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12 Best Gravel Bike Shoes (Reviewed by Experts Nov, 2020)

An ideal gravel bike shoe should consist of a perfect combination of road cycling shoes and mountain bike shoes. So; you need to handpick the key attributes from both these types of shoes to fabricate the perfect blend of a shoe having a tight grip, the right amount of stiffness, being brilliantly durable, and not being too heavy as well.  Gravel riding shoes have made a huge leap in the last few years as they are in a lot of demand nowadays. Thus; a lot of widely renowned brands are focusing on manufacturing the ideal gravel shoe to meet your needs.

Our team of experts (after having collaborated with seasoned professional cyclists) have been researching and shortlisted a few gravel riding shoes with the sole purpose of providing you with shoes that would serve you with optimum performance, comfort, and security.  Fizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoe ticks all these boxes. Therefore; we have decided to consider this as our Editor’s overall best choice. We have also cherry-picked a number of other gravel cycling shoes which would serve your purpose equally well. Hence, we shall be providing you with an in-depth review of all these, below.   

Fizik™ X5 Terra Gravel Cycling Shoe

Stiff soles for efficient power transfer; Cycling Shoes for MenEditor’s overall best choice

The Fizik Terra F5 would be able to provide you with amazing performances, similar to many other high-end cyclo-cross or off-road biking shoes. So; this shoe has been designed to perform equally well in single tracks and also for your gravel riding adventures. The X5 would be able to offer you with more, that too at a not so exorbitant price. Moreover; it looks pretty well and its construction is also spot on. Furthermore; this pair of gravel riding shoes would be able to provide you with outstanding pedaling efficiency, thanks to its carbon molded, nylon fabricated soles. Also; you can walk on a pair of these, while you’re off your bike, pretty comfortably. Thus; making this a very good choice for a wide category of cycling terrains and conditions.

  • Type: Road-Biking/ Gravel-Biking/ Cyclo-cross 
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Laser-perforated Microfiber with Mesh
  • Insole: Fizzy K cycling 
  • Midsole: Injected Carbon Fiber
  • Outsole: Injected Carbon Fiber/Thermoplastic Urethane Co-injected Studs
  • Footbed: EVA
  • Closure: One BOA® L6 dial B & Single Strap with Ratcheting Cable Lace
  • Acceptable cleat mount: 2-bolt
  • Size: EU 36 – EU48 
  • Color: Black,  Silver, Military Green/Tangy Green, Suede Military Green / Orange

We have piloted the Fizik X5 Terra, putting it through rigorous weather conditions and in tough terrains. It performed admirably throughout our tests. So; this show would be able to serve you along a mixed pavement and trails of riding conditions. Moreover; you’ll get the right blend of comfort, stiffness, and proper power-transfer. While at the same time it will be quite easy for you to walk, wearing a pair of these shoes(SPD cleats). Furthermore; the lightheartedness of this shoe would make train riding even more enjoyable for your liking. Thus; buying this shoe would allow you to attain an optimal gravel cycling experience. However; the other shoes that we shall be reviewing also pack quite a punch, so sit back and enjoy our reviews of these gravel biking shoes.

In the following table, we’ve listed the top-notch gravel bike shoes available in the market:

Gravel Bike ShoeWhy we recommend this
Fizik™ X5 TerraTop-notch gravel bike shoe. Stiff soles for efficient power transfer.
Shimano SH-RX800Shimano gravel bike shoe. Provide optimal stability & pedaling efficiency
Sidi JarinOptimal for long-ride stiffness. Perfect for gravel riding.
Louis GarneauVersatile, budget shoes for gravel riding
Giro PrivateerPowerful pedaling and performance
Mavic Allroad ProLightweight, fast and easy fit, highly breathable and quick-drying
Bont Vaypor GDurolite outer skin with identical grip plates
Mavic Crossmax EliteBest Shoes for Cross-Country with Ergo Dil
Shimano SH-XC5An unparalleled choice for MTB & gravel
Fi'zi:k Terra Powerstrap X4Shoes with a unique set of straps
Giro CylinderBOA Dial closure for a precise fit
Pearl iZUMi X-Alp GravelHigh-performance shoes recommended for gravel cycling

12 of the best gravel biking shoes worth spending your money on

We have shortlisted a total of 12 outstanding gravel bike shoes. We have taken these shoes into consideration based on selected criteria. And these shoes have performed admirably, passing our evaluation with flying colors. Therefore; along the course of this article we shall be thoroughly reviewing these shoes and provide you with an in-depth analysis. Hence; we sincerely hope this write-up would help you in selecting the ideal gravel cycling shoe for your biking escapades.

The table below comprises the specifications of gravel cycling shoes which we shall be reviewing throughout this article.

ShoePreviewTypeGenderWeight (Pair)Upper body materialMidsoleOutsoleFootbedFootwear Closure
Fizik™ X5 TerraFizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoe - Adaptive Fit, Carbon Fiber, Microtex MTB ShoeRoad-biking/Gravel-biking/ Cyclo-crossUnisex2.4 lbsLaser-perforated Microfiber with MeshInjected Carbon FiberInjected Carbon Fiber/Thermoplastic Urethane Co-injected StudsEVAOne BOA® L6 dial 7 Single Strap with Ratcheting Cable Lace
Shimano SH-RX800SHIMANO SH-RX800 High Performance Gravel Racing ShoeGravel-biking/Country biking/Off-Road/AdventureMen’s1.16 lbsSynthetic Leather, MeshCarbon fiberCarbon Fiber CompositeCarbon fiberOne BOA®-IP1 Dial and Strap
Sidi JarinSidi Jarin Cycling Shoe - Men's Olive Green, 41.0Gravel biking/ Mountain-biking/Cross-Country bikingMen’s1.58 lbsTechpro Microfiber MatteCarbon fiberMTB SRS Carbon fiberCarbon fiberSoft Instep 4 + Tecno 3 Push Dials
Louis GarneauLouis Garneau, Men's Gravel Bike Shoes, Sapphire, US (6), EU (39)Gravel biking/ Mountain-bikingMen’s1.62 lbsSynthetic leather and meshEVAErgo Grip 2 Nylon/FiberglassEVA3 offset hook-and-loop straps
Giro PrivateerGiro Privateer Lace Men's Mountain Cycling ShoesGravel biking/ Mountain-bikingUnisex1.57 lbsBreathable MicrofiberEVANylon & Rubber High-Traction. LuggedEVALace-up
Mavic Allroad ProMavic Allroad Pro Cycling Shoe - Men'sGravel biking/ Mountain-biking/ Terrain bikingUnisex1.54 lbsMatryx with KevlarEnergy Comp AllroadRubberOrtholiteLace-up
Bont Vaypor G Cycling ShoeBONT Vaypor G Cycling Shoe: Euro 46 BlackGravel / Mountain / Cross-CountryUnisex1.47 lbsUnidirectional Carbon/Faux Suede LeatherThermo EVACarbonHeat-Moldable EVADual Dial Retention System + Kevlar Wiring
Mavic Crossmax Elite Cycling ShoesMavic Crossmax Elite cm Cycling Shoe - Men'sCross-Country / MountainMen1.52 lbsSynthetic Leather/PolyurethaneOrthoLite®Energy Grip Terra/Contagrip®OrthoLite®Ergo Dial QR + Ergo Straps
Shimano SH-XC5SHIMANO SH-XC5 Mountain Bike ShoeCross-Country / Cyclocross / GravelUnisex1.26 lbsImitation LeatherCarbon FiberMichelin High Traction RubberEVAPower Strap Shoe Lace
Fi'zi:k Terra Powerstrap X4Terra Powerstrap X4Gravel / Trail / DownhillUnisex1.29 lbsSynthetic PolyurethanePodiaflex-NX4 NylonFizik 3D FlexFoot-Wrapping Velcro Power Strap
Giro Cylinder Mountain Bike ShoesNo products found.Cross-Country / Enduro / TrailMen1.5 lbsSynthetic Leather/MicrofiberEVACo-molded Nylon & RubberEVABOA® L6
Pearl iZUMi X-Alp GravelPEARL IZUMI X-Alp Gravel Cycling ShoeGravelMen1.5 lbsSynthetic LeatherEVA1:1 Next Step Nylon Composite, TPU LugsEVAL6 BOA® Fit System with IP1 Dial

# For SPD Pedals

1. Fizik™ X5 Terra: Stiff soles for efficient power transfer; Cycling Shoes for Men | Editor’s overall best choice

Fizik™ X5 Terra Gravel Cycling Shoe

  • Type: Road-Biking/ Gravel-Biking/ Cyclo-cross
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Laser-perforated Microfiber with Mesh
  • Insole: Fizzy K cycling
  • Midsole: Injected Carbon Fiber
  • Outsole: Injected Carbon Fiber/Thermoplastic Urethane™ Co-injected Studs
  • Footbed: EVA
  • Closure: One BOA® L6 dial B & Single Strap
  • Acceptable cleat mount: 2-bolt
  • Size: 40 EU – 47 EU
  • Color: Black or Silver

Features & Considerations
  • BOA® L6 dial B: The unsymmetrical opening of the Terra X5 is secured using a solitary micro-adjustable BOA® L6 dial B, consisting of a steel-coated nylon lace which is very robust. Also; it consists of Slipstream® plastic guides, all the way.
  • Precise fit: Along with the BOA® lacing system there is a 25 mm microfiber loop-and-hook strap. Therefore; you can effortlessly get your foot strapped. Moreover; it ensures that the shoe is a fast and seamless fit, irrespective of your foot size.    
  • Upper section: The top portion is made from later-perforated microtex material. Also; the lightweight breathable mesh linings would be able to provide you with very flexible support and keep your foot aerated. 
  • Trail-impact protection: The thicker tongue within this shoe ensures that you get optimum security from any potential trail impacts.
  • Outsole and Insole: The Thermoplastic Urethane Co-injected carbon fiber outsole and laser-perforated microfiber insole that would give your ample amount of comfort and immense amount of support.
  • Heel section: The heel-section is completely covered by thread. Moreover; thread also encloses underneath the toe-box, below the outstep and instep all the way to the sunken cleats. Therefore; you’ll be getting strong support while attached to a cleat of your desire upon wearing this shoe.
  • Cleat compatibility: The X5 is compatible with 2-bolt cleats and mountain pedals.   
  • Weight: Coming at a weight of 2.4 lbs means, these aren’t exactly the lightest gravel biking shoes you’ll find out there. However; you should keep in mind the weight won’t be too much of an issue. Because; you’ll feel super comfy while wearing a pair of these shoes. 
  • Grip: Thanks to the PU-cushioned carbon-composite soles, you’ll have an ample amount of grip while cycling and walking.

Some Weaknesses
  • The suede on this shoe looks very good on the eye. However; you’ll be required to clean these up quite often, as they tend to get pretty dirty at times.

The Fizik X5 Terra is a durable, comfortable, and versatile gravel biking shoe, which also performs outstandingly for you in various types of terrains, such as road-biking and cyclo-cross. Moreover; this shoe would fit your foot seamlessly, it is made from trail protective materials. Also; it would allow you to deliver a good performance and grip for your off-road cycling. 

The unsymmetrical opening of the Terra X5 is secured using a solitary micro-adjustable BOA® L6 dial B, consisting of a steel-coated nylon lace which is very robust. Furthermore; there are Slipstream® plastic guides, all the way, along with a 25 mm microfiber and velcro straps. The Terra X5 is designed to effortlessly and quickly fit into your foot, making sure it fits accurately into any type of foot shape. So; this optimal fit means you’ll have the comfort and performance which you desire. 

The top portion of this shoe is made using laser perforated microtex, which is very lightweight. Also; the breathable inner mesh would give you flexible support and keep your foot aerated. While at the same time the thick tongue material would provide you with optimal protection from trail-impact. Furthermore; there is a Thermoplastic Urethane™ Co-injected carbon fiber outsole and laser-perforated microfiber insole that would give your ample amount of comfort and immense amount of support. The lightweight, intertwined tape heel loops are and very resilient for accommodating your feet. 

The X5 would provide you with confidence, due to its amazing grip on the thread that covers the heel portion, the toe-box, throughput the outstep and instep, and also the sunken cleats. To conclude, you’ll be getting strong support while attached to a cleat of your desire upon wearing this shoe.  The X5 is compatible with 2-bolt cleats and mountain pedals.

Size Guide for Fizik’s Gravel biking shoes:

fizik

Fizik™ X5 Terra Gravel Cycling Shoe

Fizik™ X5 Terra Gravel Cycling Shoe

2. Shimano SH-RX800: Engineered to provide optimal stability and pedaling efficiency; Cycling Shoes for Men

Shimano SH-RX800 Gravel Cycling Shoe

  • Type: Gravel-biking/Country-biking/Off-Road/Adventure
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 1.16 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: One-piece upper, Synthetic Leather, Mesh
  • Midsole: Carbon fiber
  • Outsole: Carbon Fiber Composite
  • Footbed: Carbon fiber
  • Closure: One BOA®-IP1 Dial and Strap
  • Stiffness Index: 10/11
  • Acceptable cleat mount: 2-bolt
  • Size: 36 EU – 52 EU
  • Color: Silver or Black

Features & Considerations
  • Shimano’s Pedaling dynamics: The SPD system performs equally well, whether you’re on or off your bike. So; it ensures that pedaling, in general, becomes more efficient for you in a wider variety of shoes and different modules of pedals. Furthermore; the recessed cleats ensure that you have a comfortable walking experience. Therefore; you can pedal with enhanced efficiency, comfort and stability while using this SPD system.
  • Shimano’s Dynalast: A cycling shoes, toe-spring section, plays a vital role in supporting efficient pedaling. So; if it is too high, then it causes enhanced tension in the calf, plantar and hamstring muscles. On the other hand, if it’s too low, then you’ll end up getting an inefficient pedaling form. Moreover; thanks to extensive research, the superior quality of this shoe’s last design along with an effective set of toe-spring sections would enable you to apply energy-efficient and smoother up-strokes. Additionally; the dynalast would also aid in reducing losses in energy while you venture into long-duration rides. 
  • Outole: The SH-RX800 gravel shoes have a very-stiff, effective, and durable carbon-fiber composite outsole. Also, according to Shimano, this shoe has a stiffness index of 10/11.   
  • Comfort and Security: The TPU lugs, micro-toe armor, and the anti-slip pads would ensure comfort and security while you’re walking.
  • Upper section: This shoe is designed with a one-piece upper portion, which consists of perforated vents to keep you foot aerated at all times. Furthermore; this top-section is very durable and is resistant to abrasion at the same time. 
  • BOA® dial: The BOA®-IP1 dual micro-adjustable dial and strap would aid in securing your for, while you cycle.
  • Cleat & pedal compatibility: The SH-RX800 is compatible with a conventional 2-bolt styled SPD cleat. Furthermore; it would be best matched for you if you use pedals of models; PD-M9100, PD-M8100. 
  • Technology Silvadur®: Thanks to this technology, this shoe won’t end up giving off any bad odor even if you use it for long hours, while traveling. Thus; giving you a long-lasting freshness throughout your journey. 
  • Heel stabilizer: So; this stabilizer would make sure that your foot remained positioned and accommodated comfortably during long journeys through tough and grueling cycling conditions.

Some Weaknesses
  • After years of heavy usage, the rubber and thread on this shoe might show signs of wear and tear.

Shimano’s SH-RX800 gravel shoes have a very-stiff, effective, and durable carbon-fiber composite outsole. Also, according to Shimano, this shoe has a stiffness index of 10/11. Moreover; thanks to the heel stabilizer, your foot will be accommodated seamlessly. The minimalist TPU lugs, micro-toe armor, and the anti-slip pads would ensure comfort and security while you’re walking and you’ll be protected at times, making you race-tuned in gravels.

The cleat-to-pedal interface helps in creating a wider contact point, which is specially optimized to fit your foot effortlessly. Also; the addition of stiff-TPU lugs means you’ll have enhanced pedaling efficiency. Shimano’s SH-RX800 weighs in at only 1.16 lbs, which is pretty lightweight, compared to Shimano’s other gravel biking shoes. For any gravel racing shoe, comfort and optimal-endurance is of utmost importance, the SH-RX800, ticks all the boxes. This shoe fits you like a glove. 

Additionally; this shoe is designed with a one-piece upper portion, which consists of perforated vents. Also; the BOA®-IP1 dual micro-adjustable dial and strap would aid in securing your for, while you cycle.  You’ll be able to buy this shoe as either a black or silver variant.    

Size Guide for Shimano’s Gravel biking shoes:

shimano

Shimano SH-RX800 Gravel Cycling Shoe

Shimano SH-RX800 Gravel Cycling Shoe

3. Sidi Jarin: Optimal for long-ride stiffness; Cycling Shoes for Men

Sidi Jarin Gravel Cycling Shoe

  • Type: Gravel biking/ Mountain-biking/Cross-Country-biking
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 1.58 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Eco-friendly Techpro® Microfibra Matte
  • Midsole: Carbon fiber
  • Outsole: MTB SRS® Carbon fiber
  • Footbed: Carbon fiber
  • Closure: Soft Instep 4 + Tecno-3® Push Dials
  • Acceptable cleat mount: 2-bolt
  • Size: 35 EU – 48 EU
  • Color: Olive Green or Blue Red Iridescent

Features & Considerations
  • Eco-friendly Techpro® Microfibra: Microfibra Techpro®  is a microfiber PU, which is made in Italy. This technology consists of an innovative and eco-friendly leather material, which is very suitable for shoes made for technical sports and off-road adventures like grave riding, this requires a very high level of performance. Techpro® Microfibra consists of features like stability, lightweightedness, it is waterproof and provides eco-friendliness. Furthermore; Techpro® Microfibra has anti-molding and hydro treatment. So; this aids in removing the accumulated bacterias and molds. Techpro® is Oeko-Tex certified, which ensures that there aren’t any harmful substances that might have caused any forms of health hazards. 
  • Instep closure system: The soft instep footwear-closure system is quite wide and has an anatomically curved strap. Moreover; this is combined with a softer, thermo-foamed EVA pad. This pad aids in distributing the pressure equally over the instep area. You can also adjust the soft instep, closure system, from both sides. Hence, perfectly centering the EVA pad, either over a low of high instep. This would get rid of the requirement for a higher instep-extender. Moreover; you can easily replace the soft instep closure-system. 
  • Tecno-3® Push Dials: Sidi’s specially designed Techno-3 system dials fit along the entirety of the length of the shoe. Hence, in the process making the shape of your foot adapt to the upper section of this shoe, ensuring a perfect fit. Moreover; Sidi’s reliable and replaceable closure system has been improved by the newer module of Sidi’s wire material. This is totally non-binding for seamless and instinctive, on the go adjustments. Similar to the majority of Sidi’s other parts, you can easily replace and service the Tecno-3 buckle.       
  • MTB SRS® Carbon fiber: The MTB SRS® Carbon fiber has a huge role to play when it comes to enhancing your overall gravel biking performance. So; this sole consists of replaceable tread-blocks along the toe portion. Also; the section which holds the heel portion is fastened to a medium-module carbon sole. Furthermore; there are replaceable MTB plates, this is specially designed to prevent any potential damage to the sole during the pedal-to-sole contact. For a majority of the twin-retention bar type of MTB pedals, includes; Crankbrothers and Look, you’re recommended to use a reinforcement plate between the shoe and the cleat section. You should follow this process to avoid any potential denting or cracking of the sole. Additionally; you can replace or remove the MTB plates and the ground SRS treads. This MTB SRS carbon-ground sole is toe-spike compatible.  
  • Rubber constructed toe section: The top portion of the toe section is completely rubberized to deflect or resist any forms of potential impacts from debris, stones or boulders, while you’re cycling. So; this is made from a specially designed anti-slipping rubber.       
  • Comfortably fitted insole: The lightly padded insole has a convenient-shaped foam design. It also features a memory effect.  
  • Cleat Compatibility: SiDi’s Jarin is compatible with Mountain Bike (MTB) pedaling systems. So; this uses a 2-bolt SPD cleat standard. For example, Shimano SPD system, Xtreme MTB system, Crankbrothers Race, Time ATAC, Look MTB, Ritchey MTB, Wellgo MTB, etc.

Some Weaknesses
  • No significant drawbacks

Jarin’s shoes have been handcrafted in Italy, they have the expertise of manufacturing, progressive designs of modern-day shoes for gravel biking.   In order for you to get an optimal performance while you’re in for off-road cycling, it is of utmost importance that your physical condition and type of equipment are in sync. Sidi’s Jarin gravel biking shoes have been designed to provide you with an amazing biking experience. So; thanks to the Eco-friendly Techpro® Microfiber Matte top-portion design of this shoe, it’ll provide you with the perfect blend of solace and performance. Also; the synthetic leather material makes these Jarin shoes a cozy and wonderful fit for your feet. Hence letting you perform expertly on challenging tails. Moreover; longevity and sturdiness are one of Jarin’s forte. This is very typical of shoes designed by Sidi.

Thanks to the toe-protector, it will keep roots and rocks away from causing potential damage to your foot. Also; the fortified heel cup aid is supporting your foot, while you go for long and gruelling rides. The closure system on this shoe is a combination of soft instep closure-4 and techno-3 dials. So; this soft instep closure consists of EVA padded straps. This aids in spreading pressure equally while you cinch-down the tension with the help of the techno dials. Furthermore; the perfect adjustment on the outside and inside of the shoes would ensure that your shoe is a good fit for you, irrespective of you having a lower or higher instep. Lastly; the lower portion Tecno-3 push dialing system would allow you to have a cozy and precise fit across your lower foot.  Hence these gravel shoes would perform excellently in your on and off road escapades.  

