Xem thêm

The Best Mountain Bike Shoes of 2021: Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Ride

CEO Tinh Phung
(Photo/Kurt Barclay) Are you tired of uncomfortable and unreliable mountain bike shoes? Look no further! We've tested and reviewed the best mountain bike shoes of 2021 to ensure you find the perfect fit for your...

Scott MTB RC Evo (Photo/Kurt Barclay)

Are you tired of uncomfortable and unreliable mountain bike shoes? Look no further! We've tested and reviewed the best mountain bike shoes of 2021 to ensure you find the perfect fit for your ride. Whether you're a casual rider or a seasoned pro, having the right pair of shoes can make all the difference in your biking experience.

Best Overall: Scott MTB RC Evo — Men’s & Women’s

The Scott MTB RC Evo ($300) takes the top spot on our list. These shoes provide excellent stability and versatility, making them ideal for any type of ride and terrain. The out-of-box fit is like Cinderella's slipper - not too plush or too stiff - and remains comfortable after hundreds of miles. The quick-release BOA dial platform allows for easy adjustments, and the mesh thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) construction offers both protection and breathability. With its carbon fiber outsole and excellent hikeability, the Scott MTB RC Evo is hard to beat.

  • Weight (per pair): 770 g (size 42)
  • Closure: Dual-zone BOA
  • Cleat Compatibility: 2-bolt

Pros:

  • Very durable
  • Super supportive

Cons:

  • Comfort is slightly sacrificed for rigidity
  • Limited color options

Check Men’s Price at Competitive Cyclist Check Women’s Price at Competitive Cyclist

Runner-Up: Shimano S-Phyre XC9 MTB Shoes

Shimano S-Phyre XC9 MTB shoe (Photo/Kurt Barclay)

The Shimano S-Phyre XC9 ($430) is a top choice for cross-country riders and cyclocross competitions. These shoes offer exceptional power transfer and surprising comfort. The rigid carbon fiber composite midsole ensures optimal energy transfer, while the external heel cup and reinforced toe provide added protection. The Shimano S-Phyre XC9 also comes with optional climbing spikes for wet conditions or competitive races.

  • Weight (per pair): 718 g (size 42)
  • Closure: Dual-zone BOA
  • Cleat Compatibility: 2-bolt

Pros:

  • Extremely stiff
  • Comfortable
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Great choice for cross-country riders

Cons:

  • Shoe likely needs a cover in the shoulder seasons
  • Wide toe box might not provide adequate tension for narrower feet

Check Price at Competitive Cyclist Check Price at Jenson USA

Best Budget: Scott MTB Comp BOA — Men’s & Women’s

Scott MTB Comp BOA (Photo/Kurt Barclay)

If you're on a budget, the Scott MTB Comp BOA ($130) is a fantastic choice. These shoes offer comfort and durability at an affordable price point. They are perfect for daily trail rides, with a comfortable fit that requires no break-in period. The BOA closure system and Velcro strap provide a secure fit, and the shoe's plastic mesh upper helps with heat dissipation. While these shoes sacrifice some power transfer for comfort, they are an excellent option for riders on a budget.

  • Weight (per pair): 718 g (size 42)
  • Closure: BOA and Velcro strap
  • Cleat Compatibility: 2-bolt

Pros:

  • Hard-to-beat price
  • Excellent comfort

Cons:

  • Single BOA system lacks fine-tuning, which might not cut it for narrow feet
  • Sole is not very stiff

Check Men’s Price at Competitive Cyclist Check Women’s Price at Competitive Cyclist Check Men’s Price at Amazon Check Women’s Price at Amazon

Best Race Shoe: Specialized S-Works Recon Mountain Bike Shoe

Specialized S-Works Recon Mountain Bike Shoe (Photo/Kurt Barclay)

For competitive riders, the Specialized S-Works Recon Mountain Bike Shoe ($425) is the ultimate choice. These shoes are constructed with high-end, lightweight materials, making them incredibly durable without adding extra weight. The space-grade Dyneema mesh and TPU upper provide breathability and water resistance, while the integrated carbon plate ensures excellent power transfer. The Specialized S-Works Recon Mountain Bike Shoe offers the perfect combination of performance, fit, and attention to detail.

  • Weight (per pair): 540 g (size 42)
  • Closure: Dual-zone BOA plus Velcro strap
  • Cleat Compatibility: 2-bolt

Pros:

  • Pure hard-charging race and ride shoe
  • The shoe breaks in after use

Cons:

  • Not comfortable out of the box
  • Discomfort while hiking and walking in shoe
  • Pricier option

Check Price at Competitive Cyclist Check Price at Jenson USA

Best for Flat Pedals: Five Ten Freerider MTB Bike Shoes — Men’s & Women’s

Five Ten Freerider MTB bike shoes

This top-selling flat design ($110) continues to be a bar-setter for flat pedals. The Stealth rubber outsole provides excellent grip, making it perfect for trails with boulder fields or steep terrain. The polka-dot style tread design enhances traction on speedy descents, while the mesh and leather upper offers both breathability and durability. The Five Ten Freerider MTB Bike Shoes are a comfortable and well-cushioned option for riders tackling high mountains or rocky terrains.

