After much research here are our results for the best clipless mountain bike shoes. Making sure you have the best cleat system is important for pedaling efficiency and power. We have taken into account durability, fit, comfort, any special technology used. All shoes have a high rating. Please take a look below.
1. PEARL IZUMI Men’s X-Road Fuel V5 Cycling Shoe [Best Clipless Overall]
A lot of people love these shoes because they combine mountain bike pedaling efficiency with reassuring comfort for the feet. What’s more, when you’re done biking with these shoes, you can walk on them as well. You just need to make sure your shoe size is within the range from size EU 39 to EU 47. That’s about size 6 to size 12½.
One rider summed it all up when he said that the design of the shoes makes them easy to walk in, but they’re also effective in catching hold of the bike pedals securely. Installing cleats was easy for him. He especially approved of the low weight, the comfortable setting, and even the look and style of the shoes.
Another rider marveled at the perfect fit for his feet. That wasn’t a usual experience for him, since his feet are a bit wide. He went with a larger than usual size to accommodate the width of his feet, but the extra length still felt comfortable.
He noted the particularly efficient power transfer from the feet to the pedals, which effectively gave him 2 additional gears to work with. He was worried about the laces at first, but he still has good control. Besides, he noted that there is a convenient elastic loop on the top to hold the ends of the laces so they won’t tangle with the pedals.
Another rider confirmed that you can walk on these shoes without any real trouble. There’s even no “clicking” sound,
Much of the power transfer efficiency of these shoes is due to the X-Road nylon plate, which also offers the stability you need. At the same time, it’s not too stiff, which is why it’s still comfortable to use when just walking.
You’re also comfortable because of the bonded seamless upper that’s also quite durable. You have breathable mesh in the synthetic upper, and it dries quickly when it gets wet.
2. Fizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoe [Best Adaptive Fit]
If you want a premium-quality pair of clipless mountain bike shoes without paying for them through the nose, you may want to get a look at the X5 Terra. It offers an extremely efficient platform for pedaling, a micro-adjustable fit, and a reliable durability that can withstand the rigors of the bike trails. This fits cyclists with shoe sizes ranging from EU sizes 37 to 48. In US sizes, that means from size 4½ to size 13.
One rider bought these to replace his old mountain bike shoes, and decided on the X5 Terra for its reasonable price, impressive features, and its cool looks. He was definitely impressed, as he thought the feel and fit here were better compared to his old favorite MTB shoes.
For him, the upper felt supple and pliable, while still strong enough to protect his feet. The toe box also offered an additional layer of protection, with a harder coating on the upper. The design of the tread greatly reduces the discomfort you might feel when walking with this. In fact, it’s very stable when walking on gravel and dirt.
One experienced rider confirmed how these are comfortable on the feet when pedaling too. The closure system secures the shoes on your feet snugly, and the shank feels sturdy.
The Boa L6 system here allows you to make micro-adjustments to the fit, while the lower strap secures your forefoot. The sole has been injected with TPU and carbon, to give you a nice balance between flexibility and pedaling efficiency.
When you’re on the trail and dismounting for some sections, you won’t have to worry about the grip of your shoes. The sole comes with aggressive traction lugs that give you the confidence you want over thick mud, packed dirt, or slick rock.
3. Venzo Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes [Best for Shimano SPD Cleats]
If you have Shimano cleats, you may want to look at these clipless shoes from Venzo. These will work with all cleat types that are compatible with Shimano SPD. These shoes also look great, so they will suit the tastes of those who remember that shoes are also fashion items.
One rider emulated many of the other users when he said that he immediately likes the look of this Venzo at first sight. He appreciated how the Velcro straps were functional, as he could even adjust the straps while riding the bike. Also, these Velcro straps offered a very sleek look.
He said that when he was using these shoes for biking, they performed as Mtb shoes as expected. They’re durable, but they’re also not heavy and definitely not clunky. He can walk with these shoes with no trouble.
Another rider also commented that these really work very well with clipless cleats. When biking on the road, it also helps that these shoes come with the 3M reflective strips so cars can see you at night. He rides around in Miami, so he also appreciates the terrific ventilation on these shoes.
The sole here is stiff and tough, which you want so that you avoid energy loss when you’re pedaling on your bike. The sole is also heat-insulated, to counter the heat generated by the friction of the cleats when you’re pedaling.
The comfortable upper is made from premium microfiber, with tough nylon mesh inserts providing the ventilation. The 3 Velcro straps are easy enough to adjust to your liking. You also have a molded EVA insole for your footbed, and it’s breathable and removable as well.
As for its good looks, the design is both trim and tough-looking. Instead of normal sewing, you get hot seal strong straps that definitely look much better. These don’t even smell bad, and they’re built to last.
4. Diamondback Men’s Trace Clipless Pedal Compatible Cycling Shoe
If you need pedaling efficiency and more control with your cycling shoes, but you don’t see the need to pay top dollar, then you should consider getting these shoes. Diamondback has the features you need on your checklist. They can be yours if your shoe size is within the size 6-10 range.
One rider confirmed this, when he found out that when he uses these shoes, he can use his legs and body weight to control the bike to get the line he wants. Normally, he wouldn’t be able to do this unless he had some effective and tough clip-in shoes. But with these shoes, he has the control he likes plus the efficiency for his pedaling.
For him, wearing these shoes feels more like a safety measure for greater confidence on the road. He enjoys the enhanced control and stability on the bike, but he also doesn’t have to trap his feet in a cage.
These shoes are also good enough for walking on the trail for sections when he wasn’t sure about riding on it. The good tread and recessed cleat area combine to give him traction on steep sections and rock gardens.
You get a nice custom fit with the laces, as these are actually lace-up shoes. But the Velcro at the top prevents the laces from getting tangled with your chain ring.
Another rider emphasized how comfortable these shoes are, as they’re breathable and walkable. Putting in the cleats isn’t a problem at all. He can also walk with these shoes on without the cleats hitting the floor, which is a relief if you have hardwood floors.
The suede upper feels very comfortable, and all the more so with the breathable mesh. You get a good grip with the rubber outsole, while the nylon midsole has been reinforced with fiberglass for greater pedaling efficiency. The toe and heel cup sections have also been reinforced for protection and greater durability.
5. Giro Berm Men’s Cycling Shoes
When you’re looking to do well on the mountain bike trails, you’ll want a pair of shoes designed specifically for your mountain bike activities. More specifically, you may want to try out the clipless Giro Berm. They’re great, and they’re available from size 6½ up to size 14.5.
One user confirmed that these shoes can accommodate SPD-type 2-screw cleats (including Crank Bros.). The cleats here are recessed, which explains why he finds it easy enough to walk with these shoes on. That’s great for some sections of the bike trail, or when he gets home with his hardwood floors. The design doesn’t hamper clipping in or out.
The sole is tough enough for Mtb activities, but it’s a lot more comfortable than many premium Mtb shoes. For him, it also works for casual rides around town, or even for indoor cycling.
Another rider reiterated that these shoes are, indeed, fairly comfortable to walk on. He has also tried this with road bikes using clip-and-strap pedals, and the shoes work in this case too. What seems very evident to him is the durable quality of the shoes and the materials, which means it will take a while before he needs to buy new Mtb shoes to replace this pair.
The Giro Berm is comfy to wear because of the supple synthetic upper, which also comes with breathable mesh for better ventilation. The 2s-trap Velcro closure also makes it easy for you to adjust the fit quickly, even when you’re on your bike. The toe and the heel have been reinforced for greater durability, and they’re also more resistant to abrasion.
This comes with a die-cut EVA footbed with medium arch support. The injected nylon plate with the stainless-steel hardware offers efficient power transfer when pedaling. The high-traction outsole gives you grip and stability you need when you’re walking along on rough terrain.
You also have 2 color schemes to choose from here. There’s the dark shadow and black combo, which basically gives you several different shades of black. If you’re a bit flashier, you can go with the black and citron green color scheme which really catches the eye.
6. Santic Cycling Shoes Men SPD Mountain Bike Lock Shoes
It sometimes comes as a shock to some cyclists how some premium-quality Mtb shoes don’t come with premium prices. The Santic Speed comes with a very affordable price, along with a long list of features. If you want bang for the buck, consider this clipless pair.
One rider said that it’s stiff as it should be, and the upgraded nanoscale PU on the upper helps with that. But it’s still lightweight which makes it fairly comfortable to wear. He doesn’t have any complaints, which is a common comment from plenty of cyclists who wear these shoes. Virtually no one is complaining.
Another rider also liked how he can walk on floors with these shoes without the clacking of the cleats with each step. These are compatible with SPD, but you do need to order the clips separately. The upgraded nanometer PU on the upper is also tough, and it doesn’t get wet easily.
What helps in making these shoes more comfortable on the trail is that you have anti-slip fabric inside to keep your feet from wiggling around. Your feet stay in place. Of course, you also have the Velcro straps to secure your feet in with the fit adjustment that’s comfortable for you. You even have the adjustable side buckle, which you can adjust up to 90 degrees.
The heel cup structure here is also thicker, with a curved structure on the inside. That makes it more naturally shaped around your heel and ankle for better stability and support. You’re much less likely to twist your ankles while you’re on your bike.
Pedaling efficiency is enhanced with the rigid sole, which comes with a bulge design. This bulge design even helps in expelling mud from the sole, which is great when you’re walking on muddy spots on the bike trails.
