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How To Choose The Best Mountain Bike Shoe For You

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Mountain bike shoes are an essential piece of gear for every mountain biker. They have different types that have been designed based on different types of riding. A mountain biker will need a shoe that is recommended by the shoe manufacturer and has a certain type of pedal system built in.

Mountain bike shoes come in two types, flat or clipless pedals, depending on the type of mountain biking you do. Flat-pedal shoes are designed for riders who use flat pedals and can be removed quickly from the pedals. Clipless MTB shoes are designed with a ratcheting mechanism that allows them to be safely clipped into pedals without needing to remove them from the cleats.

The best way to choose the best mountain bike shoe for you is to decide if you want flat or clipless shoes, and then look at features of the shoes such as closure style, shoe sole style, and other common features, to find the right one for you. Finally, ensure the chosen shoe fits you well and you have your winner.

The Best Shoes For Biking

I know how important it is to have the right pair of shoes for mountain biking. There are so many different brands, styles, and models of mtb shoes on the market today. Choosing the right pair of mtb shoes can be challenging. There are so many factors to consider when choosing your next set of bike shoes!

I have some recommended mtb flat pedal shoes to help you narrow your search.

Many times it comes down to deciding if you want either flat mtb shoes or clipless mtb shoes. Then, choose the one with the best features for you.

Tips To Achieve Maximum Comfort While Biking

With the changing trends in biking, there is a need for people to come up with new ways of making the experience more comfortable. One of these ways is through footwear that has been engineered to provide maximum comfort.

Although mountain bike shoes are still a bit pricey, they make for a great investment if you enjoy biking on a regular basis. Here are some tips to achieving maximum comfort while biking:

  1. Stay hydrated: Keeping hydrated will prevent any discomfort caused by dehydration.
  2. Prioritize your feet: Feet that sweat more will be less likely to get sores and cracks in them which can lead to pain and discomfort.
  3. Choose the right shoe size: The best size will depend on your individual foot shape and arch length. It should fit snug enough so that it’s difficult to slide your foot out of the shoe, but not too tight that you can’t move comfortably.

Does all of this make a difference? Absolutely. The right shoes and right setup allows you to enjoy biking on your terms and really take your biking to a whole new level.

Are Flat Shoes Good For Mountain Biking?

Flat shoes are good for mountain biking and work well on the flat surfaces. But if you plan on riding off-road, it’s best to stick to a different shoe, such as mtb flats. These shoes have a simple design and are made for holding the pedals without slipping or discomforting your feet.

In a pinch, you could use flat sneakers such as those used in skateboarding if you already have them if money is an issue. Many of them are surprisingly capable in good biking conditions. Sneakers like your running types don’t perform as well as flat sneakers but if you are on some nice mild XC trails they can work well too.

Can Running Shoes Work On A Mountain Bike?

The answer to this question comes down to pressure and traction. Running shoes might not be suitable for mountain bike pedals because running shoes are designed to provide more pressure and traction on the ground. Mountain bike pedals, however, typically have a flatter surface that offers less grip in comparison to running shoes.

While running shoes work ok, real mountain bike shoes work very well to hold your feet on the pedals while you are flying down the trails.

Match Your Right Pair Of Shoes With Your Right Type Of Cycling And Get The Most Out Of It

If you are a mountain biker, you should choose the right type of mtb shoes to match your type of riding. Make sure your mtb shoes fit well and be sure they stick to the pedals.

While many shoes can push the pedals, mountain bike shoes are made to stick better on wet pedals. You have to choose carefully which shoe will be best for your style of riding and stickiness level. For the price you can get quality biking shoes to make sure your feet stay on the pedals and don’t slip off while you’re hauling it offroad.  It’s one of the wisest investments you can make after a good sturdy biking helmeet.

About the Author

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Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed