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Good cycling shoes will help you to enhance the way you ride. They will offer you the best comfort and support you need when cycling and allow you to pedal more powerfully. Each type of cycling requires a different type of shoe to allow you to get the maximum amount of benefit from them.
How much do Cycling Shoes Help?
Cycling shoe have enormous benefits to the cyclist. They are designed to enable you to get the best pedal power, pedal a lot more efficiently and of course also reduce the amount of fatigue you experience when cycling. No matter what type of riding you like to do, you need a great pair of cycling shoes to improve not only the way you cycle, but your pedal power and fitness. Cycling shoes are designed two major features, stiff soles are one and rigid uppers the other.
The stiffness you get in the soles of these shoes is what allows you to get more powerful upstrokes as you pedal and they also give you added support for your feet, this prevents cramping on the longer rides. It is important when selecting your shoes that you get the ones designed for your type of riding in order to get the maximum benefit, so if you mountain bike, do triathlons, road race or simply ride casually, you need to get the right shoe with the right kind of cleat system to give you the benefits you are looking for in a cycling shoe.
Because cycling shoes are usually made from mesh or some other kind of material that is highly breathable, you will find that your feet stay cooler while riding. Cycling shoes do not require you to wear socks, in fact most of them will be designed to be worn without them, the reason for this is that they keep the sweating of your foot down to a minimum as the cool air circulates through your shoe as you ride. One of the most important benefits of these shoes is to give you more power in both the upstroke and downstroke as you ride.
The fact that your feet are clipped into the pedals allows you to use the push and pull power which allows you to pedal strongly and maximises your muscle use when cycling. Being clipped into your pedals also means there is no chance of your foot slipping out. So instead of concentrating on keeping your foot in the pedal, you can go full force and get the most pedal power, giving you a better more comfortable ride and allowing you to feel more in control of your riding.
How to Clean Cycling Shoes?
Keeping your shoes well maintained at all times will not only help them to look better, they will also have an extended lifespan. After each ride you should ensure that your shoes are cleaned and dried off, especially if you have been riding in the mud or in wet weather. The best way to clean your shoes if you have just come back from a muddy ride, this is especially relevant to the mountain bike riders out there, is to do the following: First rind the mud and grime off the shoe with cold water.
Spray the shoe with a stain remover or if you do not have a spray, simply soak them for a while in a stain remover solution. Once they have had some time to soak, run them under some hot water and brush them down as you do. When you dry your shoes do not rub them dry as you may damage them. Leave them to dry overnight and ensure that you get the inside dry by stuffing the insides with either a kitchen towel or similar, or even with newspaper which will soak up any excess water and help to keep the shape of the shoe correct.
If you want to wash your shoes in the washer, always remember to remove the cleats first, then put each shoe in their own pillow case along with a towel. This is to stop the shoes from being damaged by the drum. Again you will air dry the shoes after washing ensuring that you place either a towel or newspaper inside the shoe to keep its shape and soak up excess dampness.
You might find that your shoes are beginning to smell a bit ripe, after a few rides. This odor is usually caused by the moisture, or sweat that remains in the shoe after a long ride. To avoid this kind of problem, simply place your shoe in front of a fan for a few hours after your ride to get them completely dried out which will get rid of that smell.
What Cycling Shoes do the Pros Wear?
If you watch any cycling race like the Tour de France you will notice that there are a myriad of different shoes on display. Even when looking at a team of riders, you will notice that there are a number of different models, colours and brands used. Each pro rider will have their own specifications and requirements when it comes to their shoes. These will be based on their style of pedalling, size and shape of their foot and more.
Some teams will let their riders choose their own shoes, however there is a trend at the moment to get the whole team kitted with the same brand of shoe, however there are exceptions to this too. There are a number of brands that supply whole teams such as Shimano who supplies the LottoNL-Jumbo riders and Sidi who supplies the Bahrain-Merida (Sunada) team. But these brands also provide shoes to individual riders on other teams at the same time.
Having a good pair of cycling shoes will certainly enhance you riding enjoyment and give you a lot more power when pedalling. Each person will have different requirements in their shoes and the perfect cycling shoe will come down to your personal choice depending on your riding style, shape and size of foot and more.