Top 10 Best Mountain Bike Shoes: Trialled & Tested- Our Review

by Daniel T
by Daniel T
Last Updated: 08/10/2019

Finding the best mountain bike shoes has been made easy, our team provide you with their top 10 favourites.

Picking shoes is an important part when kitting up, it’s not all about the bike itself but it’s also about the rider. Be sure to treat yourself to comfortable products to help excel your performance.

There are two types of mountain bike shoes, clipless and flat pedals, we analyse both in this review. Regardless of preference, there are a number of features that are required. Ensure that you pick high-quality and reliable MTB shoes.

Let’s take a look at the best mountain bike shoes that we could find.

What are the Best MTB shoes?

Five Ten Impact MTB Shoe
  • Clipless flat shoe
  • Lace closing
  • Weight: 996-grams
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Bont Riot MTB Plus Cycling Shoe
  • Clip-In
  • Dial closing
  • Weight: 385g
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Sidi MTB Shoes
  • Clip-In
  • Dial & Strap closing
  • Weight: 410g
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Top 10 Mountain Bike Shoes

Five Ten Impact MTB Shoe


  • Clipless flat shoe
  • Lace closing
  • Weight: 996-grams

All seasoned MTB riders know about Five Ten and their shoe innovation. The Impact model is the biggest demonstration of that, the MTB clipless shoe is one of the best around.

There have been some interesting updates to this shoe during 2019, with more strength, more durability and they’re lighter than ever before.

They tick every box, even providing material that dries out quicker than any other Mountain Bike shoe. As always, they also come with ultra-sticky grip, sure to stay put on pedals.

Perfect for riders that are undertaking rocky trails and hoping to push the limits.

Reasons to Buy

  • Versatile, thanks to the durable and flexible design
  • Water and weather resistant, they dry out quickly
  • Durable PU material
  • Rubber outsole grips pedal
  • The foam allows lots of ventilation
  • Reinforced toe cap for protection
  • Stiff midsole for extra power

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not the cheapest option

Bont Riot MTB Plus Cycling Shoe


  • Clip-In
  • Dial closing
  • Weight: 385g

Bont introduce these super-stylish MTB shoes. They easily clip onto your pedals and help keep you comfortable during long, gnarly off-road trails.

Available in various vibrant colours, they are more than aesthetically pleasing cycling shoes, they are also up to the job of demanding routes. Designed to ensure they don’t get mud stuck in the treat and also withstand adverse weather conditions, they’re the ideal choice for high-level riders and beginners alike.

A stiff design throughout, balances the power across the entire shoe evenly. There’s also advanced technology, thanks to the Medial Longitudinal Arch Support to help protect the knees.

Reasons to Buy

  • Heat mouldable for custom fit
  • Water and weather resistant
  • Evenly spreads pressure, for efficient power
  • Arch technology for injury prevention
  • Super stylish
  • Easy to disengage cleat

Reasons to Avoid

  • They come at a price

Sidi MTB Shoes


  • Clip-In
  • Dial & Strap closing
  • Weight: 410g

The Sidi Trace shoe is still going strong and is one of our favourite MTB footwear choices.

The first thing that comes to mind, is quality. It is resistant to tears, scratches and stretching, making them perfect for off-road adventures. With dial fastening, straps and reinforced toes and heels, you will be equipped for the trail in-hand.

They have a versatile design that doesn’t discriminate against walking when it’s needed, offering lots of grip, and the option of tread or toe inserts.

With a perfectly designed sole, it is capable of quickrelease and offers lots of stiffness, thanks to the Nylon RS17 sole.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lots of protection for tough trails
  • Durable against debris
  • Stiff and generates lots of power
  • Available in various colours
  • Easy to disengage sole from pedal

Reasons to Avoid

  • Finding your size can be difficult

Five Ten Freerider Shoe


  • Flat
  • Lace-up
  • Weight- 338g

Cultivated into a casual style, these shoes are nice on the eye, yet they also specialise as MTB shoes.

In fact, they tend to be the best choice for versatile riding. They’re flat shoes without a cleat that connects to the pedals.

With a perfect marriage of stiffness and flexibility, you can continuously generate pedal efficiency whilst remaining comfortable.

Don’t be fooled by their design, although they can be used to run to the shop, they have been customised to suit mountain biking. Boasting a lightweight feel, durable sole and a medium-flex midsole.

Reasons to Buy

  • Amazing grip for riding and walking
  • Durable and sure to last
  • Combination of stiffness and flexibility
  • Hard sole helps generate more power on pedals
  • Stylish design
  • Heat reflective insoles keep your feet cosy

Reasons to Avoid

  • A lot of money for flat soles

Five Ten Pro MTB Shoes


  • Flat Shoes
  • Lace-up
  • Weight: 396g

Adidas are onto a winner, with their Five Ten line. It’s not often that one brand makes it into our top 5, three times.

This pro shoe has made it to fifth in the list due to fantastic grip, comfort and tough.

There’s good grip and then there’s the Five Ten Pro grip, they brandish insane grip, sticking to the pedals whilst you pedal for your life.

Although they don’t look to be stiff, they have a solid midsole and provide perfect sole to pedal connection. Their world-class low-profile soles, take much of the impact, enabling riders to pedal harder, for longer.

They are without a doubt some of the best flat pedal shoes on the market!

Reasons to Buy

  • Easy to clean
  • Great protection
  • Stiff midsole for pedal power
  • Flexible and shock absorbing
  • Super comfortable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Expensive
  • Need to double check the sizing guide beforehand

Giro Riddance Off Road Shoes


  • Flat Shoes
  • Lace-up with lace keeper
  • Weight: 430g

They’re not just super-stylish, they are also practical. Giro Riddance come in a stand-out blue and offer a sticky grip that’s perfect for all terrain.

Giro teamed up with Vibram to ensure a solid grip and stickiness that cannot be found elsewhere. They have been built with technology such as Megagrip and ISR Rubber.

We were impressed with these shoes, as they offer a versatile design that can be used on all trails.

In addition to the sole offering great grip, it also dampens all vibrations.

Reasons to Buy

  • Easy to clean
  • Modern technology
  • Vibram sole
  • Dampens vibrations
  • Extremely comfortable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not cheap

Specialized Sport MTB Shoe


  • Two Bolt Cleat- Clip In
  • Three Strap Velcro
  • Weight: 371g

Specialized is a well-known brand, that continuously pushes the envelope on MTB standards. These shoes offer a two-bolt cleat that fits most pedals.

They have a three-strap Velcro fastening saving you the hassle of laces. The cycling shoes provide a streamline design and are comfortable for all types of MTB riding.

It’s equipped with rubber tread for stiff pedalling, a vented upper mesh for breathability as well as an overall durable design.

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable design
  • Breathable and vented mesh
  • Stiff, rubber tread
  • Super comfortable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Only one colour available

Shimano GR7 Flat Pedal MTB Shoes


  • Flat Shoes
  • Lace Up
  • Weight: 769g

Designed for the downhill trails. They can endure the fast declines with the sticky grip that locks to most pedals.

Looking at the picture, you can see how similar they are to the Giro pair we listed. They come in a fashionista design that you’d proudly sport during the day. The shoes come complete with a streamline style, lace-up and breathable vent panels.

Perfect for riders of all levels. They’re created with a comfortable fit, synthetic leather and mould protection. Thus, the shoes provide complete protection and also dry quickly, protecting feet from the wet weather.

Reasons to Buy

  • Michelin Sole
  • Heat management keeps feet dry
  • Wider profile for pedal efficiency
  • Comfortable inner sole

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sizing information isn’t clear

Mavic Crossmax SL Pro


  • Clip-In
  • Velcro & Ergo Strap
  • Weight: 390g

Looking for clip-in MTB shoes? You will want something that’s streamline, durable and secure.

The Mavic Crossmax are exactly that, thanks to the Velcro fastenings, rubber toe protection and robust ergo strap.

They weigh 390-grams and have a durable design that’s perfect for all MTB riding. With Velcro, they’re easy to fasten and also have an ergo strap for precise adjustment.

Thanks to the firm heel and stiff sole, it offers great power transfer, ensuring pedal efficiency.

Reasons to Buy

  • Solid grip on the outer sole
  • Brilliant pedal efficiency
  • Lightweight

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not the best when unclipped

Northwave Tribe MTB Shoes


  • Clip-In
  • Lace Up
  • Weight: 484g

Northwave have nurtured their shoes before releasing them to the MTB market. We’re glad to say that they have exceeded expectations.

They look stylish, with a casual design that could be mistaken for a skate shoe or everyday fashionable trainer. But, as you dig a little deeper, you will soon see the MTB features.

The Northwave Tribe shoe has solid grip, mesh tongue and comfortable inner-sole. Although they’re full of mountain bike specs, they still remain under the radar. This has been done purposefully, with the casual design, lightweight style and mesh tongue. Enjoy a comfortable shoe for your bike, sure to blend in with your outfit.

Reasons to Buy

  • Michelin sole with stiff, durable design
  • Flat pedal grip
  • Ultra-Grip

Reasons to Avoid

  • Upper suede isn’t the most durable

Essential Buying Guide

Shoes are an important part of riding, especially if you are going to be clocking up the miles. The comfort of your feet is integral and the whole process counts on how long you can ride for, how intense you can ride and whether or not you are able to remain comfy.

Thankfully, there’s a huge choice of bike shoes, meaning there’s something for everybody. It doesn’t matter what type of shoe you prefer, you should be looking out for the following.

Cleat Design

Cleat shoes are clip-in MTB shoes. You want to ensure that the design suits your needs. What should you be looking for?

We prefer a rounded-off cleat that allows you to easily release the clip when needed. As well as being able to separate yourself from the bike, nice and quick, you can also enjoy more engagement with rounded cleats.

Ensure you find a sturdy cleat connection, that is easy to secure and just as simple to disengage the connection.


There are different types of protection on shoes. You can get reinforced ankle high footwear or toe boxes. It’s great to get tough material to keep you safe against loose debris. You also want them to be able to absorb shock and jumps.

The best way to ensure protection is to get tough material and shoes that specifically try to protect your feet.


It’s a fine-line between getting lightweight shoes that still generate enough power. If you go too light, they may not be solid enough to find power in the strokes.

Get quality, lightweight shoes that are all-rounders. We recommend shoes between 750 grams and 1,000 grams.


Another balancing act is that of stiffness and flexibility. Shoe stiffness usually derives from the shank or midsole. Get the right amount of stiffness for your pair.

The stiffer a shoe, the less flexibility. It’s key to get the right combination of both, too little flexibility in the sole and you’ll get less feedback or grip during certain terrain.


The sole of MTB footwear is the most looked-into aspect. Things you want to find in a sole, is durability, stickiness to the pedals, damping features and a comfortable design.

The sole will take much of the impact, ensure that you are picking shoes with a durable sole, but at the same time you want to be comfortable during long trails.

Weather Resistance

Another element of durability is whether or not your key clothing can withstand the weather. If you are keen to ride, whatever the weather, then you will want shoes that can outlast wet, rainy weather.

You may get wet during your ride, but if you do then you will want them to dry off quickly. It is also imperative to have shoes that prevent splashes or cold to get through to your feet.


Check out the tread patterns, they can make a significant difference to your riding experience. Deeper grooves underneath the toe, can help with climbing steep hills. Deeper grooves and indentations throughout, help make the entire movement more efficient.


It’s important to opt for a trustworthy brand that’ll last for a long time. With that said, you want a balance of rubber that has good grip and doesn’t slip off the pedal. The best shoes usually erode and stretch over time, but you want them to do it simultaneously over a long period of time.


What are the advantages of clip in shoes?

Clip in shoes have many advantages:

  • More efficiency
  • Higher output
  • Safer, you won’t slip off the pedals
  • Increased confidence
  • Spreads effort throughout muscles

Having clip-in shoes means ensuring a good cleat opening. This will allow you to easily clip yourself to the pedals. The advantage is that you can have full confidence when riding, not worrying about slipping off the pedal and banging your shin.

It will also increase efficiency and output, as you avoid hesitation and also spread the effort between quad and hamstring. The first half of the stoke is in the quad and the second half of it will be more hamstring, helping you ride more intense during longer trails.

How to Pick the Best MTB Shoes?

On top of taking all of the above into account, you’ll also have a big decision to make, should you go for clip-less or flat pedal shoes?

It’s an ongoing debate between MTB’ers.

Experienced riders tend to choose the flat pedal shoes, whereas beginners lean towards the clipless options, due to them being cheaper and easier to use. We’ve included both types of shoes in our list, find a pair that suit your preferences.

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