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Ultimate Guide to Flat Pedal MTB Shoes

Flat pedals and cleat-free shoes have been quieting the bike shop floor in recent years and for good reason. Folks are tossing themselves and their uber-capable bikes down steeper shoots and off larger hips, and want to be able to throw a foot out whenever they like. Riders often cite an appreciation for the skills required to ride with flats as a reason to stick with the pins, even if they also use clipless pedals and shoes occasionally.

In our recent podcast with pro rider and former observed trials champ, Jeff Lenosky, he mentioned that he rides clipless on the trail, and flats when it’s time to perform some legit tricks. Between Lenosky and the reigning EWS champ Sam Hill there is certainly some legitimacy to riding unclipped.

See Also
By Singletracks Staff
 

This list of flat pedal kicks will lay out some defining features of each pair, and will include weight, price, and links to additional information. Some designers in the flat pedal shoe market seem to be focused on maintaining a particular aesthetic, while others are more focused on the technical and functional aspects of footwear. We have organized the shoes according to several factors including ankle height, gender, and closure system to make the pile easier to sort through.

BrandModelWeightPrice (USD)*
661Filter$109
AdidasTerrex Trail Cross SL565g$130
Adidas Terrex Trail Cross Protect$150
AftonKeegan$99
BontragerFlatline430g (size 46)$129
BontragerFlatline$129
ChromeTruk$75
CubeGTY Maze339g$115
DMTE1465g (size 41)$135
DMTE2480g (size 41)$135
DZRSense$79
Five TenFreerider Pro338g$150
Five TenSam Hill 3549g$160
Five TenImpact High586g$160
Five TenMacaskill357g$120
FiveTenImpact Pro493g$160
GiroRiddance Mid445g (size 43)
GiroRiddance430g (size 43)
GiroRiddance W400g (size 39)
GiroJacket II415g (size 43)$90
IONRaid Amp II$150
IONRaid II$115
MavicDeemax Pro Flat$200
MavicDeemax Elite$140
NorthwaveTribe$100
NorthwaveClan$150
O'NealPinned Pro$90
OWNFR-01$125
Pearl IzumiX Alp launch W295g$150
Pearl IzumiX Alp Launch340g$150
Ride ConceptsLivewire455g$100
Ride ConceptsSession Hellion421g$130
Ride ConceptsSkyline$150
Ride ConceptsTraverse$160
Ride ConceptsWildcat482g$120
SCGSound$70
ShimanoGR5400g (size 42)$100
ShimanoGR9365g (size:42)$140
ShimanoGR700W349g (size:40)
ShimanoGR500W386g (size:40)
ShimanoGR7366g (size:42)$130
Specialized2FO Flat 2.0347g (1/2 pair, Size 42)$170
Specialized2FO Flat 1.0315g (1/2 pair, Size 42)$120
VaudeMoab Low AM420g$150
VaudeMoab Mid STX AM$200
VaudeMoab AM360g$130
Ride ConceptsTNT$160

*Claimed weights are per shoe, and come from manufacturers’ provided info. The size of the shoe that was weighed is listed below if available.

**Prices may differ depending on retailer and currency.

Lace lowtops

Ride Concepts Livewire review and photo by Jeff Barber.

661 Filter Asymmetrical construction with raised inner ankle protection prevents the ankle from hitting the crank arm and chainstay. $109 USD.

Adidas Terrex Trail Cross SL If you really want to push away from something that looks like an MTB shoe, while maintaining tech features, give these a look. 565g claimed weight. $130 USD.

Bontrager Flatline.

Bontrager Flatline has a durable synthetic leather upper. $130 USD.

Cube GTY Maze “Air holes and a special mesh construction keep your feet pleasantly cool while the reflective heel details improve safety in low-light conditions.” Claimed weight is 339g. €100.

Five Ten Freerider Pro One of the most popular flat pedal shoes recently received a few updates. Claimed weight 338g. $150 USD.

Five Ten Impact Pro The Impact pro is a fast-drying shoe with a synthetic upper and thick, shock-absorbent sole. Claimed weight 439g. $160 USD.

Five Ten Sam Hill Named after the formidable EWS Champ, these shoes are designed to stomp stages. The soles are so thick they look like short hiking boots from a distance and are likely just as durable. Claimed weight 549g. $160 USD.

Giro Riddance The water-resistant upper is molded to a sole touted as “best in class” for vibration damping. Claimed weight 430g in size 43. $130 USD.

ION RAID AMP II The Amp II sole features dedicated pedal and walking zones. Claimed weight 440g in size 42. €130.

ION RAID II A stylish, flat-pedal shoe with classic lace closure. €100.

Mavic Deemax Elite.

Mavic Deemax Elite “Spider sole design allows you to easily move your foot on the pedal while riding and keeping close control of your bike.” €120.

Mavic Deemax Pro Similar to the Deemax Elite, with added height around the ankle for increased protection. €170.

