If you’re going to be riding for long stretches, you definitely want to invest in shoes that are as light as possible without losing any stiffness. Ultra-light gear for your feet may cost you a little more, but your legs and feet will thank you for it.
If you are looking for literally the most lightweight mountain bike shoes in the world, have a look at the S-Works 6XC from Specialized. According to Specialized, each weighs a mere 270 grams and feature an ultra-stiff, ultra-light carbon fiber outsole for superior performance and energy transfer. At $400, the price tag is the only thing that may weigh you down.
If you love the durability and reliability of the Specialized brand, but can’t foot the bill for the high-end gear, try their best-selling Sport MTB’s. They’re still lightweight and have killer grip, but they only cost a hundred bucks.
Giro is not as well-known as some of its competitors, but they have some great options at very reasonable prices. The Carbide R is a cross-country MTB shoe that weighs in at a meager 315 grams and costs about $100. It offers great traction in dirt and mud with a sturdy nylon sole for better power transfer to the pedal.
Pearl Izumi is a pretty well-known brand that has a solid selection of lightweight shoes. Pearl Izumi’s X-Project series are all fairly lightweight, with the X-Project 3.0 being the least expensive and weighing in at 330 grams per foot. (The site doesn’t list the weight of the 1.0 or 2.0 versions, but their price tags are quite a bit higher, so it’s likely they are lighter than the 3.0.)
Shimano’s XC Racing series features some great lightweight shoes that can help with endurance on off-road trails. The XC7 weighs in at 335 grams and features an ultralight carbon fibre-reinforced midsole and an adaptable cup insole. It’s lightweight, grips well, and is designed with comfort in mind.
The SH-XC31 weighs even less, at around 327 grams, and features a glass fiber-reinforced sole. It’s a little more flexible than the XC7 and is modestly priced for the brand. The adjustable hook and loop closures allow you to tighten the fit as much or as little as you’d like, which is great for those times when you’re walking your bike and want a more comfortable fit.
If you’re serious about endurance riding or long-distance commutes on your mountain bike, take the time to try and find the lightest shoes. You’ll definitely notice the difference and once you do, you’ll never want to go back to ‘regular’ MTB footwear again.
Of course you want to get the absolute best price on lightweight shoes. But that’s the easy part. We show you how here. You’ve got a few other things to think about before you buy a pair, however.
Be sure to consider both flat pedal like these and clipless options, or even ones that can be used on either type of pedal.
Consider the conditions you’ll be riding it too. What will the weather be like? If you’re thinking about spending any time in the saddle during the winter months, you may want to consider an insulated spd boot option.
Gonna be riding in the rain? You’ll want to keep those toes nice and dry. Here are a few ways to do that.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to think about other than, “How much do they weigh?” But by following those links above, and spending a few minutes getting informed, you’ll be the most prepared consumer in the cycling store.