You’ve pulled out your old bike and you’re ready to go rough the mountains. But you first have to make sure you’ve got the right gear. You’ve got your biking shorts, helmet, and knee pads.
But what about your mountain biking shoes?
- Mountain Bike Shoes Vs. Normal Shoes
- What Makes Good Mountain Biking Shoes?
- How To Pick The Right Pair Of Mountain Biking Shoes
- Top 13 Best Mountain Bike Shoes Comparison Chart
- #1. Tommaso Montagna 100 Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes.
- #2. Gavin Off Road Mountain Cycling Shoes
- #3. Lake Cycling MXZ303 Men’s Winter Boots
- #4. Five Ten Danny MacAskill Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes
- #5. Fizik Women’s Mountain Cycling Shoes
- #6. Under Armour Men’s Kilchis Sneakers
- #7. Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoes
- #8. Tommaso Strada 100 Dual Cleat Compatible Road Touring Cycling Spinning Shoes
- #9. Giro Apeckx II Cycling Shoes
- #10. Venzo Bicycle Men’s or Women’s Road Cycling Riding Shoes
- #11. Giro Techne Mens Cycling Shoes
- #12. Santic Cycling Shoes Road Bike Shoes
- #13. SHIMANO SH-RP1 Cycling Shoes
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Additional Tips
- Concluding Thoughts
Mountain Bike Shoes Vs. Normal Shoes
In other words, can you wear normal tennis shoes while mountain biking? Well, we suppose you can…but that would be a very bad idea. You see, there are a number of reasons you DON’T want to wear normal sneakers while mountain biking.
For one, mountain biking shoes are specifically designed to be able to handle rough outdoor activities. Normal sneakers can handle some tread and wear, sure. But there’s a massive difference between wear and tear from walking and wear and tear from cycling.
Secondly, normal sneakers aren’t strong enough to handle too many outdoor activities. If you try mountain biking in sneakers, you’ll rip and tear them in no time. You need something stronger, like mountain biking shoes.
What Makes Good Mountain Biking Shoes?
Shock Absorption: What does it mean for shoes to be shock absorbing? It means that they soak up kinetic energy, which allows you to move around more freely. Kinetic build-up, you see, can actually be very detrimental to your feet because it can make moving around a lot harder.
With shock absorption, you can move just fine.
Stiffness: You need your mountain biking shoe to be nice and stiff because it will better support your feet on your bike pedals. It will keep you from slipping and it will stronger reinforce the pressure you put on cycling.
Overall Quality: Be sure your shoes are good and durable, because nobody wants to have their footwear fall apart on them at the last minute!
How To Pick The Right Pair Of Mountain Biking Shoes
For starters, you need to find the shoes that are available in your size. When purchasing online, this can be tricky because different countries measure shoe size a bit differently than the United States does it. For instance, someone who’s a size seven in US shoe sizes might be a 38 in European measurements.
You also want shoes that are built the way you want them. Men may find that they have two options when it comes to wearing shoes for mountain biking, boots or normal shoes. Boots are much thicker, but may not be as snug as normal sneakers are.
As for women, they may want a shoe that’s not too constricting to wear. If the wearer is menstruating or is going through menopause, tight shoes might make their body heat sore up and make for an extremely uncomfortable time mountain biking. In this case, women may opt for the more breezy shoes.
Top 13 Best Mountain Bike Shoes Comparison Chart
|Tommaso Montagna 100 Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Gavin Off Road Mountain Cycling Shoes||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Lake Cycling MXZ303 Men’s Winter Boots||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Five Ten Danny MacAskill Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Fizik Women’s Mountain Cycling Shoes||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Under Armour Men's Kilchis Sneakers||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoes||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Tommaso Strada 100 Dual Cleat Compatible Road Touring Cycling Spinning Shoes||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Giro Apeckx II Cycling Shoes||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Venzo Bicycle Men's or Women's Road Cycling Riding Shoes||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Giro Techne Mens Cycling Shoes||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Santic Cycling Shoes Road Bike Shoes||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|SHIMANO SH-RP1 Cycling Shoes||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
#1. Tommaso Montagna 100 Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes.
