Recommended platform shoes for rides with extensive hike-a-bike sections

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Recommended platform shoes for rides with extensive hike-a-bike sections


This topic contains 21 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Matthew Bonner 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #217691

    This forum is a spin off of the recent forum “Best shoes for platform pedals”.   I often do extended hike-a-bike sections on my rides.  Many of the trails in Mongolia on the mountain slopes are too steep to climb.  They can be technical and loose with some granite scree. I guess I’m thinking of a shoe that not only grips the pedal decently, it also has some bite to it while hiking and the outsole will not wear out too quickly hiking.  There are some inherent tradeoffs in those criteria.  Anybody have any suggestions?  I would be interested in biking specific shoes or some creative suggestions for non-biking specific shoes.

  • #217722
  • #217735

    You’ve heard it before – Five Ten Freeriders.

    Not only do they stick like glue to my pedals, they stick really well to rocks and such. Very grippy. And just enough flex in the sole to walk a mile or two and still feel great.

    • #217948

      Thanks ZipHead.  Any thoughts of how quickly the outsole would wear with some hiking?  If they are super sticky, that usually means the outsole wears more quickly too.

  • #218013

    Well, my current pair are 3+ years old. Aside from changing laces and cleaning the muck off, they’ve been trouble-free. No cracks or breaks anywhere. In fact the soles look pretty damn good considering I have pretty aggressive pins on my flats and I’m not a dainty rider. To me, they’ve been worth the <100 bucks I paid.

  • #218065

    While not a flat shoe, and certainly a compromise with the pedal contact (I think with a good enough pedal it wouldn’t matter as much), I occasionally use a shoe similar to the Salomon X Ultra 2 when I’m not using my clips. I believe I have an earlier version of the shoe, but it’s amazing for all things hiking.


    The other thing I do have is a cheap pair of Shimano SPD MT34 shoes. Very much a great all terrain shoe with a nice recessed cleat pocket if clipless is your thing, but you don’t have to run the cleat, it comes with a durable cap that screws in place of those. I have hiked many trails with these shoes, and on the bike they offer enough stiffness without being over the top.

  • #218067

    I too am interested in a a shoe for flat pedals that will be comfortable and have good traction for extensive hike-a-bike. I am planning on completing the Colorado Trail at the end of the summer and need something for the plethora of hike-a-bike sections. I currently have currently have a pair of Five Ten Freerider VXI shoes but they are slick on rocks especially when wet.

  • #218094

    Recently got a pair of Shimano XM9 boots for hike a bike (ed should do more riding! Lol) and very pleased with them. Can get warm in warm days but few far between in Scotland. More comfortable to walk in than the winter MW81 boots especially as the sole is made for walking. It has a Vibrant sole. These are now my go to shoe for wet days exploring.

    I did a fair bit of scrambling in Torridon recently which is loose granite rubble and was happy for the extra grip and flex.

    I am wearing them in my latest film just posted here.

    I think Shimano do a low cut version of the shoe too.

    • #218095

      Thanks irudkin. Those boots look sweet. They are definitely out of my price range though. I need to upgrade my tent and sleeping bag before my trip, so my budget is based on that first. I just purchased a lighter weight 10 degree down sleeping bag to replace my nearly 7lb 0 degree synthetic sleeping bag and now I’m looking to replace my nearly 9lb 3-person, 4-season tent with a lighter 3-season, 2-person tent. Replacing these two items is a priority first because of their weight and bulk will be too much for this bike-packing trip.

  • #218096

    Irudkin, those boots look pretty cool.  Thanks for sharing them.  My only concern is they do look hot.  They are probably perfect for Scotland.  I’m guessing they are too hot for Mongolia in the summer and perfect the rest of the year.  How much do they weigh?

  • #218097

    These are the platform shoes I recommend:

  • #218098

    Math teacher, I hope you have an awesome trip on the CT in August.  Very cool.  If you find a shoe you like, please let me know by posting it up on this forum.  I’ll check back in every once in a while.  I’ll do the same if I find something.  The CT can be brutal as I’m sure you know — cold or hot, calm or furious.  On the opposite end of the spectrum from a boot, I am also looking for a rugged sport scandal for those rides that have a lot of creek crossings, especially on those hot summer days.  I have ridden in the Keen Arroyos.  They are quite stiff for riding, and they are plenty rugged with the Keen big rubber toe and aggressive boot like tread pattern on the outsole.  But I just can’t get that tread pattern to grab well enough on my pedals.  Still looking … …

    • #218407

      I know trail runners are really popular with thru-hikers. So I may look at a pair of trail runners that enough tread to provide traction on the hike-a-bike sections, but flat enough to grip my pedals securely. Right now I own a pair of Saucony Peregrine Trail Runners that I purchased a while back on a good sale. I haven’t tried them on my bike before, but I will to see how well they do with my flat pedals.

