Like most people, I started my spin classes wearing shoes from some of beloved women cross training shoes selection. Btw, I didn’t attend classes where they demand you to pay rental for their spin shoes which I find to be ridiculous. Anyway, wearing the sneakers didn’t make feel good in the spin classes as I have some difficulty getting a solid grip on the pedals based on what I was wearing. This was why I ended up buying a pair of spin shoes for women from this guide that I wrote a while back.
Since I now have wear both sneakers and spin shoes to the spin classes, I think I am qualified to tell you what are the differences in terms of experiences and is there any benefit to spending money on another pair of shoes (It seems women can’t stop buying shoes regardless of what activity they do LOL)
Differences between spin shoes vs sneakers
To make this easier to read, I have created a comparison list below that you can check it out::
- Soles: One of the most important difference is the shoe sole. Most cross training shoes or sneakers I have are sort of rubbery except for those used for weight lifting. This tend to give insufficient stability when I am on the pedals. Spin shoes, on the other hand, have a much stiffer sole and are easier to get a solid grip that allows you to put more pressure on your cycling. Another thing about the sneaker sole is that they are not able to stop the pressure from being exerted onto your feet. After prolong cycling in them, you will start to be feel discomfort or even pain on these pressure points. The extreme case can even lead to what is known as hot foot.
(editor’s note: here is the medical definition of what a hot foot is: a condition affecting one or both feet, otherwise known as Metatarsalgia, where the nerves and joint tissues close to the ball of your foot are repeatedly squeezed and aggravated by the long metatarsal bones which run down through the feet to the toes, leading to a burning sensation in the base of the foot. )
- Locking mechanism: Related to the sole design benefit described above, a spin shoe can allow your feet to ‘lock on’ to the pedals. Besides being secure, this feature makes it easier for you to truly exercise those leg muscles without worrying too much about slipping and causing injuries. Another benefit is that it can specifically target certain leg muscle groups like the glutes because your feet has been locked into position. Wearing a normal sneaker will not have such specific muscle targeting.
- Fit: More spin shoes are narrower in design and this allows to have a more snug fit such that your feet is more stable as you pedaled hard. Most sneakers have a normal fit unless you specifically go for those models that are like the ones I reviewed in this article: best cross training shoes for narrow feet.
- Durability: Spin shoes tend to last longer than sneakers. I suspect it is due to (i) less usage, (ii) using them in very controlled environment rather than on all terrains and conditions and (iii) tougher sole material. Regardless of the reason, it is clear they can last. I compare my spin shoes to my cross training shoes that have similar usage period and the former is still in relatively good shape compared to the latter.
All in all, I feel my money was well spent on getting a pair of shoes for my spin classes. If you into serious spinning, I humbly suggest you do so as well. Nicole out.