Why do cyclists wear cleated shoes?

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They make me feel safer and more secure:

When I’m riding at speed, a four-point attachment to the bike gives me a greater feeling of connection and control. Your feet won’t slip off, even if you hit a bump, and you can also learn to hop over rogue items in the road.

They can prevent injury: 

My foot problems cleared up thanks to the stiff soles of my new shoes. Meanwhile, I find having a defined range of movement keeps the knee niggles at bay. A cyclist on a five-hour ride might turn their legs over some 15,000 to 20,000 times. A fixed position can help eliminate misalignment and subsequent aches and strains.


Being attached to the pedal means you can pull up on the backstroke as well as push down. Great for a surge in power – at the risk of leaving you doubly knackered at the end.

Pick and choose:

There is a range of pedals to choose from, with unique cleats to match, and every brand has its pros and cons, including the cost and frequency of cleat replacement. Ultimately, however, the road selection boils down to two teams: Speedplay, and the rest. You’ll recognise the former because the pedals look like two metal lollipops. Aficionados will bang on for hours about double-sided entry, float adjustment, “coffee covers”, etc. It might be a cult ….


Yes, the pedals you are clipping into are called clipless pedals. This term originated to distinguish them from predecessors, which had a bulky toe-clip and strap mechanism attached to the pedal. It makes no sense, but has inspired a few fun memes.

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