Get comfortably connected with your bike and pedals with the best MTB shoes under £100/$120. Including options for flat and clip-in pedals.

The connection between your pedals and shoes is vital. If you’re starting out, or on a budget, it’s tempting to make do with some old trainers rather than splash out on a pair of the best mountain bike shoes. But your feet, along with your hands, are a key contact point with your bike. So whether you choose the freedom of the best flat pedals, or the efficiency of the best clipless pedals, a well-fitting pair of mountain bike shoes will increase your control, efficiency, safety and comfort.

If you’re pushed for time, the best deals for our recommended shoes are in the widget below. Otherwise, scroll down to find out more about the best budget MTB shoes we’ve tested and why we’ve rated them.

Here we round up the best value mountain bike shoes under £100/$120, with options for flat and clipless pedals.

Best mountain bike shoes for flat pedals under £100/$120:


Fox Union Flat Shoe

Light, grippy, and easy-to-clean, the Fox Union Flat Shoe is well executed product.

Fox Union Flat shoe

Best budget flat pedal shoe for year-round riding

Weight: 779g | Sizes: EU 37 – 47 with half sizes between 41 – 46 | Rating: 9/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean and dry quickly
  • Great fit
  • Excellent grip

Reasons to avoid:

  • Laces feel cheap and are too short
  • Not the best shock absorption

Fox has a strong pedigree when it comes to filling your mountain biking kitbag. Its clothing, helmets and pads have always been a hit with serious riders but until recently we hadn’t seen a range of footwear from this Californian brand for many years. It’s definitely been worth the wait though.

The upper on the Union Flat shoe is very well thought out. The thermoplastic polyurethane upper has a smooth surface, shedding muck easily and makes the post-ride clean up quick and easy. The toe box is also reinforced to fend off rock strikes and debris. Fox uses its own Ultrac soft compound, slow rebound rubber for the sole of the Union Flat shoe. Grip on a proven flat pedal is excellent, with security boosted by small hexagonal lugs which give more channels for the pins to interact with.

With a comfortable fit that’s enhanced further by the option of half sizes, class-leading low weight, decent traction and an easy-care upper, the Fox Union Flat makes a sound choice for year-round riding.

Read our full review of the Fox Union Flat shoes


Endura Hummvee Flat Pedal shoe

Casual, skate-style shoes at down-to-earth prices: The Endura Hummvee Flat Pedal shoe.

Endura Hummvee Flat shoe

Best budget flat pedal shoe blending performance and looks

Weight: 938g | Sizes: EU 38 – 47 | Colours: Black, Olive, Pebble, Navy | Rating: 9/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Excellent build quality
  • Faultless fit enhanced by 13 size options
  • Grippy sole
  • Great value

Reasons to avoid:

  • Just outclassed on grip by shoes with Stealth or SlipNot ST rubber
  • Toe box lacks protection
  • Toe and heel tread zones could be improved

Just like Fox, you can dress yourself from head to toe with Endura gear. This established Scottish brand is renowned for producing gear that blends performance and longevity with a fair price tag – so how does its relatively new range of footwear stack up?

With a comprehensive range of sizes, four colour options and a price tag of just under £90, the Hummvee Flat shoe sounds appealing. The casual lace-up style uses a lightweight synthetic suede upper that hits the spot, whether on or off the bike, but lacks a reinforced toe box for additional impact protection.

Endura uses its own StickyFOOT rubber for the Hummvee’s sole. Our tester noted that while the compound is ‘pleasingly tacky’, it’s not class-leading, with the sole using harder compound, less-grippy zones at the front and rear. This compromises traction when off the bike and pushing up muddy climbs. The Hummvee is a great-looking flat pedal shoe with impressive build quality, fit and comfort. It’s excellent value too.

Read our full review of the Endura Hummvee Flat shoe


Specialized 2FO Roost shoe

The Specialized 2FO Roost shoe is an MBR staff favourite.

