Best Cycling Shoes for Flat Pedals

The comfort of your feet is the most important thing to consider when you are cycling, this is even more true if you are someone who is serious about cycling. To make the process of choosing the best from the rest, we have made a lineup of the best cycling shoes you can get for flat pedals.

Best Cycling Shoes for Flat Pedals

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Product

Features

Price

Buy

Best Cycling Shoes for Flat Pedals

Five Ten Freerider Pro

Comes in a rubber sole

Has a lace closure system

Offers a lot of comfort

$$

Best Cycling Shoes for Flat Pedals

Giro Terraduro

Has a vibram sole

Comes with a microfiber lining

Offers great performance

$$

Best Cycling Shoes for Flat Pedals

Ride Concepts Hellion

Has an EVA midsole

Comes with a rubber sole

Also has a padded lining

$$

SHIMANO SH-GR9

SHIMANO SH-GR9

Offers extra protection with armoured lace shield

Makes sure to absorb less water

Can dry very quick

$$

 Crank Brothers Stamp Boa

Crank Brothers Stamp Boa

Offers a great fit

Has a great design

Very comfortable to wear

$$

Leatt DBX 3.0

Leatt DBX 3.0

Tear and puncture resistant

Has a very durable construction

Made from synthetic leather

$$

1. Five Ten Freerider Pro

Best Cycling Shoes for Flat Pedals

If you’re looking for a shoe that has all of the best features from the brand’s lineup of their best shoes then the Freerider Pro is definitely the one for you. With the Freerider Pro, Five Ten has taken all that they have to offer and made it all into a single shoe. You get the most amazing dampening properties, a great grip and you also get the best pedal support.

Travelling all the way along the entire S1 sole is the brand’s signature pattern of dots. Your foot is never losing its grip or coming off of the pedal no matter what trail you’re riding on. The S1 soles also give you great impact absorption. 

The pro version of the standard Freerider is definitely more stable, offers better protection and gives you better pedaling support while making sure to not compromise the feel of the pedal.

All made possible with a shank which is in the midsole. It also comes with a quick drying, weather resistant with its sleek synthetic upper layer. It offers even more protection with the hard toe box which ensures the safety of your toes from trailside boulders. 

PROS

  • Has a great fitting
  • This shoe is also impact resistant
  • Comes with a Textile lining

CONS

  • Doesn’t provide that great of an arch

2. Giro Terraduro

Best Cycling Shoes for Flat Pedals

The Terraduro by Giro is an amazing shoe that offers the in-between experience of race and trail, walking and pedaling, power transfer and comfort. What this means is that with this shoe you can have a comfortable all day ride but if you wanted to you could use it in an official race as well.

It provides you with durability to withstand the winter mud plugging and it is also lightweight enough for you to have a fun long distance ride.

These shoes can also be worn off the bike without you slipping off and they are also stylish enough for you to walk into a shop without looking out of place on your way back from a hike. This shoe has lots of amazing features packed into it and is definitely one of the best shoes for flat pedals.

PROS

  • Great clipless trail shoe
  • Has a comfortable design
  • Can be used both on and off the bike

CONS

  • The fitting is slightly narrow

3. Ride Concepts Hellion

Best Cycling Shoes for Flat Pedals

This shoe by Ride Concepts is aimed mostly at enduro and trail riders with all the essentials you would need, making the Hellion an all-rounder. It ensures you fast drying times and a minimum level of water absorption with the upper of a two piece synthetic which has an anti-peel coating, this shoe was designed to not just look good but also be able to withstand a ton of abuse.

You get a good finishing touch with high quality laces, while it may be a small addition but it still is a noticeable addition, and overtime you don’t really have to worry yourself over them becoming baggy or losing tension.

The Hellions come with an impact absorbing material for their insoles, called the D30. This type of material is normally seen in body armor designed for riders. While it may give you more of a protection from crashes, it still can make your feet shift while on the pedal since you will feel the insoles that will change and harden themselves wrapping around your feet over the pedal.

This is why in some certain specific situations you don't have the greatest grip, however, you should keep in mind that it only happens in some specific situations. If you one the best grips on the market with this shoe, you may want to consider switching out the insoles.

PROS

  • Has an anti-peeling coating
  • Comes with a two panel synthetic
  • Offers great protection

CONS

  • The sizing is really bad

4. SHIMANO SH-GR9

SHIMANO SH-GR9

The SH-GR9 is one of SHIMANO’s top of the line offers. When you’re riding down the trail wearing the SH-GR9, you will easily notice the exaggerated feeling of being in the bike with the ultra-thin soles. The shoe does a great job at concaving nicely over the pedal since it has a droopy build to it.

