Best Mountain Bike Shoes [Review] in 2021
written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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Quality mountain bike shoes play a vital role for different purposes. If the shoes have a solid platform, it would be able to deliver power to the pedals. It also provides strong construction so that your feet would be protected. The secure fit of the shoe increases comfort for long days on the trail. These shoes should be lightweight and durable with a good style. The best mountain bike shoes are of two types from which the first are for flat pedals, and the others are for clip-less pedals.
The following are the 12 best mountain bike shoes. You can choose the best one by comparing each and according to your requirements:
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
Best Mountain Bike Shoes
MQM Flex Gore-Tex® Hiking Shoes
MQM flex shows are great for day trips and week-long backpacking treks. These shoes support your next outdoor excursion and fit your needs as well as your environment. It protects your feet from the daily grind and is comfortable enough to wear everyday challenges. These shoes have a waterproof membrane that keeps the feet dry during the rain or through streams. This membrane is extremely breathable, which ensures you stay dry and comfortable during a hotter climate. The outsole of the shoe has durable traction so you can move quickly across the most rugged terrains. There is a Merrell air cushion within the heel for absorbing shock and impact that adds stability.
Traditional Lace Closure
Hike and Trail Running
No Arch Support
Latest deal: MQM Flex Gore-Tex® Hiking Shoes
Etnies Marana Crank Shoes
Marana Crank is one of the best-selling Marana family shoes that provide durable products. These shoes are designed by keeping mountain biking in mind. It is not of the stiffest shank but still offers a pristine pedal feel. This shoe got tested for cross-discipline riding and was found to be great. These shoes are a real crowd favourite. It boasts Michelin performance rubber for total traction on boards. The pedals are of STI evolutionary foam midsole, which provides cushion and comfort. These shoes protect kickbacks because of the padded tongue, collar, and a rubber toe cap.
Pro Foam 1 Insole
Elastic Tongue Straps
3m Thinsulate and Scotchgard
Latest deal: Etnies Marana Crank Shoes
Etnies Kingpin has design inspiration from Etnies Fader. This shoe is a classic puffy tongue skateboard and has a perforated sturdy upper for breathability. The perforated top provides adjustable lacing, and there is heavy-duty padding on the collar and tongue to provide stability for difficult land. It offers a superior grip because of the herringbone-treaded outsole for the ramps or the street. They are durable, that is why they last longer than other brands. The shoe has a well-padded tongue and ankle, and the sole of the shoe has comfortable cushioning. There is a trademark Etnies logo on the medial side.
Die-Cut Eva Insole Eva Midsole
Padded Tongue And Collar
No STI Memory Foam Footbed
Latest deal: Etnies Kingpin
Etnies Barge LS Skate Shoe
Etnies Barge LS Skate Shoe has a thinly padded tongue and collar lining. This shoe is lightweight and comfortable casual wear shoes because of the padded tongue. It is durable, long-lasting, and is perfect for standing or walking. It is perfect for all-day work, school, or pleasure because of the Barge LS with a Foam Lite 1 insole. This shoe has a Slim, vulcanized style and is affordable. The shoe offers all the essentials with a narrow fit and a slim silhouette. It is fresh, supportive, and provides style and performance. There is a slightly raised heel that also creates a slimmer, narrower, and lighter design.
One-Piece Clean Toe Design
Latest deal: Etnies Barge LS Skate Shoe
DMT Podio 2.0 Casual Shoes
DMT Podio 2.0 Casual Shoes provide a balance between subtle and bold, sporty, and casual. It has a stylish vulcanized outsole to provide the right everyday-shoe look and feel. These shoes are cool and provide comfort while being on track or on the road. There is a subtly bold DMT logo on the side for a more recognizable look. The sole of the shoe is made of anti-slip rubber and laces are guided by metal eyelets. The synthetic material and fabric make it good, and also it got perforated polypropylene for providing comfort.
Sole In Anti-Slip Rubber
Laces Guided By Metal Eyelets
Synthetic Material and Fabric
Uncomfortable If Put On Wrong Feet
Latest deal: DMT Podio 2.0 Casual Shoes
DC Evan Smith TX Shoes SS17
DC’s Evan Smith skate shoes are great while performing sweet tricks. They have board-feeling and impact protection. Evan Smith’s provides subtle and classic products. These shoes are aesthetically pleasing and are practical board shoes. These shoes are made of a technologically vulcanized rubber sole and rubber toecaps. The shoes provide not only style but also comfort to your feet with a textile upper completion. It is a durable and long-lasting shoe because of the rubber toe hat. It has textile construction, which provides a comfortable and relaxing look.
