Can You Use Hiking Shoes For Mountain Biking?

If you are new to mountain biking or want to improve your experience, you need to make sure that you have proper foot care. Standard sneakers are not going to give you the support or durability that you need.

Some mountain bikers have gone to using hiking shoes when out on the trail. It’s time to investigate if this is a good call to make when you are not sure or have a pair lying around that will work.

Can You Use Hiking Shoes For Mountain Biking?

Hiking shoes are a great option for mountain biking if you do not have your preferred pair with you. Hiking shoes are versatile and meant to withstand long hours of walking, hiking, and taking on various miles.

Hiking shoes are often heavier than standard biking shoes. They are made from a variety of materials to withstand the environment and keep your feet protected. If you decide to move forward with hiking shoes, you want to make sure you have a pair that can withstand the demands of biking.

Two guys mountain biking with hiking shoes

What Type Of Hiking Shoes Can I Get?

If you decide that hiking shoes are the route you want to take because of the trails you ride and the terrain you frequent, then you should purchase performance hiking shoes. Not all hiking shoes are made the same. If you opt for a basic pair of hiking shoes because of their price, you could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation pretty quickly.

Performance hiking shoes have more flexibility in their design. This is ideal when cycling for long periods. Those hiking shoes made for performance offer additional ankle support that basic hiking shoes do not have. If you are doing a lot of jumping and taking your bike up steep inclines, you need to protect your ankles.

Benefits Of Using Hiking Shoes For Mountain Biking

If you decide to purchase a pair of hiking shoes specifically, there are some benefits to consider:

  • Saving money with a multipurpose shoe
  • Soles can handle inclines
  • Designed for strenuous activity
  • Great in various weather conditions
  • More options are readily available

Saving Money

The truth is that many mountain bikers are also hikers and enjoy being out on some of the longer trails.

If you purchase hiking shoes instead of biking shoes, you are saving money because you are getting multiple uses and purposes out of these shoes.

Related article – Are Mountain Bike Shoes Worth It?

Man buying hiking shoes

Soles Can Handle Inclines

Many of the biking shoes on the market do not have the same strong soles that hiking shoes have.

If you are purchasing standard biking shoes instead of hiking shoes for mountain biking, you will find that you are having to purchase new ones much faster than if you had purchased hiking shoes initially.

Hiking shoes are designed for inclines which mountain biking has a lot of and bikers need to be prepared for that.

Designed For Strenuous Activity

Hiking shoes are designed with various terrains found on a maintained trail. This not only refers to inclines but the need to grip onto rocks and slippery areas where standard biking shoes are not able to keep up.

Lots of mountain trails also have mud and wet conditions that hiking shoes are prepared for if you have to walk your bike through certain parts of the trail.

Great In Various Weather Conditions

If you are taking on a mountain trail when it is cold outside, you can keep your feet warm and protected with hiking shoes better than with biking shoes. There is also a strong grip on the bottom keeping you safe and secure if you are caught in the rain.

More Options Available

When you go into a store and look for hiking shoes and biking shoes, you will find more hiking shoe options than biking options in most places.

You can diversify your needs, and have them be as high or short as you need. Biking shoes may only have limited options and not offer the same level of support.

Cons of Hiking Shoes For Mountain Biking

There are some concerns and things to consider when you decide to purchase hiking shoes over biking shoes:

  • The initial cost is more
  • Too much flexibility in pedaling

The initial cost of the hiking shoes is most likely going to cost you more than the biking shoes that you found an aisle over. This is because of the material and design used in these shoes. They usually have higher-grade material all the way through and can be costly.

Some of them may seem flexible, and if you are pedaling that could be a concern. You do not want the shoes to bend so much that you lose your grip and your bike starts sliding when you are climbing up an incline.

Mountain bike riding

Is There a Specific Shoe For Mountain Biking?

If you are an experienced mountain biker or have been spending lots of time out on these trails recently, you may want to take your shoe purchase to another level and select mountain bike shoes.

These shoes are a blend of biking shoes and hiking shoes, combining the best features of both and making the right shoe for this activity.

The grips on these shoes are designed with the pedals of your bike in mind. They are meant to attach to pedals in inclement weather and not fold like overly flexible hiking shoes will do. These shoes also come with ample foot and ankle protection that you would find in the hiking boot. 

Fortunately, they are much lighter and easier to wear for long treks out on the mountain. One disadvantage is that because it is a blend of both shoe types, it is going to cost you more than a standard biking shoe or hiking shoe that you prefer.

You may also be interested in Can Trail Running Shoes Be Used For Mountain Biking?

Hi, I'm Harry, the owner of this site! A 30-something MAMIL - a middle-aged man in lycra. An avid cyclist who is looking to maintain a baseline level of fitness to be able to enjoy the great outdoors on weekend rides with his mates!

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