Do you want to know what makes a pair of the best mountain bike shoes? Both excellent on feet and outstanding out in the trails? After reading this mountain bike shoes review, you will know and find out everything about how to select that pair that fits just perfect.
We already went through about the best beginner mountain bikes as well as all-around helmets. A good bike and helmet, along with some decent mountain bike clothing are really ‘must-need’ stuff when you start riding.
10 Top Mountain Bike Shoes
1. Five Ten x Danny MacAskill MTB Shoes
Danny MacAskill is known for his incredible riding and insane tricks. These Five Ten really hold the character of the rider, and they also come all together with a great casual look.
Plain and simple, the silhouette’s aggressive on-feet performance can be worn by hardcore downhillers, but also by any beginner. Moreover, it comes equipped with an EVA midsole, which is great for impact. It is also equipped with a Stealth S1 dot-tread outsole that merges the best of durability and stickiness.
It is exceptionally great when it comes to pedal contact and traction, both on and off the bike. Available in three different colorways and made with suede. It is for sure among the best mountain cycling shoes.
2. Shimano MTB Shoes
If you are looking for something with a more ‘outdoor’ look, these Shimano mountain bike shoes can be considered one of your best options. I am sure you have heard and read about Shimano before. Shimano mountain bike shoes tend to be really versatile. These could be considered as a mens mountain bike shoe, however there are plenty of women out there that would surely rock them as well.
Its synthetic leather and nylon mesh upper makes them very durable while its classic lacing system makes them an all-around great shoe. These are also SPD cleat compatible, which is a great feature.
3. Tommaso Montagna Boa Quick Lace Mountain Cycling Shoe
These Tommason Montagna deserve to be right at the top of our list. This is one of the best value for your money mountain shoes that you will be able to find. It is an affordable yet high-performance shoe built using premium microfiber with ultra-strong nylon mesh inserts. These can also easily considered among the best cycling shoes available right now.
Extra comfort is delivered with a molded EVA insole, which is breathable and removable. Overall, the words to remember here are comfort and freshness. These are in a fact a very interesting pair of mens mountain biking shoes.
The shoe also offers a rigid cleat area for maximum power transfer and efficient pedal strokes thanks to its fiber cleat plate insert. It merges the best in comfort and performance. Finished off with a Reel Knob lacing system and delivered with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
4. Shimano Women’s XC500W Mountain Shoes
These Shimano are just right for the ladies. Somehow, costumers state that these shoes run large. Considering, you should buy at least a half-size down for a perfect fit. Featuring a synthetic leather upper, it is weather resistant, which makes of them a great option for those looking for waterproof biking shoes. It also includes a mini-power strap that secures your feet.
Far from being over-priced, these Shimano are built using a lightweight and rigid carbon fiber reinforced midsole. Superior ventilation is achieved due to its perforated side panels. Ideal for the harshest of conditions, this model displays an exclusive Michelin high-traction mud-shedding tread as well as a rubber anti-slip arch outsole pattern.
5. Five Ten Clipless Kestrel Lace MTB Shoes
Designed for ultimate performance, giving you that technical advantage, you will be able to climb or jump anywhere on the trail with these Five Ten MTB shoes. They are fully compatible with all SPD pedals. Its greatest feature is its Kestrel Lacing system, which helps you maximize your pedaling power.
Plus, you do not need to worry if you are riding on a wet or muddy trail as these shoes are equipped with a Stealth C4 rubber outsole, providing you with that extra grip. Available in three different colorways. Also worth a mention is that they are as comfortable to walk as they are to ride.
6. Shimano Commuter Recessed SPD
These Shimano Commuter are for you as they are a perfect mix between a cycling shoe and an ordinary sneaker. One of the shoe’s greatest feats is that they are prepared for severe outdoor conditions. Its inner shank plate provides just enough stiffness for optimum power transfer.
Moreover, its EVA midsole offers additional walking comfort. Built using suede, it is very simple to install your SPD cleats. It is available in three different colors. Aside from being upgraded for all SPD and CLICK’R pedals, these are perfect for urban riders, even though they can also be taken on to the trail.
7. Lake Cycling Women’s MX237 MTB Shoes
The Lake Cycling MX237 for women are built using premium full grain leather and mesh. They are like a classic pair of moccasins, but for the trail. Dressed with a dual side push / pull BOA lacing system with releasable lace guides as well as side vents for extra breathability. They are specifically designed for optimal power transfer and comfort.
8. Side Drako Carbon SRS Vernice MTB Shoes
Delivering extreme performance, these shoes are made for the very best. And they look great on feet. Highly adjustable for a tailor-feel fit and also quite durable. With its MTB SRS Carbon Ground Sole (made from Carbon Fibre) that feature allows you to have superior power transfers.
9. Shimano SHXM9 Adventure
These all conditions “boots” are ruggedly crafted for on or off-the-bike activities. Fully waterproof due to its GORE-Tex membrane, they are delivered in a nubuck leather upper with a reinforced rubber toe box for protection.
Its bootie design ensures stability as well as ankle protection, just in case, your trail is rocky. Also, it also ensures a precision fit due to its Shimano’s Mini Power strap. Even they weight approximately 1.2Kg a pair, mostly due to its Vibram sole, they deliver a smooth ride. With all of these specs, they remain rather cheap.
10. Pearl iZumi Mountain Bike Shoes X-ALP Drift IV
This is really the number 1 thanks to its design for comfort with or without socks. Either way, this particular silhouette has a fiberglass injected composite shank that delivers power to the pedals altogether with an EVA midsole for extra comfort. Additional features include a quick lacing closure system while the mesh-synthetic upper maximizes breathability.
Waterproof Mountain Bike Shoes
Waterproof mountain bike shoes are basically a must-have for all MTB fans. When it comes to mountain biking gear, and considering you are going to make of MTB your favorite sport, having a pair of winter mountain bike shoes is essential. Footwear is one of the main parts of your equipment when biking.
Most water-repellent shoes are equipped with robust materials, all of it made to keep your feet dry, warm and safe. You could be cycling the toughest forest paths, downhill, or just rolling along a shiny day on the countryside that suddenly turns into a windy and rainy one.
And if you happen to face the hardest winter conditions, with ice and mud mixed together, you have to be prepared for that really dangerous combination. You can then put aside your usual spring and summer shoes at home.
Just think of this as just another great addition to your MTB gear, your brand new pair of waterproof MTB shoes. You could also choose to buy a pair of winter MTB boots, to keep your feet in perfect condition, but also to better protect your usual and sunny weather MTB footwear.
Considering, I prepared a small listing of waterproof biking shoes and also boots, so that you can check out the best options available.
Shimano Men’s SH-MW5
The Shimano SH-MW5 (available right here) comes with a special dry membrane with a fleece liner that manages to keep your feet warm and comfortable in ice, rain, wind, cold and mud. If you think about all kinds of difficult terrain conditions you will be safe and clean with this pair.
Also worth a mention is an insole with a fleece liner for additional insulation and heat retention. The super fast lacing system allows you to fast, make easy adjustments and also to guarantee that ultimate secure fit.
Northwave Celsius Artic GTX
The Northwave Celsius Artic GTX Cycling Shoes were made to keep you comfortable during the toughest of conditions. A Gore-Tex Panda shrugs off rain and all winds. Featuring a super strong water and wind protection synthetic upper, it also includes a speed lace system that holds your foot comfortably in the shoe. The GTX footbed provides support and comfort.
Northwave Men’s Extreme Winter GTX R Winter Cycling Shoe
The Northwave Men’s Extreme Winter GTX R is another tough piece of footwear that can handle almost any terrain. It comes with a Gore-Tex Sierra membrane that provides almost protection from water, ice, mud, you name. The double shield construction is an overlap between two distinct layers, that basically creates a totally impenetrable.
Louis Garneau O° LS-100 Bike Shoes
Check out the ultimate winter mt bike shoes. These have to be one of the toughest and meanest pieces of footwear ready for all weather conditions. This pair is basically the perfect shoe for the mountain biker that gets out there with all kinds of weather. Featuring an insulated inner sole it keeps your feet totally warm, safe and comfortable. It comes with a fully seam-sealed water-resistant 3 mm neoprene, and a lined interior.
Different people, different mountain bike shoes
Mountain biking is one of the greatest sports there. That is just one of the reasons that led me to drop my gym membership for a mountain bike. I never looked back, ever since. Nevertheless, MTB can be much more demanding than your normal Sunday ride. You need specific mountain biking gear that fits that same purpose; there is no other option since you surely don’t want to get hurt.
