How Mountain Bike Shoes Work, with Rick Reed from Ride Concepts [Podcast #281]

Photo: Trevor Lyden.

Rick Reed is the Brand Manager for Ride Concepts, a mountain bike footwear company based in Reno, Nevada. Before joining Ride Concepts, he was a sales director at Five Ten. In this episode we ask Rick:

  • Why are mountain bike shoes more expensive than “regular” shoes? Is there really an advantage to wearing something made specifically for biking?
  • How does pedal grip translate to trail grip when it’s time to hike-a-bike?
  • Is there a sweet spot when it comes to sole stiffness? Is stiffer always better, at least when you’re on the pedals?
  • What do you think about the trend toward moving cleat positions back toward the mid foot?
  • Are there advantages to using traditional laces instead of Velcro or something like a Boa, or is that just for aesthetics?  
  • What types of features can be built into a shoe to provide protection against injury?
  • What are the biggest constraints when it comes to designing a good bike shoe?
  • How is the environmental footprint factored in when designing a pair of shoes? Are there ways the impact can be minimized?
  • Where are most mountain bike shoes manufactured?
  • How are women’s mountain bike shoes different from men’s shoes?
  • When you sponsor athletes like Rachael Atherton, do you have a way of quantifying the return on that investment? Do influencers move the needle to a similar degree?

Get more info about some of the shoes we covered in this episode at

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