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Mountain Bike Shoes

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Mountain Bike Shoes

Mountain bike shoes differ from road bike shoes by featuring added traction in their soles, higher foot/ankle protection, waterproof liners and a tightening system to help keep the shoe on your foot. MTB shoes can include cleats for clipless pedals, or not for platform pedals.

Clipless vs Platform Shoes

While road riders almost always choose clipless, mountain bikers have a harder choice to make.

  • Clipless: These shoes use a cleat system that attaches your shoe to the clipless pedal, ensuring more of your pedaling energy is delivered to the bike. MTB riders looking for longer rides or doing non-technical riding should choose these.
  • Platform: With no attachment, platform pedals and shoes give you more ability to move your feet and legs as you ride. If you're doing more technical riding or on a trail where you need to hop on and off your bike, choose platform.

Whichever type of shoe you go with, you'll want to make sure they're compatible with your pedals.

Other Features:

As you shop for shoes, you'll see optional features available:

  • Enhanced coverage: Some shoes feature higher protection for your ankles.
  • Waterproof liners: If you're planning to ride in the rain or mud, you might want waterproof shoes to keep your feed dry.
  • Fit system: Using a ratcheting dial or additional hook-and-loop straps, if you're worried about your shoe coming off you should consider these fit systems.

Mountain Bike Shoe Care

Most dirt should wipe off with a rag, but for harder dirt you can use mild soap and warm water. To dry them after cleaning, or a wet ride, use a boot dryer or stuff them with newspaper overnight. Keeping your shoes dry eliminates odor and prevents gunk from building up inside.

Why Shop at REI

REI carries top bike shoe brands like Shimano, Five Ten and Pearl iZUMi. We carry everything you need to hit the trail, including mountain bike shorts, tools and racks. If you're new to MTB, see our guide on how to get started mountain biking.