Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes

Women's Mountain Bike Shoes

It is common for new mountain bikers to ride with a pair of skate shoes or some old trainers. But, you will soon  notice that a good pair of mountain bike shoes has a lot of advantages . In this post, I am going to give you some of the best examples of women’s mountain bike shoes, along with telling you what to look out for when buying.

Your hands on the grips, bum on the saddle and your feet on the pedals are you three contact point with your bike. However, when you standing up, you are only touching the bike with your hands and feet. Therefore, your choice of footwear is pretty important and that it is worth carefully considering.

But before you buy some shoes, there are some things that determine which ones you will buy:

  • Riding style
  • What type of pedals you like
  • The terrain you ride

So, keep reading to see how to choose your next pair of mountain bike shoes.

What Type Of Pedals?

Flat Pedals

With flat pedals, you don’t need special shoes to go mountain biking. However, mountain bike specific flat pedal shoes will benefit you way more than a pair of old trainers.

Flat pedal mountain bike shoes have flat soles to maximise the contact area with your pedals. Also, the rubber soles give you a huge amount of grip compared to other shoes.

A flat pedal mountain bike shoe will be slightly stiffer than your normal trainers, which helps with transferring your power to the pedals. Flat pedal mountain bike shoes also have different levels of padding and support, providing shock absorption suitable for different disciplines of riding. Downhill specific shoes may be overkill for most types of riding so make sure you choose suitable shoes for what you want to do.

Flat pedal mountain bike shoes look like chunky skate shoes and use standard laces. However, you will find some models that use velcro straps or Boa systems to fasten them. If your shoes have laces, make sure that you tuck the ends out of the way, so they do not get caught around your pedals or drivetrain. Some shoes have a way of keeping them tidy, which is a nice feature to look out for.


Clipless pedals have a cleat screwed into the sole of your shoe. The cleat locks your shoe to the pedal but is easy to disengage with a twist of your ankle (yes, they clip you to the pedals). Therefore, clipless pedals. require you to have a cycling-specific shoe.

Clipless pedals can be used for most disciplines of mountain biking and have different designs to suit each style of riding. Clipless mountain bike shoes are very stiff, which helps with transferring your power to the pedals, making pedalling more efficient. Pedalling efficiency is also improved by being able to push and pull on the pedals with the opposite feet at the same time. But, they are a little awkward to walk around in.

The soles on the different types of clipless mountain bike shoes are varied. For example, clipless downhill mountain bike shoes look very similar to flat pedal shoes, but they have the recess for the cleat. Also, they don’t have much tread on them. Cross country and trail mountain bike shoes will have a more pronounced tread pattern, but often, the compound of the tread material is firm and plasticky, meaning that they won’t give you the best grip for walking around in. However, many brands are improving the rubber compounds used on clipless mountain bike shoes, so make sure you go for grippy soles if you expect to be walking around a lot.

To fasten clipless shoes, you will have the choice of anything from laces to straps to Boa dials. You will find that most entry-level mountain bike shoes will fasten using two or three velcro straps, while higher-end shoes will have ratchet straps, buckle or Boa dials.

Recommended Womens' Mountain Bike Shoes - Clipless

Fizik X5 Terra

The Fizik’s X5 Terra is a sleek clipless mountain bike shoe. Its sole is stiff to give you great power transfer, while it is still comfortable for long rides.

They share some similarities to Fizik’s road shoes and are best suited to cross country, cyclocross and gravel riders.

Many customers of the Fizik X5 Terra say that they have a narrow fit, but you can dial in a perfect fit using the Boa and velcro strap combo.

The sole is made from a composite carbon fibre, which brilliantly balances stiffness and comfort. The tread pattern is aggressive and digs into the mud for excellent grip when off the bike. 

Your toes and heels are protected with toughened material, while the microtex upper is easy token clean.

Tin a nutshell, the Fizik X5 Terra shoes look good and perform well considering their price. However, if you have wide feet, you will probably want to look for an alternative.


  • Sizing Note: Fit as per size guide
  • Upper: Laser Perforated Microtex
  • Outsole: Injected Carbon/TPU co-injected studs
  • Closure system: Single L6 Dial B and Single Strap
  • Insole: fi’zi:k Cycling Insole
  • Weight: 282g (size 42.5)

dhb Troika

The dhb Troika is designed to be wider than your usual mountain bike shoe. The idea behind this is so you can wear thicker socks, but these would also suit the mountain biker with wide feet. If you have standard sized feet, you will instantly notice how much extra room they give you and probably wouldn’t be suitable, unless you buy a pair a size down from what you would usually buy.

When riding, these shoes feel robust and are breathable, thanks to the perforated upper. But, the holes still keep your feet dry from splashing through puddles. While the stiffness of the soles gives you plenty of pedal power.

The dhb Troika is a decent pair of mountain bike shoes at a good price. But, I recommend them to riders who tend to find themselves half a size bigger than the standard sizes, or who need a little extra room in the toe box.


  • Sizing Note: Fit as per size guide
  • Upper: Laser Perforated Microtex
  • Outsole: Injected Carbon/TPU co-injected studs
  • Closure system: Single L6 Dial B and Single Strap
  • Insole: fi’zi:k Cycling Insole
  • Weight: 282g (size 42.5)

Giro Ventana

Mountain Bike Shoes For Men - Giro Ventana

The Giro Ventana features the inboard offset cleat position used on the Giro Chamber DH shoe, which gives you a wide stance on the pedals. It also has a brand new welded upper and extra protection for your toes, while the well balanced sole stiffness is ideal for riding hard.

Its offset cleat position is either going to win you over or put you off straight away. The idea behind this design is to mimic a flat pedal stance, which leans more towards downhill riding than trail riding.

The sole features a low profile rubber tread with extended protection on the toe. It also has a big recess for the cleat, making it easier to clip in. You will instantly notice, due to its stiffness, that this shoe is for people that want the best in power transfer to the pedals. This stiffness is well balanced between getting the power down and feedback from the bike.

You will be able to get the fit perfectly dialled in with just a twist of the knob on the Boa lacing system. Another advantage of this system is that it evenly distributes pressure around your foot, ensuring that there are no pressure or pinch points.

These shoes are not weatherproof, but they dry quickly, breathe easily and are not too heavy. Their fit is excellent, while the Boa system is fast and secure. You will like that the upper is durable and well protected and the balanced sole. However, the inboard cleat position is likely to be the big decider for most riders.


  • One-piece Synchwire™ upper design with PU bonded mesh
  • Rubber reinforced heel and toe sections
  • Boa® L6 dial featuring 1mm adjustment and macro release, with steel lace and soft lace guides
  • Velcro® forefoot strap
  • Injected EVA cushioning midsole
  • Sensor™ rubber compound engineered for durability and grip
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • Moulded EVA footbed with medium arch support
  • 417 grams (size 42)
  • 2-bolt cleat compatible

Women's Mountain Bike Shoes - Flats

Five Ten Freerider

Mountain Bike Shoes For Men - Five Ten Freerider

I mentioned that I ride with a pair of Five Ten Freeriders earlier. The reason for this, is that they are probably the most comfortable things I have ever put on my feet and they are very grippy on my Nukeproof Horizon pedals. The Five Ten Freeriders are primarily a trail shoe, but I wear them for enduro and downhill riding in the French Alps.

The sole on the Freerider, is made from the S1 Stealth Rubber. In conduction with its tread pattern, this stuff works very well with the pins on your pedals to make sure your feet stay firmly in place without having to be clipped in.

My current choice of Five Ten Freerider, is the bow standard version. However, if you tend to ride in wet weather often, this may not be the best choice for you. When they get wet, they take ages to dry out. Therefore, you may want to try the DLX version, which is more suited to damp and muddy days on the bike.

