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10 Best MTB Shoes for Flat Pedals (Reviewed Nov, 2020)

No matter if you are a beginner or an experienced rider, flat shoes will always be the option to start mountain biking as they are able to eliminate the level of fear for trying something new and exciting. There are no cleats, as a result; beginners can mainly focus on the fundamental technique barring the worry of properly clip-in and clip-out. Where the veterans can try to be more daring on terrain or downhill as they know they can quickly escape the route. As these biking flat shoes are used on flat or platform style pedals, your riding experience will be smooth and fluid. However, you may have to sacrifice greater performance for road racing and have to apply greater effort for climbing mountains as here you will get less ability to pull up the pedals compared to the clipless pedals.

To determine which flat shoes are the best for mountain biking, our test editors team had gone through exclusive research by checking every relevant product in the market carefully, reading surveys and reviews, speaking with the designers and managers directly, wearing them for a long time and roughly using them. Finally, we were able to make a list of flat shoes that are undoubtedly the best for mountain biking.

Our list includes 10 of the best flat shoes for MTB. Among all the shoes, we strongly believe the Five Ten Men’s Freerider Pro shoes from Adidas are the best if you evaluate aesthetics, value, comfort, performance, durability, grip, and off-the-bike charm. Therefore, we want to entitle this pair of shoes as our “Overall Best Choice”. These shoes also come in women’s variants. So, they are convenient for both men and women.

Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider Pro

Men’s Professional Mountain Shoes | Overall Best Choice

The Five Ten Men’s Freerider Pro shoes are the updated variants of the legendary Freerider versions and these shoes are more durable than ever. These look great when you are off the bike and provide immense comfort when you wear them for mountain biking. You will get the advantage of fully dotted Stealth® S1™ rubber outsoles and the molded OrthoLite® sock liners that are removable. The Poron® Toe boxes will keep your feet protected from impacts. These shoes will dry instantly for their lightweight synthetic weather-resistant upper. And the compression-molded EVA midsoles and EVA footbeds are just awesome for providing excellent support and stability when you are riding. All in all, these are remarkable shoes that allow you to ride with confidence. 

  • Best For: Mountain Biking / All-Mountain
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 0.74 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Synthetic Weather-Resistant Textile
  • Footbed: EVA
  • Midsole: Compression-molded EVA
  • Outsole: Stealth® S1™ Dotty Rubber
  • Footwear Closure: Lace
  • Size: 38EU, 39EU, 41EU, 41.5EU, 42EU,42.5EU, 43EU, 44EU, 44.5EU
  • Color: Night Navy, Strong Olive, Eqt Blue, Black/Red, Black/Solar Red, Black/Grey, Black/Orange

 

In the following table, we’ve listed the best MTB shoes in the market for flat pedals:

Flat MTB ShoeWhy we recommend this
Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider ProMen’s Professional Mountain Shoes
Pearl iZUMi Men’s X-Alp FlowLightweight and Durable Shoes for Long Term Use
Northwave Clan Cycling ShoesExclusive Flats Soles for Delivering Control
Ride Concepts Men’s Livewire ShoesNone can give traction, comfort and durability like them
Adidas Five Ten Men’s FreeriderComfort and Versatility All the Time When You Wearing Them
Shimano SH-GR500 LSG MTB shoeSticky rubber outsole & Durable Synthetic top section
Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX2R GTXFits well and feels very good on your feet
SHIMANO SH-GR7Designed with an outstanding sticky rubber sole. Better heat management
Five Ten Men’s Freerider ContactSticky rubber sole. Ultralight Freerider model
Five Ten Women’s Freerider Contact WMSExcellent grip. Also provides superb power transfer

10 best MTB shoes you can order today for your flat pedals

Our list contains the following best flat shoes that are outstanding for mountain biking. Like always, we have drawn a comparison table of all the shoes from our list to help you to get a quick overview of them if you are really confined in time. And as usual, we encourage you to read the complete article otherwise you will miss out on all the interesting topics. Reading this article will also help you to get an in-depth idea of all the shoes. Thus you might get what you longed for.

ShoePreviewBest ForWeight (Pair)GenderUpper Body MaterialMidsoleOutsoleWomen Variant Available?Footwear Closure
Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider ProFive Ten Men's Freerider Pro Bike ShoesMountain Biking / All-Mountain0.74 lbsMenSynthetic Weather-Resistant TextileCompression-molded EVAStealth® S1™ Dotty RubberYesLace
Pearl iZUMi Men’s X-Alp FlowPEARL IZUMI Men's X-Alp Flow Cycling ShoeMountain Biking0.75 lbsMenRubber/ PlasticEVA60% Rubber / 38% EVA / 2% Thermoplastic PolyurethaneYesLace
Northwave Clan Cycling ShoesNorthwave Clan Cycling Shoe - Men'sMountain Biking / Downhill/ Enduro / Trail1.89 lbsMenSynthetic Abrasion-Resistant MeshEVAMICHELIN-NorthWave Rubber CompoundYesLace
Ride Concepts Men’s Livewire ShoesRide Concepts Men's Livewire Flat Pedal Mountain Bike ShoeMountain Biking / All-Mountai1 lbsMenSynthetic Suede / PU Nubuck / Anti-Abrasion MeshEVADST 6.0 High Grip RubberYesElastic Lace
Adidas Five Ten Men’s FreeriderFive Ten Men's Freerider Approach Shoes, Black/Khaki, 10 D USMountain Biking / All-Mountai0.89 lbsMenSuede Leather / Polyester MeshCompression-molded EVAStealth® S1™ Dotty RubberYesLace
Shimano SH-GR500 LSGSHIMANO SH-GR500 LSG Series Enduro, Trail, Downhill Cycling Flat Pedal Men's Bicycle Shoes, Gray, 38Outstanding grip3lbsMen & WomenMeshRubberSticky-rubberYesLace-up design
Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX2R GTXadidas Men's Terrex AX2R GTX Hiking Shoe - Night Brown/Black/Simple Brown 9Gore-tex waterproof membrane14 ozMen & WomenWater-resistant Gore-texEVARubberYesLace-up design
SHIMANO SH-GR7SHIMANO SH-GR7 Cycling Shoe - Men'sQuick-drying14 ozMen & WomenPerforated synthetic and MeshEVAMichelin RubberYesLace-up design
Five Ten Men’s Freerider ContactFive Ten Freerider Contact Men's MTB Shoes (Black/Red, 4.5)Long-rides13.07 ozMen & WomenSynthetic and MeshEVAStealth Mi6 threadlessYesLace-up design
Five Ten Women’s Freerider Contact WMSFive Ten Women's Freerider Contact Wms Approach Shoes, Shock Green/Onix, 7 B USExcellent grip713 gramsMen & WomenBreathable leather and MeshEVAMi6 Rubber Contact Outsole™YesLace-up design

1. Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider Pro: Men’s Professional Mountain Shoes | Overall Best Choice

Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider Pro

  • Best For: Mountain Biking / All-Mountain
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 0.74 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Synthetic Weather-Resistant Textile
  • Footbed: EVA
  • Midsole: Compression-molded EVA
  • Outsole: Stealth® S1™ Dotty Rubber
  • Footwear Closure: Lace
  • Size: 38EU, 39EU, 41EU, 41.5EU, 42EU,42.5EU, 43EU, 44EU, 44.5EU
  • Color: Night Navy, Strong Olive, Eqt Blue, Black/Red, Black/Solar Red, Black/Grey, Black/Orange

Features & Considerations
  • Stealth® S1 Outsole: Deliver excellent grip and durability maintaining stealth and silent walking, these shoes come with Stealth® S1dotty rubber outsoles. 
  • OrthoLite® Sockliner: The molded OrthoLite® sock liners are removable and they not only provide performance but also comfort.
  • Poron® Toe Box: These toe boxes are resistant to impact.
  • Enhanced Stability: Get enhanced stability with the compression-molded EVA midsoles and EVA footbeds as they will absorb shock and provide arch support. 
  • Upper Material: These shoes feature a lightweight, synthetic upper for resisting weather and abrasion.
  • Fast Drying: No worries if the shoes get wet, they will dry quickly for their synthetic upper.
  • Regular Fit: Available in a variety of sizes to adjust all sizes of the user’s feet.
  • Comfort: Remain comfortable even wearing them for a long time for their padded collar, tongue, and footbed.
  • Closure System: These shoes feature a lace-up closure system.

Some Weaknesses
  • When these shoes are new, they may stick to the pedals while you are riding.
  • The soles of these shoes aren’t much breathable.

The Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider Pro shoes are from the legendary Freerider version and they are now completely updated. These shoes utilize fully dotty Stealth® S1™ rubber outsoles in order to prove their durability and grip. They tout superior protection for your toe and they dry quicker than their predecessors. Some outstanding shoes from Adidas for responsive rides and they come with impact-resistant toe boxes that complement their medium stiffness. We have found this video very interesting and suggest you watch this –  

 

Whether you are mountain biking or enduro riding, these shoes will be the best choices for providing adequate grip and durability. And they promise to keep your feet comfortable all day long with their padded collar and footbed. These are excellent flat pedal shoes that mean they are also comfortable when you walk around with them. With their lightweight, synthetic weather-resistant upper; you can rock and roll on any trail. Luckily, these shoes can also be found for the ladies that are the Five Ten Women’s Freerider Pro shoes.

Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider Pro

Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider Pro

2. Pearl iZUMi Men’s X-Alp Flow: Lightweight and Durable Shoes for Long Term Use

Pearl iZUMi Men’s X-Alp Flow

  • Best For: Mountain Biking
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 0.75 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Rubber/ Plastic
  • Footbed: Compressed Foam
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole: 60% Rubber / 38% EVA / 2% Thermoplastic Polyurethane
  • Footwear Closure: Lace
  • Size: 39EU – 49EU
  • Color: Pine, Navy One, Black

Features & Considerations
  • All-day Comfort: In order to adapt your unique foot shape, these shoes will definitely provide all-day comfort by eliminating hot spots.
  • Long-lasting Traction: For offering long-lasting traction in all types of conditions, the toe and heel areas of these shoes have open, chevron shape lugs.
  • Hike-a-bike Durability: The chevron lugs that are used at the heel and toe, are made of firm rubber and they are carefully shaped in order to scramble confidence in you with hike-a-bike durability. 
  • Shock Absorption Midsoles: When you are landing hard, these EVA midsoles will be very effective for absorbing shocks. 
  • Outsole: The dual-density zonal outsole compounds allow these shoes to blend perfectly for ensuring you get an exceptional grip, traction and durability.
  • Instant Engagement: For offering instant pedal pin engagement, the pedal zones are equipped with smooth and siped rubber.
  • Build Quality: The seamless upper part is abrasion-resistant and made from a combination of lightweight, synthetic materials that include rubber, EVA, and thermoplastic polyurethane.  
  • Closure: For a precise fit, these shoes feature the traditional lace closure.
  • Lace Lock: You can stash the laces to somewhere safe with the lace locks and keep them free from the drivetrain.

Some Weaknesses
  • The outsoles may lack in tackiness and they may not provide the desired grip.
  • The rubber edges in the toe box area may stip off after using them for a couple of months.
  • Some users suggest if these shoes are a little stickier, then it would be better.

The Pearl iZUMi Men’s X-Alp Flow shoes are for the riders who want to push their boundaries on the trail. Satisfying all the requirements, these shoes will offer a serious grip on a flat pedal. These shoes feature dual compound soles that are inserted with soft and siped rubber for providing optimal grip at the ball area of your foot. These rubber outsoles are very handy for positive engagement between your foot and the pedal pin. If you are scrambling for confidence while riding, then the chevron lugs will make it happen with high-quality durability as they are filled with durable rubber and shaped carefully. These shoes are also available in women’s variants, which are called the Pearl iZUMi Women’s X-Alp Flow.