Specialized 2FO Roost shoe

Best budget flat pedal shoe for grip

Weight: 828g | Sizes: EU 36 – 49 | Rating: 10/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Uses Specialized’s Body Geometry design orthotics
  • Super-sticky SlipNot ST sole compound
  • Decent shock absorption

Reasons to avoid:

  • They size up small
  • No half sizes available in the UK
  • Not as easy to clean as the Fox Union

Although the Specialized 2FO lineup includes options for clipless pedal riders, it’s the flat pedal shoes that have really impressed us, with the design evolving year-on-year. This original 2FO Roost model scored a perfect 10 in our review, blending on-bike comfort and a durable, easy to adjust upper, with an incredibly grippy sole.

This 2FO Roost model uses both natural leather and textile panels for the upper, which proved durable over our test period. Specialized has retained the classic flat shoe approach of laces for adjustment, but boosts ride comfort and efficiency with its Body Geometry design orthotics for the midsole and footbed.

The SlipNot ST rubber compound on the Roost’s sole is a standout feature. Our tester noted that ‘The 2FO Roost is the only flat pedal shoe other than a Five Ten where you may have to sit down and unweight the pedals to reposition your feet’. Yes, the 2FO Roost is a truly impressive flat pedal shoe.

Read our full review of the Specialized Roost flat shoe


Specialized 2FO Roost Canvas Shoes

Lighter than the Roost, the Roost Canvas is great for warmer climates.

Specialized 2FO Roost Canvas shoe

Best budget flat pedal shoe for breathability

Weight: 718g | Sizes: EU 36 – 49 | Rating: 10/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Lightweight and very breathable
  • Super-sticky SlipNot ST sole compound
  • Decent shock absorption

Reasons to avoid:

  • They size up small
  • No half sizes available in the UK
  • Look tatty quickly

With the success of the original and top-scoring 2FO Roost shoe, Specialized added this Roost Canvas to its lineup of flat pedal shoes. And yet again, we awarded it full marks in our review.

Much of what we praise about the original 2FO Roost (see above) is retained with this model. The heavier duty leather and textile upper is replaced by a lighter canvas material, boosting breathability and making this shoe ideal for warmer weather riding, or for riders looking for a more casual look.

Performance is not compromised here, with the SlipNot ST sole giving pedal grip that’s only matched by Five Ten’s Freerider Pro. Specialized’s Body Geometry tech is present too, with a supportive arch and a decent overall fit. The only structural weakness we could find is the heel cup, which lacked robustness and could easily crumple.

Read our full review of the Specialized Roost Canvas flat shoe


Best mountain bike shoes for clipless (clip-in) pedals under £100:


Shimano AM5 clipless mountain bike shoe

Shimano’s AM5 clipless mountain bike shoe is superb value for anything from trail riding to enduro.

Shimano AM5 shoe

Best budget shoe for clipless pedals

Weight: 1,006g | Sizes: EU 40 – 48 | Rating: 8/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Rugged and protective
  • Wide range of cleat adjustment
  • Decent weather resistance

Reasons to avoid:

  • Cleat pocket not as deep as some
  • Some foot movement under hard pedalling
  • Off-the-bike traction is not the best
  • Heavy

Shimano has always been a go-to for clipless shoes below the £100 price point. The AM5 may well be tagged as a more gravity-focused shoe but we feel it has broader appeal and is a great value option for the trail rider.

Weighing in at just over 1 kg for the pair, the AM5 may not be the lightest clipless shoe but it has a rugged, well made construction – it’s built to last. The synthetic upper is lined, giving plenty of comfort, with a slightly extended ankle section boot to add protection and keep out trail debris. Although the AM5’s upper has perforated sections on the sides and upper to aid breathability, the shoe gives reasonable wet weather protection and a touch of warmth.

With Shimano producing clipless pedals as well as shoes, it’s no surprise that the cleat pocket is well placed – offset from the sole’s centre line, with usefully long cleat cutaways. The cleat pocket is shallower than some shoes but engagement is quick and consistent every time.

Read our full review of the Shimano AM5 clipless pedal shoe


Giant Stance E+ 1

Testing the best budget mountain bike shoes is done on a wide variety of terrain, in all sorts of weather conditions.

