The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

How We Tested Mountain Bike Shoes

Tuesday July 23, 2019
We test shoes by riding in them  a lot!
We test shoes by riding in them, a lot!

How We Test


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 tests, 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.

Where We Test


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.