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10 Best Bike Shoes of 2024

We've bought and tested the best bike shoes on the market to ensure you get into the perfect pair for your needs and budget.
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Best Bike Shoes Review (Given the amount and intensity of riding we did in these shorts, we're pretty pleased with how they held up, even if...)
Given the amount and intensity of riding we did in these shorts, we're pretty pleased with how they held up, even if they aren't pro-level shorts.
Credit: Ryan Baham

Our Top Picks

Friday April 19, 2024

For several years we've been researching, buying, and testing the best bike shoes on the market to help you find the ideal pair for your next ride. We'll guide you through the top options for each biking category, from road cycling to mountain biking. Shopping on a budget? Our review also includes our top, award-winning options at incredible price points. Each pair of bike shoes was put through the wringer, with hundreds of miles of biking conducted in testing as part of our scientific and objective assessment process. Pedal your way down this page to find the best pair for you and your wallet.

Each category of biking has unique demands on its shoes. Check out our deep-dive bike shoe reviews, including the best road cycling shoes, or for the trail enthusiasts, look into the best mountain bike shoes. Our female testers have also conducted in-depth reviews for women's best mountain bike shoes and best women's best mountain bike flats. Regardless of the type of biking you enjoy most, everyone needs biking accessories such as durable bike locks or the best bike racks to get to the trailhead.

Editor's Note: This review was updated on April 19, 2024 to include new favorites and remove old models.


Best Overall Cycling Shoes


Fizik Vento Infinito Carbon 2


REASONS TO BUY
Very comfy
Featherweight
Very aesthetic
Excellent energy transference
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Annoying upper flap
SPECIFICATIONS
Size Tested 44.5
Measured Weight (Pair) 19.5 oz
Outsole R2 Carbon
Upper Material Microtex
Closure 2 BOA Li2 B dials

The updated Vento Infinito Carbon 2 remains a favorite amongst our testers, with a few improvements on an already incredible shoe. The latest update offers better BOA dial adjustment and a stiffer, lower-weight outsole that makes this version of the Carbon 2 more comfy and better performing than its predecessors. With the cleat position further back than past versions, our testers also found a noticeable reduction in knee stress as we pedaled through our various tests, which is a greatly appreciated change. We were also pleased that Fizik kept this model's weight down at 553 grams for a size 44.5 EU.

While the Carbon 2 is one of the stiffest options made by Fizik, it isn't as stiff as certain options from competing brands. Fortunately, this lack of total rigidity allows it to excel in comfort and form fit. Also, the upper folds get caught as you are trying to tighten the shoe, and although these folds look great once you're riding, putting on the shoe and dialing in the fit is a minor annoyance. Our suspicion is that this won't bug a serious roadie too much, given the incredible quality of the shoe. This premium cycling shoe, unfortunately, comes at a premium price, and if your budget is tighter, we will steer you towards an option such as the Bontrager Solstice. Overall, we had to nitpick to find anything wrong with the Carbon 2. It's an absolutely stellar road bike shoe that's worthy of your consideration as long as it's in your budget.

Read more: Fizik Vento Infinito Carbon 2 review

bike shoes - sometimes you don't have to sacrifice comfort to get performance, as...
Sometimes you don't have to sacrifice comfort to get performance, as we discovered with the Carbon 2.
Credit: Ryan Baham

Best Cycling Shoes on a Budget


Bontrager Solstice


REASONS TO BUY
Decent weight
Accessible price
Well-designed velcro closure
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks effective energy transfer
Annoying upper folds
SPECIFICATIONS
Size Tested 45
Measured Weight (Pair) 20.0 oz
Outsole PowerTruss
Upper Material Synthetic
Closure 2 hook loop velcro straps

The Bontrager Solstice is well-deserving of our award for the best budget option for road biking. It offers everything you need for an entry-level shoe, with decent form-fit in the upper, providing excellent comfort, which keeps a new road cyclist on the bike for longer. The velcro strap closure is both easy to get into and effective at providing foot security. The Solstice is a simply designed shoe, and many cyclists will appreciate how easy it is to put these on and clip in, especially when considering its price. Budget-friendly options like this are a gift to any shopper, as daunting costs can keep many would-be cyclists from getting into such an incredible sport.