Northwave Clan The mesh tongue provides padding and breathability in one. $150 USD.

O’Neal Pinned Pro

O’Neal Pinned Pro The Pinned Pro includes a removable and interchangeable footbed. €80.

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch Check out our review of the X-Alp by John Fisch here. 350g claimed weight, $150 USD.

Ride Concepts Hellion Another sweet flat pedal shoe with very few stitches to wear out, and some solid vibration dampening. Claimed weight 421g. $130.

Ride Concepts Livewire Check out our full review of the Livewire here. Weight is 535g in size 12. $100 USD.

Ride Concepts Powerline The Powerline takes all the cool features of the Hellion and adds some ankle protection.  $150 USD. Available Spring 2019.

Shimano GR5 Available in sizes all the way up to 48, this is an affordable option with some sweet features. Claimed weight 400g in size 42. $100 USD.

Shimano GR7 This shoe has a cool stretch-mesh ankle collar that keeps debris out of the shoe. Claimed weight 366g in size 42. $130 USD.

Shimano GR9 mountain bike shoes.

Shimano GR9 The GR9 has an armored lace shield that provides protection from debris, and the synthetic upper dries super fast after wet rides. Claimed weight 365g in size 42. €149.

Specialized 2Fo Flat 1.0 SlipNot 2.0 rubber compound is the softest and tackiest Specialized has made to date, guaranteeing good grip on the pedals. Claimed weight 315g in size 42. $120 USD.

Specialized 2FO Flat 2.0 Air mesh on the tongue and uppers provides protection, while most of the stitching on the shoe is hidden beneath a protective layer of rubber. Claimed weight 347g in size 42. $150 USD.

Vaude Moab AM The toe and heel portions of the sole are cut to provide ample traction for hike-a-bike sections and the midsole is appropriately padded for impact. Claimed weight 360g. €126.

Lace-Plus Lowtops

Photo courtesy of DMT Cycling

These are shoes that use a strap or BOA closure in addition to laces.

DMT E1 The E1 is one of the few flat pedal shoes we have found that uses a BOA closure system, making it quick to tighten while riding. Claimed weight 465g in size 41. €120. Also check out the Specialized 2FO ClipLite.

DMT E2 The E2 have a removable cleat cover to make the shoes clipless or flat as you prefer. Claimed weight 480g in size 41. €120.

Ride Concepts TNT Ride Concepts’ mid-height, flat pedal offering with an ankle strap for on the fly adjustments. $160 USD.

Fly Lowtops

Photo courtesy of SCG Shoes

The shoes below have a decided emphasis on aesthetics, often with functional elements below the surface.

Afton Keegan “Mono-directional interior shank supports your foot on the pedal during impacts, assists in energy transfer when pedaling, and reduces vibration yet flexes to allow normal walking.” $99 USD.

Chrome Truk The Truk’s nylon upper is reportedly 25 times stronger than canvas.  $75 USD.

Giro Jacket II The Jacket II uses a Vibram Ecostep rubber sole, specifically designed for flat pedals. Claimed weight 415g in size 43. $90 USD.

Northwave Tribe “Reinforcements with abrasion-resistant rubber prints on the toe and heel, and a reinforced toecap.” €90.

SCG Sound SCG Sound shoes are handcrafted in Colombia and packed with hidden features like top protection under the first leather layer. $70 USD.

Hightops and mid-tops

Photo courtesy of Adidas Footwear

Adidas Terrex Trail Cross Protect “They are built with D3O® foam around the ankles to soften blows and keep you riding. A breathable upper is secured with laces and a strap for a snug, supportive fit.” These kicks bring padding and protection much higher than most of the competition. €130.

Five Ten Impact High These are the taller version of the Sam Hill kicks, offering the most ankle support Five Ten has offered to date. Claimed weight 586g. $160 USD.

Giro Riddance Mid Riddance uses the same Vibram sole as many of the other Giro shoes, but in a high-top format with a large ankle-strap to keep them snug. Claimed weight 445g in size 43. €140.

OWN FR-01 The Kevlar upper is bonded to a Vibram sole, reportedly making this a light and super durable high top. €110.

Ride Concepts Wildcat “Featuring cranked-up stability and ankle protection, it’s a mid-height, sticky-soled, flat pedal brawler.” The Wildcat are somewhere between a mid-height and high-top shoe, with a small ankle strap for adjustments on the go. Claimed weight 482g. $120 USD.

Vaude Mid STX AM Like all Vaude products, these are environmentally friendly and fair-trade manufactured. Claimed weight 880g. €175.

Women’s Specific

photo courtesy FiveTen

While many of the flats included in this article are designed for everyone who can fit their feet in them, there are also women’s specific models available.

Bontrager Flatline “Women Specific Design is engineered specifically to yield better fit and greater comfort for women.” Claimed weight 372g in size 43. $129.99 USD.

Five Ten Freerider The celebrated Freerider has a one-piece molded cup sole. Claimed weight 345g. $100 USD.