Size Guide for SiDi’s Gravel biking shoes:

sidi

Sidi Jarin Gravel Cycling Shoe

Sidi Jarin Gravel Cycling Shoe

# Without cleats

4. Louis Garneau: Versatile, budget shoes for road riding; Cycling Shoes for Men

Louis Garneau Gravel Cycling Shoe

  • Type: Gravel biking/ Mountain-biking
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 1.62lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Synthetic leather and mesh
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole: Ergo® Grip 2 Nylon/Fiberglass
  • Footbed: EVA
  • Closure: 3 offset hook-and-loop Velcro straps
  • Acceptable cleat mount: 2-bolt
  • Size: 38 EU – 40 EU
  • Color: Black or Sapphire

Features & Considerations
  • Outstanding comfort: Thanks to the ample amount of space inside this shoe, it’ll be able to offer you a very spacious fit for your foot. Therefore; you’ll feel comfortable at all times, wearing a pair of Louis Garneau’s Gravel Cycling Shoe, as you venture into your exploits.
  • Uppermost layer: So; the top layer of this shoe is forged from synthetic-leather material, which also has a mesh lining. This means the body of this shoe would allow you outstanding support, comfort, and breathability.
  • HRS-80® retention system: This form of retention system securely holds your heel perfectly in place. Thus; in the process it reduces any forms of power losses.
  • Ergo® Grip 2: The Ergo® Grip 2 outsole ensures the maximum amount of mud clearance. Also; the grip is also very praiseworthy while dismounting, it also has removable studs. 
  • Adjustability and Security: While you’re riding, the 3-velcro straps that are fitted to this gravel biking shoe are easily adjustable and would provide you consistent heel support. Also; these straps can easily be adjustable at all times.  
  • Reflective heel: The reflective portion of the heel improves visibility immensely, while you cycle in low-lights.
  • Cleat Compatibility: This shoe has been manufactured to be used with SPD cleat systems and a majority of MTB pedaling systems. 
  • Weight: These pairs of shoes weigh at 1.62lb a pair. So; these aren’t the heaviest gravel bike riding shoes out there. 
  • Multi Air-Flex outsole: The multi air-flex outsole would give you maximum toe-flexibility while you’re riding at all times. Thus; it’ll make your overall riding experience even more comfortable and enjoyable.  

Some Weaknesses
  • If you have a very wide foot, then be sure to take measurements before buying a pair of these. Because; there were complaints that people having very wide feet had a hard time accommodating their feet into a pair of these.

Louis Garneau has been specially designed if you’re comparatively new to gravel biking. The Louis Garneau Gravel MTB biking shoes are equipped with everything that you may possibly ask for and more. The upper layer of these shoes is fabricated from synthetic leather material, which also has mesh, this means the body of this shoe would allow you outstanding support, comfort, and breathability. So; the upper section is thermobonded for a flawless architecture, having nominal pressure points. Moreover; the 3-velcro straps that are fitted to this gravel biking shoe are easily adjustable and would provide you with consistent heel support. Furthermore; the reflective portion of the heel improves visibility by a great deal, while you cycle in low-lighting conditions. The hot stuff insole means it’ll immensely boost breathability and provide you additional arch support. Also; if you happen to be biking through mucky surfaces, then thanks to the Ergo Grip 2 outsole, it’ll ensure the maximum amount of mud clearance. The grip is also very praiseworthy while dismounting, it also has removable studs. Last but not least, this shoe has been developed to be used with SPD cleat systems.        

Size Guide for Garneau’s Gravel biking shoes:

Louis Gerneau

Louis Garneau Gravel Cycling Shoe

Louis Garneau Gravel Cycling Shoe

5. Giro Privateer: Powerful pedaling and performance; Cycling Shoes for Men

Giro Privateer Gravel Cycling Shoe

  • Type: Gravel biking/ Mountain-biking
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Weight: 1.57lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Breathable Microfiber
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole: Nylon & Rubber High-Traction. Lugged
  • Footbed: EVA
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Acceptable cleat mount: 2-bolt
  • Size: 39 EU – 50 EU
  • Color: Bright Red/Dark Red, Black or Olive/Gum

Features & Considerations
  • Solace and Performance: Giro has designed the Privateer to provide you with a gravel biking shoe that would offer you amazing fit, a shoe that is stylish and at the same time very durable.
  • Longevity: The top-portion of this is made from a one-piece breathable microfiber material which would offer you durability for your gravel biking escapades.  
  • Optimum adjustability: Thanks to the empire lace-up system, it will help you in providing a great all-round fit for your foot. The knot holds up very securely to your foot. Thus, keeping your foot secure at all times. Moreover; this footwear closure system by Giro is one of the lightest out there.
  • Competent pedaling: The nylon plates would allow you with sufficient amounts of power transfer. Also; there is stainless-steel hardware. Moreover; the outsole is molded from rubber which would offer very high levels of traction and a very strong grip to hold your foot securely and also allow you to pedal effectively. There are also toe grip within the sole for additional grip and hold for you.
  • Footbed: The footbed on this shoe is designed from molded EVA foam. So; this would allow you with plenty of arch support. Thus, making your feet comfortable while riding.   
  • Cleat compatibility: The Giro Privateer is compatible with a majority of your 2-bolt pedal and cleat systems available. For example, you can use Shimano SPD, Time ATAC, Crankbrothers, etc.
  • Toe and Heel portion: The very high-quality toe and heel portion on this shoe are resistant to any forms of abrasion and are very durable. Also; the fortified rubber toe-caps laces are very long-lasting and can hold a knot firmly.

Some Weaknesses
  • At times, users have complained about the sizes of these shoes after having bought them. Therefore; you are advised to be absolutely sure that you’re going for the right sizes, before ordering or buying them. 

Gravel biking shoes have been gaining more popularity by the day. So; it has turned out to be a real conundrum for cycling aficionados to identify and select a shoe that would suit them best. Therefore; Giro’s Privateer offers the perfect solution to that problem. The privateer offers you a lace-up gravel biking shoe, with the sole purpose of serving you with an all-round, road and gravel biking experience. Moreover; the Privateer definitely stays true to its name and its legacy. Thus; manufacturing a shoe that would provide you with the perfect combination of functionality, very good built quality, and that too at a very affordable price. Giro has draped this shoe with clean, classic styling. This shoe would be able to perform well while you’re gravel biking and at the same time, it’ll look stylish while you walk around wearing a pair of these.    

Size Guide for Giro’s Gravel biking shoes:

giro

Giro Privateer Gravel Cycling Shoe

Giro Privateer Gravel Cycling Shoe

6. Mavic Allroad Pro: Lightweight, fast and easy fit, highly breathable and quick-drying; Unisex Cycling Shoes

Mavic Allroad Pro Gravel Cycling Shoe

  • Type: Gravel biking/ Mountain-biking/ Terrain biking
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Weight: 1.54lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Matryx with Kevlar
  • Midsole: Energy Comp Allroad
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Footbed: Ortholite
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Acceptable cleat mount: 2-bolt
  • Size: 36 EU – 48 2/3 EU
  • Color: Black/Magnet/Black

Features & Considerations
  • Matryx® patented technology: So; the upper portion of this shoe is fabricated from an especially patented technology, known as Matryx® patented technology. Along with the top portion being designed from Kevlar® constructed material. Hence, offering you the necessary amount of efficiency, comfort, and ample amount of foot-mapping support.
  • Ortholite® insole: Thanks to the Ortholite® insoles on this shoe. You’ll be having plenty of long-enduring comfort and support for you for the foot.
  • Autolocker: The auto-locking feature enables you to have dual-adjustability in-between the bottom and top most shoelaces.
  • Lace elasticity: The elasticity on these laces should make sure that it is kept away from the chainrings.
  • Energy Comp Allroad® outsole: So; this outsole is ideal for offering you the perfect interface for a lower rubber-made profile. Moreover;  this is compatible with 2-bolt clearing systems.
  • Resistivity from abrasions: The Matryx®  technology ensures that that upper section of this shoe remains 5 times more resistant to abrasions compared to synthetic-made materials. Furthermore; it should be able to provide you with 10 times more knit. 
  • Anti-slip traction: The rubber-constructed outsole would assist in providing you with anti-slip traction, for your off the bike functionality.
  • Reflective yarns: Reflective yarns on the top, within the Matryx®  technology upper section would be able to provide you with necessary visibility while you venture through low-light terrains. 
  • Easy Clip-in and clip-out: You can effortlessly clip-in and out a pair of these. Also; this shoe happens to be compatible with a vast majority of SPD compatible pedals
  • Index Energy Transfer: According to Mavic’s scale, it has an Energy Transfer Index of 80.

Some Weaknesses
  • No significant weaknesses

Mavic’s Allroad Pro biking shoes have been manufactured to perform outstandingly in any sort of terrain to provide you with the ultimate adventure and riding experience. So; this shoes are specially designed to offer you comfort and durability. Hence; you do not have to worry about its performance when it comes to your gravel biking sessions. So; Mavic has constructed the upper portion material on this shoe using a material known as Matryx. This would serve you with the necessary amount of comfort and vigor. Thus; it is highly capable of enduring your journeys along rough gravel terrains. Mavic’s own Woven-in Kevlar and Nylon®, which is capable of being 5 times more resistant to any forms of abrasions compared to silicon made fabrics. Also; it has 10 times greater knit materials. Therefore; giving your foot the right kind of support and proper pedaling efficiency. The upper portion also contains reflective yarn which would ensure you to be provided with visibility while you travel along with a low-lighting condition. The Allroad pro would be able to offer you with all the attributes that you may possibly ask for. So; this shoe is very durable and lightweight at the same time, it is also very quick-drying and offers plenty of breathabilities. 

 Furthermore; Mavic’s Allroad uses a lace closure for a very featherweight and an effortless customizable fit for your foot. Whereas; the lace elastics would keep the laces on this shoe out from possibly going to the chainrings. You’ll also be getting an extra pair of laces with this shoe, just in case the first pair gets damaged somehow. The auto-locking system would allow you to make dual-adjustability, in between the topmost and bottom laces. While on the inside of this shoe, the Ortholite® insole should be able to give you the comfort which you desire. Also; keep your feet comfortable and aerated, even when you’re not clipped in. Moving to the outsole on this shoe. So; this shoe is equipped with an Energy Comp Allroad® outsole, this is compatible with 2-bolt clearing systems. According to Mavic’s energy transfer scale, this has a rating of 80. So; this isn’t quite as stiff as compared to many other racing model shoes out there. Although; it is very efficient and would serve you with the additional flex. Thus; giving you the comfort while you’re on your gravel biking escapades. Lastly; the low profile rubber made outsole would give you slip-free traction both while you’re off your bike as well as while you’re walking 

Size Guide for Mavic’s Gravel biking shoes:

mavic

Mavic Allroad Pro Gravel Cycling Shoe

Mavic Allroad Pro Gravel Cycling Shoe

# Clipless Gravel Bike Shoes

7. Bont Vaypor G: Durolite Outer Skin with Identical Grip Plates

Bont Vaypor G Cycling Shoe

  • Type: Gravel / Mountain / Cross-Country
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Weight: 1.47 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Unidirectional Carbon/Faux Suede Leather
  • Midsole: Thermo EVA
  • Outsole: Carbon
  • Footbed: Heat-Moldable EVA
  • Closure: Dual Dial Retention System + Kevlar Wiring
  • Acceptable Cleat Mount: 2-bolt 
  • Size: 36EU – 50EU
  • Color: Black, Black/Red

Features & Considerations
  • Heat Moldable Shoes: Bont shoes have a reputation for being the pioneer in heat-moldable shoes. Excellent workmanship for developing these shoes for over 36 years with Epoxy Thermoset Resin, has made them heat moldable.
  • Arch Support: These are some of the best shoes that were expertly designed for providing medical longitudinal arch support.
  • Anatomical Forefoot Shape: These shoes will effectively maintain balance comfort and support when the company’s signature anatomical forefoot gets combined with memory foam and BOA adjusters. 
  • MM Grid Plus Grip: Replaceable grip plates show remarkable performance keeping your feet on the pedals and they work with SPD cleats.
  • Lower Stack Height: With just a 3.6 mm of stack height, these Bont shoes provide a better close-bodied fit with the pedals than most MTB style shoes. 
  • Anatomical Heel Cup: The heel cups were designed anatomically and with the support of closed-cell foam padding, your heels will utilize a smooth inner comfort.  
  • TPU Toe Protector: In case your feet hit something hard, TPU toe protectors will manage to protect them from pain and injury. 
  • Overall Padding: Memory foam is padded inside the lining. The foam that is used has been vigorously tested for 6 months in order to determine its resiliency and ability to absorb impacts.   
  • Lateral Foot Support: Your forefoot will get a moderate amount of lateral support. Therefore, the fingers will remain adjusted for getting better stability. 
  • Body Material: These shoes feature a monocoque chassis with Durolite upper where Carbon was meticulously laid with hands. With faux suede leather lining, these shoes are built for long-lasting service.   
  • Specific Foot Last Design: Unlike traditional shoe-Lasts, Bont shoes are made based on specific Last designs where over 20,000 laser foot scans were used to build one specific Last.     
  • Closure: These shoes come with a dual dial BOA retention system with Kevlar wiring for an easy and quick setup with your feet.

Some Weaknesses
  • Because of the front ramps, clipping-in can be difficult with some sort of pedals such as Look’s X-Track models.
  • These shoes are not the greatest if you want to use them for an extended period of walking. 
  • Not all people with various aspects will prefer these race-ready shoes. 
  • They seem to be pricey. So, not affordable for everyone.

If we want to simply distill it, the Bont Vaypor G is the ultimate cycling shoe made for gravel riding. Reputed shoes for their excellent heat moldability. These shoes promote a custom fit, which means your feet will have a feasible and flexible position inside these shoes. You will appreciate the convenience of the dual dial BOA closure system that includes Kevlar wiring. Now, that is something unique. Mud and rocks will be shed off for their widely spaced treads. However, the ultra-stiff construction may hamper your walkability with them.


Your foot will be positioned by the bathtub-style Carbon outsoles. These shoes are the result of lightweight and replaceable treads with a 2-bolt cleat mount system. Therefore, these will be mostly appealed by the gravel bikers who are looking for something that feels like a road shoe yet offers a 2-bolt pedal system. Offering maximum pedaling efficiency and power transfer, the Bont Vaypor G shoes are something that is more suitable for mixed-terrain and gravel riding; but not for extended hike-a-bikes. Take a look at the size chart of Bont Vaypor G shoes below –

BONT Vaypor Size Chart

Bont Vaypor G Cycling Shoe

Bont Vaypor G Cycling Shoe

8. Mavic Crossmax Elite: Best Shoes for Cross-Country with Ergo Dil

Mavic Crossmax Elite Cycling Shoes

  • Type: Cross-Country / Mountain
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 1.52 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Synthetic Leather/Polyurethane
  • Midsole: OrthoLite®
  • Outsole: Energy Grip Terra/Contagrip®
  • Footbed: OrthoLite®
  • Closure: Ergo Dial QR + Ergo Straps
  • Acceptable Cleat Mount: 2-bolt
  • Size: 36EU – 48.5EU
  • Color: Black, Orange, Black/Fiery Red

Features & Considerations
  • Enhanced Power Transfer: With a score of 40 in the Index Energy Transfer, these will not only transfer maximum power for efficient pedaling but also excellent grip under all types of conditions in all terrains.
  • Superior Fit: Your foot will get an easy and quick release for the micro-adjustment of the Mavic Ergo Dial QR while two Ergo straps will make the adjustment precise. 
  • Maximum Comfort: The Endofit™ tongues will make sure your feet are getting enough comfort by positioning them just in the right place.
  • Cross-Country Design: The lining of the design inspires speed and the shoe has an overall aerodynamic low profile design to ensure an optimal transfer of energy for cross-country.
  • Endofit™ Tongue: These internal sleeve style tongues will wrap around your feet just about every corner and hug your feet closely just in the key places for maximum support. They were developed with the Salomon fit technology.
  • Outsole: These shoes are equipped with Energy grip terra outsoles that have an enhanced glass fiber polyamide inside and Contagrip® rubber lugs.  
  • Contagrip®: This type of rubber is inserted in the outsole that defines the combination of tread geometry, density, and proprietary rubber compound. This enhances better traction and durability.  
  • OrthoLite® Insole: Insoles are made of dual-density OrthoLite® foam for better moisture management and breathability. These high-quality insoles are lightweight, environment friendly and can be easily washed. 
  • Closure: Ergo Dial QR system was developed by Mavic and it is is quite precise for retention
  • Ergo Strap: These shoes come with highly functional Ergo straps that consist of Aramid cables and Aluminum alloy eyelets. 
  • Pedal Compatibility: These shoes are compatible with all current-generation MTB pedals.

