How To Turn Sneakers Into Cycling Shoes? (Easy Tips)

Riding a bike is great for your health and the environment. Cycling shoes, however, can be expensive. 

If you already own a pair of sneakers, then why not turn them into cycling shoes? All it takes is a few simple adjustments and you’ll be ready to hit the road in comfort and style.

How To Fit New Cleats To Your Cycling Shoes – YouTube
Converting sneakers into cycling shoes is possible with some modifications.
Properly fitting cycling shoes enhance comfort and performance during cycling.
Adding cycling data to a health app can help track progress and set goals.
Understanding the importance of proper fit in cycling jerseys ensures optimal performance.
Cycling gloves provide protection and improve grip while riding.
It’s essential to protect sensitive areas while cycling, including lady parts.
Hiking boots can be versatile options for work and other activities beyond hiking.

Use Slotted Pedals

If you’re interested in using your regular sneakers with a bike, slotted pedals are the way to go. 

These pedals allow for more flexibility and movement than standard pedals, which can be a good thing if you want to wear shoes that are flexible and comfortable. 

However, this is not without its drawbacks: since they’re not as sturdy, slotted pedals may not give you enough support for long rides.

Slotted pedals can also be used with almost any kind of shoe, so it doesn’t really matter if your sneakers have those holes in them or not! 

If they do happen to fit into the slots on your new clipless pedal though…then great! It’ll save you from having to drill holes into any part of your shoe (which could ruin them).

Looking to track your cycling data? Learn how to add cycling data to your health app with our comprehensive guide. Check out our article on adding cycling data to your health app to stay on top of your cycling progress.

Select A Lightweight Shoe

A lighter shoe is more comfortable and easier to pedal, all of which contributes to your overall comfort on the bike. 

A lightweight sneaker will also be more aerodynamic, which can help you go faster over longer distances. 

Finally, because they’re made from durable materials that last longer than other types of shoes, they tend to be less expensive than other options as well.

BrandModelWeight (grams)Category
NikeAir Zoom Pegasus250Running
New BalanceFresh Foam Tempo230Running
SalomonSpeedcross 5330Trail Running
BrooksGhost 13280Running

Clean Your Shoes Regularly

Regularly clean your shoes with a soft brush or damp cloth. Never use soap or water on your sneakers, as it can damage the materials that make up the shoe.

Avoid shoe cleaners that contain chemicals like petroleum distillates, silicone, and acetone. These chemicals can be harsh on materials and cause discoloration in some instances.

Don’t use an abrasive cleaner on your sneakers either; these will damage rubber soles and other components of the shoe. Moreover, never dry your sneakers with a towel after cleaning them: this can lead to dry rot over time!

Use Lighter Cleats

If you’re going to be using your cycling shoes for both road and mountain biking, it’s important that your cleats are compatible with both. 

Many riders choose to use two pairs of shoes one pair for each purpose but if that’s not an option for you, then at least make sure your cleats will work well on both surfaces. 

It’s also a good idea to use lighter cleats than you would in regular cycling shoes because they’re easier to clip into and out of. Lightweight cleats are typically more durable than heavier ones as well.

To tighten the screws of your shoe clips:

Use an Allen wrench or screwdriver to tighten the screw down until it is tight but not too tight (about 22-32 inch pounds). 

If there is no torque spec listed on the side of your shoe clip, try tightening it this way first before moving onto another method.

BrandModelWeight (grams)
LookKeo Blade Carbon95
SpeedplayZero Stainless108
CrankbrothersEggbeater 3290

The right fit is crucial for cycling jerseys. Find out why cycling jerseys are supposed to be tight and how it can enhance your performance. Dive into our article on the importance of proper fit in cycling jerseys to optimize your cycling experience.

Get The Right Shoe Size

The first step to turning your sneakers into cycling shoes is getting the right size. There are several factors that can play a role in determining shoe size, including foot length and width, and sometimes even gender. If you’re not sure which category you fall under, it’s best to consult a professional.

When buying any new pair of cycling shoes, it’s important that you try them on in person before purchasing them online or ordering them from an outfitter. This will ensure that they fit properly and don’t have any sizing issues.

Adjust Your Saddle Height And Fore/Aft Position

Adjust your saddle height and fore/aft position. These changes can be made while you’re still in the saddle, so make sure you’re comfortable before proceeding.

Saddle height: If your seat is too low or high, it will cause other aspects of the bike to be off as well. 

For example, if the saddle is too low, it will be harder for your arms and wrists to support themselves during long rides; this could result in pain or discomfort in these areas (and possibly others). 

In addition to making riding more difficult, this can also cause injury over time due to poor form on long rides.

Fore/aft position: Moving the seat forward or backward will affect both how easy it is for you to reach farther down on either side of your body and result in different amounts of power being put into each pedal stroke as well as changing where pressure points are placed on various parts of your anatomy during pedaling motion (this means more leg clearance between yourself and everything else!).

