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!) 

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