The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

How We Tested Mountain Bike Flat Shoes

By Jason Cronk ⋅ Review Editor
Friday September 6, 2019
The Livewire instilled confidence riding Teton limestone
The Livewire instilled confidence riding Teton limestone

We believe that in order for us to put together a truly informative gear review, we should use and abuse our test gear as much or even more than our readers are likely to do. For our Mountain Bike Flat Shoe Review, we rode our bikes, and we rode them through a lot of challenging terrain and situations in order to put together the best review for you!

Our testers in action high in the Sierra Nevada
Our testers in action high in the Sierra Nevada

Testing conditions



We tested all of our shoes in a variety of conditions, from riding local neighborhood trails to launching scary features in big mountain bike parks in the Western United States and Canada. We rode long technical cross country loops and packed bikes and bodies into vans for roadside shuttle downhills.

During testing  we even crammed ourselves into ridiculous spaces for shuttle rides
During testing, we even crammed ourselves into ridiculous spaces for shuttle rides

Testing Locations



We were able to put our mountain bike flat pedal shoes to the test in the cool temperatures of the high alpine environment of early summer and later in the season in the high desert of Southwest Idaho. Our test subjects were ridden in rain, through some late-season snow patches, over rocks and roots, and through the deeper hot sands of late summer. We were able to experience the huge variety of conditions that many of you will encounter on your own mountain bike adventures!

The Livewire got some time in the water too
The Livewire got some time in the water too

Testing in the hot temperatures of the high desert
Testing in the hot temperatures of the high desert

While we have trust in each shoe's manufacturers intentions, we decide to ensure that claimed weights for each individual shoe are accurate and weighed each on our own scale so you have the most accurate information possible when selecting your own shoes.

Like our review for riders looking to clipless technology in the Mountain Bike Shoe Review, this is an in-depth, comprehensive review of mountain bike flat shoes that will make your mountain bike shoe purchase decision a whole lot easier. Our testing process wasn't always smooth, and we even drew some of our blood, so you don't have to.

With flat shoes and pedals  good habits are rewarded and bad habits are  well...
With flat shoes and pedals, good habits are rewarded and bad habits are, well...