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Santic Jian1 cycling shoe review

The Santic Jian1 cycling shoe is one of our top finds for finessed cycling footwear at an affordable price

Santic Jian1 cycling shoe
(Image: © Santic)

Our Verdict

We were won over by the Santic Jian1 cycling shoe. This model offers buyers affordability without cutting corners on quality. They’re a great investment for users seeking a road bike feel with Peloton compatibility.

For

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Great support

Against

  • Cleats are hard to attach
  • Quite stiff on first wear and slippery to walk in

The Santic Jian1 cycling shoe is a firm favorite in our eyes, landing a place in our list of the best shoes for Peloton (opens in new tab). Packing plenty of fun style and storming in at a lesser price than many of its competitors, like Rapha, we rate these shoes as our top midrange option for the more budget-conscious buyer. 

The color range is a little lacking, and they’re veering dangerously close to the bowling shoe look, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t got some super fun and bright block colors to get stuck into. The Santic shoes are primarily designed for road biking, but they’re also Peloton bike (opens in new tab) compatible which is top news for keen spinners looking to take their cycling indoors. They come packaged with road cleats too, so you don’t need to break the bank with added extras.

Specs

Size range: 4.5-12

Available colors: Red, Black/ Pink, Yellow, Black/ Orange 

Clip compatibility: Look Delta, SPD-SL

Comprising a BOA closure system (a turn dial to tighten or loosen the shoe) and a velcro strap to snugly secure your forefoot, these shoes are clearly designed for a quick fit to suit all riders. Ventilation holes poked through the shoe also enhance breathability so your feet can breathe a sigh of relief on those long-haul rides.  

Clip into some of the best exercise bikes around or take to the road, either way, the Santic Jian1 cycling shoe will get the job done nicely. Whether you’re ready to invest or still need some convincing, our Santic Jian1 cycling shoe review has everything you need to know.

Price and availability

These shoes sit at a slightly more affordable mid-range price point of $139.99 / £111.15. We know this still doesn’t feel cheap, but they do come with road cleats (unlike the Nike SuperReps (opens in new tab)), and – given the price of Santics competitors – this does feel like a steal. You can purchase these shoes directly from Santic or most other major cycling retailers both in the US, UK, and Europe. 

Design and features

Santic Jian1 cycling shoe

(Image credit: Santic)
  • Design and features score: 3.5/5

Santic is all about performance shoes for all-weather cyclists, and this is certainly reflected in the design. The Santic Jian1 cycling shoe has an outdoorsy feel, which makes sense because the shoe is primarily designed as a road shoe. Made from PU upper and a nylon composite outsole, the shoe feels hardy but supple – Santic says this provides comfort during endurance rides without compromising pedaling efficiency. They do feel stiff though, and wearing-in involved some interesting gymnastics from our tester. 

Instead of laces or velcro straps, the BOA closure system (better known as a micro-adjustable atop dial) located on the side of the shoe allows you to fasten (or loosen) very thin wires as you turn the dial. It’s a brilliantly fine-tuned design strategy, and the shoe satisfyingly encloses your foot without feeling suffocating. There is a velcro strap to fasten your forefoot into place but the dial does most of the work. 

However, we preferred the mesh design idea of the Nike SuperReps and the close fit of the Shimano RC1 shoes (opens in new tab), as they gave a bit more flexibility back to our feet. The Santics would have appealed more if they molded more to the user.

Comfort

Santic Jian1 cycling shoe

(Image credit: Santic)
  • Comfort score: 4.0/5

We must say, these cycling shoes nailed comfort, and we found them more enjoyable to wear than some of the pricier models. When we first saw them, comfort was the last thing on our minds – they’re so reminiscent of bowling shoes (and looked stiff as a board, too), that we could only imagine ourselves hobbling around after the endurance ride. But, once on, they’re super comfy and roomy, with a wide enough feel that you’re not confined to the shoe. 

The dial could have provided a bit more tightness around the foot, but it held enough during the push and pull phases of our cycle without any slippage. However, the PVC tongue digs in as you flex your foot and doesn't feel entirely necessary. We recommend users be careful when walking around, as the shoes felt slippery underfoot as we made our way to our Peloton for a ride. Other brands, like the Nike SuperRep, have a rubber sole that provides a bit more grip underfoot as you walk.

Performance

Santic Jian1 cycling shoe being used on Peloton bike

(Image credit: Future)
  • Performance score: 4.0/5

The Jian1 shoe holds its own under testing. We found the cleat Santic provided to be quite chunky and hard to attach, so we opted for our own 3-bolt compatible cleat to complete our tests. We used the handily provided washers, screws, and our own allan key to fix the cleats deftly into place, and they clicked straight onto the Peloton pedals without any fuss. If you’re new to cleats, learning how cycling shoes work (opens in new tab) is a useful first step. 

The shoes are super easy to slip on and off, with only a quick turn of the dial and flip of the Velcro strap to contend with. We felt a brilliantly smooth connection between foot and pedal, and this held really well throughout testing – particularly during uphill sprints where the pull is pretty robust. The cleat stayed secure with no visible signs of movement on the sole of the shoe after use. 

Value for money

  • Value for money score: 4.0/5

Santic has managed to pack durability and comfort into one product, which we rate.  What appears on the outside to be stiff and unforgiving turns out to be super spacious and more supple than anticipated, and we reckon these shoes will stand the test of time. 

Given that the brand packs a pair of cleats with your purchase, we think these are a valiant effort and certainly worth your money. 

Verdict

We were highly impressed with this pair and reckon they’re a solid bet for spinners and road users alike. Although we weren’t won over aesthetically, we concede it’s not all about looks – and these shoes shone when it came to comfort (although they could have molded more to the foot.)

Alternatives

Nike SuperRep cycling shoe

(Image credit: Nike)

If you want the flexibility of both 2-bolt and 3-bolt cycling shoes, as well as a subtle and stylish design, the Nike SuperRep (opens in new tab)s (pictured above) get a big tick from us. They’re more expensive and don’t come with cleats, but we loved their color palette and flexible mesh upper. 

We also loved the Shimano RC1 cycling shoes (opens in new tab) that are unique to Peloton and offer Delta cleat compatibility for a very reasonable price of $90. The cleats aren’t included, but you can purchase them online, along with an SPD adapter. 


How we tested

We tested the Santic Jian1 cycling shoe in our purpose-built testing center and scored them from 1-5 across the following criteria:

  • Design and features
  • Comfort
  • Performance
  • Value for money

For all models, we tackled a fast-paced HIIT class and an active recovery session to ensure each shoe could power through and deliver – regardless of the user’s workout preferences. 

We then gave the shoes an overall rating out of five with a final verdict summarizing each model's strengths and weaknesses, and whether we reckon they’re ride-ready. 

User reviews

The Santic cycling shoes swept up 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Users are pleased these shoes are Peloton compatible and praise the comfort and affordability. Others liked how the shoe didn’t come up too big or small, which meant they could shop by their actual shoe size. Negative feedback said the dial system needs work and the Delta clips weren’t easy to attach. 

Sam Hopes
Sam Hopes

Sam Hopes is a level III fitness trainer, level II reiki practitioner, and resident fitness writer at Future PLC. Having trained to work with both the mind and body, Sam is a big advocate of using mindfulness techniques in sport and aims to bring mental wellbeing to the forefront of fitness. She’s also passionate about the fundamentals of training and how we can build more sustainable training methods. You’ll find her writing about the importance of habit-building, nutrition, sleep, recovery, and workouts.