Best Mountain Bike Shoes [2021 Guide]

Whether biking is your hobby or you consider yourself a pro, you know that high-quality gear is just as essential as a good bike. Comfortable and durable clothing and footwear, along with modern gadgets and other equipment, will enhance your experience.

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Are shoes the next item on your list? If you’re looking for the best mountain bike shoes to match your biking outfit and provide excellent support for a comfy ride, we have five excellent suggestions.

5 Best Mountain Bike Shoes

1. Five Ten Men’s Freerider Pro Bike Shoes


These true-to-size mountain bike shoes come in different colors, so you can be sure you'll find the right design for your cycling style. They're made of synthetic material and have a rubber sole, ensuring a good grip on pedals for increased efficiency and safety. The sole is also dotty, which is another feature that contributes to the overall stability and durability of the shoe.

The synthetic, lightweight upper make these Five Ten shoes suitable for different types of weather. They also come with a removable Ortholite sock liner, which means you can comfortably wear them in summer without worrying about unpleasant odors. There’s also a mesh lining, which lets your feet breathe and prevents excessive sweating.

Some consider these the best mountain bike shoes because they also provide maximum comfort for your feet. That means you can go even on longer rides that could involve hiking, and be sure your feet won't feel tired or weighty in this Five Ten model.

It features the compression-molded EVA midsole and thick pads, so you'll feel like you’re stepping on clouds wherever you go. Other than comfort, the padding keeps your foot safe, along with the impact-resistant toe box that protects your toes.

Pros of the Five Ten Men’s Freerider Pro Bike Shoes


  • Thick padding for increased comfort
  • Breathability and odor prevention
  • Durable outsole with excellent grip
  • Great for different terrains and purposes

Cons of the Five Ten Men’s Freerider Pro Bike Shoes


  • May not be comfortable for people with narrow feet

2. Giro Riddance Men’s Cycling Shoes


Giro Riddance cycling shoes are a terrific choice for fashionable men who want to look cool and feel comfortable and secure while biking. This model comes in several colors and is available in a wide range of sizes.

According to the manufacturer, these are ideal for flat pedal mountain bikes and enable efficient pedaling on all kinds of terrains, even demanding ones. However, this model isn’t compatible with clip-in pedals.

These mountain bike shoes will allow you to bike even on rainy days since the breathable, water-resistant microfiber is quite durable and will resist abrasion. You can also expect fantastic grip from this model; the whole outsole is covered by molded Vibram MegaGrip rubber for high-traction and endurance. The toe box part is reinforced with rubber, which contributes to their longevity and your protection.

As for the fastening method, the Giro Riddance shoes have laces that feature a light closure system but hold the knot quite tightly, which means your foot will stay safe in place. The laces also allow you to adjust the fit perfectly for increased comfort.

The molded EVA midsole and footbed also make it enjoyable to walk in these shoes. They provide just enough support for your arch and offer extremely comfortable cushioning.

Pros of the Giro Riddance Men’s Cycling Shoes


  • Breathable and water-resistant
  • EVA footbed and midsole for both comfort, support, and vibration damping
  • Reinforced toe box for better protection
  • MegaGrip rubber outsole for high traction and grip

Cons of the Giro Riddance Men’s Cycling Shoes


  • Not the most affordable model

3. Five Ten Men’s Freerider MTB Bike Shoes


Five Ten is a famous brand that makes some of the best mountain bike shoes available on the market. They come in many colors and models, and almost everyone can find their favorite among this brand's products.

The manufacturer styled them in a way that imitates BMX shoes, so they’re proof that you don’t need to sacrifice your looks to increase comfort while doing sports.

The Freerider MTBs are made of suede leather and polyester mesh, making them suitable for dry weather. Avoid wearing them on rainy and snowy days, though, as they're not waterproof.

However, the manufacturer states these shoes are enhanced to provide ultimate performance. They have all the technical features necessary for a quality ride.

