However, the difference between commonly used lightweight shoe/pedal combos and the heaviest is roughly 200 grams (7 ounces). That will cost you a few seconds on a 5-mile climb — negligible in most situations.
The shoe/pedal/cleat combo does constitute rotating weight, like the rim/tube/tire, so the penalty is magnified a bit. But because the circle scribed by your feet is much smaller in diameter than that of the wheels, again the penalty is small.
Rather than worrying about shoe weight, I would urge you to consider comfort first. That’s the area where shoes can make a huge difference in performance.
Light shoes that don’t fit correctly or that allow you to feel excessive pedal pressure can limit your speed and distance. Heavier, but more comfortable, shoes let you ride all you want. The resulting increase in fitness will more than compensate for the extra weight.
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred’s full bio.