Number one on our list of the best mountain biking shoes is none other than the Tommaso Montagna mountain biking shoes. These cleats are sturdy as can be, as they are built just for you. The fiberglass materials mixed in with synthetic leather make for one heck of a stiff shoe, which is precisely what you want.
These shoes are so versatile that you can wear them for any other sporting activity. Whether it be cycling, running, or even hiking, these shoes have got you covered. Why not try them out today and see for yourself?
- Increased power with this stiff fiberglass made shoe.
- Comfortable and breezy.
- Velcro straps save time.
- Highly versatile!
- Not compatible with Look Delta or the Peloton bikes
#2. Gavin Off Road Mountain Cycling Shoes
If you’re looking for something that isn’t restricted to gender, check out these unisex babies. Gavin’s mountain biking shoes can be worn by men or women at a fraction of the cost of most shoes. That’s no joke, ladies and gentlemen!
It has what both men and women would enjoy most about a mountain biking shoe. It’s breezy for the women looking to buy, and it’s sturdy and stiff for you men. What a fantastic shoe!
That’s why they’re the second best mountain biking shoes!
- Suited for unisex wearers.
- Breathable mesh makes for breezy wear.
- Stiff shoe makes for a safe biking run.
- Super affordable.
- Shoes may run a bit small on some people.
#3. Lake Cycling MXZ303 Men’s Winter Boots
For you boys that are looking for a more rugged, yet snug run with your mountain biking, these boots are made for walking…and riding! Not only are these bad-boys comfy, they’re just what you need to stay happy and warm during your rigorous mountain biking. Insulation is the name here, folks.
You see, Lake cycling boots insulate heat much better than most brands of mountain biking shoes do. They’re specifically designed to retain heat and release it when it gets too warm. Which makes these shoes the best mountain biking shoes to wear when it’s cold outside.
- Excellent insulation for colder weather.
- Weatherproof against wind and mud.
- Super comfortable!
- Wide shoes may be a bit on the narrow side.
- A bit pricey.
#4. Five Ten Danny MacAskill Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes
These stylish biking shoes are none other than the Five Ten Danny MacAskill brand. These shoes are a sturdy bunch that provide plenty of stiffness for your treading. Stiffness, as you can tell, is perfect for mountain biking because it adds plenty of support while pressing your pedal to the medal.
Another important factor about these shoes is their capability for shock absorption. As you know already, shock absorbing shoes are prefered over those that don’t because they allow you to move a lot easier. By reducing the kinetic energy in your feet, you have more freedom to move around.
- Very durable.
- Shock absorption capable.
- Full tread for stiffness and friction.
- Available sizes may run small.
#5. Fizik Women’s Mountain Cycling Shoes
On behalf of women bikers around the world, we salute this shoe!
Fiziks women’s shoes are a good fit for those of you who are large-footed. They are snug and strong for your rigorous mountaineering. They are also very light, so you don’t have to worry about being pinned down to the ground.
Just bear in mind that the sizes on this shoe do come up a bit large. So if you’re a smaller footed woman, you might want to look elsewhere. Plus, the flexibility of this shoe may turn off those looking for more stiffness.
- Light as can be.
- Tough as leather.
- Ultra comfortable!
- Flexible shoes bring down stiffness.
- Sizes are a bit large.
#6. Under Armour Men’s Kilchis Sneakers
One of the more popular brands of shoes, Under Armour has provided people some of the best products in the market for years. From such a trusted brand, you know you can count on these guys to give you great shoes. Don’t believe us, then just look at the customer reviews!
The soles on these shoes are very tough and durable, which is precisely the kind of sole you want for cycling. Good and stiff, these soles are exactly what you need to stay on your pedals.These shoes are very reliable!
This brand of Under Armour shoes comes in 11 different colors. Those colors are black, white, desert sand, mod grey, petrol blue, sandy brown, steel, baroque green with olive tint, hearthstone, moroccan blue, and baroque green with grey. These colors are not only fashionable, but they are varying in options.
Let’s not forget how breathable these shoes are. They’re so breathable that it almost feels like you aren’t wearing shoes. Can’t go wrong with that!
- Comes in 11 different colors.
- Sole is tough and synthetic.
- Very breathable.
- A little narrow on wide feet.
#7. Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoes
Fizik strikes again with this beautiful shoe. Smooth and sleek as can be, these cycling shoes can be yours if the price is right. If you don’t get them, someone else just might!
The Fizik R5 model of shoes is very strong bodied, making it perfect for you to stiffly pedal your mountain bike. You don’t want a shoe that’s weak, so this guy is just what you want. We can vouch for it!
As you’ll notice, this shoe is built with an obvious overcurve. It’s perfectly fitted to fit your feet and add extra levels of comfort. You won’t find other shoes that do that for you like Fizik does!
If you’d like, you can purchase these shoes with an overstrap. The overstrap helps add more protection and security to your feet while you ride your mountain bike. This is an option for people that don’t trust the velcro straps of shoes.
- Strong bodied.
- Comes with optional overstrap for shoes.
- Built with overcurve.
- A little on the wide side.
#8. Tommaso Strada 100 Dual Cleat Compatible Road Touring Cycling Spinning Shoes
Much like the other Tommaso shoes on this list of the best mountain bike shoes, they are very comfortable and well-fitted for the ideal cyclist. These particular shoes are also great for spin class participants!
If you buy these shoes online, you can buy them with cleats which will help with your cycling. People tend to enjoy cycling with cleats a bit more because it increases the power sent to the pedals when moving with the bike.
- Designed for spin class participants.
- Very comfortable.
- Purposely fitted to perfection.
- Comes with cleats!
- None so far!
#9. Giro Apeckx II Cycling Shoes
Giro Apeckx II cycling shoes are an impressive piece of mountain biking clothing available on the market today. These shoes are designed to keep you safe and comfortable as you ride on your mountain bike. You know you can rely on these babies all day long!
The comfort levels of this shoe are through the roof, friends. You’ll feel like you’re standing on a cloud when you’re wearing Giro Apeckx II shoes. Don’t believe us? Try them yourself!
When you’re wearing these shoes, you’ll experience fewer hot spots. So no problems will arise when you’re in these mountain bike cleats. You’re safe here!
This shoe comes with both a velcro and buckle closure to keep you secure and safe. You first strap up your velcro spots and then you buckle up at the top. Ta-da! You’re safe!
- Velcro and buckle closure for extra security
- Reduced hot spots.
- Very comfortable
- Shoes may run a little small on some people.
#10. Venzo Bicycle Men’s or Women’s Road Cycling Riding Shoes
A highly unisex shoe, these Venzo mountain biking shoes are just the thing you need to have a good many rounds cycling. These shoes are easy to take care of, as they dry very quickly when wet. Washing your footwear has never been simpler, folks!
The mesh design makes for a breathable piece of mountain biking gear. And with the velcro straps, you don’t have to waste time tying your shoes. You can just gracefully strap in and be ready for the wonderful ride!
- Highly breathable.
- Dries quickly.
- Fits with multiple pedal systems.
- A bit snug on bigger feet.
#11. Giro Techne Mens Cycling Shoes
Giro Techne shoes are perfect for cycling because of how well-made they are. Mesh nylon and synthetic leather, this shoe is well crafted for all bicycle riders. It’s especially good for riding pedals, which is perfect for cleats that are meant for mountain biking.
These shoes are also very comfortable, which goes without saying for each of the shoes on this list. And with the shoes being light as a feather, there’s no heavy weights that will hold you down as you wear these shoes.
These shoes are truly some of the best mountain biking shoes on the market!
- Works very well with pedals.
- Very comfortable.
- Light as can be.