The unparalleled grip allows you to climb mountains and follow trails almost effortlessly. They won't let your feet slip off the pedals as the famous Dotty tread on the outsoles will make it feel as the shoes were glued to them. Their Stealth rubber soles are the brand's patent, going strong for almost 30 years.

Other than safety, the MTBs provide a high comfort level – suede will make your feet feel all cozy while the mesh upper offers optimal breathability.

Pros of the Five Ten Men’s Freerider MTB Bike Shoes


  • High-level grip due to the rubber dotted outsole
  • Great-looking design
  • Mesh upper for increased breathability
  • Also suitable for hiking

Cons of the Five Ten Men’s Freerider MTB Bike Shoes


  • Not waterproof

4. Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 5 Sneaker


Merrell’s men’s mountain bike shoes come in a wide variety of colors. They can be an affordable investment in your hobby, and you can order the size you usually wear.

Moreover, this brand is an excellent choice for those who want to be more eco-friendly; they're vegan. There were no animal products used during the manufacturing process.

You will probably love the idea of a bike shoe fitting your foot like a glove. That provides a lot of comfort since the stride feels very natural, thanks to the zero drop from heel to toe. The shoe construction is minimalist, and the design will make you look great while cruising the mountains.

However, your more critical concern is probably security and comfort. The mesh upper enables your feet to breathe and makes this model adequate for hot summer days.

Speaking of summer, you don't need to worry about sweating and unpleasant odors either. Merrell's M-Select technology contains antimicrobial agents that can remove any smells and keep your feet fresh for a longer time.

Security is ensured with the Hyperlock TPU film heel counter. It’ll keep your foot safe in place and contribute to the supportive construction of the shoe. Since these can be worn barefoot, there’s a TrailProtect rock plate that keeps underfoot debris off your feet.

Pros of the Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 5 Sneaker


  • Available in many colors
  • Natural, but supportive construction
  • Can wear them without socks
  • Reduced odors thanks to antimicrobial agents

Cons of the Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 5 Sneaker


  • Not much cushioning

5. Giro Chamber Men’s Cycling Shoes


Brands like Giro are well-known for their specially designed shoes for bikes. The Chamber shoes might be one of the best mountain bike shoes on the market, featuring everything you could want from your biking footwear.

Comfort, durability, and security are all covered. They're meant for flat pedals, but you can also go on hiking trails, go for walks, or wear them on everyday occasions – their versatility goes a long way. Moreover, the Giro Chamber model comes in various colors and features a design suitable for almost any type of event.

These shoes are resistant to rainy and snowy weather, so your feet will remain dry inside them. The breathable microfiber upper will allow you to take off your shoes without worrying about unpleasant smells.

On the other hand, there are various elements that make this Giro model highly durable. The toe box and the heel are both reinforced with additional material.

And not only will the shoe resist everyday wear-and-tear, but it'll also keep your feet safe from injuries. The laces enable you to tie them as tightly as possible without making the closure system uncomfortable. You can rest assured that the knot will endure any of your adventurous rides.

The optimized EVA midsole makes these bike shoes an excellent choice if comfortable cushioning is your number one priority.

Pros of the Giro Chamber Men’s Cycling Shoes


  • Vibram rubber outsole for excellent grip
  • Easy to match with clothing
  • Suitable for all weather conditions
  • Tight-holding knot for increased security
  • Molded EVA footbed and midsole for extreme comfort

Cons of the Giro Chamber Men’s Cycling Shoes


  • Not compatible with clip-in pedals

Buyer’s Guide

How will you know which ones are the best mountain bike shoes for your needs? In our buyer’s guide, you’ll find the features you should pay attention to when choosing a suitable model.

#1 Sole Stiffness and Durability

Not all types of soles are meant for all kinds of surfaces. Depending on where you’re planning to ride your bike, the stiffness of the sole will vary.

