recommendations for mtb shoes for flats please

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
 Tobes 30 Dec 2020

Hi all,

Biking for a few years, have got by with old approach shoes so far but want something more 'fit for purpose'. I ride most weeks in all weathers on everything from local trials to longer mountain routes (based NE Scotland) - Ride a 29er hardtail.

Have looked at Shimano GR7's and a few of the Five Ten options - problem i'm now finding is lack of availability of stock/sizes etc. Not too bothered about colour options as that seems to limit choices even further. 

Budget is in the £70 plus/minus bracket 

hope that's enough to go on - many thanks!

 Al Randall 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Tobes:

5.10 Freeriders are very highly rated, popular and seem to get the best reviews. I own a pair, they are good to look at, sticky and comfy but absorb water like a sponge so not so good in winter.

Al

 mike123 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Al Randall: very similar , I have 5.10 something or others for Mtb ing . they are great when it’s not wet or cold but absolutely rubbish for anything else , I occasionally wear them in the rain  when it’s not too cold but always wish I hadn’t . I ve just got a pair of Kayland gravity approach shoes in kongs sale for winter riding . Absolute bargain . I used to have some scarpas that were very similar but quiet a bit heavier , they were always good for winter  riding so I’m hoping  these kaylands will do the job . I used to ride spd s and had some proper Shimano winter shoes that were good but would probably be rubbish with flats .

edit : the kaylands are on sale for £60 

Post edited at 16:20
 Martin W 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Al Randall:

Sealskinz socks can fix that.

There are more waterproof versions of the Freeriders but I suspect they'd get sweaty in warmer weather.

I'm very happy with my Freeriders.  I particularly like the fact that if I have to come to a stop then, unless the pedal is at absolute bottom dead centre, I can spin it back up to be ready to go just using the stickiness in the sole to pull it up.

If they get covered in clart I just sponge them off under the tap or, very occasionally (e.g. when SWMBO isn't around to see it), pop them in the washing machine on a cool wool wash with a miniscule amount of detergent.  They dry pretty quickly sat on top of a radiator which, because they're synthetic, doesn't cause them any harm.

 Tobes 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Martin W:

Thanks - did you find the sizing was accurate or did have to go up a size? Read a fair few reviews (for mtb shoes in general) stating they are often smaller sized than a regular show size -

Can't see me getting into a shop anytime soon hence all the questions! 

 Al Randall 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Martin W:

> Sealskinz socks can fix that.

What soaking water up like a sponge?  I don't think so.  They will however help keep your feet dry but the shoes themselves are still like sponges 

Al

 mondite 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Tobes:

I have GR7 as my main pair currently which do the job nicely when combined with sealskinz at this time of year.

As others have said 510 for some reason have a ton of padding (which doesnt even seem good for protection) which soaks up water like nobodies business, I do have a pair as backups but wont tend to use them in winter.

If you can find a pair I liked the 510 Spitfires. Very basic no padding shoes so didnt turn into ten ton weights after some water although could get uncomfortable on long rides due to softish sole

Dont seem to be sold now and cant see a direct replacement.

Depending on what tier you are in might be worth a look in tkmaxx if there is one handy. Used to get last seasons vanns with a mix of fashion variants and ones with proper skate/bike soles. Not quite as grippy but still pretty good and could get a couple of pairs and so have one lot drying.

 geckoboy 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Tobes:

5:10 Freerider are good they stick to pedals really well. The soft sticky sole does have the downside that they wear quite quickly where the pedal pins make contact.  I've torn holes in the soles of a brand new pair in just one weekend of riding before (Freerider on DMR Vault pedals, not a pedal I would recommend by the way, rubbish seals so don't last long at all).  They are still useable but once there is no sole left where the pins sit they will move about a lot more on the pedal.

Standard freerider won't keep your feet warm or dry in winter at all. The Freerider DLX is more splash resistant, will keep the breeze out more but not by any means waterproof at all. Once wet they can take a day or 2 in the airing cupboard to dry out again, sealskinz as mentioned already will keep your feet dry and maybe fractionally warmer but they will still get cold once your shoe is full of water.

The 5:10 Impacts are more heavy duty, less fatigue on the feet if doing lots of bumpy descents but I found they didn't grip so well for me.

 crayefish 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Tobes:

I got a pair for XC (29er hardtail) which were 60 euros or so... but ultimately it was because they fit the best and I just got lucky with the price!  I wouldn't bother to aim for brands or specific models, just go to the local shops (when they open) and try them on!

Saving 20 or 30 quid to have ill fitting shoes is folly.

Edit: and for winter, a set of neoprene overshoes (30 euros) turns your summer shoes into winter ones.  Worked brilliantly for me.

Post edited at 19:07
In reply to Tobes:

> Thanks - did you find the sizing was accurate or did have to go up a size? Read a fair few reviews (for mtb shoes in general) stating they are often smaller sized than a regular show size -

> Can't see me getting into a shop anytime soon hence all the questions! 

