype about purchasing shoes for different activities. Well let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. Years ago I took a "Walk Reebok" certification at the Mt. Trashmore Family YMCA and I remember the Fitness Director asking me, "Are you going to wear those shoes this weekend?" I was wearing an older pair of running shoes—a whole other story. I told her that yes, I was planning on wearing the running shoes and went on to ask her what was the big deal. She answered, "Let me know how that works out for you."  WOW ... my shins were killing me by the end of the day!

"Come to find out, each shoe is formulated with different cushioning for various strikes of the foot, as well as pressure applied through the foot. Walking is different from running, is different from water fitness, is different from Zumba, lifting, etc.”

For the runners, Violette says she swaps her shoes out about every three months, as opposed to the recommended mileage rule-of-thumb of every 400-500 miles. She contributes this to her tendency to be slightly heavy footed. Do we have any “spinners” out there? Violette has you covered as well. According to her, picking out a cycling shoe is like picking out any other shoe. Take a look at her sage advice:

  • Make sure they are comfortable.

  • Be sure you try the shoes on with whatever socks you normally wear for your workout shoes. Normally cycling shoes should be bought in your regular shoe size, the exception being if you prefer wearing thicker workout socks, you may need to size up by a half size.

  • Be sure to purchase "SPD" clips - they will fit most any standard indoor cycling bike. 

“I truly believe in taking care of our feet when embarking on a fitness program. Knock on wood—I've been in this industry nearly 30 years and have never suffered a foot injury.”