Best Mountain Bike Shoes Reviews

Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication. Here's how we make money.

Last Updated on July 6, 2021

It’s okay to use your regular footwear to ride your mountain bike. But they won’t give you the nicest pedal grip for that immersive cycling experience. 

But since you’re a cyclist who wants to have the “aha” cycling moments from the time you step on your bike to the end of your cycling session, it’s best to invest in  the best mountain bike shoes. 

Here some recommendations that you should consider. 


Top Rated MTB Shoes Comparison & Rating Chart

Best Mountain Cycling Shoes Reviews - Affordable MTN Bicycle Shoes 

1. Giro Terraduro

Terraduro features a classic shoe personal that lets you log hours of cycling without straining your feet.

Built to excel on smooth roads and unfriendly mountains, these cycling shoes let you enjoy the outdoors escapade without limiting you to a specific terrain. Put these even to the wettest condition imaginable and they’ll hold up really well. 

The vibram rubber outsole is sturdy and tough, able to grip the bike pedals really well so you can ride with confidence, even it means through logs and rocks.

You’ll love how Giro reinforces the toe box, because they’ve made it to be good enough to protect your feet from impacts and scrapes. 

The footbed also has a solid construct, including a molded Eva in the design mix to not only provide comfort but also offer arch support.

The upper is 100% breathable, allowing sufficient airflow to keep your feet cool and dry, especially during the days when you have to race in hot weather. 


  • Breathable mountain bike shoes with durable rubber outsoles
  • Takes a short time to break in and they fit really well after that
  • Durable and generally built to protect your feet


  • The lace holes are a bit undersized

2. Pearl Izumi Men's X-ALP Seek VII Cycling Shoe

Pearl Izumi’s X-ALP Seek VII shoes are both fashionable and functional.

And they’re so versatile that you can use them for cycling as well as walking and running.

And given the current price point, we think these shoes are affordable and good for you if you’re on a very tight budget. 

One of the best things about X-ALP Seek VII is the fiberglass shank. First, it’s something many top rated mtb shoes simply don’t have. And second, it’s super helping, as it makes it easy for you to transfer power from your feet to the pedals with the least effort possible. 

The rubber outsole isn’t just tough and well built. It also features a standard lug profile that provides better traction on pedals and off bike, allowing you to cycle and walk with ease. 

Add to this the Eva midsole with foam cushioning and what you get for the inexpensive price tag are comfortable shoes that you can ride your bike in for long hours. 


  • Good shoes with solid grip
  • Versatile shoes, you can even use them for walking and running
  • Low cut construction, feels light and fits really well


  • Soles are hard, can only work with cleats, not platform pedals

3. Giro Cylinder Cycling Shoes

We can best describe Giro Cylinder as the best budget mountain bike that you can take to any cycling trail. With the pair, you can cruise through gravel, ride through pavements, and cycle well past rough paths.

Like many options in Giro’s cycling shoes category, this one has, too, has the looks that can make you stand out from other cyclist. And the performance is downright promising – without breaking the bank, of course.


As far as performance is concerned, these stylish shoes work well with pedals with small platforms as well as those with no platform at all. And they’ll also work really well with almost all clipless pedals. 

Giro has nicely cut down the weight of the Cylinder by eliminating certain features, like footbed padding, to give you a more lightweight pair of shoes.

This compromises comfort a bit, making the pair less useful for long hour rides, especially on extremely rough terrains. But they’re damn good for road bike, more so cross-country competition. 

The ventilation system is up to the standard, great for enhancing sufficient airflow to keep your feet cool and dry throughout your ride. But these aren’t water-resistant, so don’t expect them to survive in damp environments. 


  • Well ventilated pair of shoes that will keep your feet cool and dry
  • Lightweight shoes


  • The fit is downright narrow
  • These aren’t good for damp environment

4. Giro Empire VR90 Cycling Shoe

Giro Empire VR90 is a better version than the Cylinder, molded well enough to give you more comfort and a lightweight feel as you ride your mountain bike.