  • Weight (per pair): 783 g (size 43)
  • Closure: Laces
  • Cleat Compatibility: Flat sole for platform pedals

Pros:

  • High-traction Stealth rubber outsole
  • Excellent flat-pedal option
  • Lower price tag
  • Very hikeable
  • Laces provide a huge amount of adjustment

Cons:

  • Not as streamlined as other pairs
  • Laces require a bit more time to adjust than a dial closure
  • Tread isn't the most aggressive

Check Men’s Price at REI Check Women’s Price at REI Check Men’s Price at Amazon Check Women’s Price at Amazon

Best for Cross-Country: Giro Empire VR90 Shoe — Men’s & Women’s

Giro Empire VR90 Shoe (Photo/Kurt Barclay)

The Giro Empire VR90 Shoe ($300) is a favorite among cross-country riders. These shoes deliver excellent power transfer and durability, making them a reliable choice season after season. The carbon fiber outsole and grippy Vibram rubber lugged tread provide stability and traction on demanding trails. The one-piece upper offers comfort, while the multiple arch support insertions allow for a customizable fit.

  • Weight (per pair): 630 g (size 42.5)
  • Closure: Laces
  • Cleat Compatibility: 2-bolt

Pros:

  • Super durable
  • Laces allow for a wide variety of adjustment

Cons:

  • Laces don't provide the fine-tune of a dual BOA system
  • Not a good match for the widest foot
  • Pricier
  • Not the most breathable for hot weather

Check Men’s Price at Competitive Cyclist Check Women’s Price at Amazon

Best Bikepacking Shoe: Bontrager Avert Adventure Mountain Bike Shoe

Bontrager Avert Adventure Mountain Bike Shoe (Photo/Eric Phillips)

The Bontrager Avert Adventure Mountain Bike Shoe ($185) is the perfect choice for bikepackers. These shoes feature a cushioned EVA midsole for comfort during long days on and off the bike. The integrated tongue provides a pressure-free fit, while the CORDURA and suede upper offers weather-resistance and durability. The Bontrager Avert Adventure Mountain Bike Shoe is designed for rugged routes and provides excellent power transfer and hikeability.

  • Weight (per pair): 788 g (size 41.5)
  • Closure: Laces
  • Cleat Compatibility: 2-bolt

Pros:

  • Excellent hikeability
  • Plush, supportive midsole for long days
  • Integrated tongue
  • Relaxed fit offers space for swollen feet

Cons:

  • Some riders might prefer a more fitted, streamlined silhouette

Check Price at Trek Bikes

Best of the Rest

Giro Ventana Fastlace Shoe — Men’s & Women’s

Giro Ventana Fastlace Shoe (Photo/Kurt Barclay)

The Giro Ventana Fastlace Sport Mountain Bike Shoes ($130) are a solid choice for bikepacking. These shoes offer a grippy sole and a stitch-free, strong upper. They provide immediate comfort and are perfect for hike-a-bike sections. The shoe is incredibly comfortable for all-day wear, and the ventilation is great. The Giro Ventana Fastlace Shoe is a sturdy, well-ventilated option for bikepacking adventures.

  • Weight (per pair): 834 g (size 42.5)
  • Closure: One-piece synchwire and Velcro strap
  • Cleat Compatibility: 2-bolt

Pros:

  • Solid choice for bikepacking

Cons:

  • Sole is a little chunky
  • Roomy toe box leads to a lack of precision
  • A tad heavier than other shoes
  • Velcro can get clogged and attracts foliage

Check Men’s Price at evo Check Women’s Price at evo Check Men’s Price at REI Check Women’s Price at Amazon

Shimano RX8 Mountain Bike Shoe — Men’s & Women’s

Shimano RX8 Mountain Bike Shoe (Photo/Kurt Barclay)

The Shimano RX8 Mountain Bike Shoe ($275) is a lightweight option perfect for gravel riders. These shoes feature a synthetic mesh and leather blend upper and a carbon fiber composite outsole. They provide a strong balance of comfort, stiffness, and performance. The Shimano RX8 Mountain Bike Shoe is a lightweight and durable choice at a great price-to-weight ratio.

  • Weight (per pair): 530 g (size 42)
  • Closure: BOA and Velcro strap
  • Cleat Compatibility: 2-bolt

Pros:

  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • A dual BOA system would enhance its microadjustment capability

Check Men’s Price at REI Check Women’s Price at Competitive Cyclist

DMT KM1

DMT KM1 (Photo/Kurt Barclay)

The DMT KM1 ($439) features a unique upper with a knit construction to alleviate pressure points. These shoes provide a comfortable fit, excellent breathability, and an incredibly lightweight feel. The DMT KM1 is a shoe that performs on and off the bike, with a stiff yet comfortable sole.