This essentially means that you will be getting a lot trail feedback and tire feel from the pedals when you’re riding. However, as good as it all sounds it’s not all good news, with the lack of protection and support from impact, you are more likely to tire out when you’re riding for long periods. 

Even though you don’t really get the locked in feeling from the shoes, it still manages to not feel a bit too droopy when you put it under some power. This shoe comes with the signature upper of lace by SHIMANO which does a good job at keeping puddle splashes and it sucks up almost no water.

PROS

  • Offers fast and secure adjustments
  • Gives you great walkability
  • Offers enhanced protection

CONS

  • It’s not the grippiest shoe out there

5. Crank Brothers Stamp Boa

 Crank Brothers Stamp Boa

Crankbrothers know their pedals very well, hence they have designed and created a shoe that will give you flawless performance with them. With this pair of shoes you get multiple models with different closure options, you can go for the more standard model using lace or even the BOA dials.

The speed lace model gives you a laces with velcro straps at the top. You also have different color options available for each closure. 

They offer a great trail and hike experience and since they are designed to give you proper traction when you’re on or off the road.

PROS

  • Offers amazing tractions
  • Good for use both on and off road
  • Comes in various models to choose from

CONS

  • Their size chart is a bit problematic

6. Leatt DBX 3.0

Leatt DBX 3.0

If what you’re looking for is something with a mid-top, then the DBX 3.0 by Leatt should be something worth your consideration. While high top and mid top shoes may not be for everyone, there is something to be said about the extra protection your ankles will be getting from the debris or pedal strikes. 

This shoe was designed and constructed with the thought of extreme gravity riding kept in mind, so when you will be flying off the jumps and charging down to a rocky ground, this shoe not only protects you but it supports you as well.

It is a great weatherproof shoe with the toe box made from synthetic suede and the synthetic leather upper. To ensure your feet stay on the pedals you also get the RideGrip compound from Leatt. You also get a variety of color options.

PROS

  • Optimized grip pattern
  • Great in all weather conditions
  • Offers the best bike control

CONS

  • The sole isn’t as grippy

Buying Guide

A proper pair of shoes for your feet is very essential since between you and your bike, your feet are the most important contact. If you want to boost your confidence as a rider or hone your techniques correctly then riding on flat pedals is definitely one of the better options. 

For quite a while cyclists who like riding flat pedals have been limited to the choices of shoes they have available to them. It is mostly the clunky boots or the repurposed skate shoes that they end up going with. However, some brands have started to address this situation and now you can get a range of options for flat pedal shoes. With the increased number of options, it gets hard to pick out the best one but have no worries, we got your back.

There are a few things you should run through before you consider getting yourself a pair of cycling shoes. 

The Fit

The shoe’s fit is one of the most important things that you need to consider. The way your shoe fits and feels when you have it on and riding with it is vital and can affect your performance for better or for worse. If it’s too loose of a fit, you can improper foot placement and if it’s too tight you’re going to have your blood circulation cut off. 

Trying the shoe on physically before you buy it is always recommended, especially since most manufacturers differ a slight bit when it comes to sizing and cuts. 

The Weight

Lighter shoes are of course more efficient since they allow for lesser energy consumption with every stroke of the pedal but after a certain point the stiffness, support and protection are compromised.

However, what your specific requirements are, vary with the type of cycling you do. Something that is better for dampening and protection is for you if you’re a more of a gravity focused rider or lightweights if you do more trail riding.

The Retention

While many would make an argument that the more complex closures and fasteners that are available now should be the best choice but you can’t always beat the reliability, simplicity and adjustability of the regular set of laces with complex designs.

The Protection

It is seen that cyclists who are into flat pedals tend to be more focused on the high speed gravity riding where there’s a lot of potentially harsh impacts.

When it comes down to protection against rocky trails you need proper heel cups and toe boxes that are hardened, also soles that can appropriately absorb all the impacts no matter the trail.

The Dampening

For a material that deals with stopping or restraining movement in a manner that is controlled, dampening is an essential property. Most suspension forks for mountain bikes have an adjustment for dampening, this offers you better control by slowing down the oscillation of the spring. Having rebound dampening changes the reaction of your fork otherwise it would be behaving like a pogo stick

Since the soles on your flat pedal shoes don’t really come with adjustable dials, in order to soak up heavy impacts, you need to choose the rubber carefully.

Final Words

While it may not be as fun to research and buy a pair of flat pedal shoes as much as it is to go get yourself a nice new bicycle, it still is an important decision to make. We do hope this makes you have a better understanding of what you need and get something that is suited to you!

You can also read: Types of Cycling Shoes

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