Published: Jan. 19, 2021


Cycling shoes generally consist of an upper which hugs the foot and a rigid plate that includes clipless pedal cleat adaptation. Traditionally, high performance cycling shoes are designed to be extremely stiff. However, recent research has shown that many existing cycling shoes are built far stiffer than necessary. Cycling shoes were designed like this as it was thought necessary to maximize performance.

High performance running shoes generally consist of an upper, a cushioning midsole, and an outsole for grip. However, recent high performance running shoes have begun to integrate a rigid plate into their construction. These rigid plates assist in propulsion, energy return, and force distribution of the foot during runner. Until this addition, high performance running shoe were designed to be more flexible than even the most flexible cycling shoe.


Researchers at CU Boulder have developed a way to combine aspects of a high performance cycling shoe and running shoe by utilizing a rigid platform that allows for both cleat acceptance for engaging a clipless cycling pedal and force distribution into a compliant cushioning midsole that is characteristic of high performance running shoes. This innovation is made possible by their findings during cycling sprinting conducted in the CU Boulder Locomotion Laboratory

shoe diagram

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  • Immediate cost savings to the consumer
  • Increased race efficiency for athletes
  • Increased market size – more casual athletes purchasing
  • Increased versatility for users
  • New market niche for manufacturers


  • Triathlons
  • Duathlons
  • Cyclocross
  • Mountain biking
  • Adventure races
  • Bike Packing
  • Bike commuter


This technology is available for exclusive or non-exclusive licensing and partnerships.


Nicole Forsberg: