If you need a better balance between comfort and performance, try one of these 10 shoe options that will keep your dogs from barking on the bike.
Northwave Evolution$200 2 of 11
Since hotspots and pain in the feet are often caused from the foot moving inside the shoe, Northwave has gone to great lengths to make its shoes as anatomically perfect as possible. Thanks to BioMap technology in the soles and upper, the Evolution Plus keeps the foot in place while pedaling, making it one of the most comfortable, mid-range race shoes on the market.
A wide option is also available if you have trouble with narrower cycling shoes.
Giro Republic LX$190 3 of 11
Whether you're an urban cyclist or a fan of adventure cycling, if you're looking for a combination of style and comfort, the Republic LX is a solid option. High-traction walking pads, a soft leather upper, a laced closure and a micro-suede heel counter are just a few of the standout features.
Sidi Genius 7 Carbon (Women's)$249 4 of 11
The supple, conforming texture of the upper, paired with the Soft Arch Compression strap that distributes pressure evenly across the top of the foot on the upstroke, is what makes the new Genius 7 a real winner in terms of comfort. This model also features plenty of women's only features, such as a narrow heel cup to prevent slippage, less bulk across the instep and a tapered last.
Bontrager Velocis$219 5 of 11
If you're looking for a performance shoe suitable for the occasional century or Gran Fondo, look no further. The Velocis has a carbon and fiberglass composite on the sole that's makes for the perfect balance of stiffness and comfort. Plus, the flat pedal platform, a toe box that feels just right and the IP1 closure also help the shoe lean towards comfort as opposed to being an all-out racing shoe. You can even opt for Bontrager's heat-molded insole for a more custom and supportive fit.
Fizik R4B$199 6 of 11
Even though we're big fans of the R1B, the slightly less stiff and roomier R4B sacrifices a little in performance to give you maximum comfort. The combination of the Boa dial and Velcro straps provides a secure fit, and the microfiber upper molds to the foot well and is super easy to clean.
Specialized Recon Mixed Terrain$225 7 of 11
If you frequently head off road on dirt and gravel, then you've probably realized road shoes don't work too well when you're forced off the bike. The Recon Mixed Terrain is the perfect solution. It's easier to walk in than a road shoe, but lacks the bulk of some models made solely for mountain biking. A standard fit, laces and a padded heel cup are other features that will make your ride a little more plush.
Shimano Sh-RP9$274 8 of 11
While the stiff carbon sole will steer this shoe more towards race-minded cyclists, it's the heat moldable EVA foam insole that provides a truly custom fit, making the shoe a good option for anyone. It's also available in two different types of arch supports, depending on the shape of your foot.
Mavic Ksyrium Elite$149 9 of 11
If you're an endurance cyclist looking for a good balance between comfort and performance, the Ksyrium Elite is a solid option that won't break the bank. The Ergo 3D Ortholite insole reduces vibration through the heel, while the Endofit Tongue molds to the foot like a running shoe—providing maximum comfort and cushioning for those long days in the saddle.
Pearl Izumi Select Road IV (Women's)$99 10 of 11
Available in men's and women's options, the Select Road IV is a great shoe for beginners or recreational cyclists. An anatomic closure helps to eliminate hotspots and reduce pressure, while the Select EVA foam insole provides good arch support and extra padding in the heel for when you're off the bike.
Lake CX237$299 11 of 11
A race-worthy cycling shoe with a wider toe box than most options in this category, the CX237 is designed for riding at high cadences over long distances. The slightly curved sole, snug heel cup and full leather upper are just a few of the features that you'll appreciate after 100 miles on the bike.