Some Weaknesses
  • These shoes may stretch a bit while cycling, but it is not sufficient to get air for breathability; especially when your feet are large.
  • The tightening dial can break if the upper part strikes something hard.

The Crossmax Elite Cycling Shoes were specially designed for the users who enjoy taking their cross-country riding experience to another level. These shoes come with extraordinary Energy Grip Terra outsoles for efficient power transfer. And even if you are off the bike, your feet will get excellent traction and safety for the protective Contagrip® studs reinforcing with rigid toe caps. These studs are excellent especially when you are riding on various terrains. And with the Mavic Ergo Dial QR, you can not only micro-adjust your feet with strong tightening but also release them quickly with ease.

In the Mavic Energy Transfer Index, these shoes have scored 40. This signifies they are outstanding for the transmit of enhanced power. Take a look at the size chart of these shoes – 

Mavic Crossmax Elite Size Chart

‘Mavic’ – the name comes with quality from France. This French brand is certainly renowned and popular in the cycling industry today, with an amazing background. Back in 1889, this company used to be a used bike parts dealer. Now, this company has successfully built a formidable reputation by making top-class products using their long-term experience and pioneering spirit. Mavic impresses everyone with its high-quality innovations whether it is a shoe, wheel, rim, or cloth.  

Mavic Crossmax Elite Cycling Shoes

Mavic Crossmax Elite Cycling Shoes

9. Shimano SH-XC5: An Unparalleled Choice for MTB

Shimano SH-XC5

  • Type: Cross-Country / Cyclocross / Gravel
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Weight: 1.26 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Imitation Leather
  • Midsole: Carbon Fiber
  • Outsole: Michelin High Traction Rubber
  • Footbed: EVA
  • Closure: Power Strap Shoe Lace
  • Acceptable Cleat Mount: 2-bolt (SPD)
  • Size: 38EU – 50EU
  • Color: Black, Gray/Orange, Green Camo, Gray/Magenta

Features & Considerations
  • Shimano Dynalast®: For promoting a smooth and energy-saving upstroke, these shoes were designed with a superior Last, which has an optimized toe-spring section.
  • Expanded Cleat Adjustment: Offer an expanded cleat adjustment combination ranging from 11 mm from the cleat and another 11 mm from the outsole.
  • Power to the Pedal: These shoes are designed in such ways that if they get combined with the perfect pair of pedals, you will utilize a holistic outcome for each stroke.  
  • Secure Fit: These shoes promise to keep your feet securely with their mini power strap shoe lacing 
  • Body Material: Overall great build quality as supple synthetic leather which is actually more rigid than genuine leather was used to make the upper part ensuring perforated ventilation.
  • Lightweight Midsole: The midsole is lightweight yet rigid for the carbon fiber reinforcement.
  • Outsole: The rubber outsoles of these shoes promote an anti-slip profile and will remain in the arch of your foot. 
  • Outsole Pattern: An anti-slip arch outsole pattern makes the outsole grippy for getting better traction.  
  • Superior Mud-shedding Desing: For featuring exclusive MICHELIN® high-traction treads, these shoes are superior for shedding off mud and debris when you step on the pedals. 
  • Spike Option: Allow the option for mounting 18 mm spikes for reinforcing control under extreme conditions. 
  • Additional Laces: You will get an additional pair of laces in the package.
  • Stiffness Index: These shoes score 7 on a stiffness scale of 1 to 12.

Some Weaknesses
  • Heel slippage might be an issue especially when you have narrow heels. 
  • The installation of the additional spikes can be tricky because the rubber of the sole may interfere while tightening them.

Shimano suggests that the SH-XC5 shoe models will be ideal for off-road cycling on mixed terrains. They have these unique power strap lacing closure systems that will convince you by providing a secure fit for your toes. Thus, these are some of the stiff shoes out there in the market yet light for the Carbon fiber reinforced midsoles. The outsoles are blessed with exclusive MICHELIN® treads with an anti-slip arch pattern. Therefore, take as much as adventurous rides you want to take on various types of surfaces wearing these shoes as you will never lose one percent of traction. Then again, your feet will get optimal ventilation all the time for the perforated upper. Although these shoes will work with any pedal that allows a 2-bolt SPD cleat mounting system, the PD-M8000 pedals will be the most proper choice for these shoes. If you want to know how the size of the shoe works, take a look at the chart below – 

Shimano Footwear Size Chart

MICHELIN® High-Traction Rubber Treads:

Gravity-assisted riding such as gravel cycling comes with extreme demands. In order to overcome the requirements, Shimano and Michelin cooperate with each other to make the ultimate outsoles with an excellent grip. There are two zones of different density that characterize these outsoles. And without compromising efficiency for pedaling, an effective knob pattern is strategically placed on the outsole. This pattern also plays a vital role in having an excellent grip.

Shimano SH-XC5

Shimano SH-XC5

10. Fi’zi:k Terra Powerstrap X4: Shoes with a Unique Set of Straps

Fi'zi:k Terra Powerstrap X4

  • Type: Gravel / Trail / Downhill
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Weight: 1.29 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Synthetic Polyurethane
  • Midsole: Podiaflex-N (Composed of Polystar Resin/EVA)
  • Outsole: X4 Nylon
  • Footbed: Fizik 3D Flex
  • Closure: Foot-Wrapping Velcro Power Strap
  • Acceptable Cleat Mount: 2-bolt (SPD)
  • Size: 36EU – 48EU
  • Color: Black, Anthracite/Grape, Mud/Caramel

Features & Considerations
  • Ubiquitous Gravel-Focused Shoes: These shoes are specially designed for the drop-bar gravel riders who are always ready to go beyond their boundaries. 
  • Customizable Fit: You can customize a precise fit by separately adjusting the upper instep and midfoot with two robust straps.
  • X4 Outsole: These are new types of outsoles made of Nylon and specifically engineered for efficient riding on mixed surfaces while targeting stiffness for balance and comfort. 
  • Grip & Durability: Ultra-strong rubber treads are under the outsole for improving grip and durability. 
  • Wide Range of Application: This shoe does it all whether you want to gravel grinding or you want to make an adventure by gliding through a flowy track,
  • Powerstrap Closure System: This type of closure is simple yet effective and reliable. You can quickly and easily secure your foot with an enveloping fit.
  • Upper Material: The upper part is made of synthetic polyurethane that is stronger and more rigid than genuine leather.
  • Deep Heel Cups: The shoes are installed with deep heel cups getting a gripper innovative closure.
  • Sweat Evaporating Holes: Your feet will evaporate no more for these holes and they are also amazing for water drainage. 
  • Stiffness Index: These are undoubtedly some stiff shoes with a stiffness score of 6.
  • Pedal Compatibility: Compatible with all MTB pedals with a 2-bolt SPD cleat mounting system.

Some Weaknesses
  • These straps are not good for flushing out mud or snow from the shoes. 
  • Some people would prefer if the shoes have any sort of reflectors on them.

The Fi’zi:k Terra Powerstrap X4 are some versatile shoes that mainly focus on ubiquitous gravel cycling. These are specifically designed for the riders who love to ride on a drop-bar cycle keeping many aspirations and adventures, which take them beyond their limits for switching tracks from traditional paved roads to frictional gravel grounds. Unlike traditional Velcro straps, these shoes feature a Powerstrap configuration where a ribbon will wrap around your foot with a secure fit.

By carefully considering the combination of comfort and stiffness, these shoes come with the X4 outsoles. Such outsoles allow your feet to turn the pedals effectively on any type of surface. And with a targeted stiffness, these outsoles won’t compromise grip and durability for their Nylon construction and effective rubber treads. These are the ready-to-go shoes for any weather, any riding style, and any terrain. Wearing these shoes, you will be able to climb faster on the tarmac for a long time. Below, we have given the size chart of these shoes – 

Fizik X4-Alp Shoe Size Chart

Fi'zi:k Terra Powerstrap X4

Fi’zi:k Terra Powerstrap X4

11. Giro Cylinder: BOA Dial Closure for Precise Fit. Men’s MTB Shoes

No products found.

The Giro Cylinder Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes are great for letting you focus more on cycling rather than what you have put on. These shoes don’t follow a single discipline, which is good as mountain cycling can lead you to any type of surface. Therefore, you can go out with these shoes with versatile comfort for covering miles of a singletrack trail. Although these shoes may follow a similar line of the Giro Privateer models, they are constructed with a lighter upper. The outsoles are admirably stiffer than a Carbon fiber outsole. The outsole is shielded with a scuff guard to protect your arch from chunky rocks and pebbles in the midfoot area. Surprisingly, the construction of Nylon and Rubber has made the outsoles compatible with steel toe spikes to deal with variable conditions. We have provided the size chart for Giro cycling footwear so that you can have an idea about the size –

Giro Shoe Size Chart


‘Giro’ was founded in 1985, in Santa Cruz, California, at the intersection of sea and mountains. From the beginning of foundation, Giro Sport Design is relentlessly developing new and innovative ideas so that the ride can be more comfortable than the previous one. Therefore, they succeeded in gaining much reputation for inventing the first high-performance helmets for snow sports and cycling. Eventually, they started to make shoes and other sporting gears for serving outdoor enthusiasts. the Riders can enjoy freedom and independence from the core of their experience using these products. As a result, Giro’s products have become the first choice for worldwide champions. Every product is expertly engineered and designed for complementing the body. So, Giro will keep on making gears that will take the riders to their expectations as long as they strive for better.

No products found.

Giro Cylinder Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes

12. Pearl iZUMi X-Alp Gravel: High-Performance Shoes Recommended for Gravel Cycling

Pearl iZUMi X-Alp Gravel

  • Type: Gravel
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Synthetic Leather (3D Knit)  
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole: 1:1 Next Step Nylon Composite, TPU Lugs
  • Footbed: EVA
  • Closure:  L6 BOA® Fit System with IP1 Dial
  • Acceptable Cleat Mount: 2-bolt (SPD)
  • Size: 39EU – 49EU
  • Color: Smoked Pearl/Monument, Black/Shadow Gray, Black

Features & Considerations
  • A Total Gravel Performance: Combining the features of mountain and road bike shoes, these shoes are prominent for a total gravel performance. 
  • Toe Protection: Keep your toes protected from errant stones and uphill hikes reinforcing scuff-resistant TPU layers that will also add durability around the edges.  
  • Maximum Power Transfer: The stiff Nylon soles will not just only flex under pressure but also maximize the transfer of power for serious pedaling. 
  • Vibration Damping: While crossing harsh roads, the EVA inserted heels will provide noticeable vibration damping to keep your foot protected from fatigue and injury.
  • Upper Material: These shoes will ensure immense comfort and improved breathability with their seamless perforated synthetic upper.
  • Outsole: For delivering uncompromising performance, the outsoles are made of 1:1 next step Nylon composites.
  • Closure System: These shoes offer a single L6 BOA® closure with IP1 dial so that you can get equal pressure across the instep while adjusting.
  • Mud-shedding Design: The widely spaced treads have made the shoes superior for shedding off mud and debris.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: All the products are made from high-quality materials with the best standards and are guaranteed with a satisfying return policy.

Some Weaknesses
  • The BOA® L6 dial may allow “micro-adjustability”, but it can do it only in a single direction.
  • The sequential routing system can create uneven tension between the toe box and the top of the shoe.

A great pair of gravel shoes must contain the attributes of road and mountain cycling shoes. Keeping that in mind, the Pearl iZUMi X-Alp Gravel shoes were created and dedicated to the gravel riders. Designed with the X-Project technology, the X-Alp gravel shoes maintain a balance so that neither walkability nor unwavering pedaling stiffness suffers. The L6 BOA® closure comes with a single IP1 dial for ensuring equal pressure adjustment over the instep. The synthetic upper promises to bring comfort and it is adequately perforated to let your feet breathe. Then again, a short EVA is inserted at the heel to provide remarkable vibration dampings to minimize fatigue while crossing longer rough roads. We have sketched out the size chart of these shoes, let’s take a look – 

Pearl iZUMi X-Alp Size Chart

Shoe Care & Maintenance:

Pearl iZUMi recommends using a damp sponge to clean off the mud and a piece of paper to clean off the mud by absorbing moisture. For cleaning the outsole, it is suggested to use a soft brush. Instead of drying the shoe beside a fire, a radiator, a stove, or other means of heat source, let the shoes dry at standard room temperature. Because extreme heat can cause the shoes to crack or dry out. And never use a washing machine to clean the shoes. Doing such activities can hamper the product’s warranty. 

Pearl iZUMi X-Alp Gravel

Pearl iZUMi X-Alp Gravel


Buying guide

Gravel Bike Shoes VS. Mountain Bike Shoes

Gravel bike shoes and Mountain bikes shoes are not the same. So; a majority of mountain bike shoes are fortified to repel any forms of scraping or chafing through rocks or any potential clashes. Thus; making sure your feet remain safeguarded while you’re speeding. While riding a gravel bike, you do usually venture through many different terrains. Also; these gravel bikes generally tend to offer up to 13cm of suspension. Moreover; they do also provide you with a significant amount of protection while riding. It’s just that they cause your legs to bear some additional weight, requiring them to drive in a circle.

So; there are a lot of cycling enthusiasts who use cross-country mountain biking shoes for gravel riding, these shoes usually have toe spikes designed underneath the soles. It would generally assist you while racing uphill. Furthermore; this is especially helpful if you’re into cyclocross racing. Whereas; strictly for gravel riding, you do not require your biking shoes to have toe spikes on them or mountain biking for that matter. This tends to weigh too much on your foot, Hence, affecting your overall biking experience. Similar to mountain-biking shoes, grave;-cycling shoes also use the same 2-bolt cleat mounting system.

Furthermore, there are lugs at the bottom of these gravel-biking shoes, which would aid in protecting the nylon or carbon plates. Also; they would give you sufficient traction, while you get off your bike and walk. You’ll find a number of toughened cyclo-cross shoes out there. Some of which don’t have mountings for toe-spikes. These usually perform similarly to shoes that are specifically used for gravel-cycling.

