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The 6 Best Clipless Mountain Bike Shoes of 2022

By: Jon Kennedy: Bike Buyer | May 23, 2022
 

There are few debates that stir up such deep seated feelings as the clips vs flats conversation in mountain biking. But no matter your pedal of choice, we can all agree that any discussion that just focuses on pedals without taking shoes into account is somewhat irrelevant. There’s a whole spectrum of clipless mountain bike shoes, all with different features, sole stiffnesses, and intended applications, so if you like clippin in, it’s worth giving careful consideration to what you actually want from your shoes. Good clipless shoes will be comfortable, will have the right balance of stiffness and walkability for your rides, and will help each pedal stroke feel more efficient and confident. This list encompases the best clipless mountain bike shoes on the market, for a wide variety of riders. It’s up to you to decide which one meets those goals for you.

One of the most obvious ways the shoes on this list differ is closure. Some cinch up with traditional laces, others use a Boa cable system, and others use some combination, combined with a velcro strap. Every rider will have their own preferences when it comes to the closure system that works best for them. So think about what kind of rider you are, and more importantly, what kind of rider you want to be, and shop for your new shoes based on those goals.

Five Ten Trailcross Clip-In

Five Ten Trail Cross Clip-In

For the mountain biker who likes to blaze their own trail and explore and forage along the way, look to the Five Ten Trailcross Clip-In Shoes. With Stealth® Marathon rubber outsoles and a lightweight EVA midsole, the Trailcross Clip-In Shoes were engineered to perform seamlessly from pedals to the earth. The Trailcross is a lighter, softer soled shoe that’s perfect for riders who find themselves hiking a lot on their rides.

 
Original PriceDisciplineStand Out Features
$160.00TrailStealth Rubber Outsole

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Five Ten Kestrel Pro Boa

Five Ten Kestrel Pro Boa

Sporting legendary Stealth C4™ rubber with 2-cleat compatibility, the Five Ten Kestrel Pro Boa Shoes grip both pedals and dirt on the walk back up for another lap. A Boa® fit system makes cranking these down a breeze, while a carbon-infused nylon shank ensures a stiff, super responsive ride. The Kestrel is a nice balance of stiffness and walkability for trail riders who hike some but need an efficient shoe.

 
Original PriceDisciplineStand Out Features
$200.00Trail / EnduroOrtholite Sock Liner

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Ride Concepts Hellion

Ride Concepts Hellion

The comfy mountain-bike aesthetic meets the efficiency of clips in the Ride Concepts Helion Clip Shoes. The top strap and generous 42mm cleat box let you perfectly dial your fit but maintain that flat-pedal feel at the trailhead, so you can truly have the best of both worlds. Ride Concepts might be somewhat of a newcomer to the clipless scene, but the Hellion is an easy winner.

Original PriceDisciplineStand Out Features
$150.00Trail /EnduroClip Grip Outsole

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Giro Chamber II

Giro Chamber II

Looking for a bike shoe that looks like something you actually want to wear? The Giro Chamber II Bike Shoes bridge the gap between casual and shredable with their grippy, padding backed Vibram® soles, top power strap and 2-hole cleat compatibility. And this all-new Chamber II now features a more setback cleat position and new internal shank for better flex, pedaling and comfort. EWS and DH World Cup winning performance that looks and fits like a skate shoe - it doesn't get any better than that! The Chamber is a stealthy winner that often flies under the radar.

Original PriceDisciplineStand Out Features
$150.00Enduro / DHSet Back Cleat Channel

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Five Ten Hellcat Womans

Five Ten Hellcat Women's

With medium-stiff soles, the Five Ten Hellcat Shoes strike a balance between power transfer and comfort. Underfoot are soles made of Stealth C4 Rubber, famous for its grip. These are clipless pedal compatible -- great to see in conjunction with a traditional lace closure. Made for enduro racers and those of us who'd like to be, the Hellcats are always a solid choice for gnarly riding. At first glance the Hellcat looks like just another skate style flat pedal shoe, but it brings great clipless performance with all the style and comfort of regular flat shoes.

Original PriceDisciplineStand Out Features
$150.00Enduro / DHCoated Leather Upper

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Giro Ventana

Giro Ventana

The Giro Ventana Bike Shoes are the Goldilocks approved shoe for crushing your next day out on the mountain bike. The soles are not too stiff for scrambling up talus fields, and not too soft to drive the pedals. The sticky rubber soles provide great grip, and the BOA system lets you crank 'em down to optimum snugness. These shoes are just right. For riders looking for a stiff, lightweight shoe that still walks well, the Ventana is hard to beat.

Original PriceDisciplineStand Out Features
$180.00XC / TrailOne Piece Upper

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The Selection Process:

Our bike buyer has an endless amount of knowledge on all things bike stemming from years of experience in the bike industry in tandem with their countless hours out on the dirt, gravel, and tarmac. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Jon Kennedy

Jon is a Bike Buyer and joined evo in 2015 to help launch the category. He has a long tenure in the bike industry bringing over 20 years of experience.

Jon was formerly the Marketing Manager for Diamondback bikes and was the Executive Director for the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance prior to that. His broad experience in the bike industry from the brand, advocacy and retail side has contributed to a well-rounded understanding of trends, needs and opportunities.

Jon grew up in the Seattle area and currently resides there with his wife Ilana, kids Erez and Lilah, and his Boston Terrier Marley. He is a daily rider packing countless miles in every year, loves all disciplines, and simply considers himself a cyclist… a title he embraces with great passion.