Do you need special shoes for peloton? (No, But…)

Buying a peloton can put a dent in your pocket. Add to that the high cost of peloton shoes and you might find yourself wondering – do you need peloton shoes? Or will regular shoes work?

In this article, I’ll talk about why you need special shoes while riding on a peloton and if you really need to invest in them.

So before you get on your peloton, make sure to read through this article. 

Key takeaway:

A peloton uses Delta-compatible cleats that you can fix to the bottom of either your peloton shoes or any other pair that has a 3-screw hole setup. You can also use toe cages or switch peloton pedals with other compatible pedals. And while you can use other shoes, using peloton shoes provides numerous benefits.

Do you need special shoes for Peloton?

Yes, you will need to purchase shoes with Look Delta cleats if you want to use pedals that are standard on most Peloton bikes. These special cleats have a 3-hole system and attach easily to the pedal. Without a shoe with Look Delta cleats, you won’t be able to ride a peloton bike without making further adjustments.

So if you don’t plan to change the pedals, it’s worth investing in a pair of shoes with Look Delta cleats.

However, if you’re just going to ride the peloton every once in a while or if you just want to cycle on it casually, you can swap the pedals and use pedals with toe cages.

You can also switch the peloton pedals for other pedals like SPD or Look Keo and choose what suits you best. You’ll just need to check the spindle thread’s compatibility with the peloton crank arm.

Why are cycling shoes needed for a peloton?

You already know that peloton has both live and on-demand classes. How well you perform and the metrics on your bike depend on your cadence or the number of times the flywheel rotates per minute and resistance. And all of this depends on the pedaling power. 

And when it comes to faster pedaling, power transfer is one of the best options available, since it helps prevent fatigue by making the pedals do more work instead of your feet. For power transfer, cycling shoes are your best bet.

So if you want to improve both your cadence and the overall output on your bike, you need special cycling shoes.

Moreover, you’re probably going to join the peloton leaderboard and become part of the community. And if you want to do better on this leaderboard, you’ll need power transfer.

Apart from all of that, it’s better if you have special peloton cycling shoes since the bike comes with clipless pedals. And the only way you can safely ride on those pedals without slipping is to get at least peloton toe cages or something better. 

Do you need peloton shoes?

You don’t necessarily need to buy Peloton shoes, but I can’t deny that they’re a great option if you have the budget, and you can find your size. These shoes run true to their size, so those who have standard feet sizes can just get those. Plus, they’re highly durable and of great quality.

Regardless, you can still buy shoes from some other brand that you prefer as long as they are 3-hole cleat compatible and SPD-SL or Look Delta. So if you have bigger or wider feet or if you find shoes from some other brand comfortable, you can go ahead and use those.

And if you’re using toe cages on the bike, you can then use any shoe on the bike – even sneakers! That’s the benefit of peloton toe cages; you get to cycle with the shoe you prefer and include family and friends in your cycling workout. 

Plus, toe cages don’t have any limitations when it comes to shoe size, so anyone can use them. 

What kind of pedals are used in a peloton?

Peloton bikes feature a special kind of pedal called clipless pedals. It is part of a whole clipless system that also includes bike cleats and cycling shoes in addition to the pedals. 

And while there are numerous kinds of clipless systems available, the two most common options available are Shimano SPD and Look Delta. 

Peloton domestic bikes use pedals that are compatible with the Look Delta system. This system uses a cleat to connect the shoe to the pedal. Cleats compatible with Look Delta are triangular and have a 3-bolt fixing.

When it comes to clipless pedals, clipping in and out is very simple once you get the hang of it. While it can be slightly unnerving outside, it’s pretty easy to get it right indoors.

You should also avoid pedaling on clipless pedals using regular shoes. This is because there’s no flat surface on top of the pedals so there’s a high chance that your foot might slip, especially when you exert maximum force on the pedal.

As a result, you’ll end up with bleeding, bruised, and scraped shins. So you need proper cycling shoes and the correct cleats for clipless pedals.

Is it possible to use other shoes with a peloton?

Yes, you can easily use other shoes with your peloton bike, provided that they’re compatible with peloton pedals. You can find numerous SPD-SL and Look Delta shoes in the market, so you can easily find a pair of shoes you like. 

However, make sure you take into account the different aspects of the pair of shoes before you go ahead and purchase them. This is because, unlike peloton shoes, it’s hard to be completely sure of the performance and quality of the shoes, so make sure you do your research thoroughly. 

At the very least, check that the shoe has a rigid bottom for better transfer, the top is comfortable and breathable, and that the shoe size is comfortable. In addition to that, make sure that the shoe overall is durable and of high quality so that it lasts you for a while.

Is it possible to use regular shoes on a peloton?

Using regular shoes on your peloton bike is fine as long as you use toe cages. Both peloton and Exustar provide toe cages compatible with peloton pedals. So if you have any of these, you shouldn’t have any problem using regular shoes on your peloton.

Another thing you can do is switch the peloton pedals for some other pedals. The crank arm of a peloton bike is compatible with pedals that have a 9/16-inch axle, i.e., most pedals available for normal spinning bikes. 

With this in mind, it’s clear that you can switch out your Peloton pedals with some other pedals that already come with toe cages or those that are compatible with easily available toe cages. 

And once you install toe cages on the pedals, you can go ahead and wear regular shoes on your peloton without a problem.

What are the features of a good peloton shoe?

When you go out to choose shoes for your peloton bike, you need to remember a few things. The most important thing you should remember is that cycling shoes are very different from your standard sneakers in many ways. 

For instance, the shoe sole is quite rigid and can hardly flex. As a result, you can apply a lot of power through the leg and into the foot and then from the shoe right to the pedal. This makes pedaling a lot easier, even though walking with that sole is a little awkward. 

At the shoes’ soles, you’ll also find a cut-out section under the ball of the feet that you’ll use to directly bolt the cleat onto the shoe to have a firm hold. And if you have peloton pedals, just make sure to get shoes compatible with Look Delta systems. 

In addition to these two things, you’ll also find a number of other common features on cycling shoes. For instance, they’ll have a low-style construction to allow your ankle to have unrestricted movement. 

Other features include mesh panels to keep the feet cool and well-ventilated and Velcro fastenings for people who don’t want to deal with the hassle that comes with tying laces.

Frequently asked questions

What makes peloton shoes so special?

Peloton shoes aren’t any ordinary shoes; they’re specially designed to be used with bikes, both indoors and outdoors. Plus, they let you pedal more efficiently and even faster so that you can reach your fitness goals quicker. 

Some of the features that are common among peloton shoes are:

  • There’s a moisture-wicking lining in the inner part that absorbs sweat to keep the feet dry as you ride.     
  • The upper section is made with comfortable and breathable fabrics like leather, mesh, or nylon. It also prevents water from making its way into the shoe while cycling outdoors. 
  • Lace closure and stiff soles provide a customized and snug fit, allowing you to use specialized cleats.

What are the benefits of using peloton shoes?

Using shoes specifically designed to use while riding a peloton bike offers the following benefits:

  • Promises a great grip on the pedal that allows you to pedal with greater efficient 
  • Ensures an efficient workout by enabling you to exercise at a higher resistance level compared to regular shoes. 
  • Stiff soles make it easy to meet your fitness goals in a short period of time.
  • You can detach the cleats on the cycling shoes when you’re not riding, making them safer to use than regular shoes on bikes that have cleated pedals. 

Last Updated on October 14, 2023 by Daniel White