Cycling shoe recommendations

Favorite cycling shoes with a good narrow heel cup with a wide forefoot for high collapsible arches?

Not an exact shoe recommendation, but high & collapsing arches are likely best addressed directly via proper footbeds with the right arch height for you.

Specialized, Bontrager, and others offer shoe footbeds / insoles with various arch heights. The goal is to support the arch, not let it float and collapse. By doing so, you get a more natural foot shape under load and reduce the some of the forefoot splay associated with lack of arch support.

Maybe you have looked at these, but if not, I recommend checking them out. I sell a set of footbeds with nearly every fitting I do at my shop.


I use the Specialized footbeds currently. These have been helpful. Yes, I struggle with forefoot splay and appreciate the metatarsal button.


Im currently on the shoe merry go round, trying out a few different brands. Ive always had Specialized (mostly SWorks) in a 45. Just got a new pair of SWorks XC shoes for CX but thought id try something different for road shoes.

Giro Empires in 45 are a touch small for me, so wont be keeping them

Bont Vaypor+ in 45 seem really good so far after a couple of trainer sessions. I haven’t heat moulded them yet which should only make it better. They seem to have much higher arches than the others, but obviously can be reshaped a bit to suit

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Have a look at the G8 footbeds, I was going to try these out as I have cutom orthotics in my sidi shoes but they are too small for me now (thanks aging weirdness) .

Currently I have some new Giro shoes coming which have their supernatural footbeds which come with different support wedge things you can add in, but if they don’t do the business I will get some G8s for sure!


These are amazing.


If my Vaypor+ work out well after a few more weeks I might save up and invest in a pair of Zero+, they look awesome :slight_smile:


I bought some G8 footbeds and love them. About 3 months of use.


I’ve had issues with my heels slipping in various shoes. Finally bit the bullet and bought a pair of Sidis with an adjustable heel cup. They’ve been fantastic.

Regarding arch support, as others have mentioned, you can’t beat the G8 inserts. You can configure the arch in 3 dimensions: height, fore/aft, and left/right. They seriously rock.


On a foot bed side note, has anyone used the yellow superfeet insoles/foot beds with any success?

Curious as I love superfeet insoles in my regular shoes, and the yellow ones are the ones they pitch for cycling shoes (along with skating).


i thought about trying new shoes, but never had issues with my sworks, so i bought more sworks shoes


i use this shoes, a little bit oldschool, i tried several brands and sizes in my bike shop and this one are the only only one:

the good thing, they have shoelaces and i never tought that they are better as all this other quick releases!


Hard to recommend shoes…

I’ve not gotten along well with the Specialized footbeds. But I do like the Giro inserts. Use them in Sidis. I have narrowish feet with relatively high arch so footbeds are needed.

On a lark I bought some high end Northwave shoes with the conversion kit for Speedplay cleats. These are very nice shoes, the cleat system works well and they came with nice adjustable footbeds. Not a shoe you see often but quite happy that I took the chance.

I am often tempted by Bont and may take a shot as they have some good closeout type deals and what looks like a good fit system.

Realize nobody will ever chance their man-card actually doing this but… for guys with narrower or lower volume feet, a “woman’s” shoe might actually fit better. Try them on in a shop when nobody is looking. Reverse is true for ladies with larger feet and no social risk ;-]

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How bad are your feet?

If you wear prescription inserts in your shoes and have any injury history with lower leg, knee, or hips due to your unstable arches, I’d say go D2.

They are not cheap. But, I’ve been on them since 2009 (on a public school teacher’s salary – in my case, they are worth every penny). I have a narrow heel, long flat arch, and a wide forefoot. I went through all kinds of tendon and muscle issues through the 80s and 90s (even with custom insoles in my cycling shoes). D2s were my rescue. Healthy and consistent for a decade, finally, thanks to the custom shoe+insert combo.

SWorks for the heel cup and wide forefoot. If you can find the SWorks 6 road shoe it has a VERY tight heel cup and plenty of room in the toe box.

For high arches I like the giro supernaturals. They’re cheap, adjustable, and I just replace them when the sag or stink, whichever comes first. I spent years in custom orthotics and I actually prefer the less rigid support of the giros now.

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Our shop has been doing well with Lake shoes as recommended by an amazing fitter here. Insoles can be sued as well, but some of the models fit differently so one is sure to fit you. The higher end ones have the carbon that is heated and molded to your foot. The materials are better than I’ve seen in most shoes.

As far as I found, Bontrager or Specialized don’t have super wide lasts for the wide forefoot. Mine flattens out like a pancake and after going from some older, very flexible upper Bontrager tri shoes I went to the shimano TR-9 and had numbness. Got fit and they moved me to a lake shoe (race last) and it was MUCH better for my wider forefoot. Never looked back.


Been using G8s for the last 2 years, have quite high arches so using 5 on left and 4 on right and found them to work pretty well… replace supports every 6 months or so and for the 80 odd quid initial cost, don’t think you could go too wrong.

Only issue I need to rectify is occasional numbness in my little pinky and 2 middle toes on my left foot… gunna give some sidas custom footbeds a try as heard some really good things from quite a few people… need to get round to this before the season actually starts.

I only buy men’s road shoes. I don’t even have wide feet but I need room in the toebox. Women’s shoes are way too narrow and pointy in many brands.

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I would go with the one’s that fit your feet best, I recently tried some Fizik R1’s one and was all set to buy a pair when I discovered that there not a great fit. I ended up with the not so stylish Shimano shoes around the same price. Not exciting but they fit…

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