Can You Ride a Peloton With Regular Shoes? A Simple Answer, Plus Some Essential Tips

The Peloton bike has taken the world by storm in the past few years. With its simple, modern design and library of thousands of workouts, it’s the perfect option for your at-home gym. 

However, the bike comes with a hefty price tag. For this reason, you may be hesitant to spend even more on Peloton cycling shoes. 

So, can you ride a Peloton with regular shoes?

The short answer is yes, you can, but your workout may not be as efficient. However, there are a few reasons why running shoes may work better for you. 

Keep reading for some essential tips on riding the Peloton with regular shoes. 

Key Takeaways

  • You can ride a Peloton bike with regular shoes, but it may not be as efficient, safe, or comfortable as using cycling shoes that attach to the clipless pedals.
  • You can either buy toe cages that fit on the original Peloton pedals or replace the pedals with flat ones to use regular shoes on the bike.
  • Cycling shoes can help increase the efficiency of your ride by allowing direct power transfer from your legs to the pedals and keeping your foot stable and in position.
  • Regular shoes may be a better option if you have multiple riders using the same bike, limited mobility, or a preference for flat pedals.
  • When choosing regular shoes for your Peloton bike, look for ones with rigid soles, good traction, snug fit, and high ventilation.

Do You Need Special Shoes To Ride a Peloton?

The official answer is that you need to buy special shoes to ride the Peloton – but plenty of anecdotal evidence would suggest that this is not a hard and fast rule (more on this later). 

Your Peloton bike will come with a certain kind of pedal (which I will discuss next) that requires special cycling shoes and delta cleats. 

However, you can also ride a Peloton with regular shoes. Keep reading to find out how to do this.

What Kind of Pedals Do Peloton Bikes Have?

Peloton uses clipless pedals on all their indoor exercise bikes. Clipless pedals differ from regular pedals because your shoe will have cleats (typically referred to as a delta cleat) that will attach directly to the pedal. 

The cleats will be attached to the bottom of the shoe and are usually triangular in shape. They are typically made of either metal or plastic. 

Once you attach your Peloton shoe to the pedal, your foot will be stuck in place. 

All Peloton bikes come with a pair of Look Delta pedals. These pedals are not compatible with regular running shoes. 

You will need to buy cycling shoes if you want to stick with these pedals. You will also need to buy cleats (3-bolt Look Delta Cleats will work for Peloton pedals). 

If you decide to go this route, you can find everything you need on the online Peloton store.

Reasons To Invest in Peloton Shoes

Investing in Peloton shoes may be a bit expensive as you also need to purchase compatible Peloton cleats. However, some riders think it is worth the price. 

Let’s go over a few reasons why you may want to buy Peloton shoes. 

how to unclip peleton shoes

Peloton Shoes are More Efficient 

One of the main reasons riders buy specific cycling shoes is that they can help increase the efficiency of their ride. 

First of all, Peloton bike cleats such as Look Delta cleats or other Delta-compatible cleats will secure your foot to the pedal. 

What this means is that your legs will not have to work hard to keep your foot flat and in position while Peloton riding. 

This extra stability will allow you to put more effort into peddling, which increases overall efficiency and the smoothness of each pedal stroke.   

Your typical cycling shoe will also have a stiff sole which will help conserve energy by allowing direct power transfer from your legs to the pedals. 

If you want to get the best workout possible, cycling shoes are the way to go. 

Peloton Shoes Are Better for Safety

While you may not think of it, riding the Peloton with regular shoes may lead to some safety hazards. 

There are a few things that could go wrong. First of all, if you are cycling fast, such as at 100 RPM, your foot could slip off the pedal (even with a toe cage) and could lead to a twisted ankle or a bad cut. 

Not wearing proper spin shoes while doing a workout involving moves out of the saddle can also be dangerous. 

Since your foot is not secured as tightly, it only takes one mistake to slip and fall to the floor. 

Peloton Shoes Could Save You Money Overall

Whether you buy Peloton shoes or invest in Peloton toe cages, both options will cost extra.

Toe cages cost around $50, while new Peloton pedals can be anywhere from $60 to $115.

On the other hand, Peloton shoes cost $125 to $145, with the delta cleats coming in at $25. However, remember that Peloton includes a pair of cleats with every purchase of cycling shoes. 

If cost is all that you’re worried about, it would be better to buy a pair of Peloton shoes as using normal shoes will still cost extra and won’t be as efficient and safe. 

Reasons To Use Regular Shoes on Your Peloton Bike

While there are a lot of pros to using proper cycling shoes, there are also a few reasons why you may want to invest in a toe cage pedal and ride with normal shoes. 

Multiple Riders

One of the main reasons why riders will change pedals is that there are multiple people who ride one Peloton machine. 

You may have multiple family members in your household who use the Peloton bike or have a few friends who like to visit every so often to hop on. 

If this is the case, everyone who uses the bike would have to have their own cycling shoes to use with the original Peloton pedals

Not only would they need to own cycling shoes but a special kind of cycling shoe. Other cycling shoes, like mountain bike shoes, won’t work. 

By making a few adjustments, you can have multiple riders that can hop on the bike and wear sneakers to work out; no special shoes needed.

Ease of Use

Another simple reason you may want to ride your Peloton bike with regular shoes is the ease of use. Having a toe cage makes riding simple; It only takes a few seconds to hop on and start your workout. 

On the other hand, learning how to clip your delta cleat to the pedal can take a bit of time. (If you have ever tried clipping in ski boots to cross-country skis, you will understand!) 

The delta cleats need to be at a certain angle to attach correctly, which can take a few minutes to figure out, especially for a beginner. 

If it is important for you to hop on the bike quickly, then investing in Peloton toe clips or new pedals for regular shoes is a good option. 

Installing toe clips will also allow anyone who isn’t familiar with riding Peloton to try the bike and ride with ease. 

Limited Mobility

Since attaching cycling shoes to the Peloton pedals can be tricky, riding the Peloton with regular shoes is the easiest option for those with limited mobility. 

The Peloton toe clips will help keep the rider’s foot stable, giving them a secure ride and making it easy for them to start and stop their workout quickly. 

Regular Cycling Experience

peloton bike 1

If you’re new to the whole Peloton experience, you may not like how the clipless pedals feel. These types of pedals will extremely limit the mobility of your foot as you won’t be able to move around on the pedal. 

Perhaps you are an avid cycler and are used to regular flat pedals. If this is the case, replacing the Peloton pedals may be beneficial. 

The last thing you want to do is buy a brand-new Peloton machine and fail to ride it due to pedal preferences. 

While toe clips are also a good option, you still won’t be able to move your foot around a lot with these installed, especially if you buy the Peloton toe clip and install it on the original pedals. 

How To Ride a Peloton With Regular Shoes

Now that you know the pros of riding Peloton with regular shoes and specialized shoes, you may have come to a decision. 

If you want to ride a Peloton with regular sneakers, then keep reading. This section will describe how to do this and cover all the necessary equipment. 

Install Toe Cages

The first option for converting your pedals to be compatible with normal shoes is to attach toe cages. 

A toe cage is basically a plastic cage that helps to secure your foot in the pedal when you don’t have a delta cleat to attach to the pedal. The plastic cage will cover the top half of your foot. 

Fortunately, you do not need to buy new pedals to attach toe clips. If you buy Peloton brand toe cages, they will attach right to the pedals that your Peloton bike comes with. 

While adding toe cages is pretty simple, check out this video for easy step-by-step instructions:

Keep in mind that you will need a small hex key to tighten Peloton toe cages. 

Replace the Pedals

Perhaps Peloton toe cages are not your thing, and you want the experience of riding a regular bike with flat pedals.

You can easily switch out the Peloton pedals for platform or flat pedals that will be compatible with regular shoes. 

These pedals will be the easiest to use as you won’t have to attach your shoe to the flat pedal. 

What Kind of Running Shoes Are Best for Riding a Peloton?

If you intend to forgo cycling shoes and ride with regular shoes, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Some sneakers will be better than others for your Peloton bike and will make for a more comfortable and efficient ride. Let’s take a look. 

Pick Shoes with a Rigid Sole

One of the most important features of good bike shoes is rigid soles. Having a rigid sole will allow for increased power transfer and make for an efficient ride, much how like cycling shoes work. 

While regular shoes won’t be as rigid as cycling shoes, there are a few models out there that will work well. Make sure to test the shoe’s firmness before you buy. 

Look for Decent Traction

Something else to look for when buying running shoes for your Peloton bike is good traction. Having high traction will help your foot stay secure in the toe cage. 

Traction is especially important if you go with flat pedals; as mentioned before, it can be easier to slip and get hurt when using these pedals. 

Prioritize Good Fit

Obviously, you need to pick shoes with a good fit. They should accommodate important areas of your foot, like your heel and the arch of your foot. 

When trying on shoes, try to go with a pair that fits a bit more snug than usual. Always pick a tighter fit over a loose fit. 

Having shoes that fit snugly will help increase energy transfer. However, your bike shoes should also be comfortable. Your toes shouldn’t be cramped against the front; make sure to have a bit of wiggle room. 

Opt for High Ventilation

Finally, search for shoes with high ventilation. As your foot’s internal temperature goes up, so does the rate of perspiration. To increase comfort, buy breathable shoes.

Any shoe made of a mesh material will be perfect for this. A few other materials that have high ventilation are cotton, rayon, polyester, and lycra. 

Final Thoughts

So, can you ride a Peloton with regular shoes? Yes, you can. However, sneakers won’t be as efficient as bike shoes made for clipless pedals. 

Either option you choose will cost money. If you go with Peloton cycling shoes, those can cost up to $145. 

For regular shoes to work with the bike pedals, you will need to buy and install toe cages. 

If you have the option, forgo the toe clips and buy Peloton shoes. However, if you have limited mobility or multiple riders, running shoes will be the way to go.

 Leave a comment and tell us what shoe you prefer!

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