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what are the best mountain bike shoes

 There are many choices when looking for the best mountain bike shoes. To determine which footwear is best for you

you can achieve the best possible interaction between the bike shoe and pedal by wearing the right mountain bike-specific shoes, which also provides for a faster, more effective, and more fun ride.

what are The Differences Between Normal Shoes and MTB Shoes?

  • MTB shoes are stiffer than regular shoes, but they offer higher traction.
  • Normal shoes are fine for a time, but once you start to realize that you trip over your pedals or injure your feet when you step on a sharp branch, you'll probably want something better.

Stiffness and Traction

  • Trail mountain cyclists prefer their footwear to be rather flexible. When you get off your bike, you should still be able to comfortably walk a short distance. On trails and tracks, this occurs rather frequently, so think about wearing something medium firm.

Water Resistance

  • Normal shoes don’t offer water resistance, while mountain bike shoes aren’t completely waterproof they offer more protection compared to normal shoes. I really hate wet and soggy feet especially when it’s cold. It’s a distraction and I want to stay focused when I ride a trail.


Best Flat Pedal Mountain Bike Shoe

1-Five Ten Freerider Mountain Bike Shoe

Five Ten Freerider Mountain Bike Shoe

  1. Pedal/Clip Compatibility: Flat
  2. Category: Trail
  3. Best Uses: All-Around
  4. Enclosure: Lace
  5. Price: 100 $
  6. Weight: 1 lb 11.6 oz
  7. Models available: Men’s, Women’s, Children’s
  8. adv: Good design and sticky grip
  9. Cons: Less durable than some more expensive shoes

  • The classic "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" shoe is the men's and women's Five Ten Freerider. One of the most well-liked mountain biking shoes on the market right now is the reasonably priced (starting at $100) Five Ten Freerider from Adidas. Even though this storied flat pedal shoe has been around for a long, it nevertheless managed to garner five honors in 2021 from other review websites including SwitchBackTravel, Gear Junkie, and Bike Rumor. Customers concur. It received an average rating of 5 stars from more than 4,000 Amazon buyers, and for good reason—it's moderately fashionable pair of skate shoes with an amazing grip that has been at the top of the list for years.
  • It is simple to pedal uphill because of the shoe's spiderweb-like traction provided by the Stealth S1 dot rubber outsole on flat pedals. More significantly, you'll have a firm hold as soon as your foot reconnects with the pedal if you're jumping or otherwise knocked off them. The shoe is cozy for both walking and hiking. It is not a hiking shoe and provides poor traction on slippery slopes. All other flat pedal shoes, however, strive to outperform the Freerider.
  • Adidas made the shoe using more recycled materials and offers it in a variety of styles, including canvas, canvas, and leather, as well as vegan-friendly PrimeBlue recycled ocean plastic versions. It is offered in variations for men, women, and kids. Whatever version you select, they all breathe easily.
  • One disadvantage of platform shoes, including the Five Ten Freerider, is that you lose some power and efficiency because you aren't attached to the pedals. Furthermore, the Freerider's soft rubber has a reputation for degrading pretty rapidly, and users who put a lot of miles on their shoes will discover that they need to replace them every year (we consistently need a new pair after about 1,000 trail miles). There is nothing else on the market that can match the Freerider's all-around qualities for the price, so the shorter lifespan is a fair compromise given the great grip the shoe gives. Check out the Freerider Pro below for a version of the sneaker that is more protective and lighter.
  • Because it is the most adaptable, has won the most awards, and has the most and best customer reviews, the Freerider is the best all-around shoe.


2- FIVE TEN FREERIDER PRO Mountain Bike Shoe


  1. Pedal/Clip Compatibility: Flat
  2. Best Uses: Enduro, Trail, Downhill
  3. Enclosure: Lace
  4. Price: 150
  5. Weight: 1 lb 7.8 oz
  6. Models available: Men’s and women’s
  7. Adv: awesome sticky rubber, extra padding and toe protection, the balance of flex and stiffness in sole
  8. Cons: Price, sole durability, Its outsole still wears out as quickly as the $50-cheaper standard model.

  • One of the mountain bike shoes with the most positive reviews and accolades is Freerider Pro. It has received more than 1,800 5-star reviews on Amazon. It won three additional prizes in addition to the editors' choice Awards from Bicycling Magazine, Mountain Bike Rider, and Outdoor Gear Lab (in the Men's and Women's categories). The Freerider Pro "very much polished the category," according to Bicycling Magazine. The Stealth S1 sole adheres to your pedals like glue and is both rigid enough for cycling and flexible enough for strolling. We agree.
  • The Freerider Pro is more suited to the demands of ripping down bike parks and ski slopes in the summer. It uses the same Stealth S1 rubber as the ordinary Freerider. Although the Freerider Pro may be used as an enduro shoe as well, downhill riders who choose flat pedals value the Freerider Pro's additional padding, toe protection, and stronger sole.
  • Additionally, the Freerider Pro weighs a little less than the Freerider in its standard configuration. It costs a bit more than the Freerider.


3- Crankbrothers Stamp Boa Mountain Bike Shoe

Crankbrothers Stamp Boa

  1. Pedal/Clip Compatibility: Flat
  2. Best Uses: Trail/downhill
  3. Enclosure: BOA, Lace, Speed Lace
  4. Price: 180
  5. Weight: 1 lb 11 oz
  6. Models available: Men’s
  7. Adv: Excellent pin security
  8. Cons: Price

  • Since the late 1990s, CrankBrothers has been producing bicycle parts. It is most recognized for its tools and pedals since, together with Shimano, it was one of the first businesses to produce clipless mountain bike pedals. It released its first pair of shoes at the end of 2020, the Stamp for flat pedals and the Mallet and Mallet E for clipless pedals. The most well-known pedal series from CrankBrother shares a name with the shoes.
  • When it comes to the Stamp, the Match tread pattern is made to work with the pedals' form and pins. The pins of the tread pattern fit between the lugs when the foot is placed on the Stamp pedals. It's just one of several thoughtful additions CrankBrothers made to the shoe. It also worked well with the other flat pedals we tested, as we discovered.
  • The shoes have a semi-firm sole that is comfortable to wear while still being sufficiently stiff to deliver power to the pedals. It is a great flat trail and enduro shoe thanks to all of these features.
  • A padded tongue that is secured in place by elastic straps on either side and silicon heel dots that prevent the shoe from slipping up and down are just two of the fantastic extra features of the well-ventilated shoe.
  • Three variations of the Stamp are available: one with a BOA closure, one with a speed lace system, and the one we tested with traditional lace.


4- GIRO EMPIRE VR90 Mountain Bike Shoe

GIRO EMPIRE VR90 Mountain Bike Shoe

  1. Pedal/Clip Compatibility: Clipless
  2. Category: XC
  3. Best Uses: Cross-Country
  4. Enclosure: Lace
  5. Price: 300 $
  6. Weight: 1 lb 6 oz
  7. Models available: Men’s and women’s
  8. Adv: Very light, performs very well 
  9. Cons: has a premium price

  • Empire VR90 is a high-end, lightweight clipless shoe perfect for demanding trail days. The Empire VR90 is fashionable. If you were riding a kid's huge wheel while wearing this shoe, you'd seem swift.
  • This is the shoe that will provide maximum power transmission to the pedal, regardless of whether you're competing in cross-country races, chasing the sun on the gravel path, or going on a backpacking trip. Its Easton carbon fiber sole, which maximizes stiffness while reducing weight—making it the lightest shoe we tested—is to credit for this. It's single-piece synthetic upper is thin, permeable, and effective in wicking away moisture.
  • The Giro Empire VR90 is not a shoe designed for lengthy walks or wearing in the city, but it has tough Vibram lugs for short excursions, and users can also add two metal cleats at the toes for more traction if they so choose.
  • The shoe felt a touch narrow right out of the box, but because it is a luxury shoe, it has arch supports that come in different thicknesses, allowing it to better fit different foot shapes.


5- GIRO CHAMBER II Mountain Bike Shoe

GIRO CHAMBER II Mountain Bike Shoe

  1. Pedal/Clip Compatibility: Clipless
  2. Best Uses: Enduro, Downhill, Trail
  3. Enclosure: Lace and ankle strap
  4. Price: 150 $
  5. Weight: 2 lbs 3.6 oz
  6. Models available: Men’s
  7. Adv: Traction, enclosure control, and design makes for easier hike-and-bike and reduces foot fatigue
  8. Cons: Heavy

    • The Giro Chamber II is a flexible clipless shoe that borrows design cues from popular flat-pedal shoes for skateparks and downhill and enduro riders. The shoes' Vibram Megagrip rubber outsole provides lots of traction and is compatible with larger platforms and clipless pedals. The shoe's midsole is rigid underneath but flexible at the toes, making walking and hike-a-bike segments more bearable.
    • The shoe also has a nearly seamless upper and works well with a variety of foot shapes thanks to its laces and hook-and-loop top closure. As a result, the shoe is perfect for riders who want to utilize them on more difficult trails and even on the downhill ground for those who insist on riding with clipless pedals.
    • At least four roundup reviews have praised The Chamber II for its great value. For example, The Adventure Junkies and Switchback Travel both named it the top destination for enduro and downhill bikers. The Adventure Junkies stated it best: "This sneaker is so remarkable because of how deceptive its appearances are. Although it has the cleat setback setting of what could appear to be a casual, flat pedal shoe, it actually has the power of a clipless connection.
    • Although the Chamber II is lighter than the previous version, there is no doubt that this is still a heavy shoe. Its durable construction, which was created to withstand miles of rough trail abuse, does little to reduce weight. Although the Chamber II is known to cycle fairly well, we wouldn't recommend it for long efforts or XC rides. Additionally, Velcro straps and ratchets are preferred due to their quick micro adjustments and all-around user-friendliness, even if laces might be fantastic for attaining that ideal fit. But for serious riders, the Chamber II will be well worth its weight due to its outstanding toughness and protection as well as its rigid sole, which provides exceptional power transfer.


    6- PEARL IZUMI X-ALP ELEVATE Mountain Bike Shoe

    PEARL IZUMI X-ALP ELEVATE Mountain Bike Shoe

    1. Pedal/Clip Compatibility: Clipless
    2. Best Uses: All-day comfort
    3. Enclosure: BOA
    4. Price: 200$
    5. Weight: 1 lb 8 oz
    6. Models available: Unisex
    7. Adv: incredibly comfortable and very lightweight
    • We didn't have any issues on hike-a-bike sections or even when we sat down for a few apres drinks despite the hard nylon sole. These shoes are comfortable enough for us to wear while on multi-day bike packing and touring adventures. Two strategically positioned BOA closures, one at the forefoot and the other slightly over the top of the foot, are to thank for the comfort.
    • It is referred to as the "Most Comfortable Shoe, Period" by Bicycling Magazine. Pearl Izumi has been perfecting their X-Alp mountain bike shoes for more than ten years (all of its mountain bike shoes are given the X-Alp classification), and this is the greatest one yet. The Elevate is one of the most comfortable bikes designed for daily use on either flat or rough trails.
    • The shoes are very lightweight as well, weighing only 1 pound, 8 ounces per pair in a Men's size 11 (the US), a few ounces more than the more expensive Empire VR 90. If you prefer to get outside while riding comfortably for lengthy stretches of time, the Pearl Izumi Alp Elevate is a good option.

    Best Budget MTB Shoe

    7- GIRO BERM Mountain Bike Shoe

    GIRO BERM Mountain Bike Shoe

    1. Pedal/Clip Compatibility: Clipless compatible
    2. Best Uses: Budget, Trail
    3. Enclosure: Hook and Loop
    4. Price: $75
    5. Weight: 1 lb 13.2 oz
    6. Models available: Men’s and women’s
    7. Adv: Price and the features they can manage at this price, comfort 
    8. Cons: Not as stiff as other clipless shoes, step down in performance compared with pricier options.
    • It's difficult to find a good pair of clipless shoes for less than $100, but Giro has done it with their Berm model. A surprisingly good setup for everyday trail riding can be had for a very modest $75. It has a durable top material that combines breathability and protection, an adjustable fit, and a rubber outsole with large lugs for increased traction in mud and muck. Additionally, those just learning the ropes can clip in more easily thanks to the shoe's spacious cleat pocket. Although it is undoubtedly not a high-performance design like the Shimano ME5 above, and dedicated riders should stay away, we believe the Berm delivers a tonne of value.
    • The Giro Berm's straightforward design could be to blame. It is a shoe that is simpler to wear and approach thanks to its two huge hook-and-loop fasteners. This sort of makes senses considering that this shoe is targeted more at casual or beginning riders than at serious mountain bikers. It may have a textured cover over the generously broad cleat recess, making it simpler to use the shoe with flat pedals. The bigger cleat pocket makes it simpler to properly position the cleat on the pedal when used with clipless pedals.
    • The synthetic upper material has a lot of mesh in it, and the hook-and-loop fastener secures the shoe okay but not terrific. This shoe last isn't as stiff as our other clipless shoe winners', but it is stiffer than flat-pedal shoes because it sort of straddles the line between the two. Even so, it's a comfortable shoe that works well as a beginner's shoe for mountain biking and offers possibilities that a dedicated flat pedal or clipless shoe won't provide.

    Best MTB Design for Hike-a-Bikes and Bikepacking

    8-PEARL IZUMI X-ALP SUMMIT Mountain Bike Shoe

    PEARL IZUMI X-ALP SUMMIT Mountain Bike Shoe

    1. Pedal/Clip Compatibility: Clipless
    2. Category: Trail
    3. Best Uses: Bikepacking, budget, routes with known hike-a-bike
    4. Enclosure: Dial lace and strap
    5. Price: 150 $
    6. Weight: 1 lb 7 oz
    7. Models available: men’s and women’s
    8. What We Liked: comfort, adjustability, hike-a-bike is still comfortable
    9. Cons: may be too comfortable for precise control
    • The clipless X-Alp Summit is one of the firm's greatest offers, and it helps the company stand out in the adventure and backpacking categories. It has the proper components and is designed for intermediate riders, trail use, and off-bike exploration: a controllable composite shank in the midsole, tough upper material, and respectable toe protection that wraps partially around the edges of the foot. Additionally, you receive a Vibram outsole that is aggressive and sticky—a popular option for trail running and hiking gear. The X-Alp Summit, which retails for $150, is a good deal for a shoe that can withstand everything from all-mountain ripping to overnight hikes with protracted hike-a-bikes.
    • As a result of Pearl Izumi's emphasis on trekking comfort, the pedals have less stiffness and more raw power (XC cyclists should steer clear). Additionally, riders in flatter areas without significant elevation gains—the Midwest of the United States comes to mind—won't be able to take advantage of the adventure-ready feature set of the X-Alp.

    Best Clipless Mountain Bike Shoes

    9-  Shimano SH-ME5 Mountain Bike Shoe

    Shimano SH-ME5 Mountain Bike Shoe

    1. Shimano ME5 mountain bike shoe category: Trail/XC
    2. Pedal compatibility: Clipless
    3. Weight: 1 lb. 8.8 oz.
    4. Price: 170 $
    5. Adv: Great combination of comfort, weight, and performance.
    6. cons: Not as protective as the upgraded ME7 model.
    • The ME5 from Shimano is a versatile clipless mountain bike shoe. It can put the power down on sharp climbs because of its light and breathable construction and relatively sturdy base, but it's also protective, lightly padded, and rather comfortable inside. With a tried-and-true Boa system and a single Velcro closure across the toes, the fit is simple to modify (after setting it the first time, you can just leave the toe adjustment alone). Shimano also improved the on-and-off process with a recent modification to the design; previously, the opening was on the tiny side and took some dexterity to get your foot through. The ME5 has distinguished itself as our preferred one-quiver clipless shoe while standing
    • Although the ME5 is the greatest all-arounder now available, Shimano also offers the well-liked ME7. With its taller neoprene cuff, sticky Michelin rubber (the ME5's is an in-house version that's a little less gripping on rock), and additional lace protection, this shoe is intended for enduro racing and downhill tracks. The larger cuff can be awkward at first (it felt more constrictive on pedal-heavy days), and you pay a modest weight penalty of around an ounce for each shoe, but the ME7 offers a nice improvement in protection and all-weather performance. It will be worth the extra $50 for some riders.