Stiffness not the deciding factor when it comes to gravel biking shoes

Starting off when it comes to road biking shoes, stiffness is a very important factor, if not the most important factor of them all. As your bike riding surfaces tend to get rough, the super-stiff carbon-constructed soles won’t do much to lessen the number of vibrations. Which usually gets accumulated on the bottom of your foot. Therefore; when you venture through irregular surfaces and pedals for hours. There will come a time when you may end up feeling very uncomfortable underneath your foot. This is when you’ll prioritize comfort. 

This is exactly why you should pick a gravel-biking shoe that would provide you with the right balance between damping and stiffness. So; the shoes which are designed for regular, gravel adventures are manufactured from nylon and or carbon-composed plates. Also; there are certain gravel shoes that have integrated flex-zone in front of the cleat-plates, making the process of walking easier for you.          

Fastening, fit and built for gravel biking shoes

A biking shoe, being a good fit for your foot is undoubtedly the deciding factor for buying that given shoe, irrespective of the discipline of cycling that you’re into. Because, if you’re aren’t comfortable and content upon wearing a certain biking shoe, they most certainly would not have a good riding experience. So; if you require a gravel bike shoe and you’re into racing, then you should look for shoes that have a slightly lower volume for fit. This ensures that a lesser amount of energy is lost when your foot is placed inside these shoes. Shoes which are specifically designed for more endurance, generally have a greater amount of room to accommodate your foot. Eventually, as your feet begin to swell, upon traveling for longer distances.        

For most gravel shoes, the top-most portion is built from synthetic materials, this includes knits. Whereas; others use leather-materials or suede. So; shoes made from leather would be able to provide you with a greater amount of comfort. However; one major drawback of leather made shoes are, they neither dry too quickly nor would they be able to offer you with optimal breathability, compared to their synthetic-made counterparts. Similar to many road or mountain biking shoes, gravel biking shoes also come with footwear closure systems. For example, laces, BOA®, or velcro straps, depending on the type of shoe that you choose to buy.

Shoes that are equipped with laces are usually quite lightweight and adjustable. However; you cannot readily adjust these on the go. On the other hand, BOA® dials make use of cables to down hoisten your foot within the shoe. Moreover; they would allow you to make one-handed micro-adjustments. Also; these are very lightweight. One major drawback of these BOA® dials is they are more prone to damage. So; out of all these, Velcro straps would offer you the lightest pick of the rest. Furthermore; these would also give you the option of making adjustments on the go. Although; these can easily be impeded by muck. Hence, resulting in these collapsing as time progresses.

Try going for a product which resides within an economical price spectrum

So; before you go on to choose your desired gravel biking shoe. We’d suggest you narrow down and select a shoe that doesn’t have a hefty price tag.  To be precise; you should go for merchandise that would offer superior quality and comfort for a longer time. So; a majority of cyclists go for a product based on its price. However; that isn’t entirely a bad thing, but you should rather pick a product that is available with a number of features. Even if that requires you to pay a bit more. Therefore; you are advised to pick a product that has as many features as possible and also comes at a good value.

Features including soles, laces and built material are very important for your biking experience

You should always pick a gravel bike shoe that will serve you as a comfortable cycling shoe. Moreover; it is mandatory that you pick a shoe that is comfortable to wear, is lightweight, and is made from breathable microfiber material to offer you an easy and seamless fit. Hence, you are advised to choose an efficient and comfortable shoe for your gravel cycling adventure. 

Choose a shoe which offers fast release straps options

So; you are advised to look for a shoe that has fast release strap options. As your shoes being equipped with these quick release straps would allow you to operate quickly and easily compared to shoes that have laces. Hence this is one of the features which you should look out for while buying a pair of gravel cycling shoes.    

FAQs

Q1. Are gravel and mountain bike shoes the same?

Ans: If you want to know the answer in one word, then it is – No. However, they follow similar principles. To fend off abrasion, mountain bike shoes tend to have additional armors around them. This adds extra weights to these shoes. Again, some people use XC mountain bike shoes for gravel cycling. The problem is, these shoes obey the rules of having toe spikes for sprinting uphill. But neither this additional weight from armors nor spikes is unlikely necessary for gravel cycling. If you delete these elements, the result will be a gravel-specific shoe. 

With that being said, gravel shoes utilize the same 2-bolt cleat mechanism as mountain bike shoes and you can use the XC shoes for gravel cycling that have light armors and come without any mounts for toe spikes. 

Q2. How do gravel bike shoes work?

Ans: Like most high-quality clip-in or flat mountain cycling shoes, gravel bike shoes work the same way. If these are made for clip-in pedals, then there are mainly 2 components we can demonstrate. One is the pedal that attaches to the bicycle and another one is the cleat that firmly keeps the outsole of the shoe to the pedal. This feature allows the shoe to provide enough power transfer for more efficient pedaling than normal cycling shoes. Since gravel riding doesn’t concentrate on the same type of mountain surface, gravel sneakers are a must for you as they are made based on gravel-specific demands.

Q3. Can I walk with gravel cycling shoes?

Ans: Yes, you definitely can. Although gravel bikers are used to clipless pedals and shoes, that doesn’t mean these shoes are not good for walking. These shoes usually have stiffer soles and recessed cleats, which makes them easier to walk in. While you are gravel cycling, you have to get off the bike and walk on various terrains again and again. So it will never be possible if these shoes are not good for walking.

Q4. Will wearing gravel cycling shoes make any difference?

Ans: Because of having stiffer soles than casual cycling shoes, a minimum amount of power will be lost when you pedal. It is very important especially when you are trying to climb up terrains or go for serious downhill cycling. These shoes are able to flex or blend the pedals very smoothly so that the power coming from your leg goes directly to the pedals, which will lead you to ride faster. 

Also, you will have more balance when you are standing out of the saddle and you can walk with greater feasibility even if the cleats are installed because of the stiffer soles that gravel shoes feature.

Q5. What shoe brands are usually popular for gravel cycling?

Ans: All the shoes that we have mentioned in this article are from the most popular brands in the cycling industry. Louis Garneau, Giro, Shimano, Pearl iZUMi, NothWave Clan, Five Ten from Adidas, Fi’zi:k, Bont are the most popular and formidable cycling shoe brands. These brands are not just only popular for making gravel cycling shoes but also for making any type of outdoor sports accessory. In this article, all of the shoes have come from such popular and reputed brands. So, you don’t have to worry about their qualities.

Conclusion

Gravel cycling can be very challenging and demand many types of requirements to successfully master it. Not just shoes, but a good quality saddle, a pair of pedals, hand gloves, and above all a sturdy bicycle will be preferable to any rider for this type of cycling. And whether clipless or not, a pair of good quality shoes is a must. And it can be difficult for many to decide what kind of brand and what kind of shoes they need to buy for a certain budget. The shoes we have brought to you in this article can be said to be good with blindfolded eyes. Although we have to set an “Overall Best Choice” in the context of our article, we support each shoe equally. You can be sure that each shoe will benefit you in one way or another. So why the delay? If you already know which pair of shoes you need on this list, buy one now. We can assure you that your purchase will recoup your money.

Yes, you may already have your own choice as well. We respect your choice and we are not asking you to refrain from your choice in any way. From wherever you buy and whatever you buy, always do good research first about that product and get an expert’s opinion if necessary. If you plan to buy a pair of gravel cycling shoes online, make sure the retailer adheres to the return policy. As always, we thank you for reading the article and wish you the best of luck in finding a suitable pair of gravel cycling shoes.

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Last update on 2020-11-25 at 01:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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