Do You Need Special Shoes for Peloton?

The first time riding on a Peloton was at my apartment gym. At my apartment gym, all the Pelotons there had what’s called “toe cages,” where you can wear your regular shoes. When I purchased my own Peloton, I was quite surprised when it came with these weird-looking clips and wondered if there was a mistake – I certainly couldn’t use my regular shoes with those!

To cut to the chase, you can use regular shoes with Peloton – but let me tell you why you’re gonna want the “special” cycling shoes instead. In this article, we’ll explore a bit further to learn more about why you should invest in them, how they work, and where you can get them.

What Type of Shoes do I Need for Peloton?

This is the standard shoe clip the Peloton comes with – along with the shoe that clips into it.

So for starters, you CAN use your regular shoes – but I’d highly recommend against it. First off, Pelotons that you buy don’t come standard with toe cages, so you will need to purchase them separately if you plan on using regular athletic shoes. If your first experience with a Peloton was at a gym, hotel gym, or apartment gym – they usually come standard with toe cages. Pelotons for home use do not.

Secondly, there are some issues with regular shoes that I’ve noticed while on the Peloton, I’ll get into that in the next section.

The other type of shoe, and suggested shoe, are cycling shoes that are compatible with Peloton’s clips. (Which comes standard with home-use Pelotons.)

These shoes typically have a stiff sole that provides better power transfer to the pedals and reduces foot fatigue during long rides. They also come with cleats that attach to the bottom of the shoe and clip into the pedals, which provides a more secure and efficient connection with the bike.

What Is The Problem With Regular Shoes On A Peloton?

The problem with regular shoes on a Peloton is that they won’t provide the same kind of power transfer and connection that cycling shoes do. Regular shoes can be clunky and uncomfortable and can make it hard to get the full range of motion that a Peloton requires.

Additionally, the toe cages themselves can be quite uncomfortable and can cause your feet to slip out of the pedals mid-ride. And lastly, I had a tremendous amount of issues when I would get to the standing parts of a ride. And this is only something you’ll REALLY notice if you try both clip-on cycling shoes and regular shoes with a Peloton toe cage. 

What are the Benefits of Wearing Cycling Shoes on a Peloton?

The benefits of wearing cycling shoes on a Peloton are numerous. Firstly, they provide a secure, efficient connection between your feet and the pedals. This allows you to get the most out of your workout and prevents your feet from slipping off the pedals, even during the more intense sections of your ride. This is what I was talking about earlier. When I wore regular shoes, the intense and standing parts of the ride were extremely uncomfortable.

Additionally, cycling shoes are designed to be lightweight and comfortable. This means that your feet won’t feel as tired after a long ride and you won’t have to worry about developing blisters and hot spots. A smoother ride equals a better workout and more calories burned. Finally, cycling shoes also come with a variety of different cleat systems. This allows you to choose the best one for you and your riding style.

Again, to repeat, I would highly suggest that if you’re serious about your Peloton workouts, investing in a pair of cycling shoes is a great idea. Not only will they provide a more efficient and comfortable connection between your feet and the pedals, but they will also extend the life of your bike and improve your overall experience.

What Shoes Should I Avoid Wearing on a Peloton Bike?

When using a Peloton bike, it is best to avoid wearing shoes that have a soft, flexible sole or are too bulky, as these can compromise your performance and comfort on the bike. Now some of these may be obvious, but some – not so much.

Here are some types of shoes that you should avoid wearing on a Peloton bike:

  1. Running shoes: Running shoes are designed for forward motion and have a softer, more flexible sole that is not ideal for cycling. They also tend to have a wider toe box, which can make them uncomfortable in the toe cage.
  2. Sandals or flip-flops: Open-toed shoes like sandals or flip-flops do not provide enough support and can be dangerous while cycling. This is one of the obvious ones (obviously.)
  3. High heels: Another obvious one – high heels are not only uncomfortable to wear while cycling, but they also do not provide the stability and support needed for proper pedal stroke and balance on the bike.

So what are the best shoes, that aren’t cycling shoes? Again, I would only recommend these as a last resort (if you truly hate clipping on your shoes.)

  1. Cross-training shoes: Cross-training shoes that have a relatively flat and firm sole can provide good support and stability on a Peloton bike. Look for shoes with a snug fit that won’t slip around while pedaling.
  2. Indoor soccer shoes: Indoor soccer shoes are designed for use on hard surfaces and have a flat sole that can provide good grip and power transfer on a Peloton bike. They also tend to have a snug fit that can help with stability and support.
  3. Trail Runners: While not ideal, road running shoes can work if they have a relatively firm and stable sole. Look for shoes that are lightweight and have a snug fit to avoid slippage while pedaling.


No matter what type of shoe you choose to wear on a Peloton bike, make sure to check for the following: Support, fit, and grip. One last thing that I didn’t mention above, cycling shoes, in particular, should be wiped off and air-dried after each use. If you ride frequently, you should also invest in a shoe cleaning kit to keep them looking and smelling fresh.

Finally, take the time to find the right shoe for your riding style. Although I’m an advocate for cycling shoes when it comes to Peloton – the most important thing is that your shoe fits well, provides good support and grip, is comfortable enough for your ride – and you feel the best with it.

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