Can You Wear Sneakers Mountain Biking?

Mountain biking is a healthy and exciting activity, but most people normally wear shoes while riding. But what if you could wear sneakers with which you could enjoy the ride? Mountain biking in sneakers is easy and safe with this new trend.

The trick to getting the most mileage out of your trail riding or mountain bike shoes is knowing what kind of terrain you’re going to be riding on. If it’s loose, rocky, muddy, or sandy, you’ll want an aggressive shoe with enough traction. For everything else including urban riding, slacks/shorts/skirt mode, and leisurely strolls in the park, normal sneakers will work fine.

The Benefits Of Mountain Biking In Sneakers

Real, purpose-made mtb shoes can provide a lot of benefits that may not be immediately obvious. I mean, they are just footwear right?

Well, biking shoes are made just for biking and keeping your feet on the pedals, and they are made to take on the rigors of riding and handle it very well.

For starters, the soles of your shoes will be protected from any potential rocks or objects that may find their way into your path. It will also prevent your shoes from getting damaged which can be a costly mistake. Additionally, wearing these types of footwear means that less shoe-cleaning equipment is required for after the ride as they’re designed to be washed easily.

So there are some advantages to wearing sneakers over choosing mtb shoes or sometimes even choosing sneakers for road biking.

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wear Sneakers On A Mountain Bike

As a mountain biker, you probably know that wearing sneakers when biking is the worst idea ever. You might be wondering why I’m mentioning this in a blog about AI. Here are 3 reasons why you should not wear sneakers on a mountain bike:

  1. Your shoes can get caught in the bike chain, slowing down your pace.
  2. Your shoes could get caught underneath the bike’s pedals and wreck your day
  3. The soles of your shoes can collect dirt and debris which will then get packed into your socks.

Mountain bikes are purpose-made, so generally the rule of thumb is to wear mtb shoes unless you have a good reason not to. I will admit that not all bike riding needs mtb footwear to do.  Many of the more leisurely XC trails for instance you could probably even ride in flip-flops. If you’re just starting out, I can also see instead using the money to ensure safety gear like a sturdy helmet is a far higher priority. As you progress though, you’ll want to make sure you feet can stay on the pedals and not slip off and cause a crash. That’s just one of the many reasons why choosing real bike shoes is a good thing.

A possible exception to this might be that some skateboarding footwear is actually pretty good at being the equivalent of a flat pedal shoe since they are made to stay on the board pretty well. They’re not exactly sneakers since they are purpose-made but for a different sport.

Is It Recommended To Wear Sneakers Or Mtb Shoes When Biking?

The type of shoe you wear when biking is a personal preference. Which one you choose will depend on what type of terrain and conditions you plan to ride over.

If you’re biking in the city, sneakers might be a better choice as they may be more appropriate for walking on paved surfaces. On the other hand, choosing budget mtb shoes would be recommended over sneakers for riding over bumpy terrain or mud due to the protection it offers and the additional grip you get from purpose-made shoes. When you compare excellent sneakers even to the best mtb shoes, you can easily see that if you are doing some serious biking paths or downhill runs, you’ll want to step up to more capable footwear.

Regardless of whether you are wearing sneakers or mountain bike footwear, I highly recommend that the footwear you do choose fits like a glove and fits properly.