Quality mountain bike shoes are essential
You can have a great, flashy and expensive mountain bike, you can have the most aerodynamic and carbon fiber helmet. However, one of the most important things in making every ride enjoyable as well as safe is what you have on your feet. You must consider that your feet (and legs, for all that matters) do most of the job when cycling.
Therefore buying cheap mountain bike shoes is really not the best option for you, or for anyone out there. Think about it for a second: if you would need to come off your bike, your mountain bike riding shoes should be able to withstand those same conditions. One straightforward example would be when it is raining.
Even if you are not riding, if your soles are not grippy or if your shoes are not waterproof… One important thing that you should always keep in mind is that proper footwear when riding, uphill or downhill, will only allow your feet to be safe on possible tricky and winding trails.
How to find that perfect pair of the best mountain biking shoes?
I agree that aesthetics play a big role when choosing the perfect pair. However, you have to think way over that, for real. You should mostly look at fit, comfort and all-over specs. After all, my main advice to you is that every single one of your rides should be comfortable, and that is just when footwear comes in.
When you think about it, pedals also play a huge role. Adequate footwear that perfectly blends with your riding style, as well as your foot pedals, will only make your ride considerably better. To get ultimate effectiveness, performance, and support from the pedals, the driver (if you can call it that) must have competent footwear that offers decent grip, traction and protection. Therefore you should really consider to buy a decent pair of mountain biking shoes.
Now it is time to get technical. There are two types of footwear that you can wear when riding: clipless and/or flats. It is truly up to you to choose what you like the most. Both types have their pros and cons. Nevertheless, picking the right type (like the best clipless mountain bike shoes) may be considered important as different styles will work better in different situations.
Clipless mountain bike shoes vs Flat Pedal Shoes
Clipless footwear comes in a broad assortment of forms. You know, most if not all types of riders can wear them. You will be able to find XC and DH shoes, but in short, they will be attached to the pedals with a cleat and ratchet.
On the other hand, the flats tend to be worn by trail and enduro riders, where grip is as important as protection. There is no correct answer in what type of shoes you should be wearing. Still, I have noticed that riders that have once been BMXing are often more than happy when it comes to controlling, stability and freedom with flats.
Still, you should be joyous with whatever type of shoes that are most comfortable and effective for you. I can also give you my personal insight on this. Sure, you can go online and read about every single available review, but I always believe that first-hand opinions are much more likely to be true and precise.
When I buy new shoes, I always take into consideration the fit, retention system and sole. Plus, I would rather invest a bit more than usual as at the end of the day, they last much longer. You should look at it as a short-term investment if that makes any sense. When it comes to fit, there is just no other way around it.
If they do not fit you the correct way, they will be uncomfortable, therefore, they will not perform at its maximum capability. You must be sure that you have enough room for feet movement as well as just enough snugness for comfort and power transfers when needed. All of that is linked to the retention system.
Long story short, it is all about what keeps the shoe on your foot. It should be reliable, at the least and of course, it should cause you no pain what so ever.
All you need to know about the Top MTB shoes – Traditional vs Contemporary Lacing Systems:
You can always go traditional, as in, with contemporary lacing system, which allows you to have control over the fit. Note: you can’t adjust them on the go. BOA Systems uses a ratchet dial and wire that is placed around the silhouette – even though it is much more accurate when adjusting, they may a bit pricier. But they tend to weight quite a bit more – that stopped being an option a long time ago.
The outsole (or sole, as a whole) is a crucial part that reflects how well the shoe behaves and functions. You can find prices to match your needs, but please bear in mind that lighter and carbon soles tend to be more expensive. Generally speaking, the tread also plays a big role when it comes to mountain biking.
The minimal tread is usually associated with racing while more grip and protection will come handy if you need to run or walk while out on the trails. Even if slightly heavier, it may be your best option.
Included in this list here are top rated mountain bike shoes, some of the best MTB shoes for flat pedals, Shimano flat pedal shoes and many more. The perfect combination between biking shoes and pedals could also be an approach when looking for a new pair. Whether you are looking for cheap cycling shoes (that still are very much worth your money), or perhaps that special mountain bike shoes sale, I believe I pretty much covered all options. Thank you for reading and ride on!
Image Credits: Pexels
Sources: The Mountain Bike Adventure