Adidas Velosamba review: How do these new cycling shoes perform during commuting, training?

Footwear

While clipless cycling shoes technically do clip into your pedals, the term actually refers to the lack of toe clips, which are the cages you see on some bike pedals.

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Adidas cycling shoes review

Cycling — whether for commuting, exercise or enjoyment — is a sport that has seen a boost in popularity in the wake of the pandemic. New bikers are now discovering the dilemma that avid cyclists have endured for years: finding shoes that perfectly balance function and convenience. Cycling shoes are generally suitable for training or walking, but rarely both. 

No doubt taking advantage of the recent cycling boom, Adidas claims to have the solution with the Velosamba Cycling Shoes. Their release honors the iconic style of the Adidas Samba shoe while adding cycling-specific features for a seamless transition between street and saddle. The brand’s goal was to help cyclists make their daily commute without compromising on style.

To see whether Adidas Velosamba Cycling Shoes really are versatile enough to use for commuting, training and everyday walking, we asked a longtime cyclist about their experience. Here’s what we found.

Testing the Velosamba Cycling Shoes 

Our tester wore the Adidas Velosamba shoes for several weeks, cycling 80 to 150 miles per week. The shoes were tested while commuting, for exercise and even in a race. In addition to cycling, we tested the shoes while walking around the grocery store, to work meetings, to parties and to doctor’s appointments. We were most interested in seeing if these cycling shoes could double as normal footwear. 

What are Velosamba Cycling Shoes?

The Velosamba Cycling Shoes add cycling-specific features to the iconic Samba soccer shoe and are designed for use during city rides, indoor training and walking — the latter being the innovative and attractive feature that critics are raving about. While some cycling shoes click and clack when you’re walking on the street, the Velosamba Cycling Shoes are quiet and look entirely normal from the outside, barely distinguishable from Adidas’ timeless sneakers.

If you’re looking for a performance shoe strictly for road riding or races, the Velosamba cycling shoes could work, but there are probably better options out there. This Adidas shoe was designed for cyclists to make their daily commute in style, not for performance cycling.

How to use the Velosamba Cycling Shoes 

While they are modeled after the original Samba sneakers, there’s one substantial difference you’ll notice when you flip the shoe over. Neatly tucked into the gum sole of the Velosamba Cycling Shoes lies a plate for a two-bolt SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) cleat. 

The Adidas Velosamba Cycling Shoes are compatible with any SPD pedal. You’ll see SPD pedals on many mountain bikes, spin bikes at the gym, at-home spin bikes and SoulCycle bikes. It’s important to note that SPD-SL pedals, which Peloton uses, are not compatible with Velosamba Cycling Shoes. 

If you’re using cycling shoes for the first time, they might seem a little intimidating. However, Velosamba Cycling Shoes are straightforward to clip in and out, whether you’re getting on and off your bike or stopping at a traffic light. The idea behind the Adidas cycling shoes was to make the transition from bike to foot as seamless as possible. 

Whether you’re biking straight to the office, making frequent stops or strictly training, you can comfortably wear Velosamba Cycling Shoes and not worry about tucking away an extra pair of shoes in your bag.

Key features of Velosamba Cycling Shoes 

The most popular feature of the Adidas Velosamba Cycling Shoes is the ability to go from home to bike to the office and out to eat without switching shoes or having anyone realize you’re wearing a pair of cycling shoes. But there are many more minor features that make this possible. 

The two-bolt SPD cleat is housed deep inside the gum sole, where you can neither see it nor feel it. As a result, you can’t hear it click while you’re walking, and you don’t feel it on the sole of your foot. 

One hurdle that Adidas had to address was making a shoe stiff enough for cycling but soft enough to walk around in comfortably. They solved this issue by inserting a full-length reinforced plate in the insole, increasing the shoe’s stiffness when clipped into the pedals.

For safety, Adidas put reflective detailing on the shoe’s iconic three stripes and a blinker on the heel to shine in low light. The cycling shoes also have a handy small elastic strap to secure your laces to avoid them getting caught in your bike chain. In addition, the upper part of the shoe is made with coated leather, meant to be water-resistant and withstand the cold.

Velosamba Cycling Shoes price

The Adidas Velosamba Cycling Shoes retail for $120 and are currently offered in two colors — core black and cream white. These unisex shoes come in many sizes that fit both men and women. 

Where are Velosamba Cycling Shoes sold?

Adidas

Velosamba Cycling Shoes can be purchased from Adidas and Amazon.

Velosamba Cycling Shoes benefits

The Adidas Velosamba Cycling Shoes sold out quickly after launching, and it’s easy to see why. Not only are these some of the most stylish cycling shoes on the market, but they also rival most casual sneakers. 

But they aren’t just pretty to look at. We tested Adidas’ newest release while cycling, grocery shopping, going out to eat and even attending a party, and not once did our feet feel uncomfortable. It was easy to get on and off our bike frequently, whether for traffic or other issues. We enjoyed being able to wear a single pair of shoes for both cycling and our everyday activities without looking like we were donning a pair of cycling shoes. 

In the past, we’ve had to switch between cycling shoes for long rides and tennis shoes for commutes, and Velosamba Cycling Shoes solved that issue.

Velosamba Cycling Shoes drawbacks

While Adidas Velosamba Cycling Shoes get a lot right, we think a few areas could be improved, starting with the sizing. The shoes tend to run large and, consequently, some women have reported that they don’t fit their feet well, if at all. While testing, we noticed that the shoes ran slightly narrow and long, so much so that they occasionally scraped our front bicycle tire during sharp turns. We also needed to tie them a little tighter to keep our feet from slipping forward into the extra toe space.

Even though the coated leather is supposed to be water-resistant, Velosamba Cycling Shoes are definitely not waterproof. If they do get wet, it can take multiple days for them to dry completely, which can be inconvenient. In addition, a few users have reported these shoes not fitting their bike at all.

Should you get Velosamba Cycling Shoes?

Overall, we feel the Velosamba Cycling Shoes not only live up to the hype, but also deliver on the promise of being good shoes for commuting and training while doubling as everyday footwear. The stylish design fills a much-needed gap in the cycling shoe market, as does its versatility between bike and street.

Based on our experience, we recommend Velosamba Cycling Shoes to any cyclist who wants to seamlessly transition between biking and walking without sacrificing comfort and style.

 

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Breanna Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

 

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