Mountain Biking Shoes and Socks
Attaching your feet to the pedals is something that beginners often feel uncomfortable with but if you get serious you might want to consider it. This because by having your feet attached to the bike it will help to transfer as much power directly into the drivetrain.
It takes a bit of getting used to but it makes long distance cycling and getting up hills much more efficient.
If you are riding to work or just an occasional rider
then a normal platform pedal should do.
Also not forget that in addition with Mountain Bike Shoes, good Mountain Bike Socks
are very important. They should have a shaped sewn sole and are normally made of cotton or Gore-Tex. In cold, damp weather you're better off wearing an inner and an outer sock for extra warmth.
The inner one should be thin and made of cotton, and the outer may be cotton or Gore-Tex. Wool is usually too thick and if you're wearing proper cycling shoes it will make them too tight. Wearing Cycling Socks will reduce the chance of getting Blisters caused by the friction between your feet and your shoes. On our Hiking
web site, you can find more information on the importance of Socks
and How to Prevent Getting Blisters and the Treatment
The uppers of Mountain Bike Shoes are made of soft leather with a man-made plastic sole, which is perforated to allow water to drain out and to keep the foot cool. To attach your feet to the pedals Mountain Bike Shoes have special soles. The hard, slick soles are curved up at the toes and made of tough carbon fibre plastic which makes them difficult to walk on. A form of clamp called a cleat is attached to a mounting socket on the underneath of the shoe which then fits onto the pedal and locks the foot into place. The shoe is held tight to the pedal so that the rider can both push and pull when climbing. In general a good snug fit and a stiff sole will help in the transfer of power into the drivetrain, but it should not be too snug because the feet don't get much exercise while riding and can easily go numb. In the event of a fall, a quick-release system saves the rider from sliding along the road with the bike. When you want to get off your bike you just twist your foot a little and it's free.
When buying cycling shoes choose one half size less than you would for a regular shoe since good contact with the pedal is essential.
There are different ways of securing the Mountain Bike Shoe on your foot.
- 2 or three Velcro straps - this method is easy and fast to do. It offers a snug fit but when Mountain Biking, be sure that the straps don't get caught to a branch that would cause it to unfasten.
- Shoe-Lace with or without Velcro strap - this method is just like tying your running shoe. It offers a snug and secure fit. However, you would want this type of system coupled with a Velcro strap on top in order to strap on the bow made by the laces.
- SPD (Shimano Pedalling Dynamics) compatible are the most common fitting system. A small cleat is fixed to the sole of the shoe. This "clicks" into the pedal. To release just twist your foot. SPD cleats sit flush with the sole of the shoe so do not hinder walking. SPD compatible shoes are available in trainer styles as well as hardcore racer styles.
This type of system offers versatility by allowing the biker to run or walk with the bike over a long period of time as it may require. Being able to walk and carry your bike is one feature that a Mountain Biking shoe offers. Of course, there are different Mountain Biking Shoe manufacturers such as Specialized, Nike, SIDI, Look..
Make your feet comfortable by choosing the right kind of Mountain Bike Shoes and Socks. Follow the guidelines above in order to know what to look for in finding the perfect pair.