  • #218099

    Adidas terrex solo approach shoes work very well.  Same sole as the 5.10 but are much better for hiking in, especially rock


  • #225431

    I did the Colorado Trail starting July 25th.  Because of a bad wreck, I had to quit in Silverton.  Very frustrating to be so close to the end.  I ended up just using my regular mountain biking shoes.  I used my pair of Five Ten Freerider VXI shoes.  I was worried about them being slick in the rain, but was pleasantly surprised.  They worked really well through all the hike-a-bike sections.  I only struggled with traction a couple times the whole trip, and these areas would have caused problems no matter what shoe you were wearing.  It rained on me nearly every single day.  So much so that it actually began affecting my moral by the end of the trip.  Despite the constant rain, the shoes held up really well while having to push the bike.  The main issue with these shoes is the weight.  They also retain water well and dry slowly, making the weight even more of an issue when wet.  Don’t expect them to be dry by morning after a wet day.  Sole durability is a little low.  I’ve owned them for a little over a year and will need to replace them soon.  The pins on my pedals have left gouges in the soles, and the sole is beginning to separate around the inside edge.  I’ve used them for mountain biking, as well as just shooting around town on the bike or on foot.  Hope that helps.

  • #226613

    Thanks for the update Math Teacher.  Sorry about the crash and not completing the CT.  I’m sure you gave it a valiant effort.  Are you thinking about doing it again?  How many days did you do?  Maybe you could do a little write up of trip and submit it to singletracks?

    • #226899

      Thanks.  It was a lot of fun, especially in hindsight.  I made it to Silverton around 10 or 11 pm on day 16.  That is where I had to end my trip.  I was definitely taking my time and enjoying it as much as possible.  A buddy was supposed to go with me, but was unable to.  So we are planning on doing it again July of 2018.  I’m already stoked to try it again.  I did a daily video recording of my trip. I do plan on uploading it to YouTube once I finish editing everything.  I think I only have a few days of the trail left to put together.  I was actually just working on Day 15 earlier today.  I’ll put it on this post when I finish everything.  It is just taking me a long time to get it finished now that school is in full swing.

  • #226989

    Sounds good Math Teacher.  Hey if you are going to end a ride somewhere, why not Silverton. BEAUTIFUL.  I sure hope you get to give it another go next summer.  I’ll be looking for the video, and again if you have a good story or two to tell in writing, I’m sure many of us on Singletracks would loved to read them.

  • #231847

    @christopher94, I bought a pair Salomon X Ultra 3 a few months ago.  They have been awesome.  Great grip on the pedals and super comfortable during extended hike-a-bike sections.  Thanks for the suggestion.  The outsole has many lugs, and they are fairly deep.  Maybe most important, the gaps between the lugs is quite narrow for a hiking shoe, so there is no slip or play between the lugs and the pegs on the pedal.  The only issue I have had is with the little stow away compartment on the tongue for the quick laces.  This is made of thin stretchy mesh, and it has torn on one shoe.  It’s just not tough enough for mountain biking, but I used a little tent tape on it … problem fixed and it looks quite good still.  All in all, this has been a fantastic shoe for my style of riding.

  • #231848

    I like the X Ultra 3s so much that I purchased a pair of Salomon Evasion Cabrio Water Sandals also.  I will be using these during hot summer days and also during the summer on trails with a lot of creek crossings.  As with the X Ultras the tread pattern and material connects well with flat pedals, and the shoe does well hiking through technical mountainous terrain.  The outsole, midsole and toe are all very durable.

  • #231849

    “I often do extended hike-a-bike sections on my rides. Many of the trails in Mongolia on the mountain slopes are too steep to climb…”

    Sounds like you need an e-bike.

  • #231854

    I haven’t tried many dedicated mountain biking shoes, but the Merrell Moab 2 is a great hiking boot that somehow works on Crank Brothers 50/50 pedals. They are rock solid and my feet rarely slip off the pedals. However, I’m not sure if I just got lucky because hiking boots almost never work well as mountain biking shoes.


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