Here’s How Long Your Cycling Shoes Can Last

How long cycling shoes last and how to take care of them

Decline Magazine is supported by its readers. We may receive a commission if you buy products using our links.

Before you spend the big bucks on new cycling shoes, you probably wonder how long do cycling shoes last.

Well, you are in the right place. We know durability is one of the most important factors in choosing cycling shoes. And so, we look at the durability of cycling shoes and cleats. Plus, tips on taking care of the shoes for longevity and fixing them if there’s an issue.

Let’s get to it.

How Long Do Cycling Shoes Last Before They Wear Out

Road cycling shoes can last as long as 6-7 years, as they are usually made of high-quality synthetic materials and don’t take the pressure of walking. As for mountain bike shoes, they have a shorter life span (3-4 years).

This is because MTB shoes suffer more abuse. You can even walk in them, thanks to the recessed cleats. Plus, mountain biking is done off-road, so the shoes get muddy. 

They also hit rocks and bushes. The more you use them and ride intensely, the shorter they last. The trick to keeping your cycling shoes for a long time is proper maintenance.

Why Cycling Shoes Last Longer Than Other Shoes

Besides being made with synthetic materials, cycling shoes last for a long time because of their design. Since they are designed for only one activity, they have a precision-focused design that you don’t get with other footwear.

Another factor contributing to the durability of cycling shoes is that they are not as stressed as regular shoes. That’s because they aren’t comfortable walking in. Plus, clipping them onto the pedals means the pedals undergo most of the wear and tear. Yes, it impacts your shoes too but way lesser than walking.

The only reason to replace your cycling shoes quickly is if they are severely damaged during a crash or you want a new design.

Should I Fix or Replace My Cycling Shoes?

The main sign that you need a new pair of shoes is a failing sole. If the top of the shoes is wearing out, you should purchase new ones.

But way before your soles give out, the different parts of your cycling shoe can snap or break, and you will need to fix or replace them. Your shoes might use traditional laces, Velcro straps, or BOA straps and dials. 

You can easily purchase new laces if yours are cut or are worn out. They are also easy to thread without any special tools.

If you have Velcro straps instead, it will take a long time before they need replacement. It isn’t easy to replace the straps, but you can always ask your local cobbler to get it done. BOA straps and dials are trickier to replace, but you can easily purchase them and learn how to fix them.

How to Maintain Your Cycling Shoes?

Here are some ways to maintain your cycling shoes so they last you for a long time and give complete value for your money.

Replacing Old Laces

One of the constant ways to maintain your shoes is by replacing the laces, boas, or straps. The laces take a lot of strain when your work the pedals and can easily snap as they get older.

Avoid Walking In Them

Remember that cycling shoes are designed for riding and not walking. Walking around them often will damage the soles and cleats. They can also pick up scuffs and easily get damaged when you walk on hard surfaces.

Related: Most-Recommended MTB Shoes for Wide feet

Remove Old Bolts

Cycling shoes are also fitted with bolts, and you should remove the old bolts and clean them regularly. When it’s time to input the new bolts, ensure it is well greased because they would require replacement again.

Cleaning Your Shoes Regularly

Keeping your cycling shoes clean is important, especially when riding in extreme conditions. Even if road shoes are usually used on pavement, they will still get dirty. 

Generally, you can rub the shoes down, but it’s important to give them a deep cleaning once in a while. Do so with a soft-bristle toothbrush, warm water, and detergent, but avoid using chemicals.

Add Waterproof Padding

If you want to protect your shoes further and maintain them, you need to add waterproof padding. Adding them gives you a layer of protection against puddles, mud, rain, and even sweat. This is especially the case for riding mountain bikes.

Other Tips

Other things that you can do to make your shoes last longer include drying them immediately, especially when they are wet from rain or mud. It’s also not advisable to put your cycling shoes in a washing machine. Disable the spin cycle and use a low temperature if you still decide to.

How Long Do Cleats Last?

Cycling cleats last for about 7000 miles. The purpose of cleats is to clip onto the pedals when you’re riding. Without them, your cycling shoes become useless since pedaling would become difficult. But, clipping in and out of the pedals provides physical friction that adds to the wear and tear.

If your cleats are wearing out, you can install new SPD cleats by yourself. The vide below should help you with the same.


The short answer to the question of how long cycling shoes last is that they can easily last for 4-5 years or more if you maintain them well. Avoid walking in them, and make sure you regularly clean them. Also, don’t forget to replace cleats, laces, etc., as they wear out.

So how long did your cycling shoes last? Do let us know in the comments below. Plus, your tips and tricks to make them last longer.

Photo of author

Written By

From riding to school since the age of 13, attending BMX races and events with his dad to himself conquering 50+ trails across the globe. For Rob, his Giant Stance 29 2 2020 is the friend that makes everything better. He is also a proud member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

Leave a Comment

Related Post