What Shoes To Wear When Mountain Biking

What Shoes To Wear When Mountain Biking? – [Quick Answer!]

Whenever I go mountain biking, I Must have shoes and pedals that function well together to keep my feet steady and prevent slipping. The appropriate shoes enable me to bike over bumps and jump without losing control.

It’s obvious that when riding a mountain bike on trails, the ideal shoes are often mountain biking shoes. But the question arises: What mountain bike shoes should you wear?

So, to decide which shoes are best to wear while mountain biking. We’ve collected some information so you don’t get hard on yourself while mountain biking.

What Do Mountain Bikers Wear On Their Feet?

There are two main categories of mountain bike shoes:

What Do Mountain Bikers Wear On Their Feet

Flat Shoes:

On regular flat/platform shoes, they are utilized. The pins on the pedals and the rubber soles of the rider’s shoes work together to provide traction.

Flat shoes built specifically for mountain biking often include soft rubber soles engineered to provide more traction on the pedals. Although it may seem like a cheap trick, this strategy is very successful.

Clipless Shoes:

Under these shoes are metal cleats that connect to a matching pedal. The name “clipless” is very misleading since you clip onto these pedals.

When we talk about mountain biking, there are three primary categories: downhill, cross-country, and trail and enduro. Each of these categories requires a certain kind of clipless shoe. Each one is well suited to the specific challenges presented by the environment it will be traveling.

What Are The Best Mountain Biking Shoes?

Long dominated by a single brand, Five Ten, there are finally several different shoe brands that are widely available, which are designed for Mountain Bike, and which riders flock to.

Special Shoes For Mountain Biking

Ride Concepts:

RC is a highly well-liked newer brand that has just entered the field of mountain bike boots.

In a manner comparable to that of Five Ten, Ride Concepts offers a variety of distinct models, ranging from more reasonably priced to more luxurious options.

After the aggressive pins of my pedals completely wore through the soles of my last pair of Five Ten Freeriders, I decided to transition to a set of RCs instead.

They also have a layer of D30 material in their sole, which is the same substance found in knee pads. This material is flexible until it receives a force that causes it to harden into a protective layer. The sole of these shoes is more rigid than the sole of the Free riders.

Five Tens:

The first, and some could say, remains the greatest. If you speak to enough serious mountain bikers, most of them (especially the ones that ride flat pedals) will have gone through many pairs throughout their riding career.

They come in various forms, from the more flexible and affordable Free riders to the more expensive Free riders Pros and, finally, the more expensive Impacts (which have the tackiest – yet fastest-wearing – sole and the most solid construction of all).

It didn’t take long for the sticky soles of my Five Ten Impacts shoes to get worn out, so I opted to replace them with a pair of Freeriders since they are more affordable.

Compared to skate shoes, the Freeriders feel notably more flexible on the pedals, but they are generally more supportive, protective, and rigid.

Most importantly, they feature fantastic sticky rubber bottoms (though they are more tacky than the Impacts soles).

I commuted to work while wearing mine for many seasons, which caused the sharp metal pins to leave enormous cut holes in the soles.

Like many years, versions modeled after skate shoes and centered around the Etnies brand are now available. Street and dirt jump riders are especially fond of them.


Shimano, one of the largest component manufacturers in the world, is responsible for producing some of the most dependable, well-built, and often reasonably priced components that are individualized for each rider.

Shimano provides a variety of derailleurs, cassettes, cranks, brakes, and shifters for mountain bikes, allowing you to build a drivetrain optimized for your riding style and the terrain you ride on.

Shimano produces a vast array of efficient drivetrains and dependable braking systems, which are featured on a wide range of road bikes at every level.

These drivetrains and braking systems can be found on everything from the renowned Dura-Ace range, which provides you with detail and accuracy in your shifting, to the cost-effective Tiagra 10-speed groupset.

So Why Does Mountain Biking Require Specific Shoes?

It’s a legitimate question! Given that the bike’s tires are rolling down the path and that we aren’t rushing down the trail, you might be excused for believing that a pair of skate shoes, running shoes, or other sorts of footwear would do the job fine.

shoes for mountain biking

However, there are many problems with it.

Firstly, there are many factors at work in this situation:

When standing on the pedals, up off the seat, and descending some difficult downhill track, think about how your shoes will try to fold over the pedal because of your weight, the chunky terrain, and the obstacles pushing the bikes about in multiple directions.

Perfectly acceptable for little trails:

But if you’re planning on mountain biking for a couple of hours, that’s another. Now, if you want to ride your mountain bike for more than two hours, that’s another sport! After a long riding session, your feet will be in terrible shape.

In addition, if you attempt to use your running shoes with a particular cutout sole built specifically for running, you will find that the sole needs to mesh neatly with the broad square of metal grip pins.

Less grip among the feet and the bike is problematic:

The two most crucial points of contact on the bike are your pedals for your feet and your grips for your hands when it comes to navigating tricky terrain, descending quickly, and many other potentially hazardous mountain biking activities!

When you’re in the middle of an intensive section of the trail, having one of your feet or maybe both of them suddenly lose its connection with one of your pedals is more likely than not going to result in a poor time.


When riding a mountain bike on trails, the ideal shoes are often mountain biking shoes. Many people choose them since they serve to safeguard feet, ensure footing, and aid in the production of power while pedaling.

You should always be safe if you wear rubber-soled shoes with good traction and toe protection.

It takes practice to ride a mountain bike, and it may be helpful to become acclimated to wearing shoes for that purpose that clip into the pedals. But all matters is that you are comfortable with wearing them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Kind of a Difference Can Mountain Bike Shoes Make?

Yes, shoes designed specifically for mountain biking do make a significant impact. They significantly increase the amount of touch you have with the pedals, which enhances your bike control.

Additionally, they are stiffer than regular shoes, which increases pedaling effectiveness and protects your feet from harsh compressions. In addition, shoes designed specifically for mountain biking are far more durable than regular shoes.

Can you use Road Shoes for Mountain Biking?

Since road shoes only accept road cleats and need a matching road pedal, they are not viable for mountain riding.

Because road pedals do not have a float, which allows the rider to modify their foot position, and because they have a considerably harsher release mechanism, which makes them hazardous in the event of a collision, they are not the best choice for mountain biking.

What Are The Alternatives To Mountain Bike Shoes?

If you don’t have a set of shoes designed specifically for mountain biking, you may get by with a pair of skate shoes with a flat sole.

The flat, sticky bottom will provide excellent pedal traction. Be aware, however, that the padded fabric will not shield your foot from the impacts caused by the route.

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