You might have been riding the trails in your trainers or haven’t been comfortable in previous pairs of mountain bike shoes. Here are some tips on how to find mountain bike shoes that fit perfectly.
When you’re out on trails or tough terrain on your mountain bike, your kit should help you to perform better. Mountain bike shoes are no different. As well as keeping your feet warm, dry and comfortable, mountain bike shoes should give you enough grip and protection to provide top riding performance in any conditions. Safety and impact protection are key considerations to think about when picking your perfect pair.
Mountain bike shoes are specially designed footwear giving riders the extra features they need to perform effectively off-road. Weatherproofing, grippy soles, impact protection and durable materials are some of the key features that are found in mountain bike shoes.
Grip is particularly important for mountain bike riders who need to keep their feet on the pedals on bumpy terrain or tough weather conditions. Depending on the type of bike a rider has, there are two main shoe options that they can choose from: flat-sole and clipless (otherwise known as cleated) shoes.
While flat sole shoes can be used on any type of pedal, clipless shoes have cleats that are recessed into the shoe and fix into the pedal to keep a rider’s feet in place. Flat sole shoes are a common choice for beginners, while clipless shoes are typically used by more experienced mountain bikers.
D3O® impact protection is found in top mountain bike shoe brands like Adidas Five Ten and Ride Concepts to meet the safety requirements of riders. For all disciplines of mountain biking, including downhill, enduro, cross-country or trail, it’s important to be as protected as possible while riding and in the event of a crash or fall.
Although you might have used sports or other types of cycling shoes to ride your mountain bike in the past, the specific features of mountain bike shoes give riders particular benefits when they’re hurtling over tracks and trails, including:
To make sure your mountain bike shoes stay comfortable for many hours out on the trails, it's key that you find the right option in the ideal size. To prevent your feet from slipping in the shoe and give them plenty of support, mountain bike shoes should have a close, snug fit. Remember they will stretch over time so a tighter fit at the start is what you should be looking for, but always try your shoes on, if possible with the help of a mountain bike store expert.
Keep the width of the shoe as well as the length in mind, as some shoes are narrower than regular sizes. Checking the level of cushioning will also help you to understand how much ‘give’ there is in the shoes you’re choosing. If you’re considering clipless shoes, make sure the position of the cleat is on the ball of your foot - this will help you ride with maximum power and stay comfortable for as long as possible.
To choose the right mountain bike shoes for your needs, the first decision you need to make is whether you’d prefer a flat sole or clipless pair. If you’ve just started mountain biking, then flat soles will give you plenty of grip without fixing your feet. Clipless shoes allow advanced riders to produce maximum force and tackle more challenging rides without risk of feet slipping off the pedals, but can take a bit of practice with clipping and unclipping when you dismount!
Once you’ve chosen whether you prefer flat sole or clipless shoes, you need to weigh up the different features of any available options. The level of impact protection and weatherproofing, durability and foot support that each pair provides all need to be considered before you make your final decision. Whatever pair you choose, be sure to check the level of impact protection included within the shoes to help guarantee you a safer ride in the long term, protecting your feet and ankles again and again. Maintain optimum riding performance for as long as possible when you choose the perfect pair of mountain bike shoes.