Care & Maintenance:

Pearl iZUMi suggests you clean off the mud with a damp sponge. In order to maintain shape and absorb moisture, you should stuff the inside with a piece of paper. Don’t even think about cleaning these shoes in a washing machine. If you need to clean the outsoles, do it with a soft brush. Keep these shoes in a dry place but do not dry them by a radiator, stove, or any other means of fire. The materials can crack out because of overheating. This will be harmful to these shoes and you may void the warranty.

Pearl iZUMi Men’s X-Alp Flow

Pearl iZUMi Men’s X-Alp Flow

3. Northwave Clan Cycling Shoes: Exclusive Flats Soles for Delivering Control

Northwave Clan Cycling Shoes

  • Best For: Mountain Biking / Downhill/ Enduro / Trail 
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 1.89 lbs (Pair) 
  • Upper Body Material: Synthetic Abrasion-Resistant Mesh 
  • Footbed: Welded TPU
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole: MICHELIN-NorthWave Rubber Compound 
  • Footwear Closure: Lace
  • Size: 36EU – 49EU
  • Color: Black, Anthra/Red, Water Blue

Features & Considerations
  • Versatile: These are amazingly versatile shoes and recommended to use for enduro, trail, downhill, all-mountain type cycling.
  • Shock Absorbing Midsole: Equipped with EVA midsoles are effective for absorbing shocks by minimizing weight.  
  • Compound Outsole: With the co-development with MICHELIN, these shoes come with exclusive Northwave flat system compound outsoles for ensuring total control while you ride.
  • Grip on the Go: The compound MICHELIN-NW treads guarantee the grip on the pedals that you have never precedent before. 
  • TPU Shank: In order to offer you greater control and support while you are riding, this TPU shank will adapt your feet with openings calibrating stiffness.
  • Upper Material: These shoes have welded upper made of abrasion-resistant synthetic with large perforated mesh for enhanced breathability.
  • Breathable Mesh: The top is made of breathable mesh that is adequately perforated.  
  • Protective Reinforcements: The toe and heel area are covered with welded TPU reinforcements to protect your feet against impacts. 
  • Closure: The elasticated keeper easily holds the non-stretch laces.

Some Weaknesses
  • If you desire to have soft and stealth rubber outsoles in your shoes, then these are not recommended for you.
  • They can be a little too narrow on the side edge.
  • Compared to other high-end shoes, these offer limited color options.

The Northwave Clan Cycling Shoes are not just any ordinary cycling shoes. They are the most convenient shoes for the types of riders who love to haul around with their bikes in the rockiest, steepest and roughest trails. These shoes will assure you to successfully hit any kind of trail with confidence. Therefore, these shoes were designed to suit all-mountain wear. These are perfect for transferring power when you stroke. Having spacious heels, wider soles, and larger toe-areas; these shoes won’t let you down if you want to take a walk with them.

With the collaboration of MICHELIN, these shoes are blessed with the stickiest rubber compound outsoles featuring exclusive Northwave flat system in order to develop a total control when you pedal. The adaptive TPU shank is a one-of-a-kind feature to analyze these shoes. This opens wide to adjust your foot with calibrated stiffness so that you can attain greater control and support while the EVA midsoles are efficient for absorbing shock. There are also women’s variants of these shoes available in the market.

Northwave Clan Cycling Shoes

Northwave Clan Cycling Shoes

4. Ride Concepts Men’s Livewire Shoes: None can give traction, comfort and durability like them

Ride Concepts Men’s Livewire Shoes

  • Best For: Mountain Biking / All-Mountain 
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 1 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Synthetic Suede / PU Nubuck / Anti-Abrasion Mesh
  • Footbed: D30 High Impact Zone 
  • Midsole: EVA 
  • Outsole: DST 6.0 High Grip Rubber 
  • Footwear Closure: Elastic Lace
  • Size: 39.5EU – 49.5EU
  • Color: Charcoal/Red, Charcoal/Orange, Black/Charcoal

Features & Considerations
  • D3O High Impact Zone Technology: The insoles are developed with D3O high impact zone technology for absorbing impacts and reducing fatigue.
  • Rubber Outsole: According to rubber kinetics, the outsoles promote DST 6.0 high grip rubber so that your foot doesn’t slip off the pedal for aggressive riding.
  • Shock Absorbing Midsole: The footbed is inserted with EVA midsole to provide excellent support when you ride and you will find these midsoles fruitful for absorbing shock.
  • Gusseted Tongue: The tongue is fully gusseted for detaining the intake of dirt and debris. 
  • Protection: Allow you to tune the molding of toe and heel guard for extra protection.
  • Anti-abrasion Upper Material: Construction of these shoes includes suede, PU nubuck and augmented with synthetic mesh that make these shoes resistant to abrasion.  
  • Breathable: The synthetic mesh on the upper does not only make the shoe anti-abrasion but also breathable. 
  • Closure: Feature elastic lace tuck for closure.

Some Weaknesses
  • You may experience a bit of pressure wearing these shoes as they cannot eliminate hot spots in the toe box completely.
  • They are more “slipper-like”. Therefore, they may not offer the maximum grip.

The Ride Concepts Livewire Shoes don’t hesitate to hit the mark when you are searching for something that can offer comfort, durability, and traction. With the concept of ultimate cycling, these flat pedal shoes offer the top-notch construction, which includes a synthetic breathable upper with anti-abrasion mesh. These ultimate biking shoes are suited to be worn anywhere whether you are cycling on a singletrack mountain or you want to hit the downhill. These stylish shoes will exceed your technical demand yet they can offer a pleasant walking experience. Take a look at this video to get a better view of the colors of these shoes – 

 

According to the kinetics of rubber, their outsoles feature the DST 6.0 HIGH GRIP rubber. Therefore, these shoes will ensure you get an optimum combination of grip and durability when you are riding. The footbed is inserted with D3O high impact zone insole technology for added comfort and molding of the EVA midsoles can be delicately tuned for improving pedaling efficiency. You can do whatever outdoor activity makes you feel alive wearing these shoes. Ladies do not worry, you can also get your variants of these shoes.

Ride Concepts Men’s Livewire Shoes

Ride Concepts Men’s Livewire Shoes

5. Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider: Comfort and Versatility All the Time When You Wearing Them

Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider

  • Best For: Mountain Biking / All-Mountain
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 0.89 lbs (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Suede Leather / Polyester Mesh 
  • Footbed: Compressed Foam
  • Midsole: Compression-molded EVA
  • Outsole: Stealth® S1™ Dotty Rubber
  • Footwear Closure: Lace
  • Size: 38EU – 48EU
  • Color: Black/Grey, Black/Khaki, Raw Desert, Black/Solar Red, Teal/Grenadine 

Features & Considerations
  • Stealth® S1 Outsole: Maintaining stealth and silence, these shoes can offer you to have unimaginable durability and grip with these Stealth® S1 rubber outsoles.
  • Dotty™ Tread: Outsoles are covered with these high-friction treads for obtaining an unbeatable grip. 
  • Shock Absorbing: These outsoles are not only stealth but also much practical for absorbing shock.
  • Upper Material: The suede-leather synthetic upper has a textile lining and features polyester mesh to keep your feet cool and dry.    
  • Intensive Stability: When you wear these shoes, they will stick to the platforms as if they have clips. This peculiarity defines intensive stability. 
  • Midsole: Footbed is inserted with molded EVA midsole that will ensure medium flexibility for pedaling. 
  • Regular Fit: These shoes come in a variety of sizes to fit all types and sizes of feet.
  • Closure System: Like most high-end shoes, these also feature a lace closure system.

Some Weaknesses
  • After riding for a couple of miles with these shoes, your toes and balls of the feet may start tingling and almost go numb.
  • Be aware of the size when purchasing these shoes because the size that is said may actually be smaller than the actual.
  • Because of the lack of cushioning, these shoes may not provide comfort as other quality shoes. 
  • The laces lack a little to secure your feet on the shoes.

Adidas has made the Five Ten Men’s Freerider Shoes with the inspiration of the simplicity and style of BMX bike shoes. With the signature style fully dotted Stealth® S1™ rubber outsoles, these shoes promise to keep your feet firmly planted on the pedals. Whether you are riding around the town or on the trail, these shoes won’t compromise performance and comfort. You will appreciate a responsive feel when you wear them for their medium-flex midsoles and sturdy construction. For the female audience, you can check the women’s version of this shoe that is the Five Ten Women’s Freerider shoe.

These shoes were developed for rock climbing. Therefore, these will stick to the pedals all the time when you are cycling and transfer power for effective pedaling. The synthetic suede-leather upper will maintain sufficient airflow for your feet to breathe and will make the entire shore anti-abrasion by absorbing shocks. These shoes come in plenty of eye-catching colors for matching with your personal styling to attract attention or let you have a casual look for downtime style and comfort.

Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider

Adidas Five Ten Men’s Freerider

6. Shimano SH-GR500 LSG: Sticky rubber outsole & Durable Synthetic top section

Sale
Shimano SH-GR500 LSG mountain bike shoe

  • Best For: Outstanding grip
  • Gender: Men & Women
  • Weight: 3lbs (Pair) 
  • Upper Body Material: Mesh
  • Footbed: Rubber
  • Midsole: Rubber
  • Outsole: Sticky-rubber
  • Footwear Closure: Lace-up design  
  • Size: W5, W5.5, W6, W6.5, W7, W7.5, W8, W8.5, W9, W9.5, W10, W10.5, W11, M4, M4.5, M5, M5.5, M6, M6.5, M7, M7.5, M8, M8.5, M9, M9.5, M10, M10.5, M11, M11.5, M12 
  • Color: Gray & Navy

Features & Considerations
  • Rubber outsole: Sticky rubber outsole on this shoe ensures that your foot has an amazing grip on the pedals, while you’re cycling. Whereas; it provides firm footing when you’re on the ground and off your bike. 
  • Synthetic top section: The upper section of this shoe is made from synthetic material with a mesh. Thus; this ensures that your foot is protected at all times, and assures you that your foot remains ventilated at all times.    
  • Closure: It has a regular lace-up design. Moreover; it comes with other alternative color spare laces. 
  • Shoe shape and size: This shoe would easily fit your wide foot. Also; these have got rave reviews from many users, we have tested this out ourselves and it was outstanding. So; they labeled this shoe as one of the most comfortable flat pedal’s shoes.   

Some Weaknesses
  • Size: There were some concerns about the perfect fit size of this shoe. So; we’d recommend you refer to the size chart while you order a pair of these. 

Shimano’s SH-GR500 Mountain bike shoes would give you outstanding grip, good solace, and overall great design. Also; the outsole on these shoes is designed with sticky-rubber material. Thus; it would ensure you have a good grip on your pedals and have an efficient walkability option while you’re not on your bike. Moreover; the long-lasting top synthetic material along with mesh construction would give you that extra bit of protection and more importantly breathability. To conclude; the SH-GR500 is a supreme choice of shoes for your MTBs. 

Shimano SH-GR500 LSG mountain bike shoe

Shimano SH-GR500 LSG mountain bike shoe

7. Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX2R GTX: Fits well and feels very good on your feet

Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX2R GTX mountain bike shoe

  • Best For: Gore-tex waterproof membrane
  • Gender: Men & Women
  • Weight: 14 oz (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Water-resistant Gore-tex
  • Footbed: Rubber
  • Midsole: Lightweight EVA
  • Outsole: High traction TRAXION® rubber
  • Footwear Closure: Lace-up design
  • Size: W5, W5.5, W6, W6.5, W7, W7.5, W8, W8.5, W9, W9.5, W10, W10.5, W11, W11.5, W12, W12.5, W13, W13.5, W14, W14.5, W15, W15.5, M4, M4.5, M5, M5.5, M6, M6.5, M7, M7.5, M8, M8.5, M9, M9.5, M10, M10.5, M11, M11.5, M12, M12.5, M13, M13.5, M14, M14.5, M15, M16, M17, M18, M19
  • Color: Carbon/Grey Four/Solar Slime, Black/Black/Grey Five, Black/Night Brown/Black, Night Brown/Black/Simple Brown

Features & Considerations
  • Comfort: The Terrex GTX fits well and feels very good on your feet. Also; these shoes are ready to perform well, straight out of the box. Moreover; it is able to absorb shock effortlessly. 
  • Gore-Tex mechanism: Although these shoes make use of Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, still these pairs are quite breathable for your foot, during the warm days on parched trails. 
  •  Outsole: The soft rubber-made outsole would allow you greater sensitivity under your foot. Moreover; this would help you with the necessary traction. 
  • Durability: Thanks to the narrow rubber materials around the toes. So; this aids in enhancing this shoe’s durability. Although; this won’t do too much if it comes in contact with boulders or roots.
  • Speed lacing system: We always had high hopes regarding the lacing system. So it did not disappoint, we did not face any issues with the laces loosening from the locking mechanism. This system would be very convenient for you either when you’re pedaling or walk after getting off your bike. Also; we would always recommend you to keep the laces as clean as possible. As it would become quite a challenge while pulling these through the eyelets and plastic locking mechanism.
  • Weight: The GTX is very lightweight if we compare it with many other MTB compatible bike shoes. Moreover; these would offer you outstanding service while you venture through plain and smooth terrain.  However; if you are used to traveling along rough, uneven terrains, then we’d recommend going for something heavier. 
  • Stiffness: We really admired the amount of foot support provided by this shoe. Compared to many of its competitors, this has one of the stiffest midfoot, while at the same time its forefoot flexes as well. However, while we tested these out in an uneven, off-terrain condition, we saw it rather fell short for lateral support, while we wandered off at the off-trail.    
  • Traction: The GTX has a continental rubber outsole which consists of a flexible rubber. So; this rubber has the capability to handle on-trail situations effortlessly. Moreover; upon testing these out in off-trail conditions, it performed better than average, compared to many other of its competitors. However; its performance slightly deteriorated on wet, soggy, muddy, or snowy surfaces. Lastly; thanks to its heel-brakes, it would resist your feet from sliding when you’re out and want to go downhill. 
  • Versatility: Terrex is quite lightweight. Thus; this will aid you to move faster, Moreover; it is very comfortable in both flat and rough trails So; if you happen to be a seasoned cyclist, adapting to this will be super easy for you. Although; if you happen to be a newbie, then it would take some time to get used to this, the added foot support and protection would help your cause.   
  • Water resistivity: The Terrex GTX performed outstandingly when it came to providing resistance from the water. So; its 4.5” flood level along with impassable Gore-Tex gives you additional coziness. Moreover; your shoes will never feel waterlogged. Also; if the top section of your shoe is soaked with water, it quickly evaporates. 

Some Weaknesses
  • Padding: If you are in for a shoe that has perfect padding, then this might fall wide off the mark. However; the padding won’t affect your overall cycling performance.  
  • Pointy: So; these shoes are a bit pointy on the forefoot and quite narrow as well. However; this won’t make any difference in terms of your performance. 

Adidas’s Terrex SX2R GTX is a lightweight, fun and quite an athletic shoe to have at your disposal. So; this will definitely meet your expectation and offer so much more. As it weighed quite less, so we felt really comfortable while using this. Also; we rode our MTBs wearing this and we were very impressed by its versatility, to say the least. However; it isn’t the most comfortable bike shoe that you’ll find out there, due to its deep heel cups. Therefore; this would suit you well, as your primary MTB shoe for flat pedal cycling.  

Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX2R GTX mountain bike shoe

Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX2R GTX mountain bike shoe

8. SHIMANO SH-GR7: Designed with an outstanding sticky rubber sole. Better heat management

SHIMANO SH-GR7 mountain bike shoe

  • Best For: Quick-drying
  • Gender: Men & Women
  • Weight: 14 oz (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Perforated synthetic and Mesh
  • Footbed: EVA
  • Midsole: Rubber
  • Outsole: Michelin Rubber
  • Footwear Closure: Lace-up design
  • Size: W4.5, W5, W5.5, W6, W6.5, W7, W7.5, W8, W8.5, W9, W9.5, W10, W10.5, W11, M4, M4.5, M5, M5.5, M6, M6.5, M7, M7.5, M8, M9, M9.5, M10, M10.5, M11, M11.5, M12, M13, M14, M15, M16
  • Color: Gray/Green & Blue

Features & Considerations
  • Grip: Your shoe’s sole and its grip is a very important feature when it comes to riding your MTBs having flat bike pedals. So; the GR7 is designed with an outstanding sticky rubber sole, made from Michelin. Judging by that, these soles perform amazingly. Moreover; these soles have a wider set of spacings and the tread pattern is more combative, on the toe, and heel accommodating portions. Thus; this helps you either when you’re on your bike or on your foot. Also; this sole grips tightly into the pins on your pedals, giving you a solid interface. 
  • Stickiness:  The Michelin made rubber soles have a sticky feel to it. However; other models of shoes have soles that are more sticky. But the SH-GR7 has a sole which has the right amount of stickiness to it. Therefore; you won’t feel uncomfortable. 
  • Width: Shimano has widened the forefoot and arch on the SH-GR7. Therefore; this would ensure that the surface area is greater. Also; the pedal contact area is broadened. So; this would be especially helpful if you have a wide foot size. You can fine-tune your foot position so much easier while wearing a pair of GR7. Thus; this shoe would give you a solid performance.  
  • Comfort: Shimano’s GR7 would give you comfort on all your mountain bikes. So; the bright green color on these shoes is very noticeable to the eye. Also; the neoprene collar surrounding the opening of the shoes makes sure it looks good. Moreover; you don’t have to worry about this collar putting too much stress on the tendon of your Achilles. This shoe performs impressively in the sand, snow, and sharp surfaces as well. Furthermore; while testing these shoes out on deeply covered snow, the collar on this shoe ensures that your feet remain cozy and dry at all times. The GR7 is also very well padded around the opening. All in all, it would ensure you remain comfortable at all times and performs casually. While at the same time give you that casual look. 
  • Upper body: A large portion of the shoe’s upper is made from synthetic material. So; upon first look, it might look like it’s pretty stiff. However; that is entirely not the case.  
  • Fit: This shoe fits admirably on your foot, with a rather wider forefoot with the purpose of giving you a satisfying feel and enhanced grip. 
  • Toebox: The top section, as well as a large portion of the toe box, is very well perforated. So; this would ensure your foot can breathe. Also; another good addition to the toe-box is its protective toe-cap. Moreover; there is reinforced rubber material that combines with the shoe’s sole, seamlessly.   
  • Ventilation: Your foot would remain aerated at all times while wearing this shoe. Thus, keeping your feet cool, in the process. Also; there is a durable mesh on the sides of the shoe to ensure that your foot remains more ventilated. So; if you compare the GR7 with other shoes out there, it would offer you better performance in warmer climates, largely due to the comfortable mesh inserts.   
  • Pressure on foot: The tongue of the shoe is sufficiently padded with foams. So; this would help with the lesser amount of force being exerted on your foot, while your foot is laced into the shoe. 
  • Insole: The insole on this shoe has built-in arch support. So; this would aid you with the support that you require, both on and off your bike.  
  • Power transfer: Even though these shoes don’t have the stiffest soles out there, you still won’t have any significant power losses while you’re on your bike.  
  • Rigidity: You can feel the pedal while your foot is hosted on it, although very slightly. Moreover; it will not affect your cycling performance. Even when you cycle downhill, this shoe will perform outstandingly, with your foot firmly positioned to the pedal. Although; having a flexible shoe means you’d be able to walk more comfortably.  
  • Weight: If compared to other models of bike shoes, its weight falls within a similar range.    

Some Weaknesses
  • Laces: The laces on these shoes could have been made from a more durable material. So; they can be a bit challenging to tie when you’ve got your gloves on.

Shimano has been working relentlessly to upgrade its line of MTB shoes for its flat pedals. So while we carried out the testing process, the SH-GR7 definitely felt like one of the best shoes compatible with your MTBs. Moreover; these shoes perform outstandingly, straight out of the box. Also; it would grip the pins on your pedals, securely. And the traction that it can provide is also very admirable.  Additionally; it’ll serve you with durability, comfort, and breathability.  To put in a nutshell, the GR7 is an amazing choice for your MTB, on cross-country rides, technical terrains, and also for light downhill. Irrespective if you’re a newbie or seasoned cyclist it’ll perform very well in all sorts of riding situations. 

SHIMANO SH-GR7 mountain bike shoe

SHIMANO SH-GR7 mountain bike shoe

9. Five Ten Men’s Freerider Contact mountain bike shoe: Sticky rubber sole. Ultralight Freerider model

Sale
Five Ten Men’s Freerider Contact mountain bike shoe

  • Best For: Long-rides
  • Gender: Men
  • Weight: 13.07 oz (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Synthetic and Mesh
  • Footbed: EVA
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole: Stealth Mi6 threadless
  • Footwear Closure: Lace-up design
  • Size: M2, M2.5, M3, M3.5, M4, M4.5, M5, M5.5, M6, M6.5, M7, M7.5, M8, M8.5, M9, M9.5, M10, M10.5, M11, M11.5, M12, M12.5, M13, M13.5, M14, M15
  • Color: Black/Red, Black/Clear Grey/White, Legend Marine/Grey Four/Black, Black/Lime Punch, Black/Red/White, Split Black, Split Black

Features & Considerations
  • Grip: One of Freerider contact’s best features is its the sticky rubber sole. So; this provides you with a very superior shoe-to-pedal grip. Moreover; Five Ten has tried to make it more efficient over the years. Also; upon seeing it first you may think that the sole would be smooth, slippery, and lacking sufficient grip. However; once you use it, you’ll understand that’s not the case. The smooth Mi6 rubber on these shoes does a very good job, overall. Lastly; thanks to the low-lying Mi6, you can take your foot off these pedals quite easily as well. However; when you’re going through steep or wet surfaces, the grip may diminish a bit.  
  • Comfort: Being comfortable while riding your bike is possibly one of the most important factors to consider while choosing a shoe. So; the Freerider does very well when it comes to offering you comfort while wearing a pair of these. You won’t feel any strain on your foot even after hours and miles of riding. Also; the molded EVA midsole provides good support. Moreover; the Mi6 not only firmly grips your foot to the pins of the pedals, but it is also capable of providing sufficient protection and damping as well. 
  • Ventilation: The mesh on the upper portion of the shoe would provide you a lot of ventilation, even when you cover long distances. Moreover; you can benefit from such good ventilation, more in warmer climates. 
  • Midsole: You’ll have a sufficient amount of comfort as well as good cushioning while you have these geared on. Also; the midsole ensures that contact to any sharp or heavy objects is diminished.   
  • Security: The top portion is resistant to abrasion, while the strengthened toe caps would provide you with additional security from your toes being stubbed or scrapings.   
  • Fit: These shoes would fit according to the sizes provided with the size chart. However; the front foot portion might be a bit higher compared to other shoes, but this won’t be a problem.
  • Power transfer: The Contact offers amazing power transfer. Also; at the same time allow you to ride for hours without causing any stress to your foot. Moreover; don’t be fooled by its slim profile, it would offer you very good stiffness.
  • Rigidity: This shoe would be able to offer you quite a lot of rigidity. Moreover; it seems to juggle well between coziness and cycling efficiency.

Some Weaknesses
  • Size: Be sure to double-check while choosing the size of this shoe. Since there were times when some confusion arose regarding the size. Hence check the size chart and consult with personnel from the manufacturer to avoid any confusion.

The freerider contacts are well-renowned for their ability to withstand well to grueling long rides. After testing these out, we can assure you that they stayed true to their word. Also; these shoes are pretty well-known for their sticky-dot rubber soles. Thus; this would provide you with a very good shoe-to-pedal grip. Moreover; these shoes would give your foot more of a cushion. The midsole has a burly abrasion-resistant upper portion, whereas; the outsole is quite stiff. Therefore; the Contact is a gassed-up MTB shoe that flourishes even when you use it extensively for a long couple of days, in challenging conditions. Lastly; these shoes are pretty lightweight, well-aerated, and perfect for your long climbs downhill, offering you great performance. Overall; it will serve you with a top-notch performance. 

Five Ten Men’s Freerider Contact mountain bike shoe

Five Ten Men’s Freerider Contact mountain bike shoe

10. Five Ten Women’s Freerider Contact WMS: Excellent grip. Also provides superb power transfer

Five Ten Women’s Freerider Contact WMS mountain bike shoe

  • Best For: Excellent grip
  • Gender: Women
  • Weight: 713 grams (Pair)
  • Upper Body Material: Breathable leather and mesh
  • Footbed: EVA
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole: Mi6 Rubber Contact Outsole™
  • Footwear Closure: Lace-up design
  • Size: W3.5, W4, W4.5, W5, W5.5, W6, W6.5, W7, W7.5, W8, W8.5, W9, W9.5, W10, W10.5, W11
  • Color: Shock Green/Onix, Black/Carbon/Purple

Features & Considerations
  • Power transfer: Contact WMS has one of the stiffest soles, on a flat shoe, out of all the shoes that we’ve used. Moreover; it provided superb power transfer. Also; a very small amount of energy was lost with each pedaling stroke.
  • Grip: Five Ten’s shoes are well-renowned for their Stealth rubber soles. Furthermore; we can assure you, the grip on the soles of these shoes won’t disappoint you at all. So; these are the shoes that would give you an experience closest to using clipless shoes. Also; thanks to the raised dot pattern on the thread and the smooth area under the arch, you can effortlessly adjust your foot on the go.   
  • Comfort: Comfort is not the strongest suit for this shoe. Thus; if you cycle long distances, at a stretch, then your foot may get cramped. So, we’d advise you to switch to a footbed, which is stiffer, that’d make things a lot easier. 
  • Padding: This shoe has moderate amounts of padding throughout its body. However; the padding around the ankles and heel positioning are heavier. So; this would provide you outstanding protection from any strikes of rocks or roots while traveling. 
  • Dampening effect: All thanks to the stealth rubber soles, it’d ensure that there’s a dampening effect while you speed through rough, uneven plains or speed bumps. Thus; lessening out any forms of vibrations in the process.       
  • Breathability: The combo of synthetic mesh along with the textile top portion allows your foot to breathe significantly well. However; it won’t keep dry if you venture into wet terrains. But it’d dry pretty quickly.
  • Traction: Again, kudos to the Contact’s Stealth Mi6 rubber’s grippy surface it would provide you with a generous amount of traction. So; these shoes stick into the dirt, boulders, and tree trunks firmly. However; in muddy conditions, the grip was a little off due to the lack of sufficient tread, under the ball of the foot. 
  • Walkability: You’d feel as though you’re wearing your regular shoes. Moreover; these have soles that are less stiff compared to many other brands of shoes that we have tested. Thus; this makes them suited for your MTBs.   
  • Durability: The Mi6 stealth rubber sole is softer than most other traditional regular stealth rubber. Thus; there were some headaches regarding its durability. More so when found that there were significant marks from the pedal pins. Whereas; the shape of the sole did not entirely change. Although; being exposed to continuous wear and tear of the pins on your pedals would significantly deteriorate the grip on these shoes, eventually.    
  • Weight: These pairs of shoes are among the lightest flat shoes that you’d find out there. So; its lightweight nature doesn’t mean its protection is sacrificed, neither does this affect its overall performance in any way, whatsoever.  

Some Weaknesses
  • Toe-box: We felt as though there isn’t sufficient space on the toe box area. Therefore; if you have big enough feet, then you may feel uncomfortable if you wear it for long periods. 

The Five Ten Freerider Contact WMS shoe is ideal when you plan on traveling long distances on your flat pedal MTBs. So; these shoes have a stealth Mi6 rubber made soles. These are generally very soft and sticky. Moreover; Five Ten vouches for the quality of these soles, and these soles are unparalleled in terms of their grip if compared to any other flat shoes. It can almost be mistaken as being clipped-in. Furthermore; we were hugely impressed with the amazing performance of these shoes, in a wide range of trail types. However; we won’t say that these are the most comfortable flat shoes out there, but you can make minor tweaks to change that. Additionally; since the soles on these shoes aren’t the thickest out there, regular heavy usage would cause them to wear out fast. Also; durability isn’t one of its fortes. Hence, if you’re in the lookout for a shoe that is very long-lasting, then this isn’t a shoe that you should be looking at. To conclude, if you’re looking for a flat shoe, which would give you the feeling of a clipless pedal, then these are just the right kind of shoes for you.

Five Ten Women’s Freerider Contact WMS mountain bike shoe

Five Ten Women’s Freerider Contact WMS mountain bike shoe


Buying Guide: Things to consider when purchasing MTB shoes for flat pedals

Size & Fit

When you ride for more than 4 hours continuously, the shoes that you will wear must be comfortable enough. And when we talk about comfort, accurate size and fit come into our minds first. The shoes that you are going to buy must match your feet width and they should be in the proper volume to ensure your toes get sufficient room for movement. 

So, before you buy a pair of flat shoes, you should try them out and walk with them as much as you can. If you experience any pressure, discomfort, or blood restriction; don’t buy the shoes as they are definitely too small and narrow for your feet. 

Many people get confused about finding the right size of the shoe. Then again, you need to be aware of the false hype on the internet. Many online retailers won’t give you the exact size that you have ordered. Hence, many people are not certain about the size chart of these shoes as different regions use different units to measure the size. Take a look at this size chart which is inspired by the Ride Concept’s size chart to get rid of this confusion –

men    women    youth 
USEUUKCMUSEUUKCMUSEUUKCM
5374235353222341.521
5.537.54.523.55.535.53.522.53352.522
6385246364234363.523
6.5395.524.56.5374.523.55374.524
739.5625737.55246385.525
7.5406.525.57.5385.524.5
841726839625
8.541.57.526.58.539.56.525.5
942827940726
9.542.58.527.59.5417.526.5
10439281041.5827
10.5449.528.5
1144.51029
11.54510.529.5
12461130
12.546.511.530.5
13471231
1448.51331.5
1549.51432

Upper Material 

Man-made synthetic materials are used to make most of the flat shoes. These materials basically include synthetic suede leather, PU nubuck, polyurethane, and polyester mesh. If the upper material is made of some sort of synthetic leather, then it will be easier to clean them. But, leather is not the best for ventilation and your feet may sweat a lot. The shoes that have mesh panels can provide adequate ventilation and keep your feet cool and fresh. However, cleaning such shoes won’t be that easy. Modern flat MTB shoes that show quality even for a little are made of synthetic material for durability and there are mesh lining for breathability. These shoes are available in the market and they are under your budget. 

Some top-of-the-line flat shoes have an upper that is made of kangaroo leather. Now that is something premium and lovely. But being ridiculously expensive, these shoes are not within the reach of ordinary people. Most people go for shoes that are made of man-made material as they are easy to maintain and good for riding in poor conditions.

Sole & Stiffness

If more experienced bikers focus particularly on something when buying flat pedal shoes, that will be the soles. Therefore, you need to check in particular that the shoes you have bought have good soles that are strong and rigid. You will be walking on rough surfaces full of rocks, gravels, and other frictional elements. If your outsole is soft and made of poor material, then it can be dangerous for you. Worst case scenario, you may have to deal with injuries. Standard outsoles usually combine rubber and EVA compounds. Stiff and rigid outsoles will allow you to pedal in wet and dry conditions. You cannot think of efficient pedaling for the lack of power transfer if the soles are poor.  

When we talk about strong outsoles, they should be stiff as well. For mountain biking, your riding flexibility and feasibility depend entirely on the stiffness of the outsoles. The stiffer the outsoles are, the more power you can transport on the pedals. In general, the flat mountain biking shoes which are expensive; contain stiff outsoles and they are made of top-grade industry level materials. On the other hand, the flat shoes which are less expensive usually offer nylon made outsoles.

Protection

If you frequently haul around with your bike on the mountains or downhills, then the shoes you normally wear are the only means of protecting your feet. So you need to make sure they are compatible enough to protect your feet from any injuries. The shoes that you want to buy should be capable of making the ride pleasant under any weather conditions. On rainy days, the pedals get slippery and there are high chances that your feet may slip off the pedals. A proper pair of shoes with durable upper, rigid outsoles and plenty of cushioning can protect your feet from that type of situation. 

Make sure your shoes are not too narrow on the front as they will bring suffocation to your toes. Lack of free movements of your toes will be the reason for this suffocation. With better toe protection the shoes should also offer decent ankle support. Padded collar and tongue will not only add comfort but also protect your feet from rocks. 

Grip & Tread Pattern

Your feet may bounce a lot on the pedals while you are crossing a zigzag mountain track. If the outsole is not grippy enough, it will be harder to place your feet on the pedals. Mountain biking will always require a better grip on the pedals. Especially when you will be doing a lot of downhill biking, you need some sort of shoes with moderate rubber soles that can provide excellent grip. 

The better grip also relies on what type of tread pattern your shoes have. Good quality shoes are often included with unique tread patterns. These patterns increase shoe-to-pedal contact areas while you are cycling. Therefore, you will get more stability on the pedals and flexibility on your toe areas. An innovative tread pattern is responsible for providing a splendid grip.

FAQs

Q1: Why should I choose MTB shoes instead of regular everyday shoes?

Ans: If we compare between regular shoes and MTB shoes. Then, MTB should tend to provide superior power-transfer into the pedals and these also have a rather robust sole, on and off your bike. Moreover; MTB bike shoes would also offer you to carry out various types of activities even when you’re off-road. So; this includes lightweight, gassed-up cross-country racing shoes as well as enduro and trail shoes that are well suited for usage with flat pedals. Furthermore; when you’re searching for MTB shoes, as your primary pedals, then you should consider the type of riding you plan on doing. 

Q2: Which are the ideal shoes for an efficient biking experience? 

Ans: Whether you’re commuting on your bike to work or go on a tour using your bike, MTB shoes are always a very good choice. So; if you tend to get off your bike quite often, then going for a shoe which has a soft, grippy sole as well as a recreational design of shoe would suit your requirement. On the other hand, cross-country is rather well-aerated and lightweight. Also; it is ideal for racing during a sunny climate. Although; their stiff soles, mostly made out of carbon, offer better power transfer but this would make walking a bit difficult for you.  

Q3: How are MTB shoes supposed to feel on my feet?

Ans: Cycling shoes generally tend to feel a bit stiff on your feet. However; that doesn’t necessarily mean they should be hurting or cause too much pressure on your foot, while you’re wearing them. So; the main reason behind stiff soles is, they should be able to hold onto your pedals and not end up bending or folding like any other normal shoe.     

Q4: What MTB shoes should I plan on getting for cycling during winter?

Ans:  Incase for riding during the winter season, you’ll find a number of insulated and waterproof options of boots which would offer you a high degree of warmth and protection from the cold temperature, if you do ride off-road in an atrocious weather condition.       

Conclusion

So; choosing the right shoes that are compatible with flat pedals for your MTBs is just as important as choosing a bike and having a good set of tires. Therefore; provided all these ticks the boxes then you’d have a superior cycling experience and also efficiency in your pedaling. Moreover; you need to take into consideration a number of factors while opting to buy a pair of Mtb shoes. Keep in mind the type of riding that you’re generally used to doing. 

Also; where you ride to and when you’re usually used to riding. Furthermore; like many other biking gears, you should not consider every shoe to be created as equal. So; any specific shoe cannot be expected to be an ideal choice for each of your biking conditions. Therefore; the sole purpose of our review regarding Mtb shoes for flat pedals is to ease your process of buying a shoe from a wide array of choices, one that should serve your purpose.

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Last update on 2020-11-30 at 02:21 / 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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