  • Weight (per pair): 590 g (size 42)
  • Closure: BOA
  • Cleat Compatibility: 2-bolt

Pros:

  • True to size
  • Very comfortable on and off the bike

Cons:

  • Knit upper might not be the most durable
  • Could use more impact protection across the upper
  • Ankle area is not well supported
  • Higher price

Check Price at Amazon

Fizik Vento Overcurve X3

Fizik Vento Overcurve X3 (Photo/Kurt Barclay)

The Fizik Vento Overcurve X3 ($250) is an all-around well-built shoe suitable for singletrack and gravel rides. It offers a comfortable fit, a very stiff outsole, and better power transfer than some higher-priced models. The single BOA system allows for easy adjustment, and the overall fit is on the narrower side.

  • Weight (per pair): 590 g (size 42)
  • Closure: BOA
  • Cleat Compatibility: 2-bolt

Pros:

  • Upper is comfortable

Cons:

  • Lacks the fit refinement of a dual BOA or full lace-up
  • Some riders might prefer a stiffer fit

Check Price at Amazon

Northwave Enduro Mid Cycling Shoe

Northwave Enduro Mid Cycling Shoe

The Northwave Enduro Mid Cycling Shoe ($190) is perfect for riders looking for extra ankle support. These shoes feature a rugged outsole with deep and angular lugs, providing excellent traction on various terrains. The thermo-welded upper and reinforced toe offer protection and durability, while the shoe's excellent breathability keeps your feet comfortable. The Northwave Enduro Mid Cycling Shoe is the go-to choice for demanding trails and bikepacking adventures.

  • Weight (per pair): 1,014 g (size 42)
  • Closure: BOA and Velcro strap
  • Cleat Compatibility: 2-bolt

Pros:

  • Rockstar ankle support

Cons:

  • Difficult entry and exit

Check Price at Backcountry Check Price at Amazon

Buyers Guide: How to Choose Mountain Bike Shoes

Comfort & Fit

Finding the right fit is crucial for comfort on the bike. Mountain bike shoes come in different silhouettes, ranging from relaxed to precise fits. It's important to have enough room for your toes to move freely and to ensure your heel doesn't slip. Some shoes require a break-in period, while others provide immediate comfort.

Breathability

Consider the material of the upper and the number of ventilation ports for breathability. This is especially important if you ride in hot conditions or have sweaty feet.

Power Transfer & Stiffness

The stiffness of the shoe's upper and sole affects power transfer. Rigid shoes provide better energy transfer, but some riders prefer more flexibility and comfort off the bike.

Hikeability, Outsole, and Tread

If you plan on hiking or walking during your rides, look for shoes with a comfortable midsole and a lugged outsole for better traction. Deeper lugs spaced apart offer more grip, while shorter lugs spaced closer together provide better traction on rocks.

Price & Durability

Mountain bike shoes come in a wide price range. Consider the materials used and the overall construction for durability. Well-made shoes can last for years.

Weight

The weight of the shoe can impact your performance and comfort. Lighter materials are usually more expensive but can provide better power transfer.

Closure

Most mountain bike shoes use laces or a quick-release closure system. Consider the ease of adjustments and the secure fit they provide.

Cleat Compatibility

Decide whether you want to use clipless pedals or platform pedals. Clipless shoes have a two-bolt system that attaches to the pedal, offering better power transfer. Platform shoes provide more freedom of movement and allow for quick foot adjustments.

Why You Should Trust Us

Our team of experienced mountain bikers has thoroughly tested and reviewed each pair of shoes on our list. We've covered thousands of miles in different terrains and conditions to provide you with accurate and reliable information.

FAQ

What are the advantages of mountain bike shoes?

Mountain bike shoes offer a stiffer sole and upper than other athletic footwear, providing better protection and stability for off-trail rides. They also have a more contoured and streamlined design for optimal pedal strokes.

Can you walk in mountain bike shoes?

Yes, you can walk in mountain bike shoes, although some designs are more comfortable for walking than others. Most clipless shoes have recessed cleats, making walking easier.

Should you use clip-in shoes for mountain biking?

The choice between clipless and platform pedals depends on personal preference and riding style. Clipless pedals offer better power transfer, while platform pedals allow for foot adjustments and quick dismounts.

How long do mountain bike shoes last?

The lifespan of mountain bike shoes depends on usage and environmental conditions. Well-constructed shoes can last for several years, while frequent hiking or extreme conditions may shorten their lifespan.

How should you dry and clean your mountain bike shoes?

To dry your shoes, use an electronic boot dryer or let them air dry. Do not place them near a heat source. Laces can be removed and hand-washed or machine-washed. Avoid putting shoes in the washing machine or dryer.

When should you replace your mountain bike shoes?

Replace your shoes when the upper becomes loose, has holes, or the closure system wears out. A falling-apart outsole or decreased comfort are also signs that it's time for a new pair.

Now that you have all the information you need, it's time to find your perfect pair of mountain bike shoes. Happy riding!

1