I've done the fitness-class speed dating. In desperate need of spicing up my gym routine, I test drove what felt like every free fitness trial in New York City until I finally felt a spark with Swerve.
The competition-based indoor cycling class and I were an immediate match. I can't sing the praises of the high-energy, low-impact cardio enough — the moment a Beyoncé anthem hit my ears, I knew it was love at first pedal.
But, like all good things in Manhattan, the gym membership was too expensive to maintain. My wallet decided it was best I take up the cycling classes at my local gym.
When transitioning from the elevated boutique classes to the cycling sessions at my gym, there was one major aspect I couldn't see past: using Spin shoes.
With every class, Swerve provided a pair of cycling shoes. At my gym, you're stuck using your run-of-the-mill sneakers on the non-clip-in side of the pedal. It was clear I had been spoiled.
"Stand up . . . sit down . . . repeat, but faster," instructed the trainer.
Intense pedaling mixed with quick position changes, and my clumsy nature was a recipe for disaster — on several occasions, I caught myself from slipping and falling.
With the fear of an injury lingering in the back of my mind, a colleague convinced me that cycling shoes were worth adding to my gym bag — to which I agreed.
An internet deep dive led me to find the Decathlon B Twin Road Bike Shoes 500 Pink ($65), which checked off all my boxes: relatively affordable, lightweight, rigid soles for efficient pedaling, ventilation, and quick-drying mesh.
It's important to note that most cycling shoes require cleats, which are sold separately.
Spinner bikes (which I find to be the most common brand of bike) are compatible with SPD, Delta, and Shimano cleats, as were my new shoes. So, I decided to give the Decathlon Rockrider SPD Compatible Cleats ($15) a shot.
The cleats came with a video tutorial that proved that attaching them to the shoe was quick and easy — just return to the shop link and scroll down. Shout out to my dad for gifting me the proper wrench needed to get the job done, as it didn't come with the cleat itself.
Once my shoes were strapped on and clipped into the bike, it took a mere five minutes of pedaling for my confidence to skyrocket. The proper gear has optimized my workout experience now that my refreshed energy has replaced persistent fears of an ankle sprain.
Whether "Single Ladies" is blasting or not, you can always catch me cycling full-out with my Twin Road bike shoes keeping me grounded.