7. Five Ten Men’s Kestrel Lace Mountain Bike Shoes
At first glance (or at least from the top), this looks like an ordinary pair of sneakers. You even have 6 color combinations to choose from, and the wide range of shoe sizes go from size 4 to 9.5. But if you want comfort to go with the high performance you expect from your Mtb shoes, you may want to check out the Five Ten Kestrel Lace shoes.
One user noted the stiffness of the shoes, which work absolutely well for efficient pedaling. The build quality is quite high, and these shoes seem tough.
But at the same time, he also appreciates how comfortable these clipless shoes are. A large part of this is because it’s easy for him to get the absolutely right fit adjustment for his feet.
Another rider loved this pair of shoes because it doesn’t hurt his feet like other Mtb shoes. He notes the softer quality of the leather, which wraps around his feet nicely. The closure system (laces with a hook-and-loop top strap) allows him to tie his shoes in exactly the way he wants for better comfort and pedaling efficiency. All in all, the sole is comfy enough for walking, but it’s also stiff enough for biking.
The key to how these shoes are best for both biking and walking is with the nylon shank. It’s about 15% less stiff as usual, which makes it more comfortable for walking. You also have polyester mesh on the upper, coated with PU. This synthetic upper has micro perforations for greater comfort, but it’s still weather-resistant.
Yet there’s no doubting its performance on the mountain bike trails. The cleat interface works with every type of SPD pedal. The EVA midsole absorbs shock forces nicely while you’re on the trail. The Stealth C4 rubber outsole gives you the grip you need, even when you’re walking on the trails.
8. Gavin Elite Mountain Bike Shoe – SPD Cleat Compatible
The Gavin Elite is one of the most affordable pairs of clipless shoes on this list, which does explain why it’s only available in sizes 38, 39, and 41 (EU). These sizes convert to US sizes 5½, 6, and 7½ (or 8). We went with the no-nonsense all black color scheme, which really looks sleek.
But the performance and features are among the best, given its low price. If you’re looking for a cost-effective pair of shoes for your biking activities, you need to check this out. These feature the 2-bolt cleat system, which works with SPD, Crank Bros., and other Mtb pedals.
One rider gushed about the perfect fit he gets with these shoes. He attributes this mainly to the micro-adjustable buckle, which allows for incremental adjustments. He can walk with these shoes without any real trouble. The cleats don’t even hit his hardwood floor, when he has his clipless pedal cleats on. When he’s on his bike, he doesn’t have issues securing his shoes on to the pedal.
Another rider has used this pair of shoes extensively, with lots of miles spent riding his bike. The shoe has held admirably, and has provided the performance he was looking for. He notes the smoothness of the ratcheting system, and that the design and build of the shoe is of premium quality. He has no complaints whatsoever, and he thinks it’s just as good as much more expensive Mtb shoes.
Of course, plenty of people admire the look of these shoes. In addition, these shoes are also extremely comfortable for just about everyone who has tried them on. They say that they found it easy to use the ratcheting system to get a comfy fit.
To use this ratcheting system, you begin by inserting the strap. You then pull up the ratchet buckle (that’s the bigger tab), so you can gradually tighten and adjust how the shoes fit. You only need to make sure you refrain from pulling the tab past the release tab (that’s the smaller tab).
You can then free and loosen the strap once you’re done with your bike ride without any trouble. Just push down on the release tab and you’re good to go. The perforated insoles are also removable, and they dry quickly.
9. Giro Men’s Cycling Shoes
More specifically, this is the Carbide R II. It’s a XC-style mountain bike shoe which offers levels of durability and supportive fit that you can expect from the Giro premium models. You may want to look at this pair if you have a tight Mtb shoe budget but you still want those premium features. At least you can be sure to find a pair that’ll fit you, since this is available in size 6½ up to size 15.
You also have 4 different color schemes, with options to have charcoal gray, blue, or red on the sole. These shoes look great, and they can make you feel a lot more excited when you’re wearing them on the trail.
One newcomer to mountain bikes raved about its performance, as the 2-bolt cleat system is easy enough to use. He found it perfect for hard pedaling, without the wasted energy that sometimes occurs with more supple shoes. At the same time, the rubber outsole allowed him to walk confidently on the trails for the more challenging sections with lots of mud and rocks.
But even experienced riders approve of how comfortable these shoes are to wear. They don’t have issues when pedaling or walking, and they like the secure fit. They also like the ventilation.
The uppers here are lightweight and quick-drying, due to the use of synthetic fiber. This is also supple for easier walking. The upper also features mesh panels for increased breath-ability and comfort.
For easy adjustments, you have 3 wide straps to fiddle with. The EVA footbed is also supportive, even while it enhances your comfort. You have a wide range of adjustment to work with, and they’re easy enough to adjust even while you’re on your bike.
As for the tread, you get great traction with your rubber outsole. You can then get a good grip regardless of the trail conditions, even if you have lots of mud and rocks to deal with.