Here are our picks for the best Enduro and Downhill riding shoes.
Our ratings and reviews will reflect and depend on the following
Pedaling Efficiency – The force exerted on pedals directly influences the speed of the bike. Higher pedaling efficiency gives a better transfer of power while applying minimum pressure. It results in faster speeds while reducing muscle fatigue.
Support and Fit – Shoe support and fit are essential for a comfortable and safe ride. While the fit depends on personal foot dimensions, maximum support is imperative for reduced injury risk and better performance.
Durability – Your shoes should be able to take on rough trails and survive.
Flexibility and Stiffness – The flexibility of a shoe is vital for a comfortable fit. Stiffness is also required for better power transfer. The flex dampens power transfer and increases mobility while stiffness discourages movement and increases power transfer. The delicate balance between rigidity and flexibility is an essential aspect of a quality shoe, as it can shape the performance and experience of your rides.
Our top recommendations
Shimano ME7 SPD Shoe (750g)
The ME7 has heralded one of the best attempts to combine cross-country power transfer levels with the armor and protection needed by aggressive (enduro and downhill) riders. With its carbon fiber midsole and reinforced upper, the ME7 provides the right amount of stiffness that increases pedaling efficiency while allowing flexibility. Providing enough ventilation with its tactile mesh, the reinforced toe guards and ankle cuffs protect against impacts. The ME7 enables an easily customizable and comfortable fit with its quick-draw lace system secured by ratchet straps. As an added bonus, the solid rubber sole also provides plenty of grip for when you get off the bike.
- Its carbon-reinforced midsole offers the right mix of stiffness and flexibility.
- The shoe feels tough while retaining proper ventilation.
- The toe guard and ankle cuff protect against impact.
- Riders with low-volume feet might struggle to get a snug fit.
The ME7 allows a comfortable riding and hiking experience for riders using clipless pedals. The designers appear to have judged the rigidity very well, as the ME7 