MTB footwear is still a matter of dispute amongst riders. The adrenaline seekers, who like to corner with their weight over the front wheel, foot out and the back end sliding everywhere, would insist that the flat pedal/shoe combination is the way to go.
They would tell you too that the new sticky soled flat shoes are as good as clip-ins. Again, the old school rider will insist that, if you start riding with clips, you will never learn to bunny hop or jump a bike ‘properly’. Other riders will pass on their unease at being clipped in and part of the bike and ‘friends’ will point out that it’s more difficult to borrow your bike if you use clipins, something some of us find to be an advantage…
As well as coming naturally to those crossing over from road riding or commuting to have fun without traffic, once you learn to use them, wearing mountain bike specific clip-in shoes will help your riding no end and give you greater power transfer than using flat pedals or toe clips.
Yes, you will be attached to the bike, but clip-in pedals and shoes are designed to disengage when you move you ankle outwards and, if you slacken them off at first, it takes just a few rides to get used to becoming ‘part of the bike’. After that you will wonder how you ever rode without them.
If you ever wondered how a MTB shoe differs from a road shoe, this guide to the anatomy of a MTB shoe should help:
Provides extra protection and comfort where it’s needed and keeps out flying debris
Vary from imple and effective velcro straps to more the more precise ratchet systems used on higher end shoes
In cycle shoes generally the middle layer of the sole is made stiff for optimum power transfer. Super stiff carbon soles are good for racing, whereas more flexible resin soles make it easier to walk or run when the trail gets unridable.
A stiff shield designed to encase and protect the toes
Toe Stud Holes
In slimy conditions studs are often added to increase traction, they screw in here
The rugged, but softer, rubber outsole is designed to cut through the dirt and give you grip in the gloop.
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