mtb, mountain biking, mtb shoes, mtb shoe buyers guide

Quick Guide to Choosing a MTB Shoe

The quality of your ride depends on three contact points – butt to saddle, hands to bar and feet to pedal. At Olympic International we’ve made it our business to make mountain biking cycling shoes that deliver all the features you should be checking for when you make the transition from flat pedals to clipless pedals. It’s important to try on a few pairs – luckily, we have three options you can choose from – Crank, Tread and Traction.

The four key features of a good mountain bike cycling shoe are:

Rigid soles with good grip
A rigid sole will stabilize the foot within the shoe – less movement means less strain on your calves. Velcro (check the Traction and the Crank) straps or an ATOP speed lacing system further stabilises the foot within the shoe (to varying degrees) so there’s less movement within the shoe – also an energy sapper.

Good pedal connection
As with the soles, all your power is coming from the force you exert down on the pedal. If there is too much play at the connection between your shoe and the pedal you’re going to be losing power or energy and this could result in muscle fatigue – not something you want during a race. All our MTB cycling shoes are SPD (Shimano Pedalling Dynamics) so we have you covered there.

Tough frame and structure
When you’re exploring South Africa’s best MTB trails, you’re going to encounter rocks, gravel, sand, mud, water and branches. Your shoes are going to take a knock and you’ll want to make sure that you’ll be doing all the shredding not the other way around. Both the Tread and Traction have tough frames and mesh/PU uppers which allows for breathability and quick-drying, these shoes also come with reinforced heels and toe boxes for protection from flying debris.

Can you walk in it?
Very important. When trying out a pair of MTB cycling shoes be sure to walk around in it for a bit to get a feel for how comfortable the shoe will be when you’re off the bike and trudging up a hill. They need to be tough, durable to withstand the trudging and most importantly, they need to be comfortable. We know our shoes pass this test. If you don’t believe us, then read this review.

Our MTB cycling shoes are now available to purchase online at