Pro cyclists and their shoes: a never-ending love affair

Cyclists love to use their shoes to make a statement - here we round up some of our favourite footwear from the past few years

While the shoes of runners, footballers, tennis players and a whole host of other sports get pounded in the mud and dirt, the same can’t really be said of cyclists’ footwear. That’s not to say that cycling shoes aren’t important – as a contact point between rider and bike, they serve a vital function. But there’s a new function that pro cyclists’ shoes have grown to serve in the past few years: self expression.

Most of a pro rider’s kit is strictly dictated by the team, but shoes are one area where it seems pretty much anything goes. Riders can use their shoes to exclaim their nationality, celebrate past success, send a message, be individual or just have a bit of fun.

Here we’ve collected together some of the wild and wonderful designs worn by riders over the past couple of years.

Photos by Andy Jones and Graham Watson

Trott-shoes-2Laura Trott was sporting these flowery Nalini shoes at the Track World Cup in London

Trott-Shoes-4More flowery goodness from Laura Trott, this time SIDIs

Yanto Barker's shoes, Jersey International Road Race 2014 Yanto Barker’s union flag Bont  shoes in action during the Jersey International Road Race 2014

Adam Blythe's shoes, Tour Series 2014, Barrow Adam Blythe can usually be relied upon to wear something out of the ordinary

Francois Pervis, Revolution Series, London, March 2014, day one French track sprinter Francois Pervis reminds his rivals of his world records and world champion status

Sir Chris Hoy's Bont shoes 2009 Manchester world cup.jpgSir Chris Hoy is not one to show off: he’s went for a subtle personalised look in these Bont shoes for the 2009 Manchester World Cup

Ben Swift's overshoes, Tour of Britain 2011, stage two (cancelled)Okay, they aren’t shoes, but Ben Swift’s shoe covers offer a patriotic flavour

Mark Cavendish's shoe, British road race national championships 2011Nike sponsored athlete Mark Cavendish also goes for classy black with his trademark signature

Wendy Houvenaghel's shoes, British Track National Championships 2011Wendy Houvenaghel’s colourful Lake footwear from 2011

Giro d'Italia - Stage ThreePro rider Adam Hansen makes his own carbon shoes, said to be extremely lightweight

Adam Blythe's shoes, Spadger's 6 Day Night 2013More unique style from Adam Blythe, this time from the Spadger’s Six Day Night in 2013

Russian-team-pursuit-Bont-shoesAerodynamic Bont shoes worn by the Russian team pursuit squad

Scotland shoes and socks, Commonwealth Games 2014, day one Scottish shoe and sock combo from the Commonwealth Games

Dauphine-Libere - Stage One2008 Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez’s shoes on stage one of the 2012 Dauphine-Libere

UCI ImagesPhilippe Gilbert‘s rainbow shoes worn during the 2013 Tour de France

Tirreno-Adriatico - Stage ThreeDavid Millar wore a different pair of Fizik shoes for every race he took part in during his last season (2014). The shoes were then auctioned off for charity. These are from Tirreno-Adriatico

Dwars door VlaanderenEye-boggling design for Millar at Dwars door Vlaanderen

G.P.ScheldeprijsIs that fire? Millar’s footwear for GP Scheldeprijs

Bayern Rundfahrt - Stage 2Millar goes for argyle during Bayern Rundfahrt

TOUR OF OMAN - STAGE FOURMy eyes! The final word from Adam Blythe