The Solstice isn't intended to be used for limit-pushing rides. Compared to premium shoes, they have a high amount of flex in their soles, causing less efficient pedaling- especially on climbs. It also doesn't tighten as precisely as other options. Having said this, we firmly believe new cyclists will be happy with this option, with an excellent price point allowing one to ease into the sport without dropping a bunch of hard-earned money. If you're looking for higher performance, we'd recommend the Vento Infinito Carbon 2, though you'll have to spend a pretty penny. The Solstice is an incredible option for those hunting for their first pair of road bike shoes and need to shop on a budget.

Read more: Bontrager Solstice review

bike shoes - we put hundreds of miles on these shoes during our monumental bike...
We put hundreds of miles on these shoes during our monumental bike shoe review.
Credit: Ryan Baham

Great Value for High-End Performance


Fizik Tempo Overcurve R4


REASONS TO BUY
Easy to use
Great affordability
Decent weight
REASONS TO AVOID
Can develop hotspots
Adjustability is limited
SPECIFICATIONS
Size Tested 45
Measured Weight (Pair) 20.8 oz
Outsole Carbon reinforced nylon
Upper Material PU laminate, mesh
Closure BOA and hook and loop strap

The Fizik Tempo Overcurve R4 is a utilitarian shoe that offers simplicity at a great price. It's not the fanciest shoe we tested, and for some, that's a good thing. This shoe doesn't rely on advanced features or gimmick-riddled advertising to prove its worth. The R4 includes a two-way BOA dial to adjust the polyurethane-laminated mesh upper, which kept our feet happy throughout testing. The outsole of this shoe uniquely offers a carbon-injected nylon for improved power transfer and saves some weight. This no-frills cycling shoe is worthy of your consideration as a high-performing option on a budget.

The Tempo Overcurve R4 doesn't offer much in the way of premium features, especially when compared to other full-carbon cycling shoes. The upper is stiffer than some shoes, which can lead to hotspots for some cyclists. With only one BOA dial, the fit isn't as precise as we would have liked, though some feet won't need more adjustability. The mostly nylon outsole has more flex while pedaling, so we'd steer you elsewhere if pedal performance is your priority. At the end of the day, this budget-minded shoe is well made and gifts performance you can rely on. If you're looking to maximize power transfer while maintaining a light weight, check out the Shimano SH-RC9 S-Phyre.

Read more: Fizik Tempo Overcurve review

bike shoes - the tempo overcurve r4 is a great option for those shopping on a...
The Tempo Overcurve R4 is a great option for those shopping on a tight budget.
Credit: Ryan Baham

Most Comfortable Cycling Shoes


Louis Garneau Course Air Lite XZ


REASONS TO BUY
Top-notch fit and comfort
Effective boa dials
Featherweight
REASONS TO AVOID
Narrow fit for some
Tongue can rub
SPECIFICATIONS
Size Tested 44.5
Measured Weight (Pair) 17.6 oz
Outsole Carbon Air Lite
Upper Material High density microfiber
Closure BOA IP1 dial

The Louis Garneau Course Air Lite XZ is an updated version of the Course Air Lite II, which was a past favorite of ours. This latest and greatest option stands out, first and foremost, due to its comfort. With three adjustable arches that work with the Ergo Air Transfo 3D insole, you can get the foot support right where you need it. Our testers' toes were happy with the X-Comfort zone, gifting plenty of play space, and the ventilation throughout the upper shoe kept our feet from overheating. All of these details equate to an excellent cycling shoe from Louis Garneau.

A premium shoe like the Course Air Lite XZ demands a premium price. Outside of the cost, the Air Lite XZ runs on the narrower side, so if you have a wider foot, we'd look elsewhere. Additionally, the tongue may rub a little for some users. At the end of the day, this is an excellent road shoe for committed cyclists wanting both performance and comfort. If you value comfort above all else, we recommend the Louis Garneau Course Air Lite XZ – another top scorer for that portion of our cycling shoe review.

Read more: Louis Garneau Course Air Lite XZ review

bike shoes - the lg course air lite xz finds a rare balance between comfortable...
The LG Course Air Lite XZ finds a rare balance between comfortable and high-performing.
Credit: Ryan Baham

Best Overall Mountain Bike Shoes


Five Ten Freerider Pro


REASONS TO BUY
Excellent power transference
Quality rubber
Stand-out durability
REASONS TO AVOID
Somewhat pricey
SPECIFICATIONS
Tread Pattern Full Dot
Rubber Type Stealth S1
Weight per Shoe (ounces) 14.11 (size 11)
Weight per Shoe (grams) 399 (size 11)
Closure Laces

The Freerider Pro has become the standard that all other bike shoes are compared to in the world of flats. When using flat bike pedals, the grip of your shoe is crucial, and Five Ten's Stealth rubber has long held its reputation as the best rubber available. This model offers the best pedal grip we've seen in a flat bike shoe — offering the next best form of attachment besides clipping in. The midsole of this option is stiff, gifting quality power transfer while simultaneously keeping foot fatigue to a reasonable level. Our testers were still able to strut around the brewery or the coffee shop off-the-bike in these shoes, with a slight amount of toe flex, allowing relative comfort for non-pedal travel. The Freerider Pro's medium-volume design accommodates a healthy variety of foot sizes and shapes with a modest, padded upper construction, offering protection without feeling cumbersome. This shoe is definitely worthy of your consideration if you're looking for top-of-the-line flats.

While it's considered an asset to have grippy shoes, the Freerider Pro might be too grippy for some riders who like to switch their foot position often. Being able to easily adjust foot positions is one of the mainstay positives for choosing flats over clipless. Also, the durable construction of this model unfortunately comes at the cost of breathability, causing our feet to get sweaty, especially on hot days. If you're seeking an option with an ankle cuff, check out the Five Ten Freerider Pro Mid VCS, which offers similar quality. Besides a few small drawbacks, the Freerider Pro is an incredible shoe that tops the charts for all of our testers.

Read more: Five Ten Freerider Pro review

bike shoes - the five ten freerider pro combines top-notch rubber with bomber...
The Five Ten Freerider Pro combines top-notch rubber with bomber construction into a shoe that delivers terrific power transfer.
Credit: Laura Casner

Best Overall Women's Mountain Bike Shoes


Giro Latch - Women's


REASONS TO BUY
Featherweight
Grippy
Absorbs bumps
REASONS TO AVOID
Less protection than other models
SPECIFICATIONS
Tread Pattern Gamma tread design
Outsole Tack Rubber
Measured Weight (per pair) 593 g
Upper Material Microfiber synthetic
Footbed 3D molded

The Giro Latch blew our testers away with nearly flawless performance in our rigorous and comprehensive testing. This option, first and foremost, keeps your feet attached to the pedals, even on rowdy terrain. The Latch is also built with Mute Foam and Tack Rubber on top of Gamma Tread, impressively absorbing bumps and vibrations normally felt in the pedal. Giro's Tack Rubber allows some foot movement but still gifts riders with excellent grip. The Latch strikes a balance between pedal performance and walkability, with a midsole offering some (but not too much) flex. Lastly, this option boasts a high score in the weight category, further solidifying the Latch as a top-notch choice for flats.

Before you rush out to purchase the Giro Latch, it's worth noting it doesn't offer the best breathability. Its microfiber construction in the upper does breathe ok for a mountain bike shoe, but if you need something better, we'd recommend the Specialized 2FO Roost Flat. The Latch also doesn't offer the best protection for more technical riding, with options such as the Five Ten Freerider Pro - Women's better suited for downhill/rougher trails. Despite these setbacks, the Latch is a good choice if you're seeking flats that can handle cross-country or trail riding — we thoroughly enjoyed its comfort, weight, and bump absorption.

Read more: Giro Latch Womens review

bike shoes - a grippy sole can help keep your feet firmly planted on the pedals...
A grippy sole can help keep your feet firmly planted on the pedals when things get rough.
Credit: Byron Adams

Best Bang for the Buck Mountain Bike Shoes


Ride Concepts Livewire


REASONS TO BUY
Robust build
Secure pedal attachment
Suitable for many ride types
Amicable price point
REASONS TO AVOID
Modest power transfer
Lacks breathability
Heavier than other options
SPECIFICATIONS
Tread Pattern Full Hexagon Dot
Rubber Type Kinetics DST6.0 High Grip
Weight per Shoe (ounces) 16.15 (size 11)
Weight per Shoe (grams) 458 (size 11)
Closure Laces

The Ride Concepts Livewire is an excellent option that ticks virtually all of the boxes for an all-mountain bike shoe. This model offers an outsole made with Rubber Kinetics – an unwaveringly reliable rubber that maintains grip on even the bumpiest of trails. The Livewire strikes a decent balance with its mid-range sole stiffness, allowing for pedal performance without sacrificing its ability to walk, whether on the trail or at the pub. We were pleased with the protection offered by this model, with molded toe and heel construction and D30 inserts that help absorb impact. There's a lot to love about this shoe, and with a medium-volume fit, it'll work for many riders.

The Livewire isn't the stiffest option available, making it less ideal for those seeking the best in power transfer. At 458 grams per shoe for a size 11, it's not the lightest pair either, so it's not the best choice if you have a need for speed. If that's the case, we'd recommend the Giro Latch, which has a stiffer midsole for pedaling and is lighter. Many riders will find these setbacks to be minor and will love the Livewire as an amicably priced, versatile shoe.

Read more: Ride Concepts Livewire review

bike shoes - the livewire by ride concepts is solid, versatile, and affordable.
The Livewire by Ride Concepts is solid, versatile, and affordable.
Credit: Laura Casner

Best Bang for the Buck Women's Mountain Bike Shoes


Specialized 2FO Roost Clip - Unisex


REASONS TO BUY
Amicable weight
Quality power transference
High walkability
Vents well
REASONS TO AVOID
Midfoot movement
SPECIFICATIONS
Outsole SlipNot FG
Measured Weight (g) 322g
Closure Laces
Upper Material synthetic leather
Footbed Body Geometry

The Specialized 2FO Roost Clip is a great option that's friendly to your wallet and to your ride. Don't let the casual appearance fool you – these shoes provide great power to your pedaling and can handle most of your rides- just keep them out of the downhill park. The 2FO Roost Clip offers the coveted SlipNot FG sole, which keeps your feet happy whether you're on your pedals or walking your bike. We also loved the high adjustability of the pedal positioning, allowing you to dial in the pedaling fit you want. Considering this option's low price point, we can't recommend this model enough.

While our heels were securely held, the Roost Clip has a relaxed fit that can cause some lateral movement in the midfoot. We were able to handle technical sections of the trail, whether up or down, but some riders will want a tighter feel. Despite this detail, the Rooster Clip still gifts excellent power transfer and felt like a dream on our feet — we still can't believe its pedal performance for being a lace-up shoe. If you need an option that performs better, look into the Crankbrothers Mallet Boa, though it's more pricey. At the end of the day, this option is worthy of your consideration as an all-arounder mountain bike shoe, and its affordable price will help you afford other needed bike purchases.

Read more: Specialized 2FO Roost Clip - Unisex review

bike shoes - besides riding in a lift-accessed bike park, these shoes were...
Besides riding in a lift-accessed bike park, these shoes were incredible all-arounders.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

How We Test Bike Shoes


If you add up the years we've each spent biking, our testing team here at OutdoorGearLab has collectively spent a few hundred years riding bikes. We've combined that wealth of experience and created objective, rigorous testing processes for each of our bike shoe reviews to help you make an informed decision on your next purchase. We buy every single shoe ourselves, accepting zero handouts from companies to ensure a bias-free assessment of every option. We've used and abused each bike shoe in several different environments, from the misty coastal roads of California to the dry slickrock of the Utah desert, to ensure every product's best and worst qualities are unearthed.

Good shoes inspire confidence on any terrain, especially when it gets steep.
Credit: Jake Pritchett

Every shoe's scoring metrics include durability, weight, performance, and comfort. Each type of biking has unique demands for the rider's shoe, so each category has additional unique metrics to help you objectively find the best pair of biking shoes for your needs so dive into each of the reviews to learn further about our testing processes.

Testing flat pedal shoes on tight turns.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Why You Should Trust Us


Our star-studded testing team is made up of certified mountain bike guides, champion road cycling racers, bike manufacturing designers/lab testers, biking guidebook authors, and everyone is passionate about the sport of biking. Ryan Baham is our expert on all things road cycling. Based in Southern California, he considers himself a multisport athlete and cycles through a neverending rotation of running, hiking, swimming, and, of course, cycling. He racks up thousands of miles per year when all is said and done. Tara Reddinger-Adams is a professional mountain bike guide, coach, and avid rider. In 2016, she received certifications in a Bicycle Instructor Certification Program (BICP) Level I and Professional Mountain Bike Instructor (PMBI) Level I. Since then, she has started her own business, guiding and coaching hundreds of clients across the US, and has leveled up to BICP Level II and PMBI Level II “Air” certifications. She leads the charge for our women's biking reviews.

We take specs like weight, size, and other measurements so you can...
We take specs like weight, size, and other measurements so you can decide which shoe is right for you.
We take each pair of bike shoes out for field testing to see how...
We take each pair of bike shoes out for field testing to see how they perform on different types of terrain.
Whether you go with clipless or flats, we've tested the best options...
Whether you go with clipless or flats, we've tested the best options for each.

Jeremy Benson and Pat Donahue have both done stints as Senior Mountain Bike Editor at OutdoorGearLab and have teamed up to take on our reviews of men's mountain bike gear. Jeremy is a professional-class mountain and gravel bike racer with a slight addiction to Strava. He has lived in North Lake Tahoe for almost two decades and is the author of Mountain Bike Tahoe. Pat has been riding bikes his whole life and has dipped his toe in everything from downhill and enduro to full-day endurance rides. Today, he co-owns a local bike shop in South Lake Tahoe. In addition to a few others, this exceptional testing team has decades of experience in professional and personal riding, bringing you the best of the best advice when it comes to choosing your bike shoes.

Feeling locked in with the right shoes can provide a sense of confidence when tackling tricky features.
Credit: Jake Pritchett

How to Choose the Best Bike Shoes


Our feet are the only parts of our body that make contact with the pedals of a bike, making our biking footwear among the most crucial elements of any bike setup. Whether you're a mountain biker or a road biker, quality bike shoes that fit you correctly are just as important as which bike you buy. Fortunately, a bike shoe is a much more affordable piece of equipment to purchase or upgrade than buying or upgrading an entire bike as long as you find the right shoe for you.

bike shoes - there are many different types of bike shoes but finding the right...
There are many different types of bike shoes but finding the right option for you isn't as daunting as you might think.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Clips, Clipless or Flat Pedals


