8 Best Mountain Bike Shoes for Flat Pedals

Mountain biking isn’t just all about your bike. You also need to consider the gears you have. And one of the most important ones is your shoes.

The cycling community is divided into two. There are those who prefer clipless pedals for pedaling efficiency. While there are those that stick to flat pedals because of their flexibility. If you belong to the latter, then you’ve just found the perfect place to be in.

In this article, we’ll show the best mountain bike shoes for flat pedals. We’ll also discuss their features, pros, and cons, so you can choose the perfect one for you.

1. Giro Chamber

Giro is one of the most reputable brands with mountain bike gears. They’re known for manufacturing quality helmets, shoes, and other bike apparel. And one good example of their brilliance is the Giro Chamber.

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This is a flat pedal shoe that features a rubber sole that ensures your feet stay planted on your pedals. You can also wear this wherever or whenever because of its versatile design. The construction is water-resistant and has a breathable microfiber upper. You’ll also find a reinforced toe cap for improved protection and durability.

It also features a fit adjustment mode thanks to its laces which are securely knotted. This is supported by a closure system that adds additional protection.

There is also a full-length Vibram rubber high-traction material on its outsole for maximum grip. They make the footbed from molded EVA and has a medium arch support. Its optimized EVA midsole is also ideal for cushioning.

Pros

  • Comfortable sole
  • Grippy
  • Durable

Cons

  • Weight
  • Awkward fit

2. Five Ten Freerider Pro

Five Ten’s premium flat pedal shoe is the Freerider Pro. It is very lightweight which makes it ideal for enduro and cross-country riding. This also ensures that your feet won’t get stressed. They make their upper material from synthetic rubber.

But what separated this from other models is its weather-resistant coating. This means you don’t have to worry if you ride on muddy trails because you can wipe them off and leave no trace. It also features a breathable mesh lining that ensures your feet won’t sweat that much.

Another highlight feature of the Freerider Pro is its impact-resistant toe box. This protects your toes if you crash or hit rocks or roots while riding. It also has a removable sock liner made from premium Ortholite mold.

The midsole is also EVA compression-molded for maximum and ergonomic fit. The tongue, footbed, and collar are also padded with thick rubber for comfort. The Freerider Pro weighs a lightweight 14 ounces.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Stylish and versatile
  • Grippy sole

Cons

  • Price

3. O’Neal Pinned

O’Neal is another renowned mountain bike shoemaker that produces quality and stylish cycling shoes. The O’Neal Pinned is a good example of what flat pedal mountain bike shoes should be.

It’s stylish, versatile, and offers maximum protection and grip on the trails. They make this possible thanks to its Honey Rubber outsole that easily sticks to your pedals’ pins. It’s very tough as it can deal with foot dabs on the trails.

But its toughness doesn’t compromise its comfort because it’s still very comfortable to wear throughout the day. You’ll find reinforced toe boxes that protect your feet from crashes and hitting rocks or roots.

Its highlight features are its PU upper material that is both lightweight and durable. You’ll also find its lace-up closure system convenient. It even gives your shoes a casual look so you can wear them even if you’re not riding your mountain bike.

This feels snug and fit on your feet which helps improve pedaling efficiency. It also has O’Neal’s exclusive Honey Rubber sole compound for maximum grip on pedal pins. The footbed is removable and interchangeable.

Pros

  • Removable footbed
  • Durable construction
  • Secure

Cons

  • Design
  • Weight

4. Five Ten Women’s Freerider Contact

Five Ten is considered the best mountain bike shoe brand by many. This is further proven with the Five Ten Women’s Freerider Contact. This is a woman-specific shoe that is lighter and more comfortable on the feet.

But this doesn’t mean that it compromised quality and grip because it still has the same materials as the other Freerider models.

The Women’s Freerider Contact is best known for its responsive design. This means that you can easily move your feet’s position and angle anytime. It also has a lace closure which ensures a secure and snug fit.

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They make its upper mesh from synthetic textile rubber which gives additional durability. They also make the interior lining from textile rubber to support the upper mesh.

Its sole is made from Stealth Mi6 rubber. This is Five Ten’s exclusive rubber outsole material provides unrivaled grip and traction.

What makes this different from other Five Ten Contact models is its tighter heel fit. It’s also lighter because of its lower total volume. This one’s very versatile as well because this can be used for casual wear.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Specifically-made for women
  • Aesthetic

Cons

  • Price

5. Five Ten Freerider Contact

Then there’s the Five Ten Freerider Contact. It’s the same as the Women’s Freerider Contact. But it has a bulkier and wider construction that’s specifically made for men. It features Five Ten’s threadless Contact outsole that’s incorporated into their Stealth rubber compound.

