The type of rider you are is a major factor in determining the best mountain bike shoes for you. A pair of clipless MTB shoes is a good investment if your goals include blazing through singletrack and branching out into gravel riding and cyclocross racing. A flat shoe could be ideal if you're more into all-mountain or gravity disciplines like downhill or enduro.

To see a comparison of clipless and flat pedals, click on the following links: a href="MY_REDIRECT_PREFIX" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">img src="/image/empty.gif" alt="Best mountain bike shoe: clipless on the left, flat on the right" data-src="

In this article, the Bikerumor team recommends their favorite products for any type of mountain biking. These mountain-bike shoes have been tried and true for many years, and they remain our top picks.

Do you want advice on finding the perfect pair of shoes? Read on for our reviews and buying guide for mountain bike shoes, as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.


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The Shimano S-Phyre XC9 is the go-to choice for XC riding among Bikerumor's staff.

Like a high-end road shoe, the shoe's carbon sole and the blocky treads on either side of the cleat provide exceptional stability and power transfer. The upper and midfoot fit can be adjusted separately with the help of the dual Boa closures. Riders with wider feet may experience a snugger fit on the S-Phyre XC9 due to its slightly narrower shape. But for the vast majority of cyclists, this shoe is as fast and comfortable on long rides as it is short.

A claw spike that can be mounted in front of the cleat is optional (but included) and makes it suitable for use in both cross-country (XC) and cyclocross (CX) racing. even if you don't manage to clip in on the first try, you won't lose your footing thanks to the full-length tread patch under the midsole.

This sleek shoe comes in silver, bright blue, and black and is a staff favorite for its ease of care and slick appearance.

  • Clipless type
  • Boa, a system of closures
  • Carbon and rubber outsole with a detachable cleat.
  • Dimensions (in size 42): 330 g
  • Standard sizes range from 36 to 48, and there are even some half sizes and wide options.
  • Price: $430

Extremely effective yet cozy, it's a great pick for cross-country and cross-country racers
Negatives: High cost

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A word of caution about women's mountain bike footwear: you can get by just fine without wearing them. It's possible that you'll find that unisex options are more comfortable or that you'll gravitate toward those cuts. Women's cycling shoes are typically smaller and narrower than men's or unisex options. Women's mountain biking shoes may be the best option if you have a narrow foot or require a small size.

The Scott MTB Comp is our top pick. No matter what the ride throws at you, your foot will remain securely fastened in the shoe thanks to the combination of Boa and Velcro for closure. Scott's ErgoLogic technology in the footbed of this shoe allows the arch support to be customized to the wearer's preferences. This reduces the likelihood of soreness at pressure points while riding. The outsole is made of fiberglass-reinforced nylon, making it stiff enough to keep pedaling efficient. The reviews are in, and you can rest easy knowing that this shoe fits true to size. These shoes are reasonably priced at $130, providing a lot of value for the money. You can get it in either black or matte blue.

  • Clipless, sort of
  • Boa and Velcro are used as closures.
  • Nylon and fiberglass for the sole
  • Disclosed later
  • Complete sizes range from 36 to 42.
  • Price: $130

Comfortable and ready for the race, and at a reasonable price.
Glass outsoles are rigid, but not as rigid as carbon ones.

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The Shimano SH-XC300 is the best mountain bike shoe for the money.

Looking for a budget-friendly alternative to the high-tech Shimano S-Phyre options? If you're on a tighter budget, look no further than the Shimano SH-XC300. It's straightforward, efficient, and easy to use. These shoes are great for any kind of riding, from gravel roads to technical singletrack to just riding around town. They have a stiffer feel and better power transfer thanks to the combination of the synthetic uppers and rubber outsoles with fiberglass-reinforced nylon. You won't have to fumble around with laces because this shoe uses the Boa lacing system for a customized fit. Color options for the shoe include black and olive.

  • Clipless type
  • Boa, a system of closures
  • Rubber and fiberglass-reinforced nylon make up the sole, and the upper is synthetic.
  • Size: Unknown
  • Sizes: 40-51
  • Price: $125

PROS: Reasonable cost, wide selection of sizes
Cons: It's bulkier than average and not as rigid as some more expensive models.

Find the Lowest Cost at a href="MY_REDIRECT_PREFIX" target="_blank" />Jenson USA/a>.

Bontrager XXX MTB Shoes, the World's Toughest Mountain Bike Shoes

bontrager xxx MTB shoes stand the test of time

Want a pair of shoes that will last for years and still be considered among the best of the best? Bikerumor recommends the Bontrager XXX MTB Shoes because they are durable and effective. The lightweight carbon sole makes this shoe the stiffest option from Bontrager.

