We’ve selected 15 best mountain bike shoes for your reference.
In addition to excellent components that can help you tremendously in your riding, a pair of suitable mountain biking shoes can also bring a better riding experience.
We have listed the 15 best mountain biking shoes for 2022 for this purpose and made the most comprehensive reviews. In addition, we’ve collected the most important information buyers want to know as well as frequently asked questions. If this is helpful to you, please follow our website.
- Bontrager XXX Mountain Bike Shoe ($313.99)
- Lake MX332 ($449.99)
- Shimano S-Phyre XC9 ($430)
- Sidi MTB Tiger 2 SRS Carbon ($412)
- Fizik Infinito X1 (€350)
- Giro Empire VR90 ($220)
- Specialized S-Works Recon ($325)
- Shimano ME7 ($220)
- Scott MTB Comp ($129.99)
- Scott MTB Elite BOA ($89.99)
- Five Ten Freerider Pro ($120)
- Specialized RIME Flat MTB Shoes ($140)
- Ride Concepts Hellion Elite ($75)
- Endura MT500 Burner Flat ($119.99)
- Shimano GR5 ($100)
1. Bontrager XXX Mountain Bike Shoe
- Price: $313.99
- Weight: 300g (43 yards)
- Size: 36-48
- What we like about it: Asymmetrical design.
- What we don’t like about it: It might feel stiff while riding.
If you have higher requirements for your equipment, then this Bontrager XXX Mountain Bike Shoe can satisfy you. First of all, the design has an ergonomic high-performance fit, and the asymmetric design is effective in reducing the pressure on the instep. The use of an external wheel cup can prevent slipping and scuffing, allowing you to react faster.
In addition, it uses durable GnardGuard outer material, which effectively prevents wear and tear and increases longevity, making it ideal for mountain riding.
The high-end configuration gives it even better performance, but I found its pedal system seemed a bit out of place on the actual ride. On the ride, the slightly stiff controls made me a little uncomfortable. This may be the reason why it is designed for professional racers, if you are a general rider you need to think about it.
2. Lake MX332
- Price: $449.99
- Weight: 370g (42 yards)
- Size: 39-50
- What we like about it: The ability to handle the trials of mountain riding.
- What we don’t like about it: It’s not for people with fine feet.
The Lake MX332 is an excellent mountain riding shoe, whether it is facing single-track trails or forest trails off-road, it can handle it well. Unlike traditional sneakers, it has a smaller overall size, a design that makes it more suitable for racing rides. The use of Helcor leather also gives it excellent abrasion resistance, while the carbon fiber sole brings more efficient pedaling. If you also like muddy rides, there is also pre-emptive air at the toe to prevent spikes, fully for the rider’s consideration.
Of course, Lake is widely known as a brand that fits wide feet, and these Lake MX332 are no exception. Although there are many sizes to choose from, they are a bit wider compared to typical mountain biking shoes. So, if you are not a wide-footed person, then please choose carefully.
3. Shimano S-Phyre XC9
- Price: $430
- Weight: 330g (42 yards)
- Size: 36-48
- What we like about it: Uncompromising mountain biking shoes.
- What we don’t like about it: It needs to be cleaned often.
Most riders, expect to have a pair of mountain riding shoes that are both fast and comfortable. Fortunately, this Shimano S-Phyre XC9 fits the bill nicely. The super stiff carbon fiber sole with anti-slip spikes on both sides makes for excellent stability and power transfer, which is further optimized by the low stack height midsole. Of course, its biggest highlight is the adjustable claw-shaped metal spikes set up, so you can choose between ultra-light performance or ultimate traction, depending on your needs. Even on long rides, it still performs well.
In addition to these enviable performances, it is also fascinating in appearance. But because of this, you need to always pay attention to its cleanliness, because it will get dirty if you are not careful off-road. Of course, you can choose the black model. But even so, it still needs to be cleaned frequently.
4. Sidi MTB Tiger 2 SRS Carbon
- Price: $412
- Material: carbon fiber
- Size: 38-48
- What we like about it: It’s faster, stronger and easier.
- What we don’t like about it: it’s pricey.
Sidi has an unassailable position in the cycling shoe world, and this MTB Tiger 2 SRS Carbon is one of the best. Featuring a top-of-the-line carbon fiber sole, it minimizes weight without sacrificing strength and durability. It is not an ordinary cycling shoe, quite the contrary, designed for racing. With a rubber treatment on the toe section, used to resist the impact of stones or debris during offset rides, you can trust its quality. The application of the new dial system eliminates pressure on the instep and improves the sense of closure to meet the body type and needs of different riders.