I have various 5.10s and in all of them I’ve sized up one EU size from normal footwear. Different models still fit slightly different though with the Freerider Pros on snug side and more so than Freerider standards. The Pros do give great control though and are extremely grippy on good quality flats. 

 Tobes 30 Dec 2020
In reply to mondite:

Thanks, I’ve gone for the GR7’s - up a size (and yes, live in my seal skinz this time of year!)

there’s a 30 day return policy but hopefully they’ll do the job. 

most other models are just lacking any size options

 Tobes 30 Dec 2020
In reply to crayefish:

Yeah spot on, thanks. I’ve got over shoes for the road bike - hadn’t even occurred to me to use them for the mtb, cheers! 

 Tobes 30 Dec 2020
In reply to geckoboy:

Thanks - fortunately cold feet hasn’t been so much of an issue for me (trail run and winter climb so think my feet are just used to the grief) so my criteria was something that had better purchase on the pedal and I guess more wear resistant too - slightly warmer feet is a bonus!

Cheers for the info

 Marek 30 Dec 2020
In reply to crayefish:

> Edit: and for winter, a set of neoprene overshoes (30 euros) turns your summer shoes into winter ones.  Worked brilliantly for me.

For SPDs, yes, but for flats with pins? Surely the overshoes won't last one ride?

 mondite 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Marek:

> For SPDs, yes, but for flats with pins? Surely the overshoes won't last one ride?


You can get some theoretically designed to work with flats. I think they lasted two rides.

 crayefish 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Marek:

I assumed SPDs.  Why buy specific shoes for flat pedals?  Any old trainers will do!

If one is spending the money on mtb shoes, then may as well spend 30 quid more on SPD pedals... can't believe I spent a year without them.  A world of difference.

In reply to Marek:

Mt bike designed ones for flats can last ok; I got three winters out my last pair though they were pretty trashed by then! Got a new pair for this winter.

 Marek 30 Dec 2020
In reply to crayefish:

> I assumed SPDs.  Why buy specific shoes for flat pedals?  Any old trainers will do!

> If one is spending the money on mtb shoes, then may as well spend 30 quid more on SPD pedals... can't believe I spent a year without them.  A world of difference.

Because that's what the OP asked for. Flats.

 Marek 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Climbing Pieman:

> Mt bike designed ones for flats can last ok; I got three winters out my last pair though they were pretty trashed by then! Got a new pair for this winter.

Ah, OK. I assume something like the Endura MT500 Plus? Didn't exist last time I looked. Interesting.

 Tobes 30 Dec 2020
In reply to crayefish:

As pointed out above, that was my original question - flats vs spd’s is another post altogether ; ) 

In reply to Marek:

That’s the ones I got this year.

Edit: If anyone is considering them, they run small so you may have to size up depending on shoes used like I did. I think Endura have now updated their sizing guide to reflect this.

Post edited at 22:24
 John Kelly 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Tobes:

Left field but I bike a lot in the wet, feet usually warm and dry, approach shoes take way too long to dry, not desperately stylish 😂

https://www.dunlopboots.com/en-gb/products/dunlop-hobby-retail-w486711

 crayefish 30 Dec 2020
In reply to Tobes:

Ah my bad... when you listed shoe models I just assumed it would be for clip-ins as didn't think there were specific shoes for flat pedals, aside from perhaps downhill stuff. 🙈  Guess that comes from me reading too quickly!

Indeed, flats vs SPDs is another question entirely.  Though I don't know anyone who's gone back to flats once they've seen the light ;)  Best investment I ever made, aside from converting to 1x.  Just saying... haha

What aspect is it that you want to be more fit-for-purpose?  The weather-proofing and warmth, foot support or grip?  Not that I know anything useful about shoes for flats (I only used trainers when I had flats), but I'm just curious.

 ChrisJD 31 Dec 2020
In reply to crayefish:

>  Though I don't know anyone who's gone back to flats once they've seen the light ;)  Best investment I ever made, aside from converting to 1x.  Just saying... haha

Myself and most of my riding friends have all converted from SPD to flats for the type of riding we do (not DH rigs).

I even ride flats on my X-bike (they suit the type of X riding I do).

To the OP.

I ride 5.10s all year round (was out yesterday in the snow and Ice). Just invest in some sealskin socks with merino wool sock underneath for winter. I dry the 5.10s out on top of the gas boiler.

Make sure you also get good flat pedals. DMR Vaults are amongst the best for grip.

This post has reminded me I need some new Sealskinz - mine are leaking (been well used).

Post edited at 13:45
 Martin W 31 Dec 2020
In reply to Tobes:

> Thanks - did you find the sizing was accurate or did have to go up a size? Read a fair few reviews (for mtb shoes in general) stating they are often smaller sized than a regular show size

My Freeriders are the same UK size as my normal shoes.  A size larger would be way too sloppy.  You need them cosy, because you don't want your feet to slip around in the shoes when the shoes are gripping tightly to the pedals, but obviously you don't want them too tight.

