Robust downhill shoes with traction

Downhill Shoes

Normal sneakers or skating shoes are no match for the challenges a downhill shoe has to face. The shoes are too soft, seams are breaking and large chunks can break from the soles. In order for mountain bikers to always have good traction on his pedals he needs robust MTB shoes.

Luckily, there are shoe manufacturers such as Five Ten, O'Neal or Shimano who won't let downhill mountain bikers down and have stable shoes with soles that provide traction and protection in store.

Clickies or bear paws - spoilt for choice

Before deciding on a downhill shoe you have to consider which pedal system you've chosen. Click pedals and platform pedals are both suitable for downhill and freeride. There is no definite recommendation regarding the choice of one or the other.

Downhill shoes for flat pedals have a stable sole construction. The sole does not bend that much and has little profile. The rubber-coating on the sole is still soft and robust at the same time so that the pedals are perfectly connected with the shoe. Thus, you can master bunny hops or quick shaky passages with ease.

Even mountain bikers who prefer click pedals while going downhill can choose from a number of models. Partially, the shoes with cleats can't be distinguished from those with no cleats with the eye. The cleats are integrated in the soles in such a way that they won't even notice them whilst running.

Lacing or hook and loop fastener - or a combination of both?

Lacing is very popular among people who choose bear paw shoes. Downhill shoes for clickies often have three hook and loop fasteners. But there are also lacing systems with a hook and loop fastener on top of it or lacing system with completely overlapping hook and loop fasteners.

It's an advantage for mid-cut downhill shoes to have a hook and loop fastener above the ankle to ensure a tight fit and good protection. In addition to that, covers consisting of hook and loop fasteners prevent your laces from becoming loose and getting caught in your gear ring or your chain.

Downhill shoes are a standard part of downhill clothing.

There are only a few downhill shoes that are equipped with a waterproof membrane such as Gore-Tex. There are Gore-Tex MTB shoes, though, but many mountain bikers rather prefer breathable shoes without a membrane. In combination with perfectly fitting bike socks your mountain bike shoes will provide you with a perfect grip when you're going downhill on steep terrain at all times.

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