In today’s world of high tech gear and equipment, most triathletes are turning to indoor stationary cycling to get in their training. There are different types of trainers for indoor use and even different types of tires for indoor use. But there are no “indoor cycling shoes”. Why?
With this in mind the cycling powerhouse Garneau decided to go to the drawing board. Analyzing everything from sweat rate in outdoor vs indoor cycling to the needs from the shoe itself, they began designing.
Ultimately they created a new shoe in partnership with Reebok that is solely focused on indoor cycling use. Luckily the amazing folks at Garneau gave me a pair to test out so I could share my thoughts with all of you.
Due to the increase in sweat that our feet produce (and retain in our shoes) while we cycle indoors, the main focus of the Actifly is moisture wicking and breathability.
This really comes through as the shoe has vented areas all throughout the build. The hard outsole is made of nylon and fiberglass so the multiple vented air channels was a necessity.
Looking on from the outsole you notice that the rest of the shoe is covered in the same mesh used in Garneau’s top of the line triathlon shoes. Since triathletes hop on the bike with wet feet normally, you know you can trust this technology to be great at moisture wicking.
Here are some of the tech specs for Garneau’s Actifly Indoor Cycling Shoe:
- STD Fit: Roomier fit offers comfort and allows for a wider range of users
- Upper: Synthetic leather and mesh with antibacterial and anti-odor treatments provide comfort, breathability and quick drying
- Closure system: 2 hook-and-loop fasteners for easy adjustments while spinning and riding
- Rear strap: Easy pull on and off of shoes
- Outsole: Patented injected nylon/fiberglass; extremely ventilated
- Insole: Honeycomb perforated and treated with antibacterial and anti-odor treatments provides comfort, breathability and quick drying
- Cleats: Steel inserts fit all major road and SPD pedals
- Weight: 280 /9.88 oz (Men, size 42) / 250 g/8.8 oz (women, size 38)
Just like a pair of running shoes you can’t judge them off of a single run. Since cycling shoes hold up a lot longer than a pair of running shoes, I knew I wanted to give these shoes ample time before writing this review.
I have used these shoes for the past 6 months now and can honestly say they work. I was admittingly skeptical at first because I wasn’t sure if it was going to be better than my normal triathlon cycling shoes.
When first trying them on I wasn’t impressed. They actually felt a little less ventilated, more stiff, and less supportive than my triathlon cycling shoes.
The look on the other hand, was nothing less than badass. These shoes just look like they are asking you to attack a workout. They want to suffer. They want to be abused.
As stated by Garneau, “Finally, the Actifly is reinforced at strategic places to provide good, powerful strokes, with a hook and loop fastener system. Since the user can also wear the shoe for outdoor bike rides, we made sure it is compatible with most road and SPD cleats. Garneau SPD adaptors provide easy clip on and facilitate walking off the bike.”
This was the biggest negative I found in the shoe. While you can easily use any cleat system with this shoe, I found the guide system to be a little off. This could just be the way I ride but it took a lot of fine tuning and adjusting for me to get the correct fit from this.
To test these indoor cycling shoes out properly I needed to test them in two different scenarios: with socks and without socks.
The very first ride I did in these was without socks. Needless to say I quickly realised that I was wrong with my first impression and these indoor cycling shoes were amazing.
I do most of my rides in my garage on my CycleOps Fluid2 trainer and on this particular day it was about 85 degrees and humid in there. My feet instantly started sweating and I could start to feel the shoe get damp.
I soon zoned out (as I do on most rides) and as my heart rate climbed, my intensity grew and my shirt got soaked I noticed something strange. My shoes weren’t getting any damper. My feet felt the same as they did 5 minutes into the ride.
As the ride progressed I did notice that certain parts of my feet were becoming a little sore. I first thought it was due to my shoes being too tight so every sockless ride thereafter I would adjust the tightness of the shoe. Come to find out it continued to happen almost every time I didn’t wear socks.
When I rode with socks the shoe was even better. The shoes were a little smaller than normal to begin with so I opted to ride mostly with Swiftwick thin compression socks. Besides better moisture wicking while wearing socks, I also noticed that my feet never got sore. I think it’s primarily due to the fact that the sock makes your foot work more as a single unit rather than various points of pressure. Either way, I like riding in this indoor cycling shoe more with socks than without.
Listen, I’m not going to try and sell you on the shoe. But I will tell you that it does do what it says it does. It wicked sweat from my foot better than any other cycling shoe. It provided support where I needed it for my indoor cycling needs. Lastly, after 6 months of using it 3-4 times per week these shoes still remain odor free.
- It wicked sweat away from my feet better than any other cycling shoe could do
- It is affordable at a price tag of $109.99
- They seem to run a little small so think about getting a size bigger if you are planning to wear socks
- This shoe can be used for outdoor use but I wouldn’t recommend it for any long rides outside
- 6 months in and still no odor
You can purchase a pair for yourself on Garneau’s website
**Disclaimer: I DO NOT make any sort of commission or cut from Garneau. I am simply linking to their product to help make life easier for you.