    10- Specialized 2FO DH Clip Mountain Bike Shoe

    Specialized 2FO DH Clip Mountain Bike Shoe
    1. Category: Trail/downhill
    2. Pedal compatibility: Clipless
    3. Weight: 1 lb. 11.9 oz.
    4. Price: 170$
    5. Adv: Powerful, sturdy, and great traction, Low weight for a DH-specific shoe, Superbly damped sole
    6. cons: We think it would benefit from a Boa closure.
    • The DH Clip shoe is part of Specialized's 2FO series and falls somewhere in the middle. Despite the beefed-up construction that is durable and downhill-ready, we want to start by addressing the "DH" in the name because we believe that it undersells these shoes. The shoes are more than capable on mellower terrain and lengthy trail rides thanks to a composite nylon plate underfoot, a sensible weight of 1 pound, 11.9 ounces, and a trim build that dries pretty rapidly. The added protection around the toes and heel cap, as well as the slightly increased cushioning around the inside of the ankle, are wonderful additions for the enduro and downhill aficionados among us.
    • Although the 2FO DH is $30 less expensive than the brand's top-end 2FO Cliplite, it lacks the latter's two Boa closures in many ways. The DH's laces are fine and can be tucked inside an elastic band to prevent them from dangling, but they can't compare to the Boa system's micro-adjustability and all-around simplicity. Additionally, we discovered that the shoe felt a bit flat and board-like underfoot, which caused some painful arches on days when we pedalled a lot (we assume that this won't be a problem for everyone, though).

    11-  Sidi Dominator 10 Mountain Bike Shoe

    Sidi Dominator 10 Mountain Bike Shoe

    1. Category: XC
    2. Pedal compatibility: Clipless
    3. Weight: 1 lb. 10.6 oz.
    4. price:  350 $
    5. Adv: Comfortable fit and excellent build quality.
    6. cons: Still not a great walking/hiking shoe.
    • Sidi is well-known in the bike community for two characteristics: expensive costs and top-notch construction. The Dominator, one of their most well-known mountain bike models, is a good example. It's one of the priciest alternatives available at $350, but it seriously outperforms the competition in terms of comfort and performance. The shoe almost matches XC race levels of power because of its rigid outsole, low volume fit (Sidi also offers the Dominator 10 in a wide "mega"), and durable upper. The Dominator is also a wise long-term investment due to its premium design and replacement parts.
    • Although the rubber compound was softened a few years ago, this is not a particularly good walking or hiking alternative. While the powerful power is a useful trade-off for short bursts of movement during gravel rides and cyclocross competitions, people who are off their bikes for extended periods of time may wish to select a more flexible and grippier trail model.

    Mountain Bike Shoe Categories

    Cross-Country (XC)

    • Cross-country riding footwear places a high value on making travel as simple as possible. These designs frequently give a close fit for optimal connection to the pedal, are lightweight, and are stiff underfoot. Furthermore, they are almost always built utilizing a clipless design, which is confusing because it refers to connecting or "clipping" into the pedal. Less foot protection than the trail and downhill categories is one compromise, and the stiff constructions are uncomfortable to walk on. But an XC shoe is a fantastic option for packing on miles as efficiently as possible. The Sidi Dominator, Giro Empire VR90, and Specialized's competition-ready S-Works Recon are top models in this group.

    • Choose a trail-ready model if you want a versatile shoe that is comfortable on climbs yet provides decent protection for descents. Options in this well-liked category are less rigid for good pedal power but more flexible and have better grip than an XC construction. Additionally, you get slightly better shock absorption underfoot and more protection all over the foot than you would with an XC shoe. You can choose between flat (also known as a platform) and clipless pedals in terms of design. The Freerider line from Five Ten is by far the most popular flat pedal all-mountain alternative, and the Shimano SH-ME5 and Pearl Izumi X-Alp Summit are two of the best clipless possibilities.