For those newer to cycling or mountain biking, one of the greatest misunderstandings is what it means to have clips, clipless or flat biking pedals, or shoes. We totally get it — we've had those same misunderstandings, too. Until the 1890s, bike pedals were all that we would consider flats today, meaning a flat platform pedal that can be used with any shoe, and the rider is not attached to the bike. In the 1890s, pedal toe straps/clips became an option for cyclists, which allowed the rider to attach their feet to the pedal with a toe cage and straps. While designs varied, these clip pedals were all unreliable in terms of how well they kept your foot attached to the pedal. In more intense pedaling, riders could experience their foot slipping out, but in a crash, a rider might stay attached. While designs existed much earlier, it wasn't until the 1970s when “clipless” pedals became widely used, where a rider had a sort of cleat on the bottom of their shoe that would lock into the bike pedal and no longer needed clips (toe cages) to attach their foot to the bike. These clipless pedals were initially dangerous in a crash since they didn't release, but spring innovations rapidly improved their designs and allowed for shoe release in a tumble. It also became simpler to get into and out of the pedal, with a simple step-down motion to get in and a heel twist/pivot to get out.

bike shoes - clipless pedals, pictured in the foreground, have become a...
Clipless pedals, pictured in the foreground, have become a quintessential part of a bike setup and, subsequently, clipless shoes (all shoes in this photo) as well.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Present-day clipless bike pedals and shoes have nearly perfected their design, and they are really the only option recommended for invested road cyclists. In the mountain biking world, one has the option to use flat (platform) bike shoes/pedals or clipless. While you can still buy toe clip pedals from a few manufacturers, we would recommend using clipless or flats for any biking to maximize performance and safety. It's also important to note there are multiple types of clipless pedals available, and one will likely need to buy a different cleat for their bike shoes (or just transfer your pedals) if switching from road to mountain biking or vice versa.

bike shoes - modern-day clipless bike shoes and pedals offer an unparalleled way...
Modern-day clipless bike shoes and pedals offer an unparalleled way to connect to your bike. Clipless systems range from trimmed down “egg beater” pedals to hybrid offerings like this one that still offer a platform that's reminiscent of flats.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Cycling Shoes


Cycling, or road bike shoes, are the lightest category of bike shoes and are extremely aerodynamic when compared to many clunky mountain bike options. These shoes offer the greatest pedaling efficiency with a stiff sole build that is frequently made of carbon and offers unparalleled breathability with synthetic upper shoe construction. While soles that are entirely carbon offer the best performance, they're typically the most expensive, so a hybrid of nylon and carbon can be an excellent compromise between budget and value. The cleat in the forefoot of the shoe protrudes from the sole, aiding further in the level of pedal efficiency and power found only in this category.

bike shoes - road bike shoes are the most sleek and aerodynamic category of our...
Road bike shoes are the most sleek and aerodynamic category of our various bike shoes.
Credit: Ryan Baham

Cycling shoes shouldn't be walked in for long periods of time, with minimal traction and a higher forefoot than the heel. This makes for a very awkward stride, especially when compared to mountain bike flats, and they sound like tap-dancing shoes on the pavement. While some options are better than others for walking, if you're utilizing a road bike as a commuter, we simply recommend keeping a pair of normal shoes at the office or in your backpack. While it's possible to use cycling shoes for mountain biking, we would generally discourage this unless you are focusing on cross-country riding.

bike shoes - whether a road cyclist or a downhill mountain biker, there's an...
Whether a road cyclist or a downhill mountain biker, there's an excellent option for you and your feet.
Credit: Andrew Crook

Mountain Bike Clipless Shoes


Clipless mountain bike shoes are intended for those seeking clipless pedals and shoes for their unpaved adventures. Being attached to your mountain bike allows for better pedaling power/efficiency and maneuvering over, around, or through most features you'll encounter on the trail compared to flats. When you're attached to your pedal, you need to be more exact with your shoe fit, as any unnecessary space (or improper sizing) can encourage more rubbing/blistering than flats. While good pedaling technique involves minimal upward pull on the pedal, we all do it, so your shoe needs to fit your pedal stroke in multiple directions.