This provides maximum grip to your pedals’ pins so you won’t slip on gnarly sections. It also lets you make fast on-the-fly adjustments without experiencing lug interference. It’s what you need if you like to do jumps or tricks when riding enduro downhill trails.

It has a stiff midsole which gives you an agile feel when repositioning your feet. This also means you can easily adjust your foot’s angle when approaching jumps or steep sections. There’s also an added toe protection so you won’t hurt your toes and feet if you crash or hit rocks or roots.

It protects your feet for all-day riding. The upper shaves are also abrasion-resistant so you don’t have to worry about getting scratches on your shoes.

The synthetic upper material also lowers weight. This also makes the Freerider Contact the lightest shoe in the Freeride line. This also has Five Ten’s signature Mi6 rubber outsole for maximum grip.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Grippy sole
  • Versatile design
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Price

6. Giro Riddance Mid

You might also like the Giro Riddance Mid. This is another best-selling shoe from Giro, a renowned bike gear manufacturer based in Santa Cruz, California. It features a synthetic rubber sole which gives maximum grip for your shoes on your flat pedals.

This is ideal for those who prefer downhills and steep sections because of its secured structure. The shoes’ design is also downhill-oriented which makes this very safe and durable. But don’t worry if you think this one’s too heavy because it’s also efficient in pedaling.

It also has a water-resistant design which makes this ideal in any weather condition. The mid-top section is made from breathable microfiber that comes with Rock Print.

This makes it resistant to abrasions and scratches. It also has rubber-reinforced protection on the toe and heel sections.

The laces can also be easily adjusted thanks to its fit adjustment design. It also secures knots because it’s supported by a lightweight closure system. This gives the Riddance Mid unrivaled protection and versatility.

This also features Giro’s Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsole. It comes in a full-length measurement and is designed for high-traction usage.

They lug it on its outsole for ideal durability and grip. The footbed is made from molded EVA which makes this comfortable for all-day riding. You’ll also find its footbed comfortable because it has soft cushioning.

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Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Secure fit
  • Grippy sole

Cons

  • Bulky design

7. Five Ten Impact Low

You might have heard about Sam Hill, the three-time Enduro World Series champion. He is best known for being one of the few riders who wear flat pedal shoes and win podiums.

Well, Sam Hill wears the Five Ten Impact Low. This is one of Five Ten’s most popular mountain biking shoes because of its versatility and protection. You can use this not only for mountain biking but also for trail hiking, mountain climbing, and casual wear.

It features Five Ten’s Stealth rubber outsole that gives a superb grip. You are assured that your feet won’t fall off when you wear these.

But what separates this from other models is its burly construction. The Stealth sole is also wrapped around the upper edges which adds more protection and grip.

It has a slingshot heel design for a snug and secure fit. The midsole also is compression-molded which gives additional support. The toe cap is stitched and reinforced as well. This makes it comfortable and secure wherever you ride it.

Even its leather upper features a mesh tongue side panel that makes this shoe breathable. This is a splendid choice if you want to get a maximum grip all day long.

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Reinforced body
  • Grippy sole
  • Water-resistant

Cons

  • Price
  • Weight

8. Vans Old Skool Hightop

Who says you can’t wear skate shoes for biking? That’s not really true because there’s Vans.

Introducing the Vans Old Skool Hightop. Many might say this one is a skate shoe. It is! But it’s also the favorite of many downhill and dirt jump mountain bikers.

It’s a splendid choice if you want the cool and casual vibe of skating. This is ideal if you are fond of jumps and drops or doing tricks in mid-air while on your bike.

The Old Skool Hightop is Vans’ legendary lace-up high-top shoe that draws inspiration from the classic Old Skool. They make its upper portion from suede and canvas. It also has a padded and supportive ankle for better protection and security.

It might sound too light for mountain biking. But it isn’t. In fact, they design this skate shoe like a mountain bike shoe because of its signature Waffle outsole.

This exclusive outsole design latches onto your flat pedals’ pins and secures it pretty well. You also don’t have to worry about repositioning it because you can easily adjust your feet.

They make the upper portion from premium suede and canvas just like the Sleuth that adds a stylish and cool vibe. You can even wear this for casual occasions!

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Grippy sole
  • Versatile use
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Less protection
  • Not specifically designed for cycling

Conclusion

Knowing the best mountain bike shoes for flat pedals isn’t just about fashion and style. It’s also about getting the right fit for your riding discipline and preference.

Make sure that the shoes you choose are durable, comfortable, and secures your feet on the pedals. Don’t worry too much about the price because choosing cheap brands also means a shorter lifespan.

Just choose any of the best mountain bike shoes for flat pedals listed in this review. And you’ll surely have a better time riding on the trails.

Related:

The Best Flat Mountain Bike Pedals

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