But you should know that when you enjoy all this great performance, it is built on an expensive price tag. The exorbitant price makes many riders hesitate, but we agree it’s all worth it.
5. Fizik Infinito X1
- Price: €350
- Weight: 312g (42 yards)
- Size: 36-48
- What we like about it: Excellent breathability and comfort.
- What we don’t like about it: Please keep it dry.
The Fizik Infinito X1 won our favor in this test. This is thanks to its excellent breathability. The updated new mesh insole gives excellent air circulation. When you focus all your attention on riding, high-intensity riding is still able to keep your feet dry. In addition, the new closure system gives you a perfect fit and works in conjunction with Dynamic Arch Support technology to provide great comfort.
It is worth mentioning that to ensure its ventilation, multiple meshes are set on the upper. But because of this, it is not rainproof. So please try to keep it dry while riding. Try not to use it on rainy days, or you will reap a pair of wet riding shoes.
6. Giro Empire VR90
- Price: $220
- Weight: 315g (42.5 yards)
- Size: 39-48
- What we like about it: Incredible durability.
- What we don’t like about it: The use of laces.
The best part of the Giro Empire VR90 is its incredible durability. With a full carbon fiber outsole and rubber tread, you can put it on for the most aggressive rides. Even in the face of gravel and cuts, it shows little to no signs of wear. In addition, the adjustable SuperNatural Fit footbed allows you to fine-tune the fit and arch support for maximum pedaling efficiency. Who can resist a pair of comfortable and long-lasting mountain biking shoes?
But what makes us complain is that it doesn’t use a closure system, but rather maintains the looseness through the laces. This makes it a safety hazard if you don’t tighten the laces before riding then it could cause it to wrap into the gears. Of course, this does not affect our evaluation of it.
7. Specialized S-Works Recon
- Price: $235
- Weight: 300g (42 yards)
- Size: 39-44
- What we like about it: The explosive speed with excellent power delivery.
- What we didn’t like about it: Some riders weren’t comfortable with its weight.
We’re sure that even if you’re new to riding, you’ve heard of Specialized. The Specialized S-Works Recon is one of the best mountain biking shoes out there. The rubber tread on the toe and heel of the shoe provides plenty of traction for your ride. At the same time, the carbon fiber sole and anti-slip spikes on both sides provide excellent stability and power transfer, allowing you to focus fully on the road ahead. And the ergonomic upper design not only improves efficiency but also reduces the risk of injury, achieving a perfect fit with your feet.
Compared to most mountain biking shoes, it has made a huge change in weight and you will find that it is lighter than the average mountain shoe. But because of this, the lighter weight is not comfortable for some riders, who prefer the fullness that comes with a heavier weight. Of course, it will only take you a little time to get used to it.
8. Shimano ME7
- Price: $220
- Weight: 415g (44 yards)
- Size: 38-50
- What we like about it: A fully functional forest road enduro shoe.
- What we don’t like about it: there is no half-size.
Shimano’s ME7 is full of technical features and you can find all the much-loved performance on it. If you want to experience plenty of power transfer, then the carbon composite sole will serve you well. Although it’s stiff, the sole flexes just right across the toes and provides excellent walking performance. When you stop walking, it still provides a comfortable experience. It was its versatility that made us choose it for this test.
Unfortunately, although it comes in all sizes, it may not fit as well for some riders because it doesn’t come in half sizes. For this reason, it is best to have experience trying them on before choosing them, otherwise, we can’t guarantee that the pair you buy will fit.
9. Scott MTB Comp
- Price: $129.99
- Sole: Nylon and fiberglass
- Size: 40-48
- What we like about it: Secure your foot tightly in the shoes.
- What we don’t like about it: It’s not as stiff as a carbon fiber sole.
If you’re an avid rider with a passion for intense riding, then congratulations on finding a treasure. When you’re still bothered by the fact that your shoes often come loose while riding, this Scott MTB Comp is a great solution. the combination of Boa and Velcro closure means that no matter what difficult moves you make, it will keep the shoe secure. And the proper arch support helps eliminate discomfort while riding, giving you a more comfortable experience. You can enjoy weaving through the forest trails.
Because of the use of nylon and fiberglass soles, they are not as stiff as carbon fiber soles. This makes it not as good as the above riding shoes in terms of power transmission. But when you experience other performances at this price, then even if it makes sacrifices in this area it is understandable.
