Flat Pedal Shoes

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How to choose mountain bike flat pedal shoes: There will come a day when those trusty, worn out "riding" sneakers just won't cut it anymore, and with so many great flat pedal shoes out there, why wait? Footwear designed specifically for the needs of flat pedal mountain biking improves a riders ability to control the bike, offer more comfort and protection, and even add a bit of style. Models range from stiff soled downhill designs to nimble skatepark shoes, allowing all flat pedal riders to get the most out of their feet.

Flat Pedal Shoes

Types

Flat pedal shoe types differ according to the riding discipline they were designed for. Downhill specific models are the heaviest duty, with thick, ultra grippy soles and more padded uppers. They secure feet to flat pedals and protect them from harm. All-mountain and freeride shoes are pared down in comparison. They have thinner soles that offer better feel of the pedals, but with slightly less grip and support, and offer more ventilated uppers to help keep feet cool.

Sizes

Flat pedal shoes come in the same sizes as regular shoes - men's in sizes 6-14 and women's in 5-10.

Materials

The emphasis of most flat pedal shoes is placed on the sole: grip pattern, stiffness and especially rubber compounds. Every company has its own rubber compound, which is a key differentiating factor between brands. The stickier the rubber, the more grip it will provide on the pedals. Shoe uppers come in a variety of materials including suede, leather, synthetic leather, nylon and plastic to name a few.

Things To Look For

As with the purchase of any shoe, there are the obvious requirements of proper fit and an appearance that tickles your fancy, but when shopping for a pair of mountain bike flat pedal shoes there are a few other things to keep in mind. Will they be used only when riding? What type of riding they will be used for? If a mountain bike shoe is only intended for riding, then you may be more inclined to choose a model with more protection and a stiffer sole. Riders looking for an everyday shoe that also excels on the bike may prefer a slimmer design with a more comfortable, thinner sole. The type of riding the shoe is used for also plays a role in shoe selection. Downhillers often require a stiff soled shoe with maximum grip and some protective material in key areas. Less aggressive riding styles may be best suited to a sleeker style of shoe with better ventilation and a less cumbersome, thinner sole.

How Much To Spend

Flat pedal shoes range in price from around $100 to $160.

In the $100-$130 range, shoes are available from a number of brands in all types, sizes and many colors. These shoes share many features with the more expensive models.

Moving up to the $130-$160 range, flat pedal shoes begin to incorporate features like lace covers, waterproof uppers and supplementary protection for the inner ankle. Any pair of bike-specific footwear will have a positive impact on your riding and is well worth the investment.

Product Reviews

Before buying, be sure to do your research and read product reviews. Reviews are a great way to find out specifics about a particular model, user impressions, and things to watch out for. After you've purchased a product and had enough time to thoroughly test it, we encourage you to leave a review for other people to see when they are researching bikes and parts on the web.

We hope you've found this information to be helpful. If you have a question that isn't answered in this guide, our mountain bike forums are a great place to get advice from knowledgeable riders. Your local bike shop is also a great resource.

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