Featuring a stiff vibram outsole with a lugged profile that provides better traction, Empire VR90 doesn’t just hold on to the pedals really well. They also offer a decent performance off the bike. 

Designed with durability in mind, Empire VR90 is that kind of pair that you’ll use for long before you crave for a new pair.

Light in design, the VR90 easily transfers almost 100% of the force from your feet on to the pedals. And as you cycle, the synthetic upper easily conforms to the pattern of your feet, giving you more control to pedal consistently. 

Comfort is Empire VR90’s strongest selling pint. To start with, the package includes a Supernatural Fit Kit, which is simply a collection of three insoles that lets you customize you fit according to your arches. There’s minimal padding on the model, and this means less weight on your feet so you can pedal with ease. 


  • Insole kits lets you customize your comfort depending on your arches
  • These shoes are lightweight
  • They allow 100% power transfer from feet to pedal
  • They are really lightweight 


  • Expensive shoes compared to other Giro’s models
  • The lace-up isn’t easy to adjust
  • No sufficient padding for foot protection

5. Five Ten Men's Freerider Pro Bike Shoes

Freerider Pro Bike shoes are really promising in both performance and comfort. Featuring high quality materials and carefully constructed to stand up to harsh conditions outdoors, these are among the more durable shoes that your money can buy. 

Five Ten invest a great deal in the build. First, they use stealth S1 dotted rubber for the outsole, which provides a better grip on pedal and sufficient traction of the bike.

You throw these even to the roughest ride imaginable and they’ll exceed your expectation. However, the sole doesn’t last for a lifetime. You notice a tear after one year and a half or two, especially if you use them regularly. 

It’s hard not to love the toe box. It’s fully impact resistant, able to protect your feet from getting hurt in case you hit a hard object by accident. Plus, there’s enough room in the toe box, so you can easily wiggle them without feeling the strain. 

Freerider Pro isn’t just water resistant. It also dries really fast. This means you can take them to a damp environment and ride your bike just fine in them. However, they don’t have any kind of insulation, so they won’t survive arctic conditions. 


  • These shoes are water resistant and have a quick drying time
  • The toe protection absorbs all impact so you worry less about hurting your feet
  • Open cell  structure offers more air circulation to keep your feet cool and dry 


  • These shoes are expensive 


If you’re looking for bike shoes that are compatible with all standard mountain bike cleats, then you will love the X Project Pro by Pearl Izumi.

The basics of the shoes are as simple as synthetic rubber sole that offer better grip on pedal and traction on the ground while pushing the bike and a leather, moisture-wicking upper.  

The BOA tightening system gives you a custom fit depending on the volume of your feet.

Directional in design, you can achieve a tight or loose fit by adjusting it either right or left.

 Also, the package includes 2 pairs of arch support, which means additional comfort for your feet as you ride your bike. 

The upper features a 3-layer advanced composite construction. This area is downright breathable, so it easily enhances proper airflow while ensuring there aren’t any hot spots that would otherwise hurt your feet. 


  • Easy to use BOA dial lacing system
  • Better grip on pedal and good traction when pushing the bike


  • These shoes are expensive
  • They’re not waterproof

7. Giro Jacket II Cycling Shoe

Giro goes as far as adding truly water-resistant shoes to its cycling footwear line, giving you an option that you can use to cycle in even in very damp environments.

 It’s the Jacket II, a budget bike shoes model that’s as comfortable as many options in Giro’s shoe line. 


  • Has Eva midsole that provides comfort and allows you ride your bike for long hours
  • Rubber outsoles perfectly aligns with flat pedal and provide betters traction
  • Breathable, able to keep your feet cool and dry


  • Not as durable as other shoes in Giro’s product line

Harold Whitford

Follow me here

About the Author

My name is Harold Whitford, a husband, father, and avid cyclist with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from the University of Delaware. Having been in the industry for more than 15 years, I have a number of the road race and national time trial championships in my bag.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}