Mountain Biking Shoes – Review
If you are searching for mountain biking shoes then you are at the right place for guidance. First of all, mountain biking is a kind of sport which involves riding of bicycles with right adaptive features over a rough terrain. The sport can be classified into various categories depending on the purpose of riding the bicycles and the venue of the event. As you may know, mountain biking expedition cannot be successful minus getting equipped with the right accessories that give you the best possible mountain biking experience. Of all the requirements for the sport, shoes play an important role not only in riding but also in walking or running with the bicycles when need arises.
Having known that, it is important for one to make the best choice on what kind of mountain biking shoes to buy and of course the ones which will give you a better performance. These shoes are specialized and specifically designed for mountain biking. They should be suitable to the kind of terrain you are planning to ride on and be in a position of providing necessary features to suit your personalized requirements.
The mountain biking sport requires one to put into account on which type of shoes to wear when riding. The best choice of mountain bike shoes should have gripping soles which are soft and flexible enough. In addition, the shoes should be compatible with clipless pedal systems of the mountain bikes since they are frequently used in riding. This will avoid risks of over-sliding of the shoes on the pedals when riding thus convenient and reliable in making the sport a success.
Mountain biking shoes are supposed to provide enough comfort in the sense that when somebody wears them, he or she feels the height and padding around the ankle. Adding the aforementioned with plus tight laces, the shoes will clinch firmly to the foot thus one can operate the bicycle over a long distance minus loosening. The upper part of the shoes should be made of strong and durable leather from all sorts of wear and tears for instance hooks along the way and bad weather.
Importance of Buying the Proper Shoes
- Promote faster riding over a rough and unbearable terrain. This is due to their strength and flexibility one enjoys when riding over various surfaces.
- Offer bikers a lot of comfort thus one admires the sport as there are likely to be little or no injuries on the foot when wearing the right shoes.
- Makes one to confident in bearing of difficult times when riding for instance it may reach a point where one is supposed to run or walk with the bike over a very long distance. This may be due to unfavorable terrain like swampy, rocky, a river and so on where you cannot completely ride the bike.
- They form complete attire for the sport where sanity and really feelings for riding are felt.
- The shoes have certain unique features which are not found in other types thus making them safe.
- Performance of the shoes is improved as they have smooth and curved soles at the ball of the foot.
Things to Know Before Purchasing the Shoes
One is not supposed to rush when buying biking sport shoes since there are a number of facts to consider. Some of the things you should get well equipped with before setting your eyes at a particular brand include;
- You must ensure that the shoes allow proper air circulation so that your feet can breathe freely.
- It is advisable to always for shoes which are light but strong and durable to facilitate swinging of your feet easily when riding.
- Ensure the soles are stiff since this is one factor which guarantees better pedaling.
- When selecting the shoes, first check whether they have the ability of handling a tough terrain.
- Make sure the shoes offer maximum comfort as this is of utmost importance.
Having highlighted the above facts, it is also important for one pay much attention to the type of pedal as well as the type of riding he or she is planning to do when picking the mountain biking shoes. The right pair of shoes is crucial for better performance so one should make sure to get the best deal and pick a pair that is capable of handling all the challenges that mountain biking has to offer.
How Choosing the Proper Shoes Will Make a Difference
For one to have full feeling and enjoy mountain biking in complete utmost, you will need to put a lot of interest in your pair of mountain bike shoes. This is regardless of what your biking experience is as the proper shoes will enable you to have a safe ride besides being more efficient and comfortable. To achieve this, check whether the shoes can work with clipless pedal as highlighted earlier on.
Initially, the bikes never used to have clipless pedals and it was very difficult to take off your feet from the toe-clips. It became very unsafe since the rider was sometimes forced to go down with his mountain bike whenever wrecking occurs. With the invention of the clipless pedals, riding was simplified as well as safety. These made riders to easily twist their feet out of the pedal and even enhanced swinging.
There are those who like riding the mountain bikes for fun and in most cases the bikes are not installed with clipless pedals. This requires the bikers to find for the best shoes that are compatible with Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD). Having accomplished that, always leave the cover intact when the cleats still attach as it will assist one to go clipless later provided there is the desire for the same. For one whose bike has pedals that are clipless, then he or she must ensure that the mountain bike shoes that are chosen work with particular pedals.
It is not advisable to have mountain bike shoes which have laces that can become wrapped up in the bike chain. They should give an allowance for extra room for swelling feet plus offer maximum comfort when riding. For those who will want more pedaling power, then they must go for those shoes which have stiffer soles. On the other hand, if somebody thinks he or she will walk a great deal using the mountain bike, the shoes should have a more flexible sole to minimize any inconveniences. With all these in vain, there are still those who cannot make the right choice and for this kind of situation, they are advised to seek for assistance from the local bike shop dealer or visit some queries online.
What to Bear in Mind When Buying the Shoes
Nature of Use
As said earlier, mountain is a serious sport and one should take it with passion. The shoes used for riding should not be the same as the common ones as they must have a fairly stiff sole for efficient pedaling. This also will prevent them from being eaten-up by the pedals due to a lot of friction. In addition to this, it is recommended that these shoes should have enough flex and a rubber-lug outsole to allow good traction for walking on rough or rocky terrains. They must be in a position of offering a lacing strap system to allow easy adjustments of the shoes to fitness and provide a little bit of protection for your toes.
