The 12 Best Mountain Bike Shoes in 2022

Jan Poshenko
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If you’re looking to improve your riding then a high-quality pair of mountain bike shoes is essential.

Mountain bike shoes give you that extra grip, control and added performance on the bike while riding through slippery, wet and muddy conditions.

There are several things to consider while choosing a pair of mountain bike shoes since you’re put in more of an upright position on a mountain bike unlike on a road bike. There is also increased pedaling force required to ride mountain bikes.

So, we’ve reviewed the 12 best mountain bike shoes that will provide optimum power and durability. You can choose a pair of shoe based on its arch support, grip, best quality material or durability.

NameCategoryProduct
Giro Privateer R Mens Cycling ShoesBest OverallGiro Privateer R Mens Cycling Shoes
Fizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike ShoeBudget PickFizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoe

1. Giro Privateer R Mens Cycling Shoes

Our rating: 9 / 10

Giro Privateer R Mens Cycling Shoes

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The Giro Privateer is a product meant to be ridden in the back country, putting pedestrians in your way on foot trails. These shoes are meant to protect your foot from sharp objects and have a great outsole to make your ride comfortable.

These are great shoes for people who want a shoe that they can use for hiking as well as mountain biking. They are comfortable and breathable, with nylon uppers and a mesh tongue. The mesh tongue is great if you’re going to be sweating a lot; it’s also great for quickly drying out your shoes after you take them off.

The Privateers are mountain bike shoes you can get right out of the box and use for anything. The shoes are meant to be able to be used for any type of mountain biking. They have an awesome outsole that grips and molds to any terrain, allowing for good traction.

2. Fizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoe

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Pros:

  • Adaptive Fit Upper with TPU Band
  • One-Piece Microtex Upper Provides Durability
  • 7mm Microtex Insole Offers Enhanced Long-Term Comfort
  • Guidance Line Rubber Outsole Provides Pedal Flexion

Cons:

  • Some users feel they are a little on the narrow side.

The Fizik X5 Terra is a versatile MTB shoe that utilizes an Adaptive Fit and Fizik’s 3D molded one piece upper to provide a secure fit and long-term comfort. This is a great shoe, for both riding and racing, and offers value for money.

Fizik utilizes a new 3D molded Adaptive Fit upper with TPU band that is designed to provide superior retention on and off the bike, as well as support and stability while pedaling. The Adaptive Fit upper is incredibly comfortable feeling, as the TPU band offers a snug and secure fit over the top of your foot, and the full-length upper is soft and pliable. The tongue is wide and cushioned, and is lightly padded to provide comfort and the shoe can be easily worn with or without socks.

The one piece, microfiber upper is well reinforced, and the minimal design utilizes the Guidance line sole to help direct the foot easily to its natural position.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What shoes are best for mountain biking?

Mountain bikes are handled by your toes, ankles, legs, and calves more than they are in simple road bikes. Because of this, it is important to include shoes that will handle these impacts well.

This means that you should steer clear of stiff, inflexible shoes. The first thing to look for is a low cut, and for the shoe to have plenty of circular movement.

It is also important to note the tread. Because it is mostly dirt and rugged terrain, it is important to have shoes that will grip and work well in the rough terrain. This is because a fast mountain bike ride can have your toes dragging just as easily as your tires can.

Also, consider the grip. When you are riding at top speeds, the ground can be very slick. It is important to find shoes with better traction for this reason.

Do mountain bike shoes make a difference?

Specially designed mountain bike shoes make all the difference in the world when it comes to your riding experience. Their stiff soles improve pedaling efficiency and enhance power transfer especially when combined with the pedals and cleats of a mountain bike.

Not all mountain bikes shoes are created equal. The soles features on these are pretty much the same. What varies is their fit and material. You might not realize it, but even more so than bike frames, bike shoes tend to warp and change shape with even the smallest amount of use. This might amount to as much as half a size difference over the course of just a few rides.

The only way to avoid this is to only choose a pair of mountain bike shoes that offer a wide range of adjustment built into them. The more overlap there is between the shoe and the rider's foot, the less chance there will be to slip and slide while trying to stay in the curved position of a bike.

What are the best MTB flat shoes?

The absolute best mountain bike shoes will be the ones you prefer. Flat shoes are great for climbing. If you don’t want to wear clipless shoes, then flat shoes are a good alternative.

Some cyclists worry about wearing flat shoes as they may come off while riding. The good news? They won’t. To get out of these shoes, you need to use your pinkie toe and lift up on the shoe.

How long do mountain bike shoes last?

There’s a reason why most trail riders splurge on shoes. For 2018, manufacturers have overhauled the mountain bike shoe, adding vastly improved materials and an increased focus of creating a shoe that does more than just protect your feet from the elements.

The truth is, the shoes you buy should last you at least two years, to a max of three or four.

This is because they weaken over time because of regular use.

Mountain bike shoes wear away at an accelerated rate because riders take them through the roughest terrains, with enough force to literally wear away at components.

Your sneakers will likely only see the inside of a gym and the occasional stroll around downtown San Francisco on a sunny afternoon.

If it weren’t for the abrasion resistance present in most mountain bike shoes, your feet would undoubtedly shred tires.

Conclusion

There are so many different brands of mountain bike shoes, and so many different features to think about, that you can grow dizzy from trying to choose the best mountain bike shoe for you. To save you some of that time and effort, we've found the twelve best mountain bike shoes as well as some other useful information to help you pick the right pair.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Giro Privateer R Mens Cycling ShoesBest OverallGiro Privateer R Mens Cycling Shoes
Fizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike ShoeBudget PickFizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoe