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Whether you're taking on the Menali to Leh highway on your road bike or mountain biking through the Cairngorms, your footwear choice is one of the most important aspects of your kit list, which is why we've picked 6 cycling shoes that will cover you for every adventure, on-road or off.


Five_Ten_Freerider-EPS-Image3.jpgFive Ten Freerider EPS | £105

Five Ten’s Freerider EPS mountain biking shoe is a winterized version of their popular downhill and enduro shoe for those riding flat pedals, and in case you’re wondering, the EPS stands for Elements Primaloft System.

Five Ten’s calling card is the way the Stealth S1 rubber compound of its soles sticks to flat pedals like glue – without excessive wear – and the Freeriders don't disappoint.

In terms of fit and feel, the Freerider EPSs are supremely comfortable and supportive, with excellent all-round foot protection.

VERDICT A tough, grippy, cold-weather, flat pedal rider’s shoe that should give many winters of trail burning fun.

+  Great ankle protection, super-grippy soles

 The sickly greeny blue colour of ours


Mavic_XA_Elite_mountain_bike_shoe.jpgMavic XA Elite | £90

Mavic’s XA Elite shoe is an SPD mountain biking shoe designed with versatility paramount to ensuring that it is as comfortable and sure-footed when you’re walking between rides on your travels as you are when pedalling.

To this end the Mavic has built the XA Elite onto its Energy Grip Trail Outsole, which has the heel-to-toe stiffness you need for efficient energy transfer when pedalling, as well as walking traction on all surfaces. A toe-to-arch pedal channel makes for easy cleat finding and the low cut uppers are well ventilated.

VERDICT Not a superlight, ultra-stiff racing shoe, nor a super-flexible trainer but a good compromise between the two.

+  Closure is quick to use and comfortable

–  Narrow toe box won’t suit everyone


Shimano_AM9_SPD_mountain_bike_shoe.jpgShimano AM9 SPD | £80

The AM9 is Shimano’s new top all-mountain clipless SPD shoe for aggressive downhill, enduro and trail riding. This is a generously padded, supremely comfortable flat-pedal mountain biking shoe, with a skate shoe look and broad, flat sole for maximum pedal contact, feel and grip – plus an SPD cleat for clip-in pedals.

The boldest features are the substantial Velcro-down lace flap which tidies up the traditional laces, protects the top of your foot and keeps water and trail debris out of the shoe and a well-padded raised inner ankle.

VERDICT A wonderfully comfortable, medium stiff all-mountain shoe with excellent foot and ankle protection.

+  Flat pedal shoe versatility with SPD security 

 Too flexible for speed merchants and racers


Giro_Terraduro_Mid_SPD_mountain_bike_shoe.jpgGiro Terraduro Mid SPD | £160   

The Terraduro Mid is the sturdy, more robust version of Giro’s Terraduro mountain bike shoes, designed to protect your feet from the rigours of wet-weather trail riding.

The Mid has laces covered by a broad Velcro flap, which does a great job of keeping the weather out but makes doing the laces a fiddle!

Behind this a high padded inner cuff protects your vulnerable ankle from pedal strikes. On the trail the Terraduro Mids are stiff and efficient, with a lugged Vibram rubber sole that grips well over rocks when you're on foot.

VERDICT Not an XC racer slipper but a tough, rock solid, trail shoe for shrugging off dirt and water ingress.

+  Excellent water resistance for cold, wet trails

 This is no lightweight trail racing shoe


Pearl Izumi Elite IV | £150  

Pearl Izumi’s Elite Road IV shoe is one down (and £100 less) from the top-of-the-range PRO Leader but with much of the same stiffness, closure and design technology. 

Underpinning the shoe, literally, is a seriously stiff unidirectional carbon fibre sole, drilled with the most common three-bolt configuration. Ventilation is good with no less than 10 vents in the sole and uppers, and the ratcheted Boa closure works well - though the Velcro bottom strap does seem a slightly superfluous afterthought. 

VERDICT A light, supportive, low bulk, quality road shoe with good ventilation and the effective convenience of a Boa closure.

+  Generous, replaceable heel bumper

 Heel cup needs a little more support


keen-commuter-4-bike-shoes-blk-gargoyle-15.jpgKeen Commuter 4 Sandal | £100  

The first thing you’ll notice when pulling on the Keen Commuter 4 is that the fit is very narrow. Keen suggests upsizing by at least half a size; we'd agree. Get the right size though and what you find is one of the most satisfying cycling sandals available for hot climates, with webbing and gaps that will let the breeze cool your foot as you ride. Don't forget that apart from the excellent toe box bumper and a little padding around the heel, your foot is largely unprotected, so you’d be ill-advised to tackle any serious single-track with these sandals.  

VERDICT A great SPD choice for hot, dry tours – just don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet if riding sockless.

+  Purposefully lugged soles give good grip

 Fit will be too narrow for some

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