What Do Riders Think? Five Flat Pedal Shoes Reviewed by Vital MTB Members 10

With dozens of shoes to choose from, how do you find the best pair? Vital MTB members weigh in on some popular options.

What Do Riders Think? Five Flat Pedal Shoes Reviewed by Vital MTB Members

There's power in numbers, and collectively Vital MTB readers put in more trail miles and try out more products than our team of professional reviewers ever could. With over 3,000 reviews and 18,000 products in the Vital MTB Product Guide, it's a great place to find real-world opinions and compare product specs. Here are five highly-rated flat pedal shoes and product impressions from riders just like you:


Five Ten Freerider Shoe

The Good

The Bad

  • Excellent grip
  • Casual looks
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Good price point
  • Comfy
  • Color options
  • Lacks a little durability
  • Retains water and can take a while to dry
  • Large toe box
  • Super long laces
  • Not as stiff as 5.10 Impacts for downhill

Key Impressions

"They offer a casual profile, excellent grip, and great ventilation. They are the type of shoe you can wear to work and then hope on your bike without having to think twice about swapping them out. They offer decent durability and for the price, are hard to beat. If you are looking to ultimate durability, I would suggest looking into the Freerider Pros which have a similar design but upgrades components." - dirtworks911

"The design and construction looks really good. My feet are narrow so my only complaint is the toe box seems quite large. This extra space could also be a good thing if I want to wear thicker socks. One weird details is the extra long shoe laces. Not sure if I am missing some special way to tie them or if I just need to cut them shorter, but they are way-y-y-y long. As expected the stealth rubber sticks like a spoonful of honey has been added to each sole. Really good riding experience so far (sticky and stable)." - thinkbike

"These shoes offer a semi stiff sole which aids in pedal feel and grip, but aren't so stiff that walking around is awkward and uncomfortable. Although I have noticed that for longer hikes they can be a touch stiff. I have the freeriders with the standard black sole, and they offer legendary grip, but I can still shift my foot without too much issue. These shoes are my go to when practicing new skills with flat pedals, as well as a durable and comfortable shoe I wear almost everyday. I was a bit leary of the suede outers, but threw some waterproofing spray on them and haven’t had issues." - lagocza

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Shop the Five Ten Freerider at Jenson USA, starting at $84.99


Five Ten Freerider Pro Shoe

The Good

The Bad

  • Excellent grip
  • Unheard balance between performance and durability
  • A few upgraded components over the basic Freeriders
  • Lightweight
  • Great water resistance
  • Durable
  • Material quality and construction
  • Can get toasty, not super breathable
  • Long laces
  • Pricey

Key Impressions

"The Freerider Pros are just that, the pros of all the Freeriders. They offer the best protection and durability ever seen in the entire line without sacrificing any major performance. An upgraded insole and heel box keep the foot locked and supported. These things were built to perform and last forever. Just a few more breathing pores would make these shoes the absolute best shoe on the planet but even with warm summer feet, you’ll be stoked on the Freerider Pros." - dirtworks911

"After running several Five Ten flat shoes into the ground, these have definitely earned their place as my favorite. I strive to find mountain bike products that I forget about when I use them. These shoes are number one when it comes to that. Throw on some riding compression socks and these shoes and you'll feel directly connected to your bike like never before. Even the top of this shoe, which is generally the least protective part of any shoe, is protective enough for any stupid crash you can manage." - WhiteBreadGravity

"If you are looking for a grippy shoe for your metal pinned flats... then look no further. This shoe has been the best shoe that I have ever owned when it comes to flats. The rubber compound is extremely grippy and holds on to a flat pedal as if you are clipped in, however, you don't have to worry about dying if you are going through some gnar and are clipped in. I myself have a wider foot, and these shoes fit amazingly! So if you have a little bit of a wider foot I highly recommend this shoe. The only thing I did not like was the length of the laces, but this is an easy solve!" - MTBcanuck

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Shop the Five Ten Freerider Pro at Jenson USA, starting at $149.90


Afton Keegan Shoe

The Good

The Bad

  • Good grip
  • Ability to reposition when you want
  • Ventilation
  • Toe box protection
  • Narrow outer profile
  • Price point
  • Slippery in the rain
  • Don't offer heel protection
  • Uncomfortable tongue

Key Impressions

"They are very comfortable and could be dressed in any occasion. They offer good grip on the pedal but once they get wet it gets very slippery. I would love a version that covers the heel because they already have the toe box reinforced. The outsole needs to be reconsidered because it's getting very damaged with the pedal's screws. I'm going to keep riding with them, they are a very good shoe but can get better." - DFUALM

"First impressions were good. Grip was really good, but you're able to move your foot when you want. They do stay locked when things are just rowdy. The first problem I noticed was the tongue. It's really thin foam with no tough coating or anything, so you can really feel laces through it. It's not gusseted (which I knew) but because it's so flimsy, it moves around quite a bit while putting them on. Also given how there's no thick coating, i've had tiny little trail debris get caught in the tongue and it really feels uncomfortable. I run Deity Compound pedals (very grippy, six pins per side) and the soles are already showing considerable wear after two months. I ride 3-4 times a week." - coginthemachine

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Shop the Afton Keegan at Jenson USA, starting at $84.99


Ride Concepts Livewire Shoe

The Good

The Bad

  • Great grip
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Color options
  • Elastic lace holder
  • Easy to walk in
  • Maybe not so good for wider feet
  • Not offered in half sizes

Key Impressions

"I was blown away when I first put them on my feet. When I say they were comfortable I mean they are extremely comfortable. I could see myself wearing these as an everyday shoe, which is definitely something I can’t say about my previous flat pedal shoes. They feel really nice to walk in, breathe well and feel really light weight. After riding two days this weekend and putting in a lot of miles I can say I absolutely love these shoes. Even early in the morning when the grass was wet, through creek crossings, etc I never slipped a pedal and my feet were comfortable all day long. Even hiking up some parts and in the 90 degree weather my feet stayed comfortable and never felt extremely hot. I can’t say enough good things about these shoes!!" - jaturner1024

"I've had these for a few months now and I like them a lot. My old shoes were Teva Links and these are better in every way. Better grip and they fit great too. The sole seems lower than the Tevas, so I don't feel like I'm wearing platform shoes. So far I have had no problems, and I recommend these." - joelsman

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Shop the Ride Concepts Livewire at Jenson USA, starting at $100


Shimano SH-GR7 Shoe

The Good

The Bad

  • Above average grip
  • Low weight
  • Well ventilated
  • Fast drying
  • Ankle collar protects against debris accumulation
  • All-day comfort
  • Durability
  • Grip can get overwhelmed in the wet
  • Sole could be stiffer
  • Not enough protection for full-on gravity use
  • Laces could be made of a thicker material, sometimes hard to tie with gloves
  • Narrow

Key Impressions

"The sole of the shoe is stiff enough to transfer power to the pedals while still flexible enough to hike and maintain feeling through the pedals. The overall durability is great. After a full season of racing they are still in amazing shape. If these ever wear out I am buying them again." - ZuniD00

"I'm generally stoked with this shoe for late Spring/Summer/early Fall use in warm SoCal. The breathability is amazing. Your feet will feel the cooling from breezes which is wonderful. However, they run a little narrow for my liking. I've worn them for 15-20 rides thinking they would stretch out but they did not. They will be my goto show for Spring/Summer/early Fall use for XC riding because of the floating feeling over the pedal." - A. Montalvo

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Shop the Shimano SH-GR7 at Jenson USA, starting at $97.50


Love your shoes? Know how they could be improved? Help out your fellow MTBer by writing a review. The top Vital reviewer each month earns a $100 Jenson USA gift card.

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