Are cycling gloves necessary for your rides? Discover the benefits and reasons why you should consider wearing cycling gloves. Learn more in our article on the importance of cycling gloves for a safer and more comfortable cycling experience.

Don’t Forego Shoe Covers In Cold Weather

If you’re cycling in cold weather and don’t want to wear cycling shoes, you can still keep your feet warm with shoe covers. 

Shoe covers are thin pieces of fabric that slip over the top of your shoes, covering the opening in the front. 

They typically come in a variety of lengths and widths to accommodate different shoe sizes and types.

Shoe covers are easy to use: simply pull them up over each foot before zipping them up at the sides (or tying an elastic band around them) so that they stay on securely during your ride. If not secured properly, they may slide off when you least expect it!

Some riders prefer using toe caps instead of full-length shoe covers; this works well for people who don’t mind wearing a little extra material on their feet while riding (but aren’t willing to go all out with specialized cycling footwear). 

Some models have built-in straps or hook-and-loop closures so they don’t slip off during pedaling; others require some creative knotting on your part before going out onto the road! 

Those who need more flexibility might consider making their own homemade versions using old pairs from thrift stores or flea markets – try cutting off excess fabric from jeans legs or sweatshirt sleeves by folding them over multiple times until there’s only enough left inside each leg hole so that it fits snugly without bunching up around certain areas.”

Ladies, protect your vital parts during cycling. Explore effective ways to safeguard your lady parts while cycling. Find valuable insights in our article on how cyclists can protect their lady parts for a worry-free ride.

Keep Your Cleat Screws Tightened

For starters, make sure you keep your cleat screws tightened. Most sports shoes come with a set of standard screws and washers that are designed to secure your shoe against slippage so it doesn’t slide out from beneath you while you’re pedaling or running.

To avoid any slipping, always tighten them just before each ride or run and then periodically during use if needed as well.

Secondly, if there is any dirt or moisture between the cleat and shoe soleplate that could cause slippage over time due to friction buildup (like oil), then clean off these surfaces regularly so they remain smooth and slip-free!

BrandModelRecommended Torque (Nm)
ShimanoSPD-SL5 – 6
LookKeo5 – 7
SpeedplayZero4 – 5
TimeXpresso4 – 6
CrankbrothersEggbeater3 – 4

Trim Your Cleats Regularly To Avoid A Buildup Of Dirt And Grime

Trim your cleats regularly to avoid buildup of dirt and grime. Cleat screws can get dirty, which may cause problems for your shoes. 

The best way to clean them is with a toothbrush and soapy water, but you can also use compressed air if you’re on the go.

Inspect your cleats for wear regularly and replace them if necessary. If there are any signs of wear or damage, it’s time to get new ones but don’t wait too long or you’ll risk having an accident!

Are hiking boots suitable for work? Discover the versatility and functionality of hiking boots beyond outdoor adventures. Read our article on the suitability of hiking boots for work to explore comfortable and durable footwear options.


Now that you know how to convert your sneakers into cycling shoes, it’s time to get out there and ride. 

Remember that no matter what type of cyclist you are, the most important thing is to have fun! 

As long as you have the right equipment and know how to use it properly (not just with sneakers), then nothing can stop you from enjoying yourself on two wheels.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on related topics:

  1. How to Install and Adjust Cycling Cleats: Learn the step-by-step process of installing and adjusting cycling cleats for optimal performance and comfort.
  2. A Guide to Cycling Shoes: Dive into this comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about cycling shoes, including different types, features, and how to choose the right pair for your cycling style.
  3. How to Use Clipless Pedals: Discover the benefits and learn how to effectively use clipless pedals, which provide a secure connection between your cycling shoes and pedals for improved power transfer and efficiency.


Here are some frequently asked questions about cycling shoes and cleats:

How do I choose the right size of cycling shoes?

The best approach is to measure your feet accurately and refer to the manufacturer’s sizing chart for the specific cycling shoe brand you’re interested in.

What are the advantages of using clipless pedals?

Clipless pedals offer enhanced pedaling efficiency, better power transfer, and improved control and stability, especially during high-intensity cycling.

Can I use any cycling cleats with any cycling shoes?

Cycling cleats and shoes have different compatibility systems, such as SPD, Look, or Speedplay. Ensure that your cleats match the specific system supported by your cycling shoes.

How should I adjust the position of my cycling cleats?

The optimal cleat position varies depending on individual preferences and biomechanics. Experiment with different positions to find the one that offers the most comfort and efficient pedal stroke.

Are cycling shoes necessary for casual cycling?

While not mandatory, cycling shoes provide numerous benefits, including increased power transfer, foot stability, and comfort. They are particularly recommended for longer rides or competitive cycling.