This is not all since there other shoe types which are so expensive depending on the features they have. Some of these features include; stiffer soles, light weight shoes, enhanced foot and ankle protection, waterproof liners, additional hook and loop straps to avoid unnecessary attachment, buckle and ratchet type strap to offer maximum protection to the foot and maintain fit and so on. These are some of the things as a buyer you have to bear when purchasing since depending on your pocket, you will better chances of selection from a wide variety. One can even get surprised of finding some shoes which offer removable toe spikes for the ultimate in traction when dismounting your bike.
Some shoe types like clipless mountain bike shoes make use of the 2-hole cleat system which requires one to match it up with a compatible pedal. Others have a flat sole and cannot mount cleats thus most of these styles are specifically meant for use with platform pedals and even toe clips depending on the desire of the biker.
Finally, when buying mountain biking shoes, other important considerations to make is on which surface you are going to ride. This determines a lot on what type and model of shoes to buy since different platforms have different effects on the shoes as we are going to see. Some of these shoes include;
- Road biking shoes: These looks unique of all types as they can be distinguishable by their stiff soles which facilitate power transfer to your pedals. One cannot walk for a long distance with these shoes since they do not flex easily and usually are not designed for that purpose. This is one feature making these shoes to have a high performance and enable in creating more efficient power when riding. Most of these shoes offer lightweight construction and good ventilation where you find those expensive ones are made of carbon fiber to enhance sole rigidity.
- Off road shoes: These are also somehow stiff and inflexible but not to the extent seen in road shoes. Equally for purposes of generating enough power through the shoes to the pedals, here this has been enhanced by recessed cleats and aggressive thread patterns. The uppers of off road shoes are stronger than road models where brushing can be done easily. No need of putting shoe laces but in any case, they are hidden by a protective tongue.
- Casual riding shoes: During manufacturing these types of shoes, comfort is given first priority thus they tend to be more flexible than other models. For those people who like walking over a long distance for example tourists, they are more vulnerable to wearing these shoes due to their flexibility. In many shops, you can find this model existing in various styles ranging from boot-like designs to low cut and in different colors.
Due to the above facts, many bikers have come to understand the importance of buying the right shoe for use in a particular purpose. There are also several lessons people have learned before buying the mountain biking shoes which includes;
- Casual cyclists who do not feel comfortable when wearing some models of shoes, they are advised to go for casual cycling shoes which look more like sneakers.
- If somebody likes rolling up the miles and putting stops along the way, the best shoes are those specifically meant for touring. They are flexible due to rubber soles and recessed cleats for walking.
- Lovers for off-road rides and races, their shoes should have lugged soles, recessed cleats, comfy fit, light weight, secure fastening system and other features.
- For those who have passion is triathlon, they should check out special shoes meant for triathlon which are designed with very high efficiency.
- There are those who do riding as social refreshment with friends. In this case, mid-line road shoes can do well because they are more flexible and offer full comfort when riding.
- For those who like hammering on the road sprinting, go for light, high-end road shoes with super-stiff soles. This provides full energy and extra secure closure system for riding.
The Climate in Which you Will be Biking in
As a sport and hobby, mountain biking should done on a favorable climate which will not be too hazardous to human health. Not all climates favor this activity but some climates like Sardinia’s Climate are very conducive to whoever riding a bicycle over a long distance be it as a sport or social hobby. Sardinia is one island where mountain biking and other sporting activities are done including climbing of mountains and so on. The climate around this island is mild with moderate temperatures and forms a major winter destination for cycling, climbing and walking.
In some occasions especially during summer, people start complaining of the Sardinia climate which turns to be a bit hot. This should not become a barrier to mountain biking as one can always go high up the mountain or look for a shade for relaxing. Through this you cannot in any given time miss to see visitors going to Sardinia for biking competitions plus other recreational activities.
During winter season, the temperature of Sardinia Mountains can drop to below 0 degrees Celsius but this occurs for a few weeks in a year. The point at which you can feel this temperature is when rising up to the peak which is almost 1834m above sea level where snow starts to spread over the region. Besides this changes in temperature from day to day in the mountains, there comes sunshine which lasts for a period of 3 hours on a daily basis.
The amount of rainfall along Sardinia Mountains is average which is usually heavy during the month of December followed by November. This rainfall alternates from year to year where you find some years are very rainy and others dry. The region sometimes turns completely green due to heavy and regular winter rains thus making the place more vulnerable to mountain biking sport and serve as a major destination of recreational purposes.
Another beautiful place which attracts many people Sardinia during winter and summer periods is the Sardinia Sea. The sea looks beautiful and stays warm throughout the years and even those months where temperatures are thought to be very low, here they do not go below 13 degrees Celsius. In fact from June to September the temperature ranges between 21-23 degrees Celsius which greatly favors mountain biking.
The Type of Mountain Biking you Will be Doing
Many people chose riding bicycles for various reasons and purposes depending on the event of the day. Some of the occasions which lead to mountain biking include;
- Cross Country (XC): This is among the most popular event involving bikes where you find various participants competing in a given race. The platforms for mountain biking include; riding in a field from point to point or a loop which involves climbs and descents.
- Downhill: This involves less or work at all when riding since the biker travels to a given point minus riding and then starts riding the mountain bike downhill. The platforms for this event of course should be steep where bikes ride by gravity. Other forms of biking include; All-mountain, Mountain bike trail riding, Mountain bike touring and so on.
Shoes Fitting your Size
As you may know, bike riding requires some necessary accessories which include shoes. When buying the shoes, it is advisable to choose those ones which exactly fit so that they can offer maximum performance when riding. Just to mention a few examples of these shoes are; Pearl Izumi X-Alp Seek IV Bike Shoes, Shimano M087G Mountain Bike Shoes, Keen Arroyo Pedal Bike Shoes and so on.