Five Ten Freerider Pro “Freerider Pro touts superior toe protection and is quicker drying than its predecessor and utilizes a fully dotty Stealth® S1™outsole for proven grip and durability.” Claimed weight 289g. $150 USD.

ION RAID Amp II The RAID Amp II has extra padding at the ankle for rowdier days. Claimed weight 400g in size 42. $129 USD.

ION RAID II The RAID II has a “Reinforced toe cap to absorb and [deflect] the forces when hitting a rock or a root.” $113 USD.

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch The Launch has a bonded seamless upper, with no stitches to fray or wear out. Claimed weight 356g. $150 USD.

Ride Concepts Hellion The Hellion’s fully-gusseted tongue prevents dirt and debris from getting into your shoe. Claimed weight 361g. $130 USD.

Ride Concepts Livewire “This is your daily driver, wear-everywhere, tough-as-nails, do-it-all, ninja-approved, high-performance flat pedal shoe.” Claimed weight 390g. $100 USD.

Ride Concepts Skyline.

Ride Concepts Skyline The Skyline is the burlier low-top offering from Ride Concepts, with a higher medial collar. $150 USD.

Ride Concepts Traverse The Traverse takes all the goods from the Skyline and adds an ankle strap for on-the-go adjustment. $160

Ride Concepts Wildcat The Wildcat model brings the medial collar to the outside of the foot as well, creating solid protection from a mid-height shoe. Claimed weight 418g. $120 USD.

Shimano GR5 Shimano’s most affordable flat pedal offering. Claimed weight 386g in size 40. $103 USD.

Shimano GR7 The GR7 has a stretch mesh ankle collar that offers additional debris protection. Claimed weight 349g in size 40. $113 USD.

 

Specialized 2FO.

Specialized 2F0 “Developed and tested by gravity and all-mountain athletes worldwide, 2FO uses our SlipNot™ rubber tread compound for ultimate platform pedal hook-up. Foot out, flat out.” Claimed weight 360g in size 39. $130 USD.

Specialized 2F0 Flat 1.0 The 2FO Flat 1.0 has an elastic Lacelock to keep the laces away from your chainring. Claimed weight 347g in size 42. $150 USD.

Specialized 2FO Flat 2.0 At 347g for a size 42, the Flat 2.0 are on the lighter side of the flat pedal party. $150 USD.

Vaude Moab Low AM Women’s specific version of the Vaude Moab Low AM. Claimed weight 420g. €135.

Looking for more information to help you make your mountain bike shoe buying decision? Check out this article on choosing the right MTB shoes.

Do you have a favorite pair of mountain bike specific flats that are not included here? Let us know in the comments and we will periodically add new kicks to this list.

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# Comments

  • Taylor Atchley

    Nice roundup! I have to give a shoutout to the Specialized 2Fo Flat 1.0. I went to these from some FiveTens and I was blown away. Phenomenal grip, in fact I found myself twisting my foot subconsciously as I dismounted from my bike (my feet thought they clipped in, I suppose). They are also super lightweight, and the neoprene sleeve keeps crap out.

  • Brad Beadles

    hands down the most comprehensive list of flat shoes i’ve found on the world wide web, well done Brian, I will be using this list when my current pair wears out. One thing I thought was interesting was that adidas now owns five Ten yet they’re putting out their own shoe…. would like to see some field reports of those Terrex. For now I’ll stick with my Five Ten Contacts

  • BikeMrown

    Would be great to see size ranges listed too. I wear 14EE so bike shoes are always a pain (literally).

    • James Koenig

      Yeah… An article written for people with wide feet needs to be written…or are there still no flats for Fred Flintstone riders?

  • rmap01

    Nice summary Brian. Definitely a helpful resource.

    Any recommendations for a flat pedal winter show. I’ve heard that the Five Ten Freerider High Top is a good show for winter riding but it’s out of stock everywhere in most sizes and Adidas told me they won’t have more until Fall 2019. Wow, they are obviously a customer-centric business… NOT!

  • Brian Gerow

    I didn’t see any brands making flats specifically for riders with wide feet while doing this research, but I will certainly keep an eye out. I have tried some ION shoes that were too wide for my feet, and maybe they would work well.

    For winter riding, 45NRTH makes a handful of warm boots that can be used with clipless or flat pedals.
    https://45nrth.com/products/wolfgar

  • swifty6

    I have a pair of the five ten free riders .I had a shoe lace wrap around the axel of my Specialized Fat Boy Carbon.The result my foot was jammed into the pedal causing me to fall into a patch of prickley pear cactus.
    Noe I have a narrow piece of velcro underneath the laces to prevent this from appending again. I consider this a design flaw.

  • Day42

    I really dislike the look of the current crop of flat-pedal-specific footwear. They either resemble ugly bowling/golf shoes, or clown shoes. Give me a sweet pair of Vans any day. Better designs, better feel/comfort, a lot less expensive, and just plain cooler.

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