If you want a more versatile shoe, or one with different looks, you may want to look at the Pro model. These are quick drying, while still retaining the super grippy S1 rubber sole.


  • Stealth® S1 rubber outsole for unbeatable grip
  • One-piece molded cup sole for added durability
  • Classic Dotty™ tread for superior pedal traction
  • Lace closure
  • Textile lining 
  • Medium-flex midsole

Northwave Tribe

Mountain Bike Shoes For Men - Northwave Tribe

The Northwave Tribe is a bike-specific shoe and is a good alternative to the Five Ten Freerider. Its Michelin rubber sole gives you great grip, even when wet, thanks to its ‘Gecko’ compound, which is also has a long lifespan. The Gecko sole works in a similar way to Five Ten’s Stealth rubber, by having a tread pattern that interfaces with your pedal pins for security.

The sole is stiff, which helps with power transfer and comfort when on the pedals. But, much like the Five Ten Freerider, the sole isn’t too stiff, so you will be comfortable walking around in them, either on the trail or in the streets.

The sole and the upper are welded together, to help with their longevity. The upper is breathable but has rubber prints to help protect your toes from rocks pinging up off the trail.
A pie feature that the Tribe has over the Freerider is the elasticated lace holder. This keeps your laces tidily out of the way, meaning they won’t get caught in your drivetrain.

When it comes to comfort, the Northwave Tribe shoes feel like any regular sports shoes. The only thing that hints towards them as mountain bike shoes is their extra weight. But, you could easily wear them on a day to day basis.


  • Lightweight suede and mesh upper
  • Reinforced toe cap
  • Abrasion-resistant rubber print at toe and heel
  • Michelin Gravity outsole featuring Gecko+ compound
  • Non-stretch laces
  • Elasticated lace holder

Giro Riddance

Mountain Bike Shoes For Men - Giro Riddance

The Giro Riddance is a lightweight mountain bike shoe with a Vibram sole. Although the sole is grippy, you won’t find it quite as good as the Stealth Rubber found on the Five Ten Freerider, thanks to the less aggressive tread pattern. But, you will find these shoes adequately in terms of their traction on and off the bike. However, if you ride particularly bumpy terrain, you might want to look at other options.

Like the Northwave Tribe, you can safely tuck the ends of the laces into the built-in lace keeper, which is a nice touch and won’t give you any unwanted surprises.
Depending on the colour you choose, this is another shoe that you would be able to go to the pub in after a ride without looking a bit odd.

The Giro Riddance is a comfortable shoe, with good arch support. You will notice that the upper is quite stiff, which gives you a feeling of security and good power transfer on the pedals. This makes it a great shoe for mountain bikers that ride a lot of flat and rolling terrain, but you probably wouldn’t want to use them as your day to day walking around shoe.


  • Water-resistant, breathable microfiber upper
  • Laced closure with lace keeper
  • Tubular laces are durable and hold a knot
  • Rubber toe and heel reinforcements
  • Rockprint reinforcement for enhanced durability
  • Vibram Megagrip ISR rubber outsole, engineered for grip
  • EVA midsole optimized for vibration damping
  • Moulded DH EVA footbed with arch support
  • 430 grams (size 43)

Recommended Clipless Mountain Bike Shoes For Men

4 thoughts on “Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes

  • 30/07/2020 at 2:02 am

    hello there, thanks for sharing this awesome article I know it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me. I really like your selection of mountain bike shoes especially the DHB Troika and they really are cheap i think i would get one as it has been a long time i went mountain biking.

    • 31/07/2020 at 12:29 pm


      Thanks for your comment, The Troika are a great buy.

  • 30/07/2020 at 2:13 am

    Hello there! this is an amazing review you have got here. My favorite is the dhb Troika as it has a strong look, good stiffness for an entry-level nylon sole and effective ventilation. They are a little on the heavy side, but for the kind of riding most people do, this won’t be a significant issue. I will make an order soon.

    • 31/07/2020 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Joy,

      Thanks for your comment, good choice!


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