Retro Cycling Shoes Guide

Retro Cycling Shoes Guide

The ultimate retro shoes guide

If you are serious about cycling, then you must be serious about your shoes. There are many choices for modern cycling shoes to be used with clipless pedals. There are shoes for road cycling, mountain biking, gravel, urban cycling - all with different types of systems fixing you to the pedals. Well, you have probably already worked out what your favourite pedal system is. But, what about vintage cycling shoes? Here we will tell you how to choose the right retro cycling shoes for your vintage road bicycle.

Up until the 1980s, most riders used pedals with straps and cages. The idea behind was to improve the power transmission while cycling and allow you to pull the pedals at the same time as you push them. This meant, however, that special cycling shoes were needed too. Most of them were made of leather and also had stiff leather soles to increase durability and the power able to be generated. Later on, the sole even got some mounting plates for the even better power transmission. 

If you are about to start riding your vintage bicycle on a regular basis, or maybe you've been to your first vintage cycling event like Eroica, then you'll soon realise that you need the right shoes to fit into the narrow straps in the pedals, to pedal  more efficiently and last but not least to look more authentic! There are two ways of getting the right shoes: you can either look for authentic vintage shoes in your size or buy brand-new retro cycling shoes. Finding original vintage shoes in your size and in good condition might be a challenging and time consuming project - you never know how they'll end up fitting and hunting them down on eBay is not the best idea.

Steel Vintage Bikes has been developing different models of retro cycling shoes for classic pedals with cages and clips over the last few years. All of them are hand made in Italy in collaboration with experienced shoemakers. The big advantage of retro cycling shoes is that they are available in sizes 38-47 (EU sizes) and their quality and functionality is superb. There are 5 model lines of SVB retro cycling shoes. Below we'll compare them and explain the differences!

Premium Cycling Shoes

SVB Premium Cycling Shoes

The Premium Cycling Shoe features beautiful and soft leather outer and inner for maximum comfort and style. The perforations on either side allow for optimum breathability on those hot summer rides.

The sole is made with carbon reinforced leather sole with Vibram® grip and heel providing our most durable walking experience, as well as effortless power transfer.

Anything you want to throw at these shoes, they can handle and take in their stride.


Competition Cycling Shoes

SVB Competition Cycling Shoes Honey

Conceived for long rides, these shoes feature a carbon reinforced sole with a strong grip rubber bottom. This not only provides adequate stiffness to efficiently transfer power into the pedals – especially when climbing – but also a durable walking surface for any terrain. A leather insole also provides the perfect cushioning and breathability for less strenuous rides.

The Competition Shoe comes in a variety of colours, either a mouthwatering Honey, or the classic Black leather. Both irresistibly cool and suitable for riding or everyday use.

Sport Cycling Shoes

SVB Handmade Sport Cycling Shoes

The Sports Shoe is a beautiful, sleek, high performing shoe, featuring artisanal details like the stitched outer sole, internally nailed heel with a rubber outer cover, making these shoes long lasting companions, wearable on a wide variety of occasions.

These look great both out on rides, or on your feet on a casual weekend stroll. We want to bring the style of cycling into everyday life.

Casual White Cycling Shoes

SVB Casual White Cycling Shoes

Our Casual White Cycling Shoe is classy yet remarkably practical. The sole is a firm light brown rubber which makes cycling in pedal cages easier and walking, once off the bike, a joy. Great for daily use, or casually worn. 

The leather is smooth and strong, and the lovely detail of the Italian flag around the ankle pays homage to the Paduan craftsmanship. 

Vuelta Pro Cycling Shoes

SVB Vuelta Pro Cycling Shoes Brown

SVB teamed up with legendary Italian Shoemaker Pantofola d'Oro to create the perfect luxury vintage cycling shoe. Founded in 1886 in Ascoli Piceno (Italy), Pantofola d'Oro is a shoe manufacturer with deep roots in the heritage of handmade shoes.

Completely handmade in Italy with genuine leather, the SVB Vuelta Pro is a technical shoe with a unique cleat attachment. The vintage look shows the mix of tradition and technology that makes this the ultimate long distance cycling shoe. The SVB Vuelta Pro is the perfect shoe to wear at Eroica events worldwide.

Handmade retro cycling shoes

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