12 Best Mountain Bike Shoes in 2017

What’s your most important equipment while riding a bike? If you think about it, you only have a few parts of your body that actually make contact with the vehicle. Your hands, feet, and seat. With only three parts of your body actually touching the bike, it’s vital each of those three parts has good secure contact with the bike.

Your feet in particular need to be well equipped to perform their best. Injuring a foot influences your bike riding for the worse. What you wear on your feet while mountain biking can make a huge difference in how well protected your feet are and how well they perform.

It’s important to consider what suits you and your riding style and preferences. There are many biking shoes out there for different cycling surfaces and conditions, so to help find the best mountain bike shoes, we’ve narrowed down the choices to the top 12.

Top 12 Mountain Bike Shoes Comparison Table

DesignNameGenderWaterproof or Reflective?Rating (1-5)
  1. Giro Carbide Bike Shoe  Men’s Neither 4.4
  2. Teva Men’s The Links Sneaker Men’s Waterproof 4.4
  3. Louis Garneau Women’s Multi Air Flex Fitness/Mountain Cycling Shoe Women’s Both 4.3
  4. Venzo Mountain Bike Bicycle Cycling Shimano SPD Shoes Men’s Reflective 4.3
  5. Gavin Off Road Mountain Cycling Shoes MTB Men’s or Women’s Neither 4.3
6. Giro Rumble VR MTB Shoes Men’s Waterproof 4.3
7. Shimano SHMT34B MultiUse/Touring Shoe Men’s Mountain Bike Men’sNeither 4.3
8. Giro Riela Bike Shoe Women’s Neither 4.2
  9. X-ALP ENDURO IV Men’s Neither 4.2
  10. Pearl iZUMi Men’s X-Alp Seek V Cycling Shoe Men’s Neither 4.1
  11. Shimano SH-MT44 MTB Shoes Men’s Neither 4.1
  12. Pearl Izumi Women’s All-Road III Cycling Shoe Women’s Neither 4.1

What Is Most Important to Consider When Buying Mountain Bike Shoes?

As you look through the shoes, there are several things you should keep in mind as you search so you can decide on the very best mountain bike shoes for you.

  • Waterproof – Where do you plan to go biking? If you’re into mountain biking, chances are no matter where you want to bike you’ll likely run into a creek or two you’ll have to cross. Whether you get to let your bike carry you across, or you have to switch roles and carry it across, either way, you’ll get your feet wet.

Waterproof shoes can make all the difference in providing you comfort for the rest of your ride!

  • Shoe Type – Just as there are different types of people, there are different types of biking shoes to go with those different types of people. Some people prefer one type of shoe while others would never dream of wearing that one while all the while boasting about another kind that is “the best!”

Whatever type of person you are, you need the right kind of shoes. To help you know which are the right type of shoes for you, we go into more detail about the different types in a section below.

  • Closure – Some shoes are laced up while others are closed with Velcro. Still, others are closed without any fastener at all that you just slip your feet into. The fastener, or lack of, can change how closely the shoe fits your foot. A shoe that doesn’t fit well can give you blisters as well as make your biking more dangerous from the lack of a good grip on the pedals.

If a shoe is fastened with laces, there’s the possibility the laces could get caught in one of the wheels.

  • Reflective – Shoes that are reflective allow you to bike more safely in dimmer light. Other people, whether they’re walking, riding, or driving, will be able to see you more easily when you’re wearing reflective shoes; this helps provide you and others with better safety.

Understanding Shoe Types

What type of shoe do you prefer? If you’re not sure, no worries, you’ll have a much better idea after this next section. It will help you understand the differences between shoe types as well as some of the reasons those shoe types are liked or disliked.

It should be noted that some shoe types are meant for certain types of pedals. If you don’t have a pedal that goes with the specific type of shoe you want, you’ll need to purchase a new pedal for the shoe to work how it was meant to work.

  • Flats – Flat shoes are just what they sound like, flat shoes. They are comfortable and easily to walk in. They don’t provide extra grip, either with walking or with bike riding.
  • Cleats – The shoes are similar to flats, but with “bumps” all over the bottom of the shoe. These help you grip the ground better for those times you are hiking back up to the trail with your bike.
  • Clipless – Contrary to what the name sounds like, clipless shoes actually clip onto your bike pedals. These are helpful for keeping your feet connected with the bike at all times. Clipless shoes are great for serious riders who feel comfortable mountain biking.

This type isn’t good for riders who are still learning how to mountain bike. It can be dangerous if you have an accident and aren’t able to think fast enough to slide your feet off the pedals before bringing the bike on top of you during the crash.

There are so many excellent shoe choices! Because there are so many, we felt like narrowing it down to one would be practically impossible. We were, however, able to narrow it down to the top five. Get any one of these pairs of shoes, and you’ll be set for a great bike ride!

Top 5 Best Mountain Bike Shoes Reviews

1. Giro Carbide Bike Shoe

These are great men’s shoes. They aren’t waterproof, but they are made with high-quality material. The synthetic fiber on the shoes is breathable and will help the shoes dry quickly if they get wet. The breathable nature of the shoe is also quite helpful in keeping the user’s feet from getting too warm while biking or walking.

The cleats on the shoes are comfortable. They don’t interfere with walking, and the shoes are also clipless in that they can attach to the right type of pedal.

Velcro helps hold the shoes in place, allowing the user to slip them on and fasten them quickly. You won’t have any reason to worry about laces getting caught in the wheels wearing these shoes!

The shoe is supportive whether you’re using it just biking, or using it while hiking as well.

It has a removable visor as well as 22 vents and a hair port in order for you to have the most comfortable ride possible. Whether you’re riding on a dark cloudy day or a bright sunny one, you’ll be prepared for it all! These are some of the best mountain bike shoes.

2. Teva the Links Sneaker

If you want a mountain bike shoe designed with help from a mountain bike rider, look no further than this Teva sneaker! It was influenced in a huge way by legendary mountain biker Jeff Lenosky. The shoes are waterproof, shock-absorbing, and durable.

They are made for flat pedals, and they do an excellent job gripping those pedals. They are sturdy and hug your feet in a way that makes it feel as though they are an extension of your leg. Biking with these on will give you the confidence to fly over mountain trails without worrying about what’s on your feet.

They do have long laces, but if you tie them well, you should have no problems with them getting caught anywhere they shouldn’t be; these are high-quality mountain bike shoes and worth every penny of the asking price.

3. Louis Garneau Cycling Shoe

This next pair of shoes is for women. This pair is waterproof while also being breathable. They have a ventilated EVA insole that helps your foot enjoy greater airflow, while also provide the best possible comfort and stability.

Another benefit to this shoe is that it has a reflective heel, this adds to your safety as well as others safety while you’re wearing the shoes biking in dim light. It’s much safer when all parties involved can see each other!

There are Velcro straps on this shoes as well as cleats that are compatible with clipless pedals. Something else to admire about these shoes is that they are lightweight compared to many other shoes. They won’t weigh you down while you’re cycling.

These shoes offer your feet great support and come in several different fun colors. Whether you’re wanting to purchase them for yourself or a friend, these would be an excellent buy!

4. Venzo Mountain Biking Shimano SPD Shoes

This third shoe was made specifically with male bikers in mind. They’re comfortable and made for long days of mountain bike riding! They are made of reflective material so you can ride in safety whether it’s sunny and bright outside or not.

These shoes have cleats and work with clipless pedals. In fact, this purchase actually comes with pedals that work with the shoes! If you’ve been wanting to try some bike shoes that can attach to your bike pedals, this could be the perfect opportunity for your dream to turn into reality.

These shoes are not waterproof, but they are quick-drying with mesh that is highly-breathable. If you ride through a puddle or two, the shoes will be dry again before you know it.

There’s also a one-year warranty on these shoes so if you’re a rough rider; the extra protection could be just the thing for you! The shoes are quite durable, though, and you likely won’t even need the warranty.

5. Gavin Off Road Mountain Cycling Shoes MTB

These shoes are unique in that they are created for use by either men or women. Their red and black appearance fits in easily with many different types of outfits and looks.

The shoes are made with microfiber leather along with mesh that is quite breathable. The result of the materials is a shoe that is strong, lightweight, and one that keeps your feet feeling cool and comfortable.

The shoes are not reflective or waterproof. The bright red color will attract attention though even without being reflective in light enough times of the day.

The shoes do have cleats and can be used with clipless pedals. They will serve you well over all sorts of rough mountain terrain!