As someone with (not to brag) 542 indoor cycling classes under my belt, according to my stats at SoulCycle, I consider myself pretty in-the-know on proper cycling gear. There was a time when I started taking indoor cycling classes here and there and wore regular tennis shoes (a no-no)—but once I started renting cycling-specific shoes at an indoor cycling studio, the pedaling started feeling more fluid and I began feeling more powerful on the bike, too.
The only problem is that renting shoes never sit right with me. It’s kinda gross shelling out cash to wear someone else’s kicks (no matter how well they sprayed that anti-bacterial spray in them), so when it came to buying my own, I looked for a pair from the same brand as my rental shoes, Shimano.
Luckily for me, last year the brand released some new indoor cycling shoes that were specifically made for women’s feet—which if you’re not aware, tend to have a wider forefoot and a narrower heel. I knew I had to get my hands, er, feet into them. Let me tell you, they have made a world of difference, and 30-something classes later, have become my favorite studio-to-street shoes.
You see, I live in NYC, and going to any workout class involves me toting a bunch of gear around. In the winter, that load doubles, and carrying regular sneakers as well as a pair of spin shoes wears on you. Enter the Shimano IC3, a cycling shoe that looks like your everyday sneaker, and has recessed cleats that make them function like a traditional one too.
With these puppies, I can walk to the studio in them, give it my all for 45 minutes, then hop off the bike and comfortably walk around town. And I’m not just talking about to the subway and home—I mean I can stride around for several hours thanks to the EVA foam midsole, which is traditionally found in running sneakers, and cushions your feet as you stride. Being able to easily transition from studio to street makes the IC3 the best of both worlds—and it means I don’t have to carry two pairs of shoes with me.
On the bike, they perform well, too. The Boa lacing system, which has stainless steel wires that act as laces, plus a circular knob on the side that you can adjust to tighten and loosen the laces, makes getting in and out of the shoe and customizing the fit super easy. Unlike the Velcro models I used to use, which would get stuck on my clothes when I’d toss them in my gym bag, these are a breeze to wear.
Breathability is another key feature because those indoor cycling classes can get sweaty. The IC3 has a super breathable leather and mesh upper that helps the air actually circulate through the shoe. This provides some great ventilation for sweaty toes and soles, which helps me cool down on-the-whole. I don’t know about you, but when my feet get hot and sweaty, my body gets even hotter. Plus, I personally love that they come in all-white—you can never have too many goes-with-everything white sneakers.
Available in sizes 36 to 44 in European sizing (sizes 5.5 to 11 in U.S. sizing), and does not include clips.