Using regular shoes with a Peloton bike (secret tips)


Peloton Bikes have gained popularity since Covid, and many people are wondering what exactly is the right way to use this bike. A common question many people have is whether or not you can use regular shoes with a Peloton bike.

You can use normal shoes with a Peloton bike by buying 9/16″ pedals. Flat pedals cost around $20 and will allow you to share your Peloton with other people. However, it is recommended to use cycling shoes or toe cage pedals if you want to spin as fast as requested by Peloton coaches.

Choosing to get new shoes for a Peloton can be an expensive endeavor, so it may be the last option on your list. Luckily, there are a few adjustments you can try first while remaining safe before opting to buy new shoes. Read on to learn more!

Can you ride a Peloton bike with regular shoes?

Peloton bikes are not meant to be ridden with regular shoes as delivered. It comes with clipless pedals, which are supposed to be used with the appropriate cycling shoes. But you can use regular shoes with a Peloton by changing its pedals to a design more suitable for such shoes.

You may have noticed that the pedals have a particular shape on your Peloton. These are clipless pedals. If you wish to know more about it, feel free to read this article about what are clipless pedals and why they are called this way.

Regular shoes don’t work very well with the Peloton due to these specific pedals, it may even hurt a little. And it is quite slippery. But Peloton shoes are quite expensive, and not convenient if you want the Peloton to be used by your whole family (which means that each family member must buy cycling shoes…).

But is there any trick to make the Peloton usable with regular shoes without breaking the bank? Hopefully yes, there are even several options! It is definitely possible to use regular shoes with a Peloton bike. Let’s go through the different possibilities.

What do you need to ride your Peloton with regular shoes?

For the average cyclist, using normal shoes to pedal on a Peloton bike can be extremely difficult because the foot is not fixed to the pedal. It might even lead to injuries if your feet slip in high-intensity sessions such as sprints. The best accessory to fix your foot, and make it usable by several members of your family, is to use toe cages.

Clippable toe cages

Clippable toe cages look like regular toe cage pedals but they can be clipped onto Peloton’s pedals. You can use these toe cages from Amazon compatible with delta pedals, which is the clipless system that Peloton uses. Once clipped, you can slide your shoes and adjust the fit thanks to the strap. Toe cages provide a huge benefit when multiple people are using the same bike as the toe clip can easily be adjusted.

Here’s a video that explains how to clip the accessory onto your Peloton bike:

The benefit of these clippable toe cages is the ability to unclip easily the toe cages from the pedal. This is useful if one member of your family does have cycling shoes. This way the latter can use his cycling shoes with Peloton’s pedals and the rest of the family can use regular shoes thanks to the clippable toe cages. To unclip just twist your ankle. It is that easy!

With this system, you should be able to use sneakers with your peloton. But please note that the sturdier the shoe is, the better it is. You should avoid shoes that are too flexible when using a Peloton, otherwise, you will lose a bit of performance.

Flat pedal with toe cage

The Peloton cranks can accept any pedal that uses the 9/16-inch screw system, which is a standard assembly method for pedals. Therefore, if no one from your family has cycling shoes, I will recommend removing completely the pedal shipped with it and using these pedals from Amazon instead.

They cost around $20, which is less than any clippable pedals you will find online. They also have one cool advantage: you can use the other side of the pedal which is completely flat if you don’t like cages. This can be useful for people who don’t have feet of the right size for the cages, such as kids.

The pedals are quite easy to change. Here is a short youtube video showing how to do it:

Why does Peloton recommend using their shoes?

Using regular shoes on a Peloton may lead to injury in high-effort sessions. This is because normal shoes will not have cleats that can grip onto the bike pedals. Because of this, if you ride the Peloton bike while in a standing position, there is a risk that your foot will slide off the pedal, causing injuries to the foot and leg.

It is also harder to get the right speed when you use regular shoes on a Peloton bike, as it is harder to generate power when you can’t get a grip on the pedals. In particular, cycling shoes allow you to pull the pedals, something you cannot do with flat pedals. As a result, you won’t be able to hit the speeds you want to hit on your bike. In the end, you may not be able to follow the coach…

What shoes are right for a Peloton?

If you can’t find a way to make your regular shoes work, you will need to look into buying shoes that will adapt to the needs of a Peloton bike. Hopefully, you don’t necessarily need to buy Peloton shoes, there are many cheaper options available. But the question is, how do you know which shoes are compatible with the Peloton bike?

The clipping system of Peloton

Peloton bikes are compatible with Look Delta cleats. So as long as you buy shoes compatible with the Look Delta system, any brand is compatible. Thus you can find many models at a cheap price, a color you like, or a fit that you feel comfortable with. Just go to a store and ask for cycling shoes with delta cleats.

Final Thoughts

It’s totally possible to use a Peloton with regular shoes such as sneakers. You can do that by buying any pedal with a 9/16″ screw or accessories that clip on the Peloton pedal with delta cleats. But keep in mind that wearing cycling shoes is always better if you want to use your Peloton at full strength and exercise properly.

But if you are only looking for a way to make the Peloton usable by other people in your family, such as your children, then just change the pedal with one of the options mentioned above. Please note that you can create several profiles on your peloton to make it easier to share.

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