Monday, May 21, 2012

Get Spinning Shoes

A few weeks ago, I gushed about my love of Spinning (aka Cycling, Flywheel, etc.) and dared you to give it a try.  For those of you who were already spinning or accepted my challenge, I now encourage you to take your cycling to the next level, by using the right shoes.



Spin Shoes: Yes, it is possible to do spinning without the right shoes by buckling your sneaker into the pedal cage (below), but it's simply not the same.  My instructor had been on me to get spin shoes for some time, and I finally got around to it when I noticed that my performance was suffering because my feet felt loose or I was unable to sprint in standing positions.



^This is what the pedal looks like on a Spinning bike.  You can either turn it over to slide your regular sneaker into the little cage there, and pull the strap to tighten, OR you can clip your spin shoe directly onto the top of the pedal, and they move, connected.

I spin once or twice each week.  My sneakers were no longer cutting it.  They were limiting the effectiveness of my workout.  It was time to upgrade and act like the spinner I've become.


Meredith Gets Spinning Shoes:
Off I went to my local cycling store, recommended by my instructor.  I love browsing specialty athletics stores; you really learn how every domain has such depth to its tools, apparel, and technique.


First, my salesman Isaac (Hi, Isaac!) had me step on this square that would show the arch of my feet.  Turns out, I've got medium arch feet.


He described a couple of the shoes to me and then got a pair from the back for me to try on.  He checked the fit, and...


A perfect fit!



That was easy.  WAY quicker and easier than I anticipated, based on my experience getting running shoes.

 

Snazzy black, right?  They're from the company Specialized, specifically the "Body Geometry" shoe--"Riata Mtb Women"... from what I can tell :)  This is not my area of specialty.  Among the many other products they seem to offer, they make these spinning shoes. That is all I know.


Also had to get this Shimano clip to attach to the bottom of the shoe.  This is what will, well, clip the shoe into the spin bike's pedals, so that my feet become one with the pedals, rather than my regular sneaker sliding in and out of the cage.

(This was further proof that I knew nothing about cycling.  The shoe alone was for real bicycles.  Who knew that outdoor cyclists use special shoes for their bikes??  I have much to learn.)


And that was that!  I was now a proud owner of spin shoes.  
Mission accomplished.


At home, I tried them on again before packing them up to take to spin.  Although I'm able to walk around in them (the clip does NOT get in the way, as is the case with some other shoes), but I don't see a need to use them for anything other than on the spin bike, or around the cycling studio. 


To the gym I went!  It took me a few tries to slide my foot forward and down onto the pedal, but eventually I got it and then rehearsed it a few times until I got used to it. 


To detach, you simply slide your heel out to the side, et voila!  You're free. 


So how'd they work?  They were GREAT! I noticed the difference immediately.  It became more evident that my legs could both push AND pull the pedals, working my muscles in different ways, and touching on new muscles that weren't strongly activated before.  It was also so much easier to sprint or do double- or triple-time out of the saddle.  Before, standing and going fast was an issue, because my feet weren't entirely secure, so neither was I.  Now, my feet and the pedals are one, and so I can pedal my heart out and not worry about my feet sliding loose. 

Not the first, but the second or third time I wore them, I had an issue: my foot cramped up.  It happened immediately as soon as the class started, so I tried to pedal through it but couldn't.  Instead, I took my shoes and loosened the velcroe straps a little bit.  This helped; maybe I made them too tight?  I also made the mistake of wearing my athletic/running socks, which my instructor said is not necessary. My K-Bells will do just fine, and they're thin so the shoe will be less tight.  

Be aware of this, and also be sure that your shoes are not too tight.  Also be sure to keep your heels down (easier in spin shoes than in sneakers!) so that you don't put your entire weight on your toes.  That would hurt them, and we don't want to do that. 

The issue's since been resolved, and I've been enjoying use of my spinning shoes so far!  The improvement in my workout is definitely worth the splurge.  They're not cheap--The shoes were $90, and the clips another $20 or so.  I used my birthday money toward these (thanks Grandma & Grandpa!), and am definitely happy with the investment.

New spinning shoes in action!
Sorry for the lack of smile -- struggling to balance and photograph

So there you have it!  That's the story of Meredith's First Spinning Shoes.  Any questions?  comments?  Suggestions?  

Do you spinning shoes for your cycling--indoor or outdoor, or do you stick with sneakers

If you're into spinning and still using sneaks, I dare you to consider getting the proper shoes.  They're worth it.  (As are YOU!) 

--- Like what you see here?  Follow along on Twitter and Facebook! ---

70 comments:

  1. Wow, I had no idea how intense it was to get real spinning shoes! Those look really cool though!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm getting shoes soon too, as I cycle indoor and out. Specialized actually makes bikes, bike parts, clothing, shoe, etc. Pretty big name in cycling. :) Great choice!

    Sarah
    www.thinfluenced.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. hmmm I wonder if Id like spinning better with the right shoes?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe! It definitely makes me feel more stable on the bike.

      Delete
  4. I love my spinning shoes! Make the world of difference! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't spin per se but I ride a tri bike and this yr I went to clipless shoes/pedals. Makes a world of difference! Congrats on taking your love of spinning to the next level =)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love learning about the processes of things like getting fitted for spin shoes. Way cool!

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's so exciting!! Spinning shoes are on my list one day but I don't really have anywhere to spin right now. It's good to know you think they are worth it because I wasn't really sure. Not all instructors have them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? I'm shocked; I've only seen instructors with proper shoes. Yep, It's a worthy investment for anyone who spins regularly

      Delete
  8. I had no idea that there were shoes specifically for spinning. Though I've only tried it once and now that I think about it, that was probably 15 years ago. May have to give it another try!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I teach spinning and am always suggesting that my regular participants invest in shoes. We spend money on shoes to run in, shoes to play tennis in, shoes to lift weights in; why not shoes to spin in?
    The great thing about spinning shoes is that they'll last you FOREVER! You never wear them outside and you're only logging a few hours a week in them!
    I was amazed at the difference in my power, endurance and sprint speed when I finally bought a pair of my own!
    You're going to love spin class even more now!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the tips! I have heard that cycling shoes are definitely worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. i need to get some spinning shoes. it's a must but I just keep making excuses not to spend the money

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It took me a long time to get over the high cost, too. I put it off for months, but when I started noticing that I wasn't getting the most out of what the workout should be, money didn't seem to be an excuse anymore. As long as I was going to continue spinning, the shoes were a must.

      Delete
  12. Clipping in for a road bike makes such a huge difference - being able to push and pull. AND being able to work out one foot at a time with the push/pull (take the other foot out of the pedal.) I imagine this would work well on the spin bike too!

    ReplyDelete
  13. woohoo! Look at those shoes. I'm impressed.

    It was fun to meet you last night! LEts connect again soon : )

    xo

    Jocelyn

    ReplyDelete
  14. I never knew they made shoes especially for spinning. From the looks of your pictures it's working for you. You look great.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks so much for all this great information on sizing of spin shoes. I have blogged a great deal about spin shoes on this site: http://fitnessspinshoes.wordpress.com/

    I love Spinning and cannot stress the importance of spin shoes enough.Thanks for the great pictures and posts.
    Here are some reviews for those interested: www.spinshoes.org

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for this post! I've been to a few spin classes and I've always worn my running shoes. I might have to save up to make the splurge for a pair of spinning shoes - and making the splurge will definitely motivate me to get my butt out of bed for my 6 am class.

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