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The 4 Best Mountain Bike Flat Pedal Shoes for Women

We tested the best women's mountain bike flat pedal shoes from Five Ten, Ride Concepts, Specialized, and others to recommend the best for you
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Best Mountain Bike Flat Pedal Shoes Women Review (We've put some of the most popular women's mountain bike shoes to the test to find the best models available.)
We've put some of the most popular women's mountain bike shoes to the test to find the best models available.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams
By Tara Reddinger-Adams ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 30, 2024

The Best Women's Mountain Bike Flat Pedal Shoes


Looking for women's mountain bike flat pedal shoes? We researched the latest and most popular models, purchasing and testing 11 pairs of shoes for our review. Making a purchase decision is becoming increasingly hard with so many great-performing shoes on the market, and we are here to help. We test each shoe for a minimum of 20 hours across all types of terrain, from fast flowy single-track to chunky downhills. During all of our comparative tests, we take extensive notes on the shoe's performance. After thorough research, we score each shoe individually to determine the best recommendations for your purchase.

You may also be interested in learning more about some of the best flat pedals on the market. We've also reviewed mountain bikes and accessories, including the best mountain bike helmets, the most protective knee pads, and the top women's clipless mountain bike shoes.

Editors Note: This review was updated on April 30, 2024, to include more information on our testing process and to ensure correct list pricing for these products.

Top 11 Mountain Bike Flat Pedal Shoes - Test Results

Displaying 1 - 5 of 11
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Awards Best Buy Award  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  
Price $120 List
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$109.94 at Amazon
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Overall Score
71
47
83
80
65
Star Rating
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Pros Excellent grip, comfortable, lightweight, breathable, reasonable priceInexpensive, breathableLightweight, awesome grip, absorbs trail chatterLightweight, fantastic grip, great power transfer, durableQuick adjustments with Boa Lacing, no heel lift, excellent trail absorption
Cons Long laces, minimal foot protectionLacks elastic strap for laces, longer break-in period, not the most durableMinimal foot protectionBreathability is not the best in hot conditionsHard to maintain contact between sole and pedal, flex in the shoe at mesh side panels
Bottom Line An excellent shoe for all types of flat pedal riders with outstanding grip, comfort, and valueThese are the least expensive shoe we tried, and we could tellA lightweight, well-balanced shoe with incredible grip, all-day comfort, and great trail absorption which makes it stand out in the crowdAn excellent choice if what you seek is excellent performanceBoa lacing and a fairly comfortable fit make this shoe attractive, however, flex at the midfoot and poor contact between the sole and our non-Crankbrothers pedals detract from the shoe’s positive qualities
Rating Categories Specialized 2FO Roo... Five Ten Freerider... Giro Latch - Women's Five Ten Freerider... Crankbrothers Stamp...
Grip (30%)
8.0
5.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Comfort and Protection (25%)
6.0
3.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Rigidity and Power Transfer (20%)
7.0
5.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Breathability (10%) Sort Icon
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
6.0
4.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Weight (5%)
7.0
5.0
10.0
9.0
7.0
Specs Specialized 2FO Roo... Five Ten Freerider... Giro Latch - Women's Five Ten Freerider... Crankbrothers Stamp...
Outsole SlipNot™ ST Stealth S1 Tack Rubber Stealth S1 Match MC2
Tread Pattern Full Hexagon Dot Full Dot Gamma tread design Full Hexagon Dot Crankbrothers Match
Measured Weight (per pair) 669 g 770 g 593 g 616 g 667 g
Upper Material Leather, Suede Suede, mesh Microfiber synthetic Synthetic PU/Synthetic
Footbed Body Geometry EVA 3D molded Ortholite Not available
Midsole EVA EVA Mute Foam 3D EVA Rubber/EVA/Nylon
Sizes Offered EU 36-49 US 5- 11 EU 36-43 US 5-11 US 5-14 Men's


Best Overall Women's Mountain Bike Flat Shoes


Giro Latch - Women's


83
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Grip 9.0
  • Comfort and Protection 8.0
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 8.0
  • Breathability 7.0
  • Durability 8.0
  • Weight 10.0
Rubber-Type: Tack Rubber| Sole Pattern: Gamma Tread
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Grip
Trail absorption
REASONS TO AVOID
Lack of protection

The Giro Latch continues to impress our testers with its performance across our test metrics. Most notably, the Giro Latch does a great job keeping your feet connected to the pedals on chunky terrain while dissipating those forces. This performance is largely attributed to the Mute Foam midsole paired with Tack Rubber, on top of Giro's Gamma Tread design. The Tack Rubber is soft and grippy while still allowing some foot movement on the pedals. The midsole flexes nicely underfoot without being overly stiff. We also appreciate the superlight nature of this shoe, earning it top marks across the board.

Before you get too excited, we should let you know that the Giro Latch has just average breathability. The microfiber upper on this model breathes well enough, but we feel the breathability could be improved. Additionally, it lacks the reinforced zones or TPU protection found in enduro and downhill-specific shoes. As a result, this mountain bike shoe is better suited for more horizontal terrain. Giro's Rockprint coating wraps the toe box and the heel for added durability. Weighing in on everything, the Latch is an excellent option for riders who want an everyday flat pedal mountain bike shoe to tackle trail riding and cross-country. It's light on foot, comfortable, and eats up trail chatter. If you're searching for a more breathable pair, check out the Specialized 2FO Roost Flat. Not only does this shoe offer great breathability, but it's also lightweight.

Read more: Giro Latch Womens review

mountain bike flat shoes womens - the giro latch the best women&#039;s flat pedal shoe we tested.
The Giro Latch the best women's flat pedal shoe we tested.
Credit: Byron Adams

Best Bang For Your Buck


Specialized 2FO Roost Flat - Unisex


71
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Grip 8.0
  • Comfort and Protection 6.0
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 7.0
  • Breathability 8.0
  • Durability 6.0
  • Weight 7.0
Rubber-Type: SlipNot™ ST| Sole Pattern: Full Hexagon Pattern
REASONS TO BUY
Exceptional grip
Lightweight
Value
Breathable
REASONS TO AVOID
Long laces
Not the most protective

The Specialized 2FO Roost Flat is a contender for one of the best mountain bike flat pedal shoes on the market and is offered at a competitive price point. The SlipNot™ ST rubber outsole is, as the name says, slip not. It grips the pedals exceptionally well and is comfortable to boot. It has a great blend of stiffness and sensitivity. Power is easily transferred into our pedals, even during technical climbs to require big power moves. The EVA foam midsole soaks up all but the rowdiest sections on the trail, preventing foot fatigue. While not the beefiest of shoes, it provides enough protection for cross-country and trail riding, and the XPEL mesh lining increases breathability and impact protection.

The uppers of the 2FO Roost Flat are textile and suede, making them even more comfortable as they break in. But as our testing progressed, the suede uppers bagged out over time, which resulted in a sloppy fit. The length of the laces is another source of complaint. They were exceptionally long and required double knotting and an elastic retention strap to keep them tidy. Drawbacks aside, the 2FO Roost Flat has performance on par with pricier models, making it a terrific option for your hard-earned dollar. If you want a good balance of comfort, protection, and durability, consider the Ride Concepts Flume.

Read more: Specialized 2FO Roost Flat review

mountain bike flat shoes womens - the specialized 2f0 roost is a high-value option for those that like...
The Specialized 2F0 Roost is a high-value option for those that like to ride cross-country or on the trail.
Credit: Byron Adams

Top Pick Trail Shoe with Protection


Five Ten Freerider Pro - Women's


80
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Grip 8.0
  • Comfort and Protection 8.0
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 8.0
  • Breathability 7.0
  • Durability 8.0
  • Weight 9.0
Rubber-Type: Stealth S1 | Sole Pattern: Full Hexagon Dot
REASONS TO BUY
Light
Durable
Excellent power transfer
REASONS TO AVOID
Subpar breathability in heat

The Five Ten Freerider Pro is another top women's mountain bike flat pedal shoe that is a great pick if you're looking for a trail shoe with protection at the toebox and through the midsole. The Stealth rubber is sticky while easily allowing micro adjustments on the fly. The toe box has a Poron layer that improves durability and protects the forefoot during impacts, while EVA foam in the midsole helps to dampen trail vibrations. We especially love the lightweight design that offers excellent climbing response and power transfer. We also appreciate the comfortable design that easily fits a pair of custom orthotics.

The Freerider Pro offers excellent performance overall. That being said, it's not the most ideal pick for soaring temperatures. It offers ventilation up to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but the midfoot section of the upper is not built with the hottest weather in mind. Minor gripe aside, this versatile shoe is a great option for riders who require a bit more protection but don't want to sacrifice weight. If you often ride in hot weather, check out the breathable Specialized 2FO Roost Flat.

Read more: Five Ten Freerider Pro review

mountain bike flat shoes womens - if a protective shoe is what you seek, take a look at the five ten...
If a protective shoe is what you seek, take a look at the Five Ten Freerider Pro.
Credit: Byron Adams

Best for Gravity Riding


Ride Concepts Wildcat - Women's


73
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Grip 8.0
  • Comfort and Protection 6.0
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 9.0
  • Breathability 4.0
  • Durability 9.0
  • Weight 6.0
Rubber-Type: MAX GRIP | Sole Pattern: Full hexagonal dot
REASONS TO BUY
Grip
Protection
Durability
REASONS TO AVOID
Hot

The mid-top Ride Concepts Wildcat provides gravity riders with plenty of protection, grip, and trail absorption, all of which are important traits in a gravity-riding shoe. This women's mountain bike flat pedal shoe provides protection and support at the ankle in the event of a crash and even has reinforcement under the toebox, protecting the toes from rocks and other impacts. The outsole is made of MAX GRIP, Ride Concepts' softest and grippiest rubber, with a hexagonal dot pattern. This rubber and dot pattern combination works well with various pedals. It provides great grip, even when riding at high speeds and landing drops and jumps. The EVA foam midsole flexes nicely just above the ball of the foot, making it easy to hike a bike. The design stiffens towards the midfoot, right where your foot contacts the pedal, providing good power transfer and dampening trail vibrations when riding at high speeds. The mid-top Wildcat weighs less than some low-top models, meaning less foot fatigue while riding.

The mid-top design of the Wildcat doesn't breathe as well as low-top models, especially in warmer temperatures where the shoe feels downright hot. Moreover, this design can also cause rubbing around the ankle when pedaling for extended periods. But if you're a lift-accessed, freeride, or enduro rider in the market for a light, grippy, and protective shoe, we recommend considering the Wildcat. On the other hand, if the mid-top design rubs you the wrong way, consider the Giro Latch for all-day comfort.

Read more: Ride Concepts Wildcat review

mountain bike flat shoes womens - the ride concepts wildcat is a beefy shoe that any gravity rider can...
The Ride Concepts Wildcat is a beefy shoe that any gravity rider can appreciate.
Credit: Byron Adams

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
83
Giro Latch - Women's
Best Overall Women's Mountain Bike Flat Shoes
$150
Editors' Choice Award
80
Five Ten Freerider Pro - Women's
Top Pick Trail Shoe with Protection
$160
Top Pick Award
73
Ride Concepts Wildcat - Women's
Best for Gravity Riding
$140
Top Pick Award
71
Specialized 2FO Roost Flat - Unisex
Best Bang For Your Buck
$120
Best Buy Award
69
Fox Union Flat - Unisex
$150
69
Ride Concepts Hellion - Women's
$150
65
Ride Concepts Livewire - Women's
$110
65
Crankbrothers Stamp Boa- Unisex
$180
64
Ride Concepts Flume Women's
$170
47
Five Ten Freerider - Women's
$110
46
Endura MT500 Burner Flat - Unisex
$150

mountain bike flat shoes womens - our expert testers have spent hundreds of hours testing the best...
Our expert testers have spent hundreds of hours testing the best mountain bike flat pedal shoes to help you find the best pair for your riding needs.
Credit: Byron Adams

How We Test Women's MTB Flat Pedal Shoes


Since 2019, GearLab has tested 18 pairs of women's mountain bike flat pedal shoes to help you find the best shoe for your riding style and budget. Our process begins with our team researching the available women's mountain bike flat pedal shoes on the market to determine what shoes are popular with riders. Each pair of shoes is put through rigorous testing. This includes riding the same trails with each pair of shoes, using multiple pairs of pedals with each shoe, riding with a different shoe on each foot, and dissecting the shoe to determine how the design and performance compare. Most of our testing was done in and around Sedona, Arizona, known for its ledgy and rocky technical riding, and Prescott, Arizona, home to hundreds of miles of flow trails. In addition, some shoes made their way to the forested trails of Minnesota. These different environments allow us to understand how each shoe performs in different climates. Our test metrics (listed below) are based on the factors that can influence a flat shoe's performance on the pedal. We spend at least 20 hours testing each pair of shoes in our review. Our lineup includes both women's and unisex shoes, as some companies are stepping away from traditional men's and women's designs and instead focusing on shoe size.

We tested women's mountain bike flat shoes across six performance metrics, including:

• Grip (30% of total weighted score)
• Comfort and Protection (25% weighting)
• Rigidity and Power Transfer (20% weighting)
• Breathability (10% weighting)
• Durability (10% weighting)

• Weight (5% weighting)

If you want to dive even deeper into our testing process, take a look at our full How We Test article.

Why Trust GearLab


Our women's mountain bike flat pedal shoe testers have spent hundreds of hours on the trails. Lead reviewer, Tara Reddinger-Adams has been testing for GearLab for over five years. She is the owner of North Star Mountain Bike Guides, coached for VIDA MTB Series for five years, and worked in a bike shop for over 11 years. She's spent time on the racecourse, racing cross country, downhill, and enduro. She holds coaching certifications from Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Association and Bicycle Instructor Certification Program. She enjoys helping others feel more confident on the bike and improving their skills. Tara spends much time on her bike and understands the importance of a great performing pair of mountain bike shoes. Bo Outland's outdoor passions include skiing, climbing and mountain biking. During college, she would take to the trails in the Santa Cruz mountains before and after school to blow off some steam from her studies. Since moving to South Lake Tahoe, she has started competing in mountain bike racing. Bo truly understands the importance of quality equipment in achieving peak performance.

The MAX GRIP outsole grips a variety of pedals well, but the thick...
The MAX GRIP outsole grips a variety of pedals well, but the thick midsole makes it hard to feel the pedal under our foot.
From the ponderosa pines of Prescott, Arizona to the red rock...
From the ponderosa pines of Prescott, Arizona to the red rock country of Sedona, and midwest flow trails, we tested on a variety of terrain to determine its performance.
The Stealth S1 rubber grips pedals very well, even after a few...
The Stealth S1 rubber grips pedals very well, even after a few seasons of wear.

Analysis and Test Results


In our latest women's flat pedal mountain bike review, we tested 11 women's specific and unisex models. Our latest update includes new models from popular brands and long-term updates to perennial favorites. Our test metrics include factors that affect riding performance and confidence and consider the shoe's comfort and durability. If your shoe slips on the pedals, it can decrease your confidence. The rubber sole of a shoe can be too hard or stiff, making your foot bounce on the pedal. If a shoe is uncomfortable or lacks durability, you may feel like you have wasted your hard-earned dollar. Factors such as grip, rigidity, and breathability are just as important as fit and comfort when determining what type of shoes you want to purchase. Our testers have extensively tested each pair of shoes in our six metrics and compiled our results to help you make the best purchase decision based on your riding style and needs.


Value


Value is not a metric in our scoring but is an important factor to many consumers. In our testing, we look for women's mountain bike flat pedal shoes that perform well in our six metrics and offer the buyer good value for their money. For instance, a lesser-priced shoe may perform nearly as well as a more expensive model, making it a good value. The Specialized 2FO Roost Flat balances price and performance and is one of the better-performing shoes we have tested. It has an incredibly grippy sole with a great blend of flex and rigidity, allowing you to put power into the pedals. While not the most protective shoe, it provides adequate protection for most riding and breathes fairly well. It is reasonably lightweight, making it easy to spin pedals and reducing long-ride fatigue. Typically, a blend of such characteristics is reserved for higher price points, which makes the 2FO Roost Flat even more attractive.

Many shoes in our testing fall within a similar price range but have differences in performance, weight, and comfort. Evaluating your needs as a rider is important so that you can find the shoe that checks as many of your boxes as possible. For example, the Ride Concepts Wildcat sits in the middle of the pack for pricing but has a mid-top design, which some riders may not find appealing. The Giro Latch comes in at a nice price point and scores well in many metrics but lacks additional foot protection that some riders may desire.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - there are lots of flat pedal shoes on the market for all different...
There are lots of flat pedal shoes on the market for all different styles of riding.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Grip


The grip on women's mountain bike flat pedal shoes is one of the most important factors, comprising 30% of our scoring. The pins of the pedal need to be able to bite into the rubber outsole to create a bond between the shoe and pedal. If a shoe's sole does not mesh well with the pedal, the rider can experience their feet slipping or bouncing on the pedals, which decreases performance and confidence. For our testing, we examine the tread pattern and type of rubber used on the shoe's sole, feeling how hard or soft it is. Next, we determine how easily we can find our ideal foot placement and adjust our foot on the pedal. Then we take to the trails, riding the same trails when possible to measure how well each shoe grips the pedals while climbing, descending, jumping, dropping, and cornering. For our scoring, we look for outsoles that grip a variety of pedals well and stay in place while riding various types of terrain.


Companies with mountain bike-specific rubber compounds, including Giro, Ride Concepts, and Specialized, perform best in this metric. Each brand's outsole has a very good grip on various pedals and on various terrain. The Giro Latch uses their proprietary Tack Rubber and Gamma Tread design and stands out in this metric. Giro pairs their Tack Rubber with Mute Foam; this combination reduces the bouncing you get between your shoe and pedal. The result is that the shoe sticks to the pedals, even on rowdy descents, inspiring confidence. The Tack Rubber's Gamma Tread comprises various-sized pentagons that allow the pedal pins to bite into the sole easily. Yet, the sole is pliable enough to easily find your sweet spot for foot position and make adjustments.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - the latch&#039;s tack rubber outsole provides great grip on the pedals...
The Latch's Tack Rubber outsole provides great grip on the pedals, and adjusting your foot only takes a slight unweighting.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Ride Concepts uses dynamic surface technology (DST) compounds developed in partnership with Rubber Kinetics on the soles of their shoes. This rubber has hexagonal dot patterned lugs on the outsole and is designed to maximize the connection between the pedal and the shoe. The Wildcat features their MAX GRIP rubber outsole, their softest and most grippy compound. This outsole stays connected to various pedal types and on various terrain but requires more unweighting of the foot to make adjustments than the Giro Latch.