The rider loses fewer watts thanks to the stiff sole's enhanced power transfer. Even when you're out for a run next to your bike, the external heel cups and two adjustable Boa closures will keep your feet from getting sore.

These shoes are great because they look great and are comfortable to wear on any ride. These pedals don't feel out of place on a road bike, so they're a good option for riders who want to standardize their pedal setup. They're worth the $419 price tag, and they come in several stylish color combinations in addition to the standard black.

  • Clipless, sort of
  • Boas, a method of closure
  • Main Ingredient: Carbon
  • Approximately 300 grams for a size 43
  • Some half sizes available (sizes 36–48)
  • Price: $419

PROS: They're fast and stylish, perfect for any race.
Cons: Non-racers who put a premium on softness may find them too stiff.

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The Adidas Five Ten Freerider is the best mountain bike shoe for flat pedals.

best flat pedal MTB shoes: Five Ten Freerider

When discussing brands of flat shoes, the Five Ten name inevitably comes up. Freeriders with Dotty rubber treads are popular in the mountain biking, downhill, and BMX communities, and the Bikerumor team is no exception.

These are the most transportable of the bunch and would be perfect for a night out on the town. You can wear your hiking shoes on the trails and then into town and nobody will know the difference. They don't have clips, but they have a sticky rubber outsole and a quick-drying upper that will keep you connected to the pedals.

The Freerider comes in a variety of colors and sizes for both men and women. Women should wear black or "wild teal," while men can choose from black, gray, or "mesa" (tan). These shoes are made in part from recycled materials, which is a plus for Adidas.

  • Style: flat-bottomed
  • Lace-up closures
  • Rubber sole
  • The Men's Size 12 US weighs in at 391 grams.
  • Available in sizes 6-14 for men and 5-11 for women.
  • Price: $100

No major drawbacks here.

A target="_blank" href="MY_REDIRECT_PREFIX">Check Men's Price at REICheck Women's Price at REI

The Specialized RIME Flat MTB Shoe is the Best Flat Pedal Shoe for SESSIONS.

Best mountain bike shoe for flat pedal sessions: Specialized Rime

Do you often get off the bike and walk the features you want? Maybe you'd benefit from the Specialized RIME Flat MTB Shoe. This flat MTB shoe is a favorite of the Bikerumor staff for its comfort both on and off the bike, and was designed with hikers in mind.

The rubber sole is made from Specialized's SlipNotTM ST, which is also used in the company's other flat shoes and is regarded as the "holy grail" of sticky rubber by Bikerumor's testers.

If you're trying to get down a specific feature and spending as much time hiking your bike up the hill as you do riding down, then these are the shoes for you. The EVA foam insert in the midsole provides comfort and shock absorption, making these flats much easier to walk in than others.

Here you can read the entire review.

  • Pedal shape: flat
  • Lace-up closures
  • Rubberized sole
  • Size 41 weights 358 grams.
  • Various half sizes available from 36 to 48
  • Price: $130

A+ Quality, all-day comfort
CONS: They aren't as rigid as other downhill footwear.

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CrankBrothers Mallet Speed Lace: The Best Enduro Mountain Bike Shoe

Best MTB shoe for Enduro: Crank Brothers Mallet

The CrankBrothers Mallet is a great choice if you're curious about clipless pedaling but hesitant to make the full commitment or switch between riding styles. The editor at Bikerumor gushed about how fantastic these shoes are for enduro bikers. They can easily switch between walking and pedaling, making them perfect for a mountain bike-style bikepacking trip.

At first glance, they appear to be ordinary flats, but closer inspection reveals a recessed cleat mounting point. We appreciate the lace "garage" located at the top of the tongue; this prevents laces from tying themselves around your foot or coming undone.

The Mallet Speed Lace is designed to work with CrankBrothers' Mallet pedals, which feature a wide platform around the Eggbeater clip-in pedal. However, they are compatible with both clipless and flat pedals for mountain bikes. The CrankBrothers cleats are already attached, so all you have to do is take them out of the box and ride. If, however, you use SPD-style pedals, the cleats are easily interchangeable.

  • Description: Clipless, Flat
  • Lace-up and Velcro fastenings.
  • Rubber sole
  • The US men's size 9 weighs 415 grams.
  • Men's sizes range from 5 to 14.
  • Price: $170

The Pros are That They Are Stylish And Provide All-Day Comfort
CrankBrothers pedals are the only ones recommended.

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The Specialized 2FO DH is the best downhill mountain bike shoe.

specialized 2fo DH review

We'll be doing a lot of downhill riding today. Downhill-focused Bikerumor writers who wear Specialized 2FO DH flat shoes These shoes were designed with input from Loic Bruni, the current DH world champion for the third time in a row. This rubber is so grippy that you can feel the road even when going uphill.

These shoes were specifically designed for rugged terrain, so they offer superior traction and protection across the entire foot. The internal shank in these shoes protects your foot and provides some shock absorption, but at the expense of their comfort on post-ride strolls through the neighborhood. The sturdy front bumper that shields your toes from flying debris was also a big plus.

Here you can read the entire review.

  • Type: Flat
  • Lace-up closures
  • Rubber sole
  • Size 42 weights in at 396 grams.
  • Measurements: 36-49
  • Price: $160

PROS: Extremely sturdy and secure rubber outsole
CONS: Too rigid to be a flat shoe.

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The Lake MX332 is the best all-around mountain bike shoe.

CX MTB or gravel: Lake MX332

The Lake MX332 is an excellent cross-country shoe overall, but it really shines on singletrack and gravel roads. Entering the world of gravel racing or cyclocross necessitates a shoe that can withstand the abuse of a mountain bike ride while still being as stiff and fast as a road shoe.

The MX332 is the racing version of the classic Lake mountain bike shoe; as such, it is lower to the ground, has a narrower fit, and is lighter in weight. There is room for toe spikes if you're into muddy rides or races, and the carbon sole with rubber tread provides a stable surface for pedaling as well as running. These leather shoes are superior to others due to their temperature-regulating lining, which can be worn in either hot or cold temperatures.

These shoes by Lake, a popular brand for people with wide feet, come in a wide width. In order to optimize performance for racers, the standard version of the shoe is cut narrower than the wide.

  • Clipless type
  • Boas System of Closure
  • Sole materials are carbon fiber and rubber.
  • The size 42 version weighs 370 grams.
  • From a size 39 to a size 50, including a wide option
  • Price: $450

Advantages: Wide sizes make them suitable for both gravel and cyclocross races
Pricey is a con.

Visit a href="MY_REDIRECT_PREFIX" target="_blank">Lake Cycling/a> to Look into the Cost.

Luck Galaxy Custom MTB Shoes are the best high-end MTB shoes available.

Best mountain bike shoes: high end custom Luck Galaxy

Need some new kicks? You can rely on the Spanish company Luck. If you want to stand out from the crowd, try a pair of the Luck Galaxy MTB Shoes in one of their striking prints, or upload your own graphics for a truly unique pair of shoes. The custom design, perforated upper, long-lasting composite sole, and surprisingly durable proprietary dial retention system of the Luck Galaxy Custom MTB Shoes have been appreciated for years by one Bikerumor employee.

The shoes are not only fashionable, but also perform admirably as a general-purpose trail riding shoe. In cyclocross, gravel, or cross-country races, they excel. A stiff sole made from carbon and natural tree resin-derived rubber provides traction even on the slickest parts of the trail.

Not only does Luck make custom prints, but they also make custom shoes if you have a difficult-to-fit foot. If your right foot is slightly wider and longer than your left, don't worry; they happily make custom shoes for both feet.

  • Clipless type
  • Dial retention closure system
  • Carbon fiber composite and rubber for the sole.
  • Size 45 weights 358 grams.
  • Inseams: 37-48
  • Cost: $476 (plus $35 for custom design)

PROS: Durability, longevity, and individualized fit
Pricey is a con.

Check Out the Deals at Luck Bikesa href="MY_REDIRECT_PREFIX" target="_blank">.

Best Mountain Bike Shoes: A Buying Guide

Pick your riding style. Is velocity your primary concern? Think about a clipless Those who prefer a softer ride or those who intend to tackle more challenging terrain via downhill riding You might be more comfortable in a pair of flats.

Carefully determine your foot size. Because cycling shoes are typically more rigid than regular sneakers, they can be a bit of a challenge to get right.

Always wear your riding socks when trying on shoes. Bike socks may seem like a trivial detail, but there are times when they make a world of difference in how your shoes feel.

Walk or ride to the exam You may not intend to spend much time hiking your bike, but if you're considering clipless shoes, you probably will. Find a pair of shoes that you can walk in and ride a bike in with relative ease.

Common Concerns Regarding Mountain Biking Footwear

Why would I require mountain bike shoes?
MTB shoes can be worn for more than just mountain biking. Clipless mountain bike shoes are popular for cyclocross and gravel riding, and with the right cleats, you can even use them for spin classes.

Some people (including this editor) prefer MTB shoes to road shoes for all riding situations due to the former's superior comfort and ease of movement.

Skate shoes, dirt jump shoes, and BMX bikes all share a common feature: they are flat and use standard pedals.

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When would I need flat pedals as opposed to clipless pedals?
Clipless pedals make your pedaling motion more efficient, making them ideal for long distance cycling. Cross-country racers and riders who specialize in gravel and cyclocross use clipless MTB shoes. Casual cyclists and those who specialize in gravity disciplines like downhill may find flat shoes more comfortable.

Do I need shoes with flat pedals for my bike?
It's possible that, at first, you won't even need special mountain bike shoes if you use regular sneakers with flat pedals. As your cycling skills improve, however, you'll probably want to switch to bike-specific flat shoes, which have a rubber sole that is stickier than your average shoe. The rubber is also more robust, protecting your feet from the pedals' tiny pins.

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Shoe sizing advice for mountain biking
It should feel like a running shoe, so that your foot doesn't slide around, but not so snug that your toes are crushed or you can't wiggle them slightly. The off-bike portions of mountain biking necessitate footwear that can be walked (or run in, in the case of races).

Should my shoes' bottoms be made of carbon fiber?
Whether or not you need the extra stiffness that carbon provides depends on the kind of riding you intend to do, but most recreational mountain bikers won't. However, that stiffness will aid energy transfer if you are pedaling for an extended period of time. Every time you press down on the pedals, the rubber will deform just a little bit, reducing the amount of force you can exert.

To see the best mountain biking footwear, click here: a href="MY_REDIRECT_PREFIX" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">img src="/image/empty.gif" alt="giro cylinder m

Should I get shoes designed for women?
Although we only included one MTB shoe designed specifically for women, any of the shoes here would be a good fit for a female rider. There isn't much of a difference, and you can get by just fine in unisex or men's shoes, but women with narrower feet or higher arches may find that women-specific footwear works better for them.

Take care with the sizing, though. Unlike in the United States, European sizing should be uniform between men's and women's options. If you're not sure of your shoe size, you should make sure you can return or exchange them before making a purchase.

In spin class, I use SPDs, but those are meant for mountain bikes.
Since most spin bikes feature SPD pedals and cleats, it is recommended that you use these if you frequently attend spin classes. SPD pedals are much simpler to clip into than traditional road pedals. You won't be as likely to fall over on the slick gym floors thanks to the shoes' increased traction.

For more information on the Shimano IC2 walkable indoor cycling spinning shoes, please visit noopener>. c Shimano

My MTB shoes have spin shoes, can I use those?
Instead of wearing tennis shoes to spin class, try on MTB shoes. The soles of spin shoes are typically more rigid and smooth than those of mountain biking shoes.

Can I use my off-road cycling shoes on the road?
Absolutely As gravel riding and adventure riding have gained popularity, many former road riders have made the switch to mountain bikes. If you prefer mountain bike shoes or are on a strict budget and can only afford one type of clipless pedals and shoes, go with those. You will sacrifice some efficiency and feel less connected to your bike.

They're more practical for everyday activities like grocery shopping, going out to a bar, or stepping off a bike to cross the street. (This Bikerumor editor placed in the top 10% of competitors while wearing mountain bike shoes during an Ironman.

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When should I get new mountain bike cleats?
It may be time to replace your cleats if you find that your foot is jiggling around on the pedal, you frequently come unclipped from the pedal unintentionally, or it has become difficult to clip in.

Why do shoes for mountain biking have such strange names?
Companies often use a combination of letters and numbers to designate different styles of footwear, which can be confusing if you're shopping for a new pair of shoes. Which model, the M7 or the M4, were you after? On the plus side, finding a pair of shoes that is a perfect match rather than a close match is not difficult at all.

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In the world of mountain biking, which closure system is the best?
Closures that can be fastened in two ways are preferable for mountain biking because they provide redundancy in the event of a breakage. That's why it's smarter to use both a Boa and velcro closure, rather than just the former.

Of course, plain shoelaces are great for flat shoes (and some brands, like Giro, make lace-up versions of their mountain bike shoes), and despite being a bit dated, they do a great job and are easily adjustable to fit your foot width and arch height.