A Buyer’s Guide to Mountain Biking Shoes

Unlike road cycling enthusiasts, mountain bikers generally require stiff and gritty shoes, and mtb shoes are the perfect choices for them as they are not just stiffer than casual shoes but also comfortable to walk in. Want bendy or stiff, knobbly or smooth shoes with laces or ratchets? MTB has numerous types for people to choose from. The correct one depends on the riding they want to do. From carbon-soled, super-stiff grip and fancy uppers with a complex ratchet system to help with off-bike walking to ones that look almost like outdoor hiking footwear with a recessed clear under the shoe sole. Most buyers opt for shoes with clipless pedals and flat pedals. These are some things to consider while purchasing these shoes.

How Stiff is the Bottom?

The stiffness of mtb shoes is their selling factor as they help cyclists with peddling powerfully across Australian terrains. However, they can be uncomfortable while walking. Therefore, those who prioritise peddling over walking can opt for the carbon-soled shoes that provide them with the extra grip. They are comfortable when used with small-bodied pedals as there is less pressure on the point where the shoe sole comes in contact with the pedal. Some stiffness is necessary for all MTBers as the reinforcing under the sole prevents the foot from hotspotting. The stiffness covers the entire shoe except for the toe area to enable them to move.

Are They Customisable?

One can have the shoe soles heat molded to fit their feet and the design. The footbed or the upper material that perfectly fits the racers helps provide them with better comfort without the accompaniment of thick socks or other guarding materials. Therefore, MTB shoes have thick reinforcing soles but are comfortable.

Does the Shoe Protect Toes and Ankles?

Those with dodgy ankles who bash them on rocks and cracks while cycling can opt for shoes with high cuts. Boot-cut style shoes often have a risen inner side which helps them on rough paths.

Does the Heel Have a Helpful Design?

It is uncomfortable for peddlers to have their feet slipping up and down the heel during their journey as it affects their cycling power and causes blisters and slips. The heel cup design of these shoes with adjustable pinch plates helps provide better friction in the heel area.

How Is the Top Covered?

Unlike casual road shoes, these are not vented or covered in meshes. They protect water from streams and rain. They also have a better design to be rougher to protect the feet against scrapes and bashes. Some shoes come with fully waterproof uppers, which many reserves for winter use. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, 80% of Australia receives over 600 mm of rain averaging 419 mm every year. Therefore, waterproof shoes help off-road cyclists protect themselves from extreme conditions.

What Method of Fastening Are Available?

Laces are extremely rare on MTB shoes, and there are a few reasons. Laces are challenging to undo when covered with filth, dirt, or water. They could potentially get stuck in the drivetrain. They do not provide the desired tension throughout the journey. The most common fastening method for these shoes has straps. Two are lower and a top Velcro strap with a tooth and ratchet design. They help the cycling with consistency, tension accuracy, adjustability, all climate operation, and easy use. Other designs like Boa lacing and various combinations of Velcro straps are available that double down with a lace holder. They allow the feet to slip in easily but provide the necessary grip on trails.