On par with Ride Concepts DST rubber compounds is Specialized's SlipNot™ ST rubber found on the 2FO Roost Flat. This rubber has evenly spaced pentagon-shaped lugs that provide great grip and connection between the rider's foot and pedal. Over long-term use, this compound has maintained its grip and is still one of the top performers in this metric.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - here you can see the tread pattern of four different shoes. the...
Here you can see the tread pattern of four different shoes. The first and third (from the left) have been used for at least two years, while the second and fourth are new. You can observe how the pedal pins bite into and scar the outsole over time. During our testing, the first through third outsoles gripped the pedals better than the fourth pair.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Comfort and Protection


Comfort and protection can be subjective based on the rider. Our feet vary greatly with factors to consider, such as volume, length, width, and arch size. The protection you may require depends a lot on your riding style. Your shoe should provide a basic layer of protection, especially from rocks that can bounce up on loose or technical descents. Depending on the terrain, you may need a shoe that offers additional protection. Downhill riding is a good example where protection is key. We measure comfort and protection based on factors that make a shoe comfortable and provide adequate protection for most riders. To measure comfort and protection, we look at how well the shoe fits out of the box, identifying pressure points, sizing issues, the location of seams, volume, width, footbed, and tongue design. Additionally, we observe how well the shoe protects against items that can get kicked up on the trail. We also assess features that will protect your foot in a crash.


Each women's mountain bike flat pedal shoe tested provides some protection through reinforced uppers, mid-top designs, absorbing midsoles, and impact protection zones. The Ride Concepts Flume impressed our testers with its comfort and protection. The Cordura® uppers wrap the foot nicely, and the anti-bacterial mesh lining adds to the shoe's internal comfort. The toe box is a medium fit with no observable pressure points that may cause rub. The low-top Flume has internal TPU protection, an EVA midsole, and D30 High Impact Zone Technology. D30 is an impact-absorbing material found in mountain bike shoes and pads. This material helps absorb feedback from the trail, and we found it to be welcomed while riding fast and rocky descents that generally cause foot fatigue. This combination of comfort and protection earns the Flume a high score for protection.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - here you can see the orange d30 impact protection zones that are...
Here you can see the orange D30 impact protection zones that are strategically placed in the highest impact areas of the footbed. These inserts help to displace energy from the trail and reduce foot fatigue.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

For those seeking foot protection that extends beyond what most shoes provide, the Ride Concepts Wildcat stands out. The Wildcat offers a fair amount of foot protection, featuring a mid-top design to protect and stabilize the ankle, a padded ankle and heel cup, internal TPU toe protection, and an EVA midsole for shock absorption. During our testing, rocks bounced off our foot several times, and the shoe's upper and TPU protection took the brunt of their impact. Overall the Wildcat is comfortable, but the forefoot is not overly wide, and those with a wide foot may find the toebox a bit cramped. Additionally, the padding at the ankle can cause some rub and be mildly uncomfortable during extended wear.

The Giro Latch has a medium-width fit with a 3D molded footbed that remains comfortable over many hours of wear. While lacking impact protection zones in the uppers, it has a Mute Foam insole that helps dampen trail vibrations and prevent foot fatigue. After hours of wear, our feet felt fresh when wearing the Latch. These are great recommendations for comfort and protection on the trail.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - in our experience, if a shoe is uncomfortable it distracts from the...
In our experience, if a shoe is uncomfortable it distracts from the ride. We prefer to focus on the trail.
Credit: Byron Adams

Rigidity and Power Transfer


Women's mountain bike flat pedal shoes need rigidity in the outsole or midsole. Stiffness can affect the ability to control the pedals, both positively and negatively. A thick and stiff midsole is good for transferring power into the pedals, but it can make it harder to feel the pedal and find your ideal foot placement. Many shoes have a stiffened “plate” to increase power transfer, making walking with a normal gait uncomfortable, as the shoe does not flex much under the foot. When the midsole of a shoe is very soft, it is difficult to put power into the pedals. It can also send too many trail vibrations into the foot and leg, causing fatigue and reduced pedaling efficiency. We test rigidity and power transfer by determining a shoe's flex while climbing and descending, as stiffness and power transfer are more pronounced during these two activities. In addition, we hike a bike and walk in the shoes to learn more about their rigidity and walking comfort.


The Ride Concepts Wildcat impressed our testers with its power transfer ability. The midsole and sole flex just enough, allowing your foot to arch over the pedal, creating a great bond between the shoe and pedal. This bond allows the rider to push into the pedals on steep climbs and flat sections alike without the vague feeling that a super stiff midsole has.

The Specialized 2FO Roost Flat is one of the most balanced shoes we tested. Specialized combined the right amount of stiffness for power transfer while supple and flexible enough to walk comfortably. Even when making big power moves on rock steps or technical climbs, we never felt we could not transfer power into the pedals while wearing the Roost Flat.

Another top performer for this metric that is also well balanced is the Five Ten Freerider Pro. The Freerider Pro's midsole has a medium flex, maintaining rigidity without being overly stiff. The shoe flexes nicely underfoot, allowing us to push into the pedals without losing the sense of where the pedal is underfoot. This Freerider Pro's lightweight construction makes it easy to spin and climb with.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - here you can see there is minimal flex in the sole and midsole under...
Here you can see there is minimal flex in the sole and midsole under heavy breaking when we are pushing our shoe into the pedal.
Credit: Byron Adams

The Giro Latch impressed us with its Mute Foam midsole in this metric. The Mute Foam midsole is thinner than some in our testing and helps to prevent your feet from bouncing on the pedals. Mute Foam has a low-rebound action, meaning there is less bounce on the pedal pins, thus increasing grip. The Latch soaked up trial chatter throughout our testing before reaching our feet and legs. We could push into the pedals easily on technical climbs without feeling we were losing energy or power between our shoes and pedals. To boot, the Latch was comfortable to walk in and flexed comfortably underfoot.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - here you can see the outsole and midsole conforming the pedal as we...
Here you can see the outsole and midsole conforming the pedal as we climb. This flex allows you to better feel the pedal underfoot but can also cause foot fatigue, especially when pushing into the pedals on fast and chunky descents.
Credit: Byron Adams

Breathability


If you ride in a warm climate or enjoy long rides with lots of pedaling, breathability will be more important than someone living in a cooler climate or who prefers shorter rides. Generally, breathability correlates with a shoe's weight, as thicker and denser materials weigh more. We tested our shoes in various locations in Arizona and Minnesota. Temperatures ranged from the upper 30s to the mid-90s with high dew points. These conditions helped us to focus on a shoe's breathability, especially when we wore a different shoe on each foot. Regardless of how breathable a shoe is, we found none perfect in hot and humid conditions.


The Specialized 2FO Roost Flat is constructed of suede uppers with perforated holes in front of the most forward lace and at the midfoot, allowing a surprisingly ample airflow.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - companies use a variety of materials on their uppers. here you can...
Companies use a variety of materials on their uppers. Here you can see the differences in perforations for ventilation or lack thereof.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Another women's mountain bike flat pedal shoe with good breathability is the Five Ten Freerider, whose uppers mix suede and mesh. The lightweight uppers allow ample airflow even on hot days. However, their airy design has little in terms of foot protection.

Durability


Mountain biking can be hard on your equipment, and durability is frequently a factor in purchase decisions. It is not uncommon for a shoe's upper to develop holes or pedal pins to wear away at the sole's rubber. Poor quality construction and inexpensive materials affect a shoe's long-term durability. The shoe's upper material, reinforced eyelets, lace retainers, and abrasion-resistant zones affect its long-term durability and the rubber compound used in its outsole. We tested durability by wearing each women's mountain bike flat pedal shoe for over 20 hours and then thoroughly examining each shoe after testing for signs of wear, including pedal pin scars, chips in the outsole rubber, frayed seams, and more. Some shoes our testers have worn for multiple seasons, and we have provided updates regarding their long-term durability.