- Not ideal for wide feet.
#12. Santic Cycling Shoes Road Bike Shoes
These gorgeous shoes are Santic cycling shoes. They’re especially comfortable on the right feet, which can be yours today. Why wouldn’t you want this shoe?
Built in the shoe is patented heel cup protection. A common issue people have with shoes is that the heel scraps up against their skin very badly. You don’t have to worry about that with this shoe, ladies and gentlemen!
These shoes are also equipped with an anti-slip design that’s meant to protect you on your bicycle. So long as you wear these shoes, your feet are safe on your pedals. Nothing will throw you off that easily!
- Very breathable.
- Heel cup protection.
- Anti-slip technology.
- None so far!
#13. SHIMANO SH-RP1 Cycling Shoes
These SHIMANO shoes are a great product for anyone looking for the ideal footwear to go cycling in. They run a little small on the female wearers, but you men will have a blast wearing these shoes in any size. They are nice and cozy for you to wear all day long.
Thanks to the synthetic leather, these shoes are considered very durable in comparison to other shoes. Their rough exterior contradicts their soft internal feel. You’d be surprised how comfortable these shoes can be for the smaller footed women.
- Very comfortable.
- Extremely durable.
- Suited for unisex wearers.
- Women’s size runs very small.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I clean my shoes?
Don’t run them in the washing machine. Instead, get a wet washcloth and scrub your shoes clean. If you have mud on your shoes, then soak them for 10 to 15 minutes in warm water. Scrub them clean afterwards and ta-da! They’ll be good as new!
How to tell the shoe size of my shoes online?
Each shoe product online likely has a chart that you can refer to. Just look for the correct size and select it. Some shoes are listed in European sizes, which are thankfully easy to convert. If you need help, there’s lots of charts online that do the conversions for you!
How can I tell my shoe size?
First, get a ruler and pencil and a piece of paper. With your bare feet, stand on the piece of paper so your feet are flat. Mark the spot behind your heel and then make another mark right at your long toe.
Next, measure the distance in centimeters or inches. Then you can compare your result with any chart online. Whatever matches your result is your correct shoe size!
Beginners likely won’t know what’s the deal with these shoes. They’re just shoes, right? Nothing more I need to know!
That’s where you’re wrong. Proper shoes ventilate your feet, keep you comfy, and help your stamina when cycling. You need to know the different parts of the shoe if you want to truly understand what it is you’re buying.
First off is the sole of the shoe. The sole is outside where your foot rests while inside the shoe. They need to be stiffer in mountain bike shoes because it adds more support to your pedalling. The reason the sole is so stiff in these shoes is because it’s made out of plastic and reinforced with carbon fibre or fibreglass.
Next on your shoes are uppers. This is the part of the shoe that covers your feet and toes. They are often made of suede, synthetic, real leather, or nylon mesh. For strong uppers, you want something made out of strong stuff so it can support your feet.
Then there’s closures. This is the part of the shoe where the laces and/or velcro straps are. Laces need to be tied and velcro straps need to be fastened in order for these shoes to stay on your feet and secured during your mountain biking.
Insoles are like soles, but are the inside part. They’re where you rest your feet. This is arguably the most important part of the shoe because that’s where your comfort comes from.
Mountain biking shoes are the only alternative that you can wear out in the wilderness. Tennis shoes aren’t strong enough to handle the force of your bicycle and hiking boots are too rough on your feet. You need a happy medium and mountain biking shoes are just that.
With these five choices that we’ve listed today, you know you’ve got an arsenal of bargain deals. All of these choices are perfect for your outdoorsing and they’re waiting for you. Go give them a look!
Emily Schaldach is a professional cyclist from Colorado. She grew up racing mountain bikes and competed at the University of Colorado, Boulder where she expanded disciplines to race downhill, road, and cyclocross. Emily is currently on the Firefly Bitchstix Cycling team, also known as Team BitchnGrit, and competes primarily in cyclocross and gravel events.