For instance, those who mostly ride on roads will look for maximum performance and lightweight shoes since they won’t spend a lot of time walking.

But if you're a mountain biker, your tours may include hiking and walking on different types of surfaces, so you need to look for outer soles that are not too stiff.

These models usually have a recessed cleat and a waterproof top layer. They're also easy to clean, which is essential since you're probably going to ride through the mud as well.

When riding in nature, you’re also more exposed to different kinds of obstacles. Make sure your shoes have a durable toe cap for better protection from injury.

If you're into extreme sports, you may enjoy cycling on challenging surfaces. If so, here's a feature you might appreciate in bike shoes: a pedal channel that provides you with more stability since they're also quite weighty. Shoes with rubber soles offer a good grip, so they're a solid choice as well.

#2 Retention System

Mountain bike shoes come with different fastening and retention systems. However, what makes the difference are details that can make your shoes feel even safer and give you more stability.

For example, more advanced lace shoes may have a lace keeper, which might seem minor, but it's quite handy as it keeps the laces in place. You can be sure they won't come undone in the middle of your ride.

When buying bike shoes, pay attention to these details and don’t forget that simple doesn’t mean less secure. That goes for Velcro, which has been in use for a long time, and it’s still popular due to its maximized security.

#3 Weight

Different shoe weights can endure different terrains. If you're planning a cross-country ride that's not too demanding, you can opt for a pair of lightweight shoes that will not weigh you down. This type of shoe typically offers an excellent connection to the pedal and prioritizes easy ground covering.

Those who enjoy riding through woods and on rough and demanding terrains will still need heavier models. It's because they come with enhanced toe box protection, and they're designed to endure more hits and potential obstacles.

Sometimes, these models even go above your ankles. It's up to you to decide if you're going to put safety over pedaling efficiency, which is slightly decreased with these shoes.

#4 Fastening Methods

There are three main types of fastening methods – laces, Boa dial system, and Velcro. Each one has its perks, and your choice will depend on where you’re planning to ride the bike and how long your rides typically are.

Laces are still a popular choice for many of the best mountain bike shoes. They're reliable and provide both comfort and stability for your feet. Pay attention to the material they're made of – if they're too stiff, they may cause uncomfortable contact points on your skin. These models are typically more affordable than ones with other fastening methods.

Wire retention systems are relatively new on the market. They're also called BOA dial systems and have wire laces that ensure a lot of strength, so the shoe feels very stable.

Also, since there are no laces, you can rest assured you won't feel discomfort or pressure anywhere on your foot. Not to mention the fact that this type of retention system gives plenty of space to play with innovative and unique shoe design.

Boa dial systems provide a lot of stability for your foot inside the shoe. It's practically impossible to beat when it comes to the efficiency of pedaling. You may appreciate that you don't need to dismount from your bike if the laces become too loose in the middle of the ride. You can remove one hand from the bars and adjust the shoes on the go.

The Velcro system may be just as efficient. You should bear in mind that Velcro technology has advanced a lot in recent years. So, you can rely on its security as long as the rest of the shoe is made of quality materials.

Whatever type of retention your shoe features, your number one priority is security. Make sure you try on the shoes before the purchase so you can feel if they're stable and well-fastened.

Conclusion 

It may not be the easiest choice since all these models have their pros, but our vote today goes to Giro Riddance cycling shoes. The only downside to these is that they’re not compatible with clip-in pedals, but other than that, they have all you could ask for.

Thanks to the EVA midsole and footbed, the cushioning will keep your foot comfortable while stable in place. They're waterproof, so you can ride your four-wheeler in any weather conditions and enjoy the ride without worrying about slipping. The dotted rubber outsole will ensure an excellent grip and keep your feet secured on the pedals.

If you want to try other brands, Five Ten men's footwear could also wear the title of the best mountain bike shoes. Just don't pick the suede ones since you'll end up with soaking wet feet if it starts raining. Other models will provide great comfort and security for your mountain adventures.

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