Many of the shoes in our review feature abrasion-resistant materials at the heel and toe, reinforced eyelets, and elastic lace retainers. The Ride Concepts Flume, Hellion, Wildcat all feature TPU reinforcement at the toe and heel for abrasion resistance, reinforced eyelets, and a lace retainer. After testing, they showed minimal signs of wear, especially the Flume whose Cordura uppers seemed to resist any signs of wear.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - this shoe features numerous reinforced areas for added durability.
This shoe features numerous reinforced areas for added durability.
Credit: Byron Adams

A shoe's outsole will deteriorate over time, some more quickly than others. As the pedal pins push into the rubber and the small indentations are left behind, which may affect how well the shoe grips the pedal. None of the shoes tested had any failures during our test window.

Here is the outsole of a shoe that has been ridden for about 25...
Here is the outsole of a shoe that has been ridden for about 25 hours. You can see where the pedal pins are beginning to wear away at the rubber outsole, which makes us question how durable the sole will be in the long run.
After two years of wear, the uppers are still in great shape. The...
After two years of wear, the uppers are still in great shape. The outsoles show some wear, but the scarring and scrapes from the pedal pins are relatively minor.

After three seasons in our riding shoe rotation, the Five Ten Freerider Pro shows signs of wear and compression on the outsole. However, the uppers are in perfect condition aside from being dirty. There are visible indentations and pin scars on the outsole, especially where the back of the pedal contacts our foot. The Specialize 2FO Roost Flat has also been in our rotation for two seasons. The suede uppers have stretched out considerably, creating a sloppy fit, but show no problems with seam stitching or gluing. The outsoles have a few chips taken out of the lugs from our pedal pins but still have plenty of life left.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - you can see the depressions and scars made to the stealth s1 outsole...
You can see the depressions and scars made to the Stealth S1 outsole over the course of three years of wear.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

To extend the life of your shoes, we recommend only wearing your women's mountain bike flat shoes for riding. This will help prevent the sole's rubber compound from wearing down.

Weight


It is easier to spin the pedals with a lighter shoe than a heavy one, and your feet will become more quickly fatigued with a heavier shoe than a lighter one. The best shoes balance weight, grip, protection, and rigidity. To test weight, we place each pair of shoes on a kitchen scale and weigh them in grams; we also note the size of the shoe tested for reference.


The Giro Latch stands out when balancing weight, grip, and rigidity. Our US 8.5 women's shoes weigh less than 600 grams per pair, making them one of the lightest women's mountain bike flat pedal shoes tested. It also boasts great grip and power transfer.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - these shoes are not only lightweight, coming in at 593 grams for an...
These shoes are not only lightweight, coming in at 593 grams for an EU40, but also perform very well in nearly every metric.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Other shoes that stand out in this metric are the Five Ten Freerider Pro and Specialized 2FO Roost Flat, which balance grip and protection while maintaining a good grip over the pedals.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - shoes with added protection, such as a midtop cut, generally weigh...
Shoes with added protection, such as a midtop cut, generally weigh more than their low-top counterparts.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Conclusion


Finding the right women's mountain bike flat shoes can be challenging, and we hope you now know more about the characteristics of women's mountain bike flat pedal shoes and what is important for you. We encourage you to think about what you want in a shoe and how you will use it. All the shoes in our review can be used for every type of riding, but some are better designed for certain types of riding than others. When selecting a shoe, think about one that will work for most of your riding. Wearing a heavy, downhill-specific shoe daily might not be the best choice when you only spend a day or two at the bike park each season. Finding a shoe for every type of terrain and condition may be impossible, but you can find something that will fit the bill most of the time.

mountain bike flat shoes womens - wherever your two-wheeled adventures take you, we hope this review...
Wherever your two-wheeled adventures take you, we hope this review helps you find the right shoes for your needs.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Tara Reddinger-Adams