How we test the best budget mountain bike shoes

We don’t compromise when it comes to reviewing products, so when we test mountain bike shoes we pair them with a test-winning pedal that we know well. Consistency is a priority too, so we’ll carry out the pedal tests using one bike – this lets us gauge and rate grip levels, comfort, heel clearance and stiffness without distractions from other component variations.


Key features of the best mountain bike shoes

Mountain bike shoes have a tough life. Whether it’s a clipless or a flat pedal shoe, we evaluate comfort, power transfer, weather resistance, breathability and impact protection. Pedal grip or cleat engagement is a high priority and off-bike traction (for when you need to get off and push) is a consideration too.

With the mountain bike itself, technology trickles down the model range year-on-year and it’s the same with mountain bike footwear. Now, sub £100 shoes benefit from design features and tech that was only seen on flagship models just a few seasons ago.

Flat pedal riders are getting the sticky rubber of premium priced shoes, now on value-focused models, along with quicker-drying, lightweight uppers too. Performance-focused clipless shoes now benefit from well-placed cleat boxes, with a wider adjustment range, along with technical fabrics that suit the year-round rider.

We’ve picked shoes that are now on offer under £100 (through our affiliate links, while stocks last), as well as those with a ‘price as tested’ that fit into this price bracket. This highlights all the best shoe options at the lowest current prices.

Endura Hummvee Flat Pedal shoe

Flat pedal shoes such as the Endura Hummvee tend to focus more on flexibility and comfort than outright stiffness and power transfer.

Upper – materials and construction

Most modern mountain bike shoes use a synthetic material for the upper that’s lightweight and quick drying. Suede and leather still make an appearance (on the Specialized 2FO Roost, for example), potentially adding durability and scuff resistance.

For a more casual-looking shoe, with a focus on warmer, drier weather, there are options with a canvas upper. Both Specialized and Fox have canvas options of popular flat pedal models. Canvas breathes well, but our test shoes in this fabric looked tatty quickly, even though the construction held up over the review period.

Regardless of the material, ventilation is often boosted by perforations in focused areas. This helps with cooling in hot weather, but these holes can let water in on wet, muddy rides. A lining fabric with a waterproof membrane can solve this, but you’ll need to raise your budget above the £100 mark – none of the shoes in this guide use a Gore-Tex (or equivalent) material.

Additional padding in the tongue and ankle area can increase comfort, but it needs to be carefully placed and not too bulky as to compromise accurate adjustment or fit. A well-padded shoe can take longer to dry too.

Ride Concepts Accomplice BOA flat pedal shoe

Ride Concepts uses a BOA closure on some of its shoes. The advantage is speedier entry and egress, and potentially better fit and comfort.

Foot retention

All of the mountain bike shoes in this sub £100 guide use regular laces for adjustment and retention. A lace-up design may look low tech, but it’s an easy-to-use system that’s reliable and cheap to replace – there’s no searching around for a specific dial or buckle to order.

A downside to laces is they can be a faff to undo when caked in mud after a wet ride, but it’s a compromise that all our testers feel they can live with. Lace covers/flaps were once a more common feature, especially on Shimano shoes – they worked well but looked ungainly and are now a rare sight.

If a buckle or ‘dial and wire’ closure appeals, then you’ll need to increase your budget – the Crankbrothers Mallet E BOA and Ride Concepts Tallac Clip BOA are proven options for clipless pedal use. Closure dial systems (such as BOA) are easy to adjust while riding and can reduce hotspots on the foot.

A single retention strap is often used in combination with laces. An ankle-height strap is most useful, for holding the shoe snug and keeping the lace tie/knot in place too. You’ll need to step up to above the £100 mark for a high-scoring shoe with this closure system though.

Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex shoe

Five Ten’s uses Gore-Tex and extended ankle cuffs for shoes like its Trailcross, in order to increase protection from the elements.