Impact-I™ Vulcanized Rubber
Evan Smith Branding
Rubber Toe Hat For A Longer-Lasting Shoe
Latest deal: DC Evan Smith TX Shoes SS17
Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex Shoes AW18
Merrell Agility shoes are for on-road or off the beaten track. These shoes are lightweight and supportive of your journey. The shows provide agility on the trails as these Agility Synthesis Flex Shoes are of a FLEX connect dual-directional midsole. These shoes provide agility, stability, additional support, and control with Trail Protect. The durable traction grips terrain with confidence because of the M Select GRIP outsole. It has a mesh upper handy feature of the Agility Synthesis Flex Shoes as it provides maximum breathability. There are also M Select FRESH antimicrobial properties and protective synthetic toe caps.
Mesh and TPU Upper
Removable Eva Footbed
Additional Support Off-Road
Traditional Lace Closure
Latest deal: Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex Shoes AW18
Merrell MQM Rush Flex GTX Shoes AW18
Merrell MQM Rush Flex Hiking Shoes are great for fast-paced and aggressive hiking. They have a stretch collar that allows for simply put on and take off. There is a TPU heel counter to provide stability and Mesh Upper, which is breathable and provides comfort. It ensures that your feet remain dry and comfortable. These shoes have M Select FRESH technology that removes any odour-causing microbes so that your shoes smell fresher for longer. There is a TPU material that keeps the shoes protected from any debris or sharp objects and provides safety. It has a hyper lock moulded TPU heel counter that provides exceptional stability while walking.
Resistant To Abrasions, Tears, And Scuffs
Additional Support Off-Road
Dual-Directional Flex-Groove Eva Midsole
Traditional Lace Closure
Latest deal: Merrell MQM Rush Flex GTX Shoes AW18
PEARL IZUMI Men's X-Alp Flow Cycling Shoe
PEARL IZUMI Men’s X-Alp Flow Cycling Shoe has lightweight upper materials. These shoes provide all-day comfort as they have traditional lace closures, eliminate hot spots, and adapt a unique foot shape. They have EVA midsoles that provide excellent shock absorption for hard landings. Dual-compound soles create positive pedal pin engagement and optimal grip because of the soft, sticky, sipped rubber. These shows provide durability and scrambling confidence as they have carefully shaped chevron lugs and more durable rubber used at the toe and heel. These shoes are for platform (flat) pedals, not clip-less compatible.
Traditional Lace Closure
Eva Midsoles Supplies Excellent Shock Absorption
Dual-Density Zonal Outsole
Lightweight Upper Materials
Not Enough Grip
Latest deal: PEARL IZUMI Men’s X-Alp Flow Cycling Shoe
Five Ten Men's Free Rider Pro Mountain Bike Shoe
Five Ten Men’s Free Rider Pro Mountain Bike Shoes provide all-day comfort on and off the mountain. In all-mountain and enduring riding, these shoes will provide grip and durability. These shoes provide a responsive ride as there is an impact-resistant toe box that complements the medium-stiff build. There is a signature sticky rubber and tread pattern that is there to provide you grip and keep your feet firmly on your pedals. These shoes have lightweight uppers and provide breathability because of the perforated upper. The shoes are manufactured with a synthetic material that resists weather and abrasion.
Durable Biking Shoes
Fast-Drying Synthetic Upper
Inner Heel Area Starting To Fray
Latest deal: Five Ten Men’s Free Rider Pro Mountain Bike Shoe
Giro Riddance Cycling Shoes
Giro’s Riddance Off-Road Shoes have achieved class-leading vibration dampening. These shoes have a durable microfiber upper that provides comfort and ease of manoeuvre. They have a synthetic sole and super high grip Vibram rubber. These shoes have mud-clearing tread, so you don’t need to worry while riding on the muddy trails. The upper is breathable, so while riding a bike on mountains in the hot days, it’ll provide you comfort. They have laced closure with a top power strap. The outsole is made of Tri-molded SPD-compatible shank with a 10mm setback. They come with Moulded DH EVA footbed with arch support
Super High Grip Vibram Rubber
Mud Clearing Tread
Not Enough Grip
Latest deal: Giro Riddance Cycling Shoes
Under Armour Men's Kilchis Sneaker
Under Armour Men’s Kilchis Sneaker is highly breathable and has a quick-dry textile upper. While riding a bike on mountains on hot days, it’ll provide you comfort. These shoes have abrasion protection because of welded synthetic overlays. You can easily put and remove the shows because of the fixed bungee lacing system. They have contoured midsole and footbed for rapid drainage. These shoes have J-Step non-marking rubber outsole that provides exceptional grip on smooth, wet surfaces. They have transitions with changing conditions. These shoes regulate core temperature and provide great breathability
Quick-Dry Textile Upper
Welded synthetic overlays for abrasion protection
Latest deal: Under Armour Men’s Kilchis Sneaker
Best Mountain Bike Shoes Buyers Guide
While buying a product, we first search for different products relevant to it and see the one with the best quality and have more positive ratings from the customers who buy it. If the ratings and quality of the product are the main requirements, then we think of our price range to see whether the product lies in our price range or is out of it. If the price is out of range, we can go for the best products lying in our range.
While buying the best mountain bike shoes, one should see different things, such as sole, fit, breathability, comfort, foot, toe protection and such things. Before buying the mountain bike shoes, one should think of what purpose and type of bike one is buying the product. As if the pedals of the bike are flat or clipped as there are different types of shoes for these two different types of pedals.
One can choose the best one by comparing the different products and should choose the one that matches all the requirements. The product should have good ratings as the customer who has bought it before can tell about it in the best way. All shoes mentioned above in the article have the following features:
Foot and Toe Protection – All the shoes mentioned above provide foot and toe protection as mountain biking is a rough sport, and feet and toes have to do a lot while moving quickly over technical trails. Nearly all these shoes include a toe cap that helps to take the sting out of a rock strike.
Wet Weather Protection – All these shoes provide wet weather protection as there can be a case that you have to ride on wet and muddy trails. These shoes resist moisture with solid synthetic or leather uppers and a DWR coating while riding on such trails.
Breathability – When you pedal a lot on your rides in a warmer climate, then a shoe must provide breathability. All these shoes provide a good ventilating design, as they are all large swaths of mesh or thin upper material.
Durability – Mountain bike footwear is more durable than running shoes. All these shoes are durable and stay in working condition for much longer.
Frequently asked questions about the product
1-What shoes do mountain bikers wear?
Mountain bikers wear XC, Trail, and Flat pedal shoes. These shoes are not like normal sneakers but are a lot stiffer and more durable. They help increase the power output in your pedal stroke and provide protection to the toes from rocks and roots on the trail.
2-Do you need special shoes for mountain biking?
If you’re a beginner and ride flat pedals, you don’t like mountain bike shoes, and you can have normal shoes like trainers or skate shoes. After getting comfort on trails, you should start thinking about MTB specific shoes.
3-Are trail running shoes good for mountain biking?
No, the trail running shoes are not good for mountain biking as trail running is quite flexible with tapered sole while for mountain bike the shoes should have a hard and flat sole. The higher traction of the trail running shoes is unsuitable for the pedal.
4-Are clip-in pedals better for mountain biking?
Clip-less pedals make pedalling a little bit more efficient. But still for a good pedalling, one should have good pedal position and technique when cornering.
The best mountain bike shoes should have a fastening system, which means they should have things such as laces, Velcro, ratchet, or the BOA system. The grip is another factor that is necessary for mountain bike shoes to have, as, without this, it can be difficult to ride a bike on trails. The shoes should be weather-proof so that if you go for a ride while raining through the muddy trail, the mud won’t make your feet dirty. Durability and breathability are two other factors that are necessary for the best mountain bike shoes to have.
All these features are present in the shoes mentioned in this article. One can compare all these shoes and get the desired shoes according to requirements. The summary, pros, and cons of each product are mentioned in this article. These will help the buyer to make the difference between each. For further information, one can go to the provided link to remove any query about the product. While buying shoes for mountain biking, one should be clear about the requirements of whether he wants the shoes for flat pedals or clip-less ones. He should go for the ones that fulfil all his requirements and fall within his budget range.
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.