Mountain Bike Shoes: 4 of the best pairs available now

flat pedal mountain bike shoes

If you don’t use proper flat pedal mountain bike shoes, you are missing a trick. They offer so much more grip than your normal trainers ever will. Their soles are made for the job of keeping your feet firmly on the pedals, even when the trail gets a bit bouncy. When I first got mine, I was very impressed and shocked at the amount of grip they give you. Here are a few of the best ones available.

Five Ten Freeride

Flat pedal mountain bike shoes

These are my personal favourites. They are the comfiest trainers I have ever had and the grip is fantastic. Five Ten’s background is in climbing shoes, and they have brought their Stealth Rubber soles to the mountain bike world. Not only does it give the grip we all need, it absorbs a lot more shock than your standard trainers ever would.

The freerider is an all mountain shoe, meaning that it isn’t too bulky and stiff, so it is suitable for all kinds of riding. It’s construction allows you to walk around and ride in comfort. I have two pairs, one for riding and another for day to day wear.

There are different options available from Five Ten to cater for different riders needs. For example the Impact Low has steel toe caps for extra protection, the Impact High has extra ankle support, while the Impact Pro offers, thicker shock absorbing foam. Five Ten sponsor Sam Hill, a very successful downhill rider, you may want to check out his signature shoe here.

Pros: These shoes are super comfy, grippy, look good, you can wear them off the bike.

Cons: Can take a while to dry out. I have heard that some people have had quality issues (I have never had a problem).

There is also a women’s version, that has all the same benefits as the men’s.

These shoes are not waterproof, but that has never bothered me. You are bound to get wet feet while mountain biking at some point. You can buy waterproof socks if you really want to stay dry. I recommend Sealskinz.

These are available from chainreaction between from £49.99.

Specialized GR7

Flat pedal mountain bike shoesIt is not all about Five Ten though, there are a few alternative flat pedal mountain bike shoes. The Specialized GR7 is definitely one to check out. They offer superb grip, build quality and stiff soles. This will allow you to get the power down on to those pedals a bit more efficiently.

There is a good amount of protection too. This shoe has a neoprene ankle collar, which stops the majority of soil and grit getting in the top. The leather upper is designed to reduce water ingress, while the thicker molded toe will protect you from those nasty rock strikes.

I would recommend these to anyone that wants an all round flat pedal mountain bike shoe. They look pretty good and come in two colour ways, neither are very subtle though…..which I like!

These are available online for from £68.79

Pros: Easy to clean, comfy, lots of protection

Cons: Erm….none really.

Giro Jacket

flat pedal mountain bike shoesIt’s not a jacket….it’s a shoe, and a very good one. The Giro jacket is a high quality shoe, that offers great comfort, grip and pedal feel. The upper is breathable to reduce sweaty foot syndrome, but it is also water resistant. It isn’t completely waterproof, but water only gets in when it is super wet (but they do dry out pretty quickly

These flat pedal mountain bike shoes also have really good shock absorbing properties, thanks to the EVA cushioning in the mid sole and the Poron XRD (an open cell material) heel pad.

These shoes are built to last too, Giro have excellent build quality, so they should last you a long time.

Pros: Water resistant, high quality, good grip

Cons: Sizing may not be perfect. If you are in between sizes, go for the larger option.

These are available on between from £84.57

Afton Keegan

flat pedal mountain bike shoesIf you fancy a change from the more common brands, Afton are worth a look. They won the design and innovation award in 2018 with the Keegan. It has something called a mono-directional shank, allowing extra stiffness to you pedaling, reduced vibration and enhanced power transfer. The sole offers excellent grip and it has a reinforced toe box, this obviously useful on the bike, but it also helps you walk around on the trails and climb up steep slopes.

They are super comfortable, with a snug fit. The venting means they are breathable, and the Anti-Microbial inner soles keep them fresh for longer.

Pros: Comfort, good on and off the bike, a bit different to the norm

Cons: Not water resistant, but Sealskinz socks or a waterproofer can help.

The Afton Keegan is available from Chainreaction for £79.99

Choose your flat pedal mountain bike shoes!

These are all great products ranging from the old faithful (Five Tens) to the new kid on the block. To be honest you can’t go wrong with any of these, so it is all down to personal taste.

Are there any alternatives you believe should be on this list? If so let me know in the comments below. Also, if you have any feedback for the site, you can email me at

Thanks for reading!


  1. Elan

    What is the difference between using mountain bike shoes and using ordinary sneakers? I would think as long as your sneakers are on tight you will be okay. Am I wrong about this? Do the mountain shoes give you more force to pedal against the center of gravity when going uphill? When looking for mountain bike shoes, what materials should I be looking for?

    1. Tom Fortune


      I will be writing a guide on what to look for in an mtb shoe soon. But, the soles give more, grip, pedal feel and better power transfer. There are also other features that make them more oriented towards riding that you won’t find in everyday shoes.

      Thanks for your question. I hope this helps.


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