The Best Mountain Biking Shoes

Whether you’ve taken on a mountain biking trail before or whether you’re completely new to the pastime, the first thing you should know is that shoes matter – and shoes really, really matter. Here are some of the best mountain biking shoes on the market.

Mountain biking is one of the greatest, most fulfilling hobbies that you can choose to have – and a widely increasing number of people are deciding to take it up as their new choice activity rather than going to the gym. 

Whether you’ve taken on a mountain biking trail before or whether you’re completely new to the pastime, the first thing you should know is that shoes matter – and shoes really, really matter. In fact, your shoes are one of the most important things that make sure your mountain biking experience is a great, safe and comfortable one. 

Without the right mountain biking shoes suited to the job, you are more likely to injure yourself, more likely to catch laces and more likely to be in pain – or just to find that mountain biking isn’t the right thing for you, when it’s actually just because you weren’t wearing the right clothing or shoes for it! 

Choose the right shoes. It’s a fundamental rule of mountain biking. 

If you’re new to this, it can be hard to track down comfortable shoes. 

Here’s some advice – and a review of some of the best mountain biking shoes for men and women that you’ll find on the market today.

The Best Mountain Biking Shoes 

Still struggling to find your perfect fit? Here’s a quick review of some of the best mountain biking shoes that money can buy – and why each of them are great no matter which one you eventually decide to side with.

x5 Terra Shoes
  • Terra X5 Shoes

    Terra X5 Shoes are made by a manufacturer slightly off the main track: While you might not have heard of this manufacturer or model even as a regular mountain biker, you’ll quickly find that it’s a great fit – and unisex, too. What’s great about this shoe is the simple comfort – and the fact that you won’t have to break the bank to buy it.

    The only disadvantage is a slightly tight fit for some: Try them in another size if this is the case. 
  • ZOL Predator Plus MTB Mountain Bike

ZOL Predator Plus MTB Mountain Bike shoes gives another option that gives beginners a “unisex” comfortable shoe that means they don’t have to think too much about what they choose. The classic shape means that they’ll be comfortable if you’re used to wearing sneakers or a jogger interested in mountain biking, and a pair of Predator shoes are great at both offering you comfort and grip.

  • Shimano¬†ME5 Mountain Bike Shoes

The Shimano SM-ME5 sounds very “high tech”, but it’s actually just a good, comfortable shoe that will be great for anyone who needs grip and comfort. It’s another unisex option that means you don’t have to go with any “specific” complicated fitting sessions to find one – and it’s comfortable for most people who wear it if happy customers are anything to go by. Some people find that the shoe is too “roomy” – and if you do, then try another pair on this list.

  • Sidi Tiger MTB Shoes (Unisex)

If you’ve decided to take your mountain biking more seriously or you want to jump right into the deep end, consider spending your money on these Sidi Tiger MTB shoes. Also unisex, they offer a very comfortable fit while still allowing the feet to breathe. Durable, comfortable and like heaven for your feet while you’re navigating a harsh trail.

The only disadvantage of these shoes: The price.

Is it worth spending? For anyone serious enough about their mountain biking and comfort while doing it, it might very well be.

five ten freerider review
  • Five Ten Freerider Mountain Bike Shoes

Arguably one of the best flat pedal shoes, Five Ten Freerider Shoes are worth the investment. Their thick rubber soles will grip your pedals with no issues and they have a medium flex for a responsive feel. The shoes have a casual look for downtime comfort and style.

Tips for Mountain Biking Shoe Care

Being new to mountain biking can mean that it’s hard to settle on the right choice of shoe even with the help of a handy list like what we’ve given you above. If you still haven’t found the right shoes for you, try out a shoe fitting session and choose the ones that suit both your feet and your budget best. 

As for taking care of your shoes, here are some general mountain biking shoe care questions that are important for first-timers to know. 

Are there correct or ideal socks for mountain biking? 

Questions about socks are common for new mountain bikers, and the answer is yes: There are specific socks for wearing with mountain biking shoes – and you can usually buy them in the same place where you found the shoes. If you don’t have any, simple ankle socks can help (and avoids any friction while biking!).

How do I avoid or treat conditions like athlete’s foot? 

Conditions like athlete’s foot are common, and can be prevented with careful foot care: Always dry your feet, and make sure that you don’t walk barefoot in areas that other people might frequent. Don’t wear running shoes or socks that belonged to someone else as an added precaution. 

If you suspect that you already have it, see your doctor for a simple topical cream and powder that can treat it. 

How do I get rid of smells? 

Simple antibacterial powder (and letting your shoes air – or having several pairs) can help you when it comes to getting rid of smells that are bound to accumulate in any shoes you sweat and exercise in over time. 

Can I wash mountain biking shoes? 

Mountain biking shoes are meant for off-road terrains – and this means that manufacturers of good quality shoes expect them to get dirty along the way. Yes, you can wash shoes, but ideally a wipe-down and proper drying session (along with allowing them exposure to sunlight and UV rays) can help.

Why do mountain biking shoes lack laces? 

New to biking and wondering why most mountain biking shoes don’t have laces? Simply, it’s a safety thing – and laces present a danger that most mountain bikers can do without.

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