    • All-mountain and enduro riders climb hills and mountains for the pure enjoyment of descending them. Many cyclists ride full-suspension bikes that can withstand the rigors of fast drops, jumps, and absorbing slamming against rocks and steps on high climbs. Some will ride a hardtail bike with only a suspension fork. They are dealing with the widest variety of bicycling conditions.
    • On the climb and descent, they are negotiating narrow switchbacks, riding through rock gardens, up and down steep steps, slabs, and jumps. Some enduro riders still choose to use a clipless shoe and clipless pedal system, but many choose flat pedals because they anticipate having to rapidly dismount or dab their feet on some of the most challenging terrains. They might use a hike-a-bike to scale hills and rock outcroppings that they couldn't necessarily scale when seated.

    • The most difficult category is the last one: downhill. These sturdy, well-cushioned shoes are perfect for tackling the Whistler bike park as well as rocky, rooty, and steep descents. Extra layers of defense around the toebox and collar, thick mid and outsole designs to deflect blows, and in certain cases, an over-the-ankle height is all used to provide the best possible defense. This is a category where flat shoes are more frequent than clipless (Five Ten's clipless Hellcat Pro and Giro's Chamber II are notable exceptions), due to the high degree of difficulty and necessity to periodically bail off the bike. The drawback is weight; these are by far the bulkiest and least pedal-friendly alternatives available.

    How To Shoes The Best Mountain Bike Shoes?

    1- Mountain Bike Shoes Clipless Pedal vs. Flat Pedal

    Clipless Shoes
    • Finding out which pedals are compatible with your mountain bike shoes is one of the first stages in focusing your search. Starting with clipless models, these footwear options enable you to "clip" or connect immediately to the pedal with a metal cleat (sold separately). Being connected has many benefits, one of which is making it simpler to decelerate and pedal effectively. Due to this, clipless is a popular option for XC and longer rides.
    • It can also be reassuring to ride through semi-technical terrain like jumps without having to worry about your feet slipping. However, it takes some practice to become accustomed to being clipped in and to develop the muscle memory necessary to kick the heel out to disengage. Even if it becomes second nature, you won't be able to depress the pedal as quickly as you could with a flat pedal option. As a result, clipless shoes are less common among new riders—unless they have experience riding on the road—and fewer people use them in bike parks or on extremely difficult downhill routes.


    • Flat shoes, as the name suggests, have a smooth bottom and are compatible with regular platform pedals. They are well-liked by both novice and experienced freeriders alike since they provide a speedy exit if you find yourself pushing your limits and need to stop. Additionally, the use of extremely sticky rubber, such as Five Ten's Stealth S1, means that you don't lose much connection to the pedals.
    • Flats are less powerful and less effective than performance clipless designs. The learning process will be sped up by falling off and banging your shins a few times, but they are also less forgiving if you utilize the poor technique. Last but not least, there are fewer options for flat pedals—Five Ten dominates this market—and many of the top flats lack practical elements that are present on the majority of clipless shoes, such a ratchet system to ensure a snug fit.

    2- Stiffness and Power Transfer
    • A stiff build underfoot is a defining feature of mountain bike shoes—it’s what allows you to put the power down to the pedals. But the level of stiffness varies quite a bit by model. For example, a dedicated cross-country racing shoe like the Specialized S-Works Recon is incredibly rigid and awkward to walk in, while a budget-friendly trail model like the Giro Jacket II is flexible enough to wear every day
    • Price and seriousness are correlated with an increase in rigidity. Racing enthusiasts will want the stiffest shoes available, especially in competitions that call for a significant amount of pedalling. For the rest of us, a balanced design like the Five Ten Freerider or the Shimano SH-ME5 is more appropriate.
    • When it comes to structure, rigidity is included by manufacturers in a few different ways. Inserting a 34-length shank into the midsole of a fairly rigid shoe, like the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Summit, is a common choice. This gives it enough strength to pedal and comfort to stand for an extended period of time while still having enough flexibility to move around. Strong materials like carbon fiber are used throughout the whole sole of race-ready designs. This maximizes stiffness for putting the power down but sacrifices comfort and ease of walking. The least expensive and most flexible designs merely rely on a substantial midsole and rubber outsole for stiffness and stress absorption.