I did find that the laces as supplied were much too long.  You can buy shorter laces cheaply e.g. on the 'bay, or do what I did and tie off the excess in the middle with an overhand on the bight.  You can cut the loop off or, again as I did, keep it out of the way by re-threading the laces through it.

Post edited at 14:32
 Martin W 31 Dec 2020
In reply to Al Randall:

> What soaking water up like a sponge?  I don't think so.  They will however help keep your feet dry but the shoes themselves are still like sponges 

But the shoes don't suffer from being wet - in fact they're pretty much designed that way - and they dry out quickly when you get home.  So the only real issue with wet shoes is cold & wet feet, which is what the sealskinz socks address.

I don't think any low shoe can be expected to keep your feet completely dry in winter MTBing conditions.  No matter what they're made of there's always going to be a sodding great hole at ankle height where water can get in.

 Tobes 31 Dec 2020
In reply to ChrisJD:

Ta. Yep used seal skinz for a few years now. Cold, wet feet were less of the issue but just fancied a proper shoe and peddle set up rather than making do with some old trainers. 

yeah, upgraded the pretty average pedals that came with the bike a while ago so looking forward to see if decent shoes make any difference to grip etc.

likewise, was out the other day - snow, ice, mud - awesome!

 ChrisJD 31 Dec 2020
In reply to Tobes:

The 5.10s will provide the best grip on the pedal, period.  You will be amazed at difference cw trainers.

Get those heels down and it's like being clipped in.

I have tried some Specialized 2FO Flat 2.0 shoes, but grip nowhere as good as 5.10

 Tobes 31 Dec 2020
In reply to crayefish:

No bother. Just curious what 70 odd quid would get me for a specific shoe for flat pedals - less concerned about warm dry feet (though prefer them to cold wet ones!) but thought the grip and general ‘handling’ might improve - will find out when they arrive.

funny - almost everyone round here has stuck with flats it seems 

 crayefish 01 Jan 2021
In reply to Tobes:

Fair enough.  Hope you manage to find something.

In NL (where they're a bit bike obsessed and there is a huge XC scene where I live) I would get laughed at for having flats.  Having moved to SPDs, I can see why.

Post edited at 09:58
 damowilk 02 Jan 2021
In reply to Tobes:

I needed to go with what fitted my foot shape first: you might find it different, but there was no way to comfortably get into 5:10s, Shimano fit me well.
I have the GR9s: overall good, but could be great if the most recent version had kept the older versions high sides that covered the medial malleolus. Such a great feature for us clumsy riders that catch it far too often on pedals and rocks! I must be in the minority though, as I can’t find another flat shoe that has it.

In answer to the question down thread of why specific flat shoes: on longer rides I’ll just use my Inov8s, better for walking and not bad pedal engagement. But for technical riding, the sticky sole abs the Velcro lace cover do make a difference.

In reply to crayefish:

> Indeed, flats vs SPDs is another question entirely.  Though I don't know anyone who's gone back to flats once they've seen the light ;) 

I've used SPDs since 1994 I think it was, and had toe straps on my 10 speed racer before getting my first mountain bike then. I've used clipless pedals of various types on all my bikes since then, road, a hybrid commuter, MTBs, a CX and now a gravel bike. But a couple of years ago I bought a pair of Nukeproof, not too expensive but good grippy modern flats to put on my mountain bike. This was sort of an experiment for winter when it's just so wet and muddy I wanted to try waterproof lightweight walking boots with my mountain bike (I actually have waterproof Shimano SPD boots for winter commuting that are much better than nothing on my MTB, but still weren't protective enough to keep my feet warm on really muddy wet rides. I've got some HOKA hiking boots which rather surprisingly work fine on my flat pedals and are pretty impervious to awful mud and wet conditions. When I ride the flats I still do silly things like try to adjust the pedal position before crossing a road or similar, only to find that the pedal isn't attached to my foot. And you have to be a bit more "conscious" of your foot on the pedal when rattling down rough descents than when clipped in, but for off-road mountain biking, they are surprisingly good. In the summer I tend to go back to SPDs as I'm lazy and jump the bike much better clipped in, but for winter MTB, good flats and flexi soled waterproof hiking boots are where its at!


In reply to Tobes:

Do the brand Vans still exist? They were my go to shoe 25 years ago when I was in to downhill racing.  They were just thin canvas uppers but worn with the aforementioned seal skins they were fine gor year round use. 

 mondite 04 Jan 2021
In reply to Dax H:

> Do the brand Vans still exist?

Yeah but they are outmatched by 5 11 or other more modern shoes. You also have to be careful to buy their traditional vs fashion shoes. They have quite a few now with crap soles. Used to be quite handy since could go into TK maxx and pick up last seasons ones (after checking the soles) nice and cheap.


Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Loading Notifications...