10. Scott MTB Elite BOA
- Price: $89.99
- Weight: 370g
- Size: 40-48
- What we like about it: A looser fit.
- What we didn’t like about it: Not suitable for biking or hiking.
This MTB Elite BOA is also made by Scott, but the difference is that it offers a more relaxed fit. This gives you a more comfortable stretch in the foot while riding. With the adjustable insole system, it fits and supports your foot perfectly, allowing you to ride for longer periods. In addition, the sole features a minimalist racing-style tread design that provides excellent traction on rocky or loose ground.
Of course, it’s also the design that makes it a thinner sole than the average mountain biking shoe. You can wear it for trail riding, but it’s not a good idea if you want to stop hiking when you do.
11. Five Ten Freerider Pro
- Price: $120
- Style: flat shoes
- Size: 22.1 cm – 35.2 cm
- What we like about it: Lightweight and comfortable upper for all-day rides.
- What we don’t like about it: The soles wear out faster.
Five Ten is a brand we know for flat shoes, and they have always done a good job at this, and the Freerider series is its leading product. Following in the footsteps of previous versions, this Five Ten Freerider Pro has a thicker upper that brings more protection. This is a good balance of height and stiffness. It’s also cushioned and waterproof, so I can wear it for all-day rides, and even then I don’t feel fatigued at all.
What surprised us most was the legendary tread control provided by the rubber tread, which didn’t flinch even on the roughest rocks or exposed tree root sections.
But to our regret, it doesn’t get too much love in use because of the over-reliance on its excellent performance. This makes it wear out faster than other flat shoes. But with the stability and comfort it brings, we think it’s worth it. The cheap price allows it to be replaced with a new pair even if it is damaged.
12. Specialized RIME Flat MTB Shoes
- Price: $140
- Weight: 358g (41 yards)
- Size: 36-49
- What we like about it: It’s comfortable whether you’re riding or hiking.
- What we don’t like about it: not enough authentic riding shoes.
Always considerate of its customers, Specialized has created this RIME Flat MTB Shoe for trail riders, designed to provide the same great performance on hikes as it does on rides. There are enough size options so you don’t have to worry about finding a shoe that fits, and the scientifically shaped design provides a comfortable experience. The rubber sole provides unparalleled flat pedal grip and connectivity, while the foam midsole delivers plenty of shock absorption. This also means it’s going to be more comfortable to walk in.
We felt it was more like a hiking sneaker during our testing. Although it also has the characteristics of a cycling shoe, we would prefer to wear it for outdoor hiking. Of course, no one would turn down a pair of versatile mountain biking shoes.
13. Ride Concepts Hellion Elite
- Price: $75
- Weight: 442g
- Style: flat shoes
- What we like about it: A no-compromise pair of mountain flats.
- What we don’t like about it: There are very few styles to choose from.
Honestly, this Ride Concepts Hellion Elite delivers a very similar feel to the Five Ten Freerider Pro. It uses a soft rubber compound in the material for maximum responsiveness no matter what the conditions are. At the same time, the upper has a good blend of support and grip, and when you need to go all out, it responds immediately. On top of that, we love that it has an elastic lace pleat that keeps the laces secure and you don’t have to worry about lace slack happening.
However, what makes us complain is that it has so few styles. We agree that great mountain shoes satisfy riders not only in terms of performance but even more so in terms of selection. Of course, if you happen to like the style, that would be great.
14. Endura MT500 Burner Flat
- Price: $149.99
- Weight: 539g
- Size: 38-47
- What we like about it: You can trust its quality completely.
- What we don’t like about it: The excessive weight.
We can confidently say that the Endura MT500 Burner Flat is pretty much the top-of-the-line mountain shoe model. The thick rubber sole means it has excellent abrasion resistance, which is further amplified by the supportive insole and reinforced construction. This is its greatest strength, so you can feel confident even when facing rough terrain.
Although traditional laces are used, this doesn’t affect how well it is held in place. Velcro is also added at the foot opening so you can ride with confidence without worrying about the laces coming loose.
If it weren’t for its excessive weight, then it would certainly be the best flat in our test, but trade-offs had to be made to improve its durability. If you’re looking for a mountain flat that can stand up to tough terrain, then this would be a good choice.
15. Shimano GR5
- Price: $100
- Style: flat shoes
- Size: 40-44
- What we like about it: The mind-blowing price.
- What we don’t like about it: The size selection doesn’t satisfy most people.
If you’re looking for an affordable flat-soled mountain shoe, then the Shimano GR5 is a good choice. Whether it’s on gravel roads or technical singletrack, it can handle it well. If you’re looking for a grip while riding, then the sticky rubber outsole can satisfy you. If you want superior breathability, then the mesh leather upper will bring you the same comfort. With a price that you can’t refuse, it’s the top choice for value for money.
However, compared to the two Shimano cycling shoes above, it is only available in size options of 40+, which makes some riders with small feet have to give up. If Shimano is willing to open up the smaller sizes, then there will be more riders to choose from.
Mountain Biking Shoe Buying Guide
Mountain Riding Shoe Category
If you are careful enough, then you will find that the first few models introduced in the list are clipless. The biggest difference between it and a flat shoe is the use of a locking tab at the sole. This gives it more control and easier climbing performance. Clipless cycling shoes are usually lighter in weight and come with a stiff carbon fiber sole for better power transfer. If you are an avid pro race or trail rider, then clipless riding shoes will be the right choice for you.
As the name introduces, the flat shoe doesn’t have too many other devices on the sole, which makes it more oriented towards forest roads and enduro riding. If you look at it from the outside alone, it looks more like a sneaker, which is very beginner friendly. When you get tired from a long ride, you can stop and hike. And, it copes well with both wet terrain and exposed rocks. Since it’s not locked into the pedals, you’ll have a smoother ride. But you’ll also have to work harder on climbs for it.
Laces and BOA system
The BOA system is a graduated dial through the wire at the mouth of the shoe to achieve precise control of the riding shoe. You can make quick and easy adjustments exactly to what you are used to. Its use usually results in a lighter weight, which is preferred for high-end cycling shoes, but it also costs more as a result.
And as a traditional fixation method, many riders have become accustomed to the laces. They prefer the control and fit that comes with laces over the BOA system. You only need to adjust the strength of the laces when tying them, and then you can freely control the tightness. Of course, the inability to adjust in time is also its flaw. Without the presence of velcro, it will be easy to wind into the gears when riding, bringing a bad experience.
Carbon fiber and nylon sole
Generally, high-end cycling shoes will choose carbon fiber material to make the sole. Because it has a stiffer characteristic, this will make you’re pedaling more efficient. It also reduces the weight of the shoe to a certain extent, which is a better choice for riders who like lightweight cycling shoes. But it is also because of its high cost, so you do not see the use of carbon fiber in cheaper shoes.
The nylon sole, on the other hand, is the best choice for value for money, giving the rider maximum comfort while ensuring cost. You will find it has better breathability, but these are sacrificed in exchange for pedaling efficiency. If your budget is not very high, then nylon soles will be a good choice.
Is the lighter the mountain shoe, the better?
Weight has always been a problem for most riders, not only in cycling shoes but in other configurations as well. Our response to this is that weight is not important, or not as important as you might think. After so many years of development, different brands of cycling shoes are similar in weight, even though some individual cases are heavier or lighter, but this does not affect their actual use. Of course, a lighter riding shoe will bring less stress, but there is no shortage of people who like plenty of chunkiness. It largely depends on your daily riding habits, so there is no need to blindly pursue lighter weights.
How to choose the right-fitting cycling shoes?
No matter what style of cycling shoes you choose, if they don’t fit, then everything is in vain. For this reason, choosing a pair of shoes that fit well is the only way to bring out the performance it should have. And a properly fitting shoe means that it is comfortable enough that you won’t slide up and down because it’s too loose, and you won’t bend your toes together because it’s too tight.
Of course, you need to be sure of your size before you choose. If you can, it is best to try them on before you buy. Be aware that even the same size can vary because of different measurements.
Do I need to use women’s cycling shoes exclusively?
There is not too harsh a distinction between male and female models for mountain biking shoes. Although the list is all about men’s riding shoes, they can easily be worn by girls as well. Generally speaking, the women’s models are a bit narrower than the men’s models for the same size shoe. If your feet are on the small side or have high arches, then you can also choose women’s cycling shoes. If you don’t mind this, there is no need to specifically distinguish between male and female models. Of course, no matter what kind of shoes you choose, you need to confirm your size.
Whether it’s clipless riding shoes or flat shoes, carbon fiber or nylon soles, using laces or BOA system, we have them all covered in this review. For these 15 mountain biking shoes, we have done a serious review, hope it will help you. By the way, if you want to go riding in well-known terrain or special terrain, you can book your accommodation on IHG Hotels & Resorts. It is not only rich in variety but also easy to operate.
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