A stellar mountain biking adventure is the dream of cyclist throughout the nation, but many aspiring athletes don’t know where to begin when it comes to picking out the right gear for the occasion. Bikers who are stressing out about their footwear should rest assured; it’s completely normal to be frustrated and confused about what selection of gear you’re going to pick, but there are plenty of tips you can rely upon to make the right choice.
Here’s the info you should be keeping in mind when picking out the shoes for your next (or first) mountain biking adventure, and the common missteps you should avoid if you don’t want to end up with sore feet and a dismal day of tired biking.
Understanding the good shoes from the bad
Here’s a sometimes-unpleasant fact that new bikers need to face early on in their career; getting good shoes is going to cost you a pretty penny, and it’s not until you understand which shoes are good and which are bad that you’ll be able to make the right decision. Rather than throwing your money away on a lackluster pair of cleats that won’t serve you for long, you should read up on the facts beforehand, and get up-to-date on today’s leading brands that biking enthusiast are relying upon for their own adventures.
In that regard, you’re in luck; there are plenty of popular list for you to rely upon when it comes to determining which brands are legit and which are bupkis; in order to make a wise decision, however, you’ll need to consider the specific mountain situation you’re aiming to tackle, as any purchasing decision made without context is destined to end in anger and resentment. For instance, some bikers are looking for shoes that are more customizable, almost to the point of being bold fashion statements, whereas others are just looking for some solid footwear that can see them through a hard day’s trek.
While custom painted bicycling shoes are becoming a hit around the world, it’s likely you won’t need anything so custom nor so fancy for your next mountain biking adventure. If efficiency is your priority, and you’re just looking for some good soles that can keep their grip on your pedals, you’ll want to rely on a brand that supplies you with carbon fiber soles. While these are much more expensive than cheaper alternatives like fiberglass soles, they make up for it with their efficacy; carbon fiber soles are unmatched when it comes to maintaining a grip, even in slippery conditions, and will prove essential towards your long-term comfort if you’re out hitting the trails often.
Of course, you shouldn’t be focusing solely on the soles of your shoes; a durable build that keeps the shoes clean and functioning after multiple runs on the trail is essential, too, so don’t be afraid to get hands-on with any prospective shoes you’re looking to buy to see if they hold up to some stress. This is the same principle you would employ when looking for the best wrestling shoes. Wrestling shoes tend to be higher up the ankle than normal shoes and are designed for indoor hardwood floors that can be used in competitive applications without damaging them. They are appropriate for high school wrestlers to Olympic wrestlers. Similarly, mountain biking shoes need to be appropriate for their application.
While you don’t need to be tearing your potential-purchase apart with your hands to see if it’s up to snuff, you can certainly get a little rough (within reasonable limits) with your product before taking it home to determine if it’s the higher quality shoe you’re looking for.
Getting the most out of your investment
Not all riders are looking for the priciest options, of course; some are looking for cheap, durable shoes that will see them through a brief mountain bike adventure before being ready to be repurposed for another activity. If you’re merely looking to get the most out of your investment, you should probably be heading towards sites that are geared towards a more economical audience looking to spend a little less. For newcomers hoping to save some cash, you should also be looking to flat pedals in lieu of clipless ones that could set you back more while also restricting your movement.
Sometimes, however, it’s not all about value; many mountain bikers take serious pride in the quality and name of the equipment they’re wearing, and expect durable shoes that can also draw the eye. For newcomers, as enticing as it may be, it’s best to avoid flashy footwear; you’ll only look all the more peculiar when you crash, which is an inevitable part of any good biking adventure when you’re getting started. Save your money at the start so that you can afford all-the-better shoes later in your career, when you’re more accomplished and experienced.
Check out a more intimate breakdown of clip versus flat pedals if you’re ready to commit to your first purchase, and always remember that flashy gear can’t make up for a lack of skill. Start pedaling now to get some experience under your belt, and you’ll be worthy and willing to buy the best shoes for your next mountain biking adventure before you know it.