The best mountain bike shoes for every cyclist

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The Disney-fied story of Cinderella has deep roots – the first version of the tale has been traced all the way to ancient Greece, where 2,000 years ago “a Greek courtesan named Rhodopis had one of her shoes stolen by an eagle, who flew it across the Mediterranean and dropped it in her lap. ‘an Egyptian king’. Since then, each of us has had our Cinderella moment: a desperate search for the perfect fitting shoe. If you’ve ever encountered an ill-fitting mountain bike shoe, you know what I’m talking about.

What makes a mountain bike shoe good and not good?

The ideal mountain bike shoe is a mix of utility and comfort: you don’t necessarily want a super spongy pair of shoes because while they’ll feel great off-trail, you need a bit of stiffness and comfort. rigidity to help maintain balance and power. downhill or uphill.

You’ll want to keep an eye out for features like reinforced toe caps and heels, breathable and durable upper materials, a grippy and sturdy rubber outsole, and speed-lacing systems that allow for micro-adjustments on the go. The best mountain bike shoe should be suited to your specific riding style and should be able to hold up in variable conditions.

Should you ride with an automatic or specific flat shoe?

There are two types of pedals in mountain biking, and the one you choose to ride will tell you which mountain bike shoes you choose. Flat pedals are what they sound like: they’re the type of pedal almost everyone has learned to ride on, and consist of a flat, even surface on which you can place your foot wherever you want. Clipless pedals (which, contrary to their name, have clips) secure your foot to the pedal via a locking mechanism between the shoe and the pedal.

If you are a casual or recreational rider who values ​​flexibility and maneuverability, flat pedals will be the way to go. you can wear a flat shoe with any flat pedal and get on and off the bike easily. If you plan to both ride and walk, flat pedals will provide more comfort off the bike. Conversely, if you are looking for power and pedaling efficiency, clipless pedals will be for you. Just make sure the shoes and clipless pedals you choose work together as a system.

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