Laces, Velcro or twist lock cycling shoes – which is best?

Confused about the different types of cycling shoes on the market? We explore the pros and cons of the three most popular cycling shoe retention systems

Laces, velcro or twist lock cycling shoes - which is best?

Ever seen the pros do a flying mount onto their bikes and deftly slip their feet into some snazzy cycling shoes? Wondering why their shoes look so alien compared to yours? You’re not alone.

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Today there are so many different cycling shoe options on the market, it can be confusing to navigate. We take a look at the three most popular retention systems and pinpoint their specific uses, so that you can decide which fastening interface is for you.

Cycling shoes with laces

Evidently not a quick option to slip into, these shoes may have a vintage aesthetic, but they are actually a good bet for a secure and comfortable fit. This is because the laces can be fixed to your personal comfort; they fasten with an even distribution of tension across the top of the shoe. Laces can also create less drag than their more modern counterparts.

Verdict: A trendy, long-lasting retro option for cycling-only sessions but to avoid during bricks or tri racing.

Cycling shoes with Velcro

Velcro is a step up from laces in terms of modernisation, they offer a simple and quick means to fasten your cycling shoes and jump on the bike. Usually with 2 or 3 straps, Velcro cycling shoes are a convenient and low-budget option. The main drawback is that they can easily pick up and retain debris within the Velcro mesh.

Verdict: Great for entry-level shoes but not as sleek and fast as other retention systems.

Cycling shoes with twist lock (a BOA system)

Twist lock retention systems are known as BOA Dials and are usually the choice for most pro athletes. This lacing system uses steel wires connected to a twisting knob at the top of the shoe. As such, they are highly adjustable, even being easy to access mid-ride, this ensures the snuggest fit and that no efficiency is lost during your ride.

Verdict: Extreme ease of use and strength, no wonder boa tends to be the mechanism of choice for multisport activities. They look pretty cool too!

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Take a further look at all our cycling shoes reviews