Ankle protection

A raised and padded section on the inner ankle is often used to boost protection. This can protect your ankle from a strike with the crank, or the pedal itself, if unintentionally unclipping or slipping. A padded ankle collar is a useful feature, often seen on gravity-focused shoes, or those designed for wet weather use. This can help prevent heel lift and rubbing, and also stop dirt or stones getting inside the shoe.

Ride Concepts Tallac Clip BOA Shoes

Big rubber bumpers can help protect toes from rock and stump strikes at high speed.

Toe and heel protection

When riding in rough, rocky terrain, additional protection on the front and rear of the shoe is a real benefit. Toe and heel bumpers not only ward off rocks and trail debris but also help with the shoe’s long-term durability.

Northwave Overland Plus mountain bike shoes advertorial

Brands are always searching for the perfect balance between flexibility and comfort when walking, and stiffness when pedalling.

Stiffness

Stiffness is a priority for clipless pedal shoes. With the cleat recessed into the sole, a stiff reinforced midsole construction results in efficient power transfer, but also means you won’t feel the metal cleat when pedalling hard. A race-focused shoe will have a higher stiffness rating than a shoe designed for trail riding.

For the flat pedal rider, some degree of sole stiffness is also a key factor in a good shoe. A skate-style shoe with a soft sole may provide good traction but it will distort around the flat pedal’s platform, compromising support. A specific mountain bike shoe for flat pedal use will blend optimum midsole stiffness with a suitably grippy outsole.

Flex at the front of the sole is often engineered into a shoe’s construction, giving a more natural and efficient foot position when off the bike and pushing.

Fox Union Flat Shoe

The rubber compound is a critical element in creating overall grip with a flat pedal.

Tread compound

The key talking point for flat pedal shoes is the softness of the sole’s rubber and its ability to make traction with the pedal’s pins. A soft, sticky rubber compound, matched with well-designed lugs and the correct amount of stiffness give the best results. Sole durability can be relatively short, but it’s a compromise most riders are happy to take.

XC shoes for clipless pedals often have a sole with a harder rubber compound. This can prove slippery when off the bike on wet rocks but thankfully most trail riding shoes now use a tread that’s fit for purpose.

Photo detail showing the sole of the Ride Concepts Tallac men's mountain bike shoe

Lugs are designed to work with the pedal platform and pins to provide purchase and security in rough terrain.

Tread design

On a flat pedal, the shape and the depth of the sole’s lugs work with the rubber compound to engage with the pedal’s pins. Waffle, chevrons or raised circles are used – there are no set rules of what works best. More rubber may increase the shoe’s lifespan, but it’s important to have deep lugs at the front and rear of the sole to increase off-bike traction when clambering up or down unrideable terrain.

On a traditional, stiffer, XC clipless shoe, we’ll often see fewer lugs but with a deeper profile. However, clipless shoes with more of a gravity focus mostly use a tread design that mimics a flat pedal shoe – this allows the tread to engage with enduro/DH clipless pedals (with a platform and pins) if needed.

wiggle mountain bike deals

Special or custom insoles can really boost comfort.

Midsole and insole

Additional impact resistance tech is now used in many midsole and insole constructions. This is a hidden cost and will contribute to the price of premium priced shoes, usually above the £100 mark.

Specialized employs its Body Geometry design orthotics across all its footwear range – even the entry-level models. This uses neat features such as cambered midsoles and custom foot beds (insoles) to improve pedalling efficiency and foot comfort. Even if most budget shoes don’t come with exotic insoles, it’s easy to upgrade to them at a later date.

Giro Chamber

Enough grip in the mud but the cleat box can foul with certain pedals.

Cleat pocket (for clipless pedals)

The cleat pocket (or box) is recessed into the bottom of the sole, allowing the shoe to engage with the clipless pedal, but still letting you walk easily. Cleat boxes vary in depth, so some pedal and shoe combinations may need spacing shims/spacers to achieve the best result.

Ideally, the cleat pocket will have markings to allow you to match your cleat position from left to right. Modern clipless shoes should now have long slots to allow cleats to be set further back towards the centre of the shoe – a real benefit if you’re making the switch from flat to clipless pedals.