Do You Need Special Shoes for Peloton Biking?

If you have got yourself a peloton but aren’t completely sure about some accessory specifics? Keep reading to sort out your shoe situation and get the absolute best out of your new Peloton bike.

Special Peloton Shoes? This is a two-fold answer.

The short answer is that no, it is absolutely not essential to get special shoes for your Peloton bike.  

In fact, you do not even need to wear shoes. There are lots of different toe cages available that are compatible with the Peloton bike to keep your feet in place. You can also purchase different pedals, also compatible with Peloton, to swap and switch out to suit your riding preferences.

Changing pedals is also advisable to change your pedals if you have particular cleats that you prefer. Cleats are part of a pedal without clips and attach to the bottom of a cycling shoe. There is a wide range of pedals with different cleats that are compatible with Peloton bikes to make sure everyone has the best fit.

On the other hand, Peloton bikes come with clipless pedals and so you do need compatible shoes. These pedals require a cleated shoe with three holes, hence the twofold answer that sometimes you will need special shoes. 

You also need to be aware that there are only two-cleat designs that are compatible with the pedals fitted on the Peloton bike – the SPD-SL and Look Deltas.

Peloton and Cycling Shoes

While you need specific cleat designs to use Peloton pedals, you do not need to get Peloton shoes. That said, they are a great option for those who can find their size and their budget in the Peloton shoe range.

On the whole, reviewers report that Peloton’s sizing is accurate but it is recommended to go up a size for those who need that extra width. 

If you opt to wear cycling shoes, you can wear any compatible pair. As mentioned above, compatible shoes are made by SPD-SL and Look Delta but other three-hole cleat shoes will work well. The multi-brand compatibility is great for those with specific foot sizing difficulties – including unusual sizes or wide feet. 

The excellent quality of Peloton bike shoes, excellent durability, and the allure of a matching Peloton shoe and bike set are often enough to persuade people to go for the Peloton shoe – remember this is by no means compulsory!

Other Brands of Cycling Shoe

As mentioned above, you can use other brands of cycling shoes as long as they are compatible with the Peloton pedals. Generally, a shoe with a three-hold cleat will fit but make sure to do your research! 

Remember that you need to make sure that you purchase shoes that are durable enough to withstand tough Peloton workouts so you do need a high-quality pair. This is another aspect of any potential cycling shoe that needs to be thoroughly researched before you buy them for your Peloton. 

The perfect cycling shoe to use with a Peloton will be rigid to keep power transfer from your muscles to the pedal as high as possible. Breathability needs to be remembered to keep your feet comfortable throughout your workout, as does the sizing of the shoe.

Buy the correct size – or a size as close as possible – as incorrect sizing will put the cleats too far forward to too far back on the foot. This means that the holes will sit differently on your foot and make correct pedal alignment difficult. 

Everyday and Normal Shoes

If you don’t fancy getting some cycling shoes you can of course use your ‘normal’ or everyday shoes – just make sure that they are comfortable and you have the right toe cage installed. 

Other than Peloton’s own toe cages, there are lots of brands of toe cages that are compatible with the Peloton bike so do hunt around to find the best fit for your foot. 

Theoretically, you could even take off the Peloton pedals and put your own on. This is not generally recommended by Peloton but all the models can be fitted with any 9/16 inch axle. This is by far the most widely available pedal thread and used by almost all manufacturers so you should have no difficulty finding a pedal set.

Pedal swapping can either be done so you can use different toe cages or so that the need for toe cages is eliminated altogether. So many different makes of pedals available means that you can absolutely wear your own shoes if you are prepared to take this step.

Final Thoughts

Special shoes for your Peloton bike by no means necessary. You can get by just fine by either using toe cages, different pedals, or other brands of cycling shoes with the correct cleat pattern.

If, however, you are a serious Peloton-er and intend to get the most out of your bike you will probably benefit from Peloton’s special footwear.

The specifically designed footwear will ensure a smooth power transfer from your leg, through the foot, and into the pedal which will help keep your limbs secure – this is essential for anyone wanting to get to the top of the leaderboards!


Do I Need Special Shoes For My Peloton Bike?

Yes and no. Yes if you want to get the most from your bike and intend to set high scores. No, if you want to use your bike more casually.

Does The Peloton Come With Toe Cages?

Your Peloton bike will not come with toe cages as standard, but you do have the option of purchasing a pair of official Peloton cages that can be delivered with your bike.

You can also use cages from other brands as long as you check for compatibility with your Peloton bike’s pedals.

What Cleats Are Compatible With Peloton?

Peloton bikes for personal use – as in a Peloton that you purchase to use at home – have Look Delta cleats fitted. Peloton bikes that are for commercial use – such as those in a gym – are made with SPD cleats as these are a little more durable.

As long as you can find cleats that have the same hole pattern as your Peloton bike, you are good to go!

Can You Use Any Spin Shoes On A Peloton?

As long as your spin shoes have the correct cleat pattern they can be used with your Peloton bike. The cleat pattern needs to be correct or the shoe will not fit correctly onto the pedal. Incorrect fitting will make it difficult or impossible to complete your Peloton workout.

Do Regular Bike Cleats Work With Peloton Bikes?

All at-home Peloton bikes use Look Delta cleats, making the bike compatible with any Delta-made cleat. These cleats are easily attached to the bottom of your cycling shoes at three points of contact which gives a very secure cycling experience.

What Is The Difference Between SPD And SPD-SL Cleats?

The most obvious difference between the SPD and the SPD-SL is the number of holes in the device. The cleats are what actually attach to the shoe.

The SPD has two attachment locations to the shoe, hence their alternative name ‘two-bolt cleats.’ 

The SPD-SL has three attachment points and this layout is also referred to as a ‘three-bolt cleat.’

Do I Need Cleats For My Cycling Shoes?

Basically, yes. A cycling shoe without a cleat is not a complete cycling shoe. The cleats are the gadgets that physically attach to the bottom of a cycling shoe that allows the shoe to securely attach to the pedal.

You need a secure connection to the pedal to make sure that your foot doesn’t slide off – this lets you get the most out of your workout.

Can You Ride A Peloton Without Cleats?

If you don’t have compatible footwear or don’t want to buy shoes specifically for your Peloton, you can purchase some toe cages. Attaching toe cages keeps your feet securely affixed to the pedals without the need for cleats.

Do I Wear Socks With Peloton Shoes?

Socks are needed to cushion your feet against the inside of the shoe. This is particularly important around the shoe opening as this can be rough and may cause blisters if worn directly against the delicate skin of the ankle.

For the best comfort, opt for socks that are thin as this gives the best breathability and will make sure that your shoes still fit properly.

Andrew Daniels