With summer approaching, it’s time to renew the worn parts of الأجزاء your bike kit. This year’s crop of the latest mountain bike shoes offer enough technical advances across the board — from quick-drying, odor-resistant materials to smart-rising closures, stickier soles and hidden polymer overlays — that every type of runner can benefit. So whether you’re a light, fast cross-country fanatic still geared toward the sections, or a downhill specialist looking for a high-performance flat-pedal shoe, you’ll find options worth upgrading for better connectivity, more efficient power transmission, plus a few style points on the go. The Road.
1. Rime Flat MTB Professional Shoe
The best flat-pedal shoes hold almost like a lace-up shoe, but allow you to unbuckle in a flash. The Rime Flat ranks high for the pedal linkage without hindering quick takedowns. It is also convenient to enter. Rime’s TPU and seamless mesh upper is durable and stress-free. The net repelled the water, so the shoes dried quickly, whether they were just sweaty or submerged while crossing a stream. The specialized engineering body structure supported my foot with a longitudinal arch, instep button, and arch wedge to keep me functional and toned. The ergonomic midsole is reinforced with a shank for stability and foot protection, which I appreciate is a push up for a feature session, or taking a turn for a view.
2. Bontrager Foray Bike Shoe
Designed for the singletrack, but just as good on gravel adventures, the Foray high performance sole was effective riding and walking. The aggressive lugs gave me good traction on loose slopes, and the Boa L6 cable tie allowed me to fine-tune the fit for all-day comfort. The perforated synthetic upper allows my feet to breathe on hot days. The welded rubber toe guard deters rocks and other trail hazards. The stiff sole is made of a composite nylon material. They rock out to make walking comfortable, and the cleat mount has a wide range of adjustability, which I appreciate because I love riding with the back of the cleats. The shoe came with nylon toe rivets. I’ve left them on, but they come out with a touch of a Phillips screwdriver if you don’t want or need them. Bontrager gives this shoe a 6/14 hardness rating. I would put it near 10 or 11. The sole flexes a bit so walking isn’t awkward. But it’s stiff enough that I didn’t lose pedal power.
3. Shimano ME702
Firmer, more durable, and based on another redesign that fits wider feet, Shimano’s 2021 ME7 mountain bike shoe is the best version of this heritage shoe yet. Made for enduro riders, the Michelin ME7 rubber outsole has gone through countless hours of riding the bike exploring new territories. It’s wider than it used to be but it didn’t let my feet swim mid-width. And for passengers who really need space, it’s now also made in a Volume + Wide version. Laces covered with Velcro to close it to prevent it from snagging. And an unobtrusive buckle secures the shoes around my feet. The neoprene Achilles cuff kept sticks, stones and other debris. And because the shoe is cut from the inside, I never hit my ankle. The ME7 is armored for protection, but it’s also better ventilated than ever.
4. Scott Sport Volt Clip
Boa lacing helps the fit on these durable yet comfortable buckle-free shoes. Sticky rubber on the sole keeps the rubber side up on your hiking adventures. When the shoe hits the pedal, reverse lugs ensure maximum contact between the pedal and the shoe, while the lug pattern in the toe and heel shifts for traction. They climbed into a driveway in Vermont mud, filled with dirt. But once I got back on the bike, the sole was quickly cleaned. The perforated top prevented my feet from overheating. A lace-up top slot, set wider at the ankle, helped secure these boots tighter. The Volt Clip didn’t have the shock absorption off the bike like some other shoes, but the toe flexed naturally when I jumped off the bike to get snacks from the grocery store, or when I walked into a store to replace my CO.
5. Crank Brothers Mallet Speed Rabat
Designed for enduro and downhill riders, the Mallet Speed Lace comes with a Match Flange pre-installed and a Crank Brothers cleat in neutral. If you install Crank Brothers pedals, this will save you $20 for new cleats and 10 minutes to install them. But this shoe isn’t just for the Crank Brothers pedal fan; Any clipless pedal rider would love them. The sloped tapered garage uses a medium friction rubber in a radial pattern around the bracket which makes it easier to get in and out of my pedals. Garage sheds mud efficiently, which makes these shoes especially good for spring and fall riding. The mount tracks were long enough for me to be able to put the cleats into a setback power setting. If you don’t ride on Crank Brothers pedals, you will have to remove the bolt and replace it with one that matches your pedals. Or maybe your pre-installed shoes and cleats will inspire you to try something new. The faux-leather and mesh upper has hidden perforations and a retractable drawstring for a secure fit. Additional drawstring folds into tongue pocket. And the sole was hiking-ready, with a grooved toe, and lugs that had traction without compromising pedal contact.
6. Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow
Made for more casual adventurers and riders who want a walking shoe as well as riding, this flat-pedal grips the pedal pins with its sticky chevron-patterned rubber. The canvas and microfiber upper is designed to look like a sneaker, with perforations in the toe so your feet don’t sweat, and an invisible rubber heel and toe bumper minimizes wear and tear. The one-piece midsole/outsole had good shock absorption for unexpected rides and was comfortable enough for getting around town.
8. Hellion Elite Concept Ride
The most important feature of a flat pedal shoe is to keep your foot attached to the pedal whether you are going up a hill or enhancing an advantage. The Hellion Elite’s soles with a hexagonal print felt super-locked when I rode them, even though they were flat-pedal shoes, and they absorbed shock on the descent thanks to an EVA midsole tuned to the dynamics of mountain biking. Absorbs chatter, reduces fatigue and the D30 heel and ball of foot pads make these the most comfortable boots we’ve tested for long-distance riding. The two-panel synthetic microfiber upper was abrasion-resistant, quick-drying, and anti-odor. And the reinforced tongue keeps out rocks and dirt. Finally, since tying shoelaces into loops never ends well, the elastic on the tongue ends.
9. Five Ten Trailcross XT Mountain Bike Shoes
This shoe is a slightly different animal—more of a hybrid of a custom bike shoe and a light hiking trailhead. Perfect for off-road adventures where you might find yourself cruising a bit outside the choppy bike-hiking section, or a bike tour where you’re exploring off the bike, the Trailcross XT was stiff enough to transfer solid power on the pedals, but could still flex comfortably with the foot on The Road. Offering full ankle coverage with an extended boot-like collar (with a neoprene cuff) and a mesh upper, this boot breathes easily and dries quickly—perfect for warmer weather, and even features a midsole drainage for riding through unexpected spots. And while it’s a bit narrower and features a bit more rocker toe than some of the other flat pedal shoes on this list, the Five Ten’s Stealth (Phantom Dotty) rubber sole still offers impeccable grip.
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