Can you ride a peloton with regular shoes? (The Truth)

Can you ride a peloton with regular shoes? Know this before you buy

It’s no secret that riding a peloton is one of the best and quickest ways of getting the body shape you dream of. 

However, for some people, it can be difficult to purchase a dedicated pair of shoes for it, especially since it’s highly-priced.

So, can you use a peloton with regular shoes? Let’s find out. 

Key takeaway:

You can ride a peloton with regular shoes if you use accessories like toe clips cage, dual-side flat pedals, and clipless pedal platform adapters. Without these accessories, you shouldn’t use regular shoes; otherwise, you’ll hurt yourself.  

Can you ride a peloton with regular shoes?

can you use regular shoes on peloton

To put it simply, it is possible to ride your peloton using regular shoes, but it’s best that you don’t particularly since it can put your health at risk.

You also don’t need a dedicated pair of shoes specially designed for the peloton as long as you purchase accessories like toe clips or a set of pedals for safety. 

Also, keep in mind that you can’t go on a high-speed sprint on your peloton with your regular shoes. At most, you can just do a short 10-minute ride where the rpm is less than 100 in your training sneakers or regular running shoes. 

Even then, you have to consider a few constraints before you set foot on the bike. For instance, you should stay in the saddle if you’re using regular shoes or swap the peloton’s platform pedals with regular flat pedals.

What kind of pedals are used for a peloton?

peloton without shoes

Peloton bikes use a clipless pedal, which is a special kind of pedal. These pedals are a part of the clipless system that also includes bike cleats and cycling shoes. While there are a few different kinds of clipless systems available today, the most common of them are Look Delta and Shimano SPD.

Peloton’s domestic bikes use pedals that are compatible with the Look Delta systems. This system uses a cleat, which is essentially a part that connects the shoe to the pedal. Cleats compatible with Look Delta have a triangular shape and feature a 3-bolt fixing. 

With practice, you’ll get the hang of clipping in and out of these pedals. It can be a little tricky to do so outside, but it’s easy to do it indoors on your Peloton bike.

You shouldn’t use regular shoes to pedal on these clipless pedals. This is because there’s no flat surface on top of the pedals, which means there’s a high chance your foot will slip, especially when you’re working out with the maximum force.

As a result, you’ll end up with bleeding, bruised, and scraped shins. So, the bottom line is that you need the right cycling shoes and the right cleats to use with clipless pedals.

How do you choose the right shoes for a peloton?

When buying shoes to use on your Peloton bike, make sure you get a pair that can easily handle your workouts. And for that, you’ll have to look out for the following things:

Sole thickness

Peloton bikes feature pedals made using metal, making them harder than the standard rubber material used on other exercise equipment.

For your peloton, you need shoes that have a flexible sole so that you can pivot your feet easily while pedaling. At the same time, the sole shouldn’t be so soft that it makes the shoe bend inward while pedaling. 


When you go out to buy regular exercise shoes, you’ll find lots of pairs made using various different materials, including mesh and leather. The same goes for peloton shoes. 

But the best option for a peloton is leather since it provides a supportive fit and doesn’t stretch too easily. You can also get a pair with mesh over the top for enhanced durability, but in general, at least 70% of the upper must be made of leather. 

What will happen if you use regular shoes on a peloton?

can you wear regular shoes on peloton

As mentioned earlier, you can use regular shoes on a peloton, but it can be quite dangerous since regular shoes don’t come with the shoe cleats that peloton shoes do. 

While you can use all kinds of athletic shoes for the pedals, the problem is that doing so won’t offer the same grip. 

Similarly, there are numerous options available for shoes that work great with the pedals on regular road bikes. But all of them also present the same problem – you’ll have to change the existing pedals since the shoes aren’t compatible with them.

So if you ride the bike while standing up, but your foot accidentally slips off, your foot will be injured, for sure. And once you take the foot off, the pedal will continue to spin, and you’ll end up with damaged shin splints.

In addition to that, when you use regular shoes to ride the peloton, it’s impossible to create the maximum power for each stroke. As a result, you won’t really be able to achieve high speed. 

One way you can use regular shoes on the bike safely is by buying some peloton accessories. This is especially because it’s tough to put regular shoes on the cleat pedal without a cage for added support. 

What accessories do you need to ride a peloton with regular shoes? 

So now that you know you can use your regular shoes on a peloton with some added accessories, let’s see what they are.

Toe clips cage

It’ll be very difficult to ride the bike at the maximum speed since your foot won’t be fixed to the bike pedal. To overcome that problem, prevent slipping, and have lateral support, you need a toe clips cage.

A toe cage works well with the delta lock pedal. So, all you have to do is slide the shoes into the cage and safely ride the bike.

Another benefit of a toe cage is that you won’t need to buy separate shoes for every family member who’s going to be using the bike; they can start with a toe cage. And it’s economical, too!

However, you might experience a few disadvantages. You might experience discomfort in the middle of the sole, as toe cages make the shoes bend inward. This is why you need thick-soled sneakers with strong midsoles – their midsoles shouldn’t be light or squishy like those in running shoes. 

You should also make sure that you line up the feet’s ball with the pedal spindle. Then, tighten the latch.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that toe cages are typically suited for those whose feet are smaller than men’s shoe size 11. So if you have a larger foot, you might find it difficult to align the ball with the pedal excel. 

Dual-side flat pedals

As you might have guessed from the description above, using a toe cage can get very irritating, especially if you have a wide and large foot. If you don’t want that, you can get regular clipless road bike pedals and use them with trainers. 

Normal bicycle pedals feature a long brace that has an SPD pedal design on one side and a platform pedal on the other, allowing you to ride the Peloton easily without your foot sliding off the pedal. 

They’re also a great option for casual rides when you don’t need any clips to hit the pedal with the max power. 

You can even use these pedals if many people will use the bike, and you don’t have a problem riding in your normal sneakers. 

Clipless pedal platform adapters

If you find it a hassle to take out the peloton pedals and install flat pedals instead, then don’t worry; you can use pedal platform adapters. These resemble flat platforms and have cleats present on one side so that you can clip them into the bike’s delta pedal. 

This way, you get a wide platform and your foot stays on the pedal no matter the design, allowing you to ride the bike with regular sneakers.

However, keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase cleats separately and clip them into the peloton pedals. 

You should also know that because of the weight of these platform adapters, the pedal will continue to rotate even if your foot isn’t present on it. As a result, the platform side often comes underneath the feet. This is why you should keep your foot on the pedal while riding the bike.

How to choose Peloton cleats

By now, you know that you need cleats that are compatible with Look Delta. But another thing you should look for is 9 degrees of float. Let me explain what that means.

With some cleats, what happens is that once you clip in your foot, it’s held in place quite rigidly and can only move up and down as you pedal. Meanwhile, if you have 9 degrees of float, you’ll get some wiggle room and you’ll be able to move your foot sideways while pedaling. 

While it doesn’t sound much, this feature can make sure you have a comfortable riding experience.

Frequently asked questions

Is wearing peloton shoes really necessary?

If you get pedals with straps or toe clips and attach those with your regular shoes, then in most cases, you can use the peloton using normal shoes. Keep in mind that when you order a peloton, you’ll only get delta clips that you can use with road cycling shoes.

How can you use regular shoes on the peloton?

Generally, you can use regular shoes on the peloton if you attach toe cages that let you slide into your normal shoes. You can attach peloton toe clips to the delta models. You can also take off the peloton pedals and put together a new toe cage pedal with a 3mm Allen range.

Last Updated on October 14, 2023 by Daniel White