How We Tested Mountain Bike Shoes

Jeremy Benson
Review Editor

Last Updated:

We test shoes by riding in them  a lot!
We test shoes by riding in them, a lot!

When we test products, we push them to their limits. We insist on testing and pushing products far beyond an initial impression, putting them through the wringer during long periods of continuous use and abuse. All the shoes we tested were taken on all types of rides, from shuttle laps, enduro, cross-country races, gravel grinds, even a handful of road rides. We rode in each pair of shoes for an extended period and switched between models frequently for comparison. The shoes were not babied; instead they were taken to excess, doing gratuitous hike-a-bikes, mud walks, abrasion test, and sole flexing sprint efforts. All the shoes were rated on a scale using predetermined comparative metrics and those ratings were combined with our field testing findings to give you the most honest and unbiased reviews possible.

Enduro or all-mountain shoes are great for pretty much all types of riding.
Enduro or all-mountain shoes are great for pretty much all types of riding.

We had the privilege to test these shoes for an extended period in a variety of locations, trails, terrain and weather conditions. The shoes were tested extensively throughout northern California, mostly in the greater Tahoe area, but also the Sierra foothills, Downieville, Mendocino, Santa Cruz, and the western Sierra foothills of Northern Nevada, We also employed the help of some friends, who are particularly hard on gear, by having them put some of the shoes through their special type of abuse and report back to us with their impressions. These shoes were ridden hard and put away wet by testers who ride a lot, like every day, and mix it up in a variety of disciplines to provide you with the most thorough and unbiased performance assessment possible. Read our full Mountain Bike Shoe Review to find out how all the competitors fared in the OutdoorGearLab head-to-head comparison.

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