bike shoes - mountain bike clipless offerings are many riders' preferred...
Mountain bike clipless offerings are many riders' preferred shoe/pedal system due the feel of being more connected to the bike and superior pedaling/power transfer.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Mountain bike shoes have a few different designs that can garner strong opinions depending on the type of biking you're looking to do. Cyclists who are more oriented to racing and cross-country rides may prefer a slimmer, road bike-esc shoe with less rubber. These are frequently the lightest shoes in the category, but with reduced rubber, they can be less friendly for hiking a bike on the trail. These shoes' aesthetics are also an acquired taste should you go out to dinner or to a brewery after a ride. The other common sub-class of mountain bike shoes is the more casual, downhill-friendly design. These look similar to flats with a wider shape and sticky rubber but with an insert for cleats in the forefoot. These are more commonly used with wider clipless pedals that offer more stability for technical downhill riding with a platform that's reminiscent of flat pedals.

bike shoes - mountain bike shoes feature many different types of soles and last...
Mountain bike shoes feature many different types of soles and last shapes. The far left shoe is more akin to road bike shoes in its narrow profile and lack of sticky rubber when compared to the other three options.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Avid mountain bikers are split between riding clipless or flats (arguably more riders are in the clipless camp), but if you're new to the sport, consider starting on flats as you can more easily hop off your bike on the trail as you learn the basics. While any clipless system will ultimately release in a crash, that release will not necessarily happen immediately, and you might be attached for a second longer than you'd like. Some do start off learning to mountain bike clipless, but they anticipate a steeper learning curve.

bike shoes - if you're getting into mountain biking, clipless pedals/shoes take...
If you're getting into mountain biking, clipless pedals/shoes take some getting used to- if you come up on a trail feature you can't just simply step off your bike, you have to do a heel twist and unlock your cleats first.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Flat Bike Shoes


This type of shoe doesn't have cleats and can only be used with flat/platform pedals. Flat shoes are the most versatile of any bike footwear genre, as they can also be used hanging around town as much as on the trail. Typically, these shoes will have a flat, wide bottom to maximize surface area on a flat pedal and will likely be made with some form of sticky rubber to stick better to the pedal. The sticky rubber used in a flat biking shoe is either similar or identical to the rubber used in approach/climbing shoes, where sticky rubber is essential for performance and safety. Without cleats and gifting excellent rubber, these shoes are likely to excel at hiking your bike if you come up on a technical section of a trail you don't want to ride or are sessioning a feature and want to run laps.

bike shoes - mountain bike flats, when paired with the right-sized pedal, can...
Mountain bike flats, when paired with the right-sized pedal, can still allow riders to connect to each pedal stroke.
Credit: Byron Adams

Mountain bike flats reduce pedaling efficiency when compared to clipless, but finding a pedal that fits your bike shoe's forefoot dimensions can greatly improve your pedal stroke and downhill performance. As previously mentioned in our mountain bike shoes section above, these are an excellent option for those just getting into mountain biking, as you can hop off your bike quickly. Mountain bike flats are also a great option for commuters and casual, recreational cyclists in an urban environment who want a more protective shoe for biking but still want the aesthetics of a more normal-looking shoe.

bike shoes - mountain bike flats often offer a more casual aesthetic than...
Mountain bike flats often offer a more casual aesthetic than clipless shoes and are extremely pleasant to walk or hike in.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Conclusions


Whether you're an avid road cyclist or a budding mountain biker, there's an excellent bike shoe for you and your budget. The shoes highlighted in this article are all award-winning models in their respective categories and have earned their place as the top options. We encourage you to pedal through this page and ride to the in-depth category reviews to find the right companion for your biking feet.

Ryan Baham, Tara Reddinger-Adams, Jeremy Benson, and Pat Donahue