    3- Closure Systems: Laces, Velcro, Ratchet, and Boa

    • Mountain bike shoes provide a wider variety of closure methods than almost any other type of footwear. The Giro Jacket, one of our top options, has a straightforward lace-up design, while the Specialized S-Works Recon has a Velcro strap and double Boa closures. Similar to pedal type, the majority of the choice is based on personal preference, however, flat pedal shoes are more frequently connected with laces. Although laces are easy to use, you must keep them tucked away to prevent them from catching on any moving parts.
    • Boa dial systems or ratchet designs are excellent choices for quick and simple micro adjustments while wearing gloves. On clipless XC and Enduro bikes, these lightweight systems are typical. Last but not least, Velcro is frequently employed as a backup closure to a dial and ratchet system. Although it doesn't tighten as precisely or tightly as lacing does, it is quicker and works for individuals who aren't serious racers.


    • The advantages of a light mountain bike shoe are numerous. Cutting weight makes riders feel less fatigued on long rides since it takes less effort to apply the power. However, compared to the markets for running and hiking, mountain biking pays far less attention to weight. The key concern is that most shoes only differ in weight by a few ounces each pair, which is partly why many bikers stick to shorter rides.
    • According to the comparative graph above, the typical men's model weighs about 1 pound 11 ounces. The absurdly light Specialized S-Works Recon (1 pound, 3 ounces), which is designed to enhance efficiency for cross-country racing, is an exception. The downhill-focused Five Ten Hellcat Pro (2 pounds 6 ounces), on the other hand, adds weight with its substantial padding and protection. However, most XC, trail, and even many downhill designs are sufficiently similar that weight isn't a key factor.

    5-Weather Protection
    • Depending on where you ride, muddy, wet trails may be a daily occurrence. The good news is that most XC, trail, and downhill shoes with sturdy synthetic or leather uppers and a DWR coating do a respectable job of resisting moisture. For added protection, the toughest models, such the Giro Terraduro Mid and Five Ten Impact High, even include a higher ankle height or longer cuff. Additionally, shoes with simple seams, slick fabrics, and covered laces, like those on Shimano's SH-ME7, are a welcome addition.
    • GTX. For some people, having a pair of shoes that are completely waterproof can be essential to surviving the winter, especially if temperatures often drop below freezing. But for some people, it's excessive. They are bulky, don't breathe well enough to be useful in any but the coldest conditions, and take a long time to dry out compared to non-waterproof choices. Additionally, you'll pay far more for them than a typical pair of shoes and sacrifice a lot of versatility. For a boost in warmth and water resistance, an alternative for infrequent winter riders is to wear a neoprene cover or bootie over top of your regular shoes.

    • Investing in a shoe with a strong focus on breathability is worthwhile if you pedal vigorously during your rides or reside in a warmer region. Large expanses of mesh or a thin top layer are telltale indicators of an effective ventilation design. Conversely, the shoes that are most likely to run hot are those that have a sturdy top and lots of cushioning—often seen in the downhill category. A highly ventilated shoe does lose weather resistance and durability because the mesh is considerably more prone to tearing and doesn't repel moisture. But the Shimano SH-thoughtful ME5's design strikes a compromise between those competing needs. It is remarkably cool in the heat thanks to the perforations in the upper cloth. A synthetic top that is water-resistant is also durable against abrasions and bad weather.


    • Although trail runners last longer than mountain bike shoes, they are still not widely known for their long-term durability (especially flat pedal models). Riders that ride frequently typically go through a pair every season or two. Common wear areas include the upper material deteriorating or developing holes and the sole delaminating (the latter was a problem with earlier models of Five Ten's Freerider and the original Giro Terraduro). A highly sticky flat pedal shoe compound's tread wearing down from prolonged trekking is another issue. As was already established, the majority of manufacturers don't have stellar durability histories. Sidi, on the other hand, has a great track record for producing durable items.