Nike is finally back in the cycling game…kind of. The Nike SuperRep Cycle is Nike’s first cycling shoe since the whole Lance Armstrong debacle of the early 2000s. Back then, Nike made some of the best cycling gear. There’s still a large community of cyclists, like myself, that have been begging Nike to come back. You can see the history of Nike’s cycling line here.
The SuperRep Cycle (not to be confused with the Nike Air Zoom SuperRep) is advertised as an indoor cycling shoe. That’s smart because of the insane (and growing) popularity of Peloton and Nordic Track indoor cycling machines. I also think there’s also a ton of people who will wear these on outdoor bikes. I tested them on both SPD (Indoor system) and SPD-SL (Road Bike Cleat system) pedal systems to see how they performed.
I’ve previously reviewed running shoes for WearTesters but cycling is what I enjoy most. I’ve cycled for 2+ years now and was training for a Half Ironman until Covid-19 got my event cancelled. I typically cycle 70-100 miles a week and have used a ton of different cycling shoes in the process. I know exactly what to look for in cycling shoes.
The Nike SuperRep Cycle is insanely comfortable for a cycling shoe. That’s due to the fact that the width is very accommodating and not narrow like a large portion of Nike performance shoes. The SuperRep Cycle fits a half size small lengthwise. My true size 12.5 was too short and I had to swap them for a 13. Once I got the size 13, I instantly realized these were the most comfortable cycling shoes I owned. There is a lot of padding on the heel of the shoe and a very comfortable soft mesh material surrounds the toe box. Feet swell a lot during long cycling sessions so the wide toe box will give your toes ample space to wiggle around even towards the end of an epic ride. I didn’t feel any hotspots during my rides.
The shoes are fastened by two Velcro straps, one on the toe box and the other at the top of the shoe. This is a very similar setup to most triathlon-specific cycling shoes because it is very easy to put on and take off. The straps aren’t as strong as BOA dials, but they get the job done. I didn’t have any issues with the lockdown and my heels always felt secure when pedaling at high speeds and putting down power. The strap at the top of the shoe is padded nicely and you won’t feel it pressing down on your foot. The toe box strap makes the shoe really secure on side-to-side movements, which will be perfect for those using them on a Peloton or in gym-based cycling classes where they make you do lateral movements.
The outsole is one piece of nylon plastic with a stiffness comparable to entry level cycling shoes. The stiffer the sole, the better. High level cycling shoes use the stiffest possible carbon fiber on their soles, but I didn’t expect Nike to include that in an indoor cycling shoe. The power transfer is not elite, but it is good enough for this use case. I did my standard fast Tuesday ride with my cycling group, where we average around 22-25mph for twenty miles, and my pedal stroke felt efficient. The SuperRep Cycle didn’t hold me back and the sole didn’t bend when I sped up. I did feel the cleat more than I would in my other carbon fiber cycling shoes. They also held up great on the two bolt indoor SPD system that most cycling classes use.
The materials used on the SuperRep Cycle are fantastic. The toebox and midfoot are lined with an exposed mesh that is cozy and very airy. The ventilation on these is great, your feet won’t get toasted during your sweaty cycling classes or outdoor summer rides. I wore them in typical Florida heat for hours and my feet didn’t get hot. And as stated above, the sole is made of a stiff nylon that has good power transfer.
As for the cleat system, Nike opted to include a 2-hole and 3-hole cleat insert that you put in the shoe depending on which system you want to use. Traditionally, these are built into the shoe and I wish Nike did the same. I can’t see any benefit behind having the pieces separate. All it does is encourage people to lose them (eventually). The shoes do not come with the actual cleats though so find out which set you need and buy them first. If you are new to the cleat system in cycling, here’s an article explaining the different types.
Overall, the Nike SuperRep Cycle is great for indoor cyclists who use Peloton or Zwift and for new outdoor cyclists who want to make the jump to a cleated pedal. They’re correctly priced at $120, light, breathable, and very comfortable. The wide toe box is a nice bonus, but the power transfer won’t satisfy elite cyclists. If you want to add a comfortable shoe for recovery rides to your rotation, or if you have just been dying to wear Nikes on a bike like I have, the SuperRep Cycle is perfect for you.
Thanks to Nike for sending a pair for testing. Nike was not given any editorial control of this review. The review is based on our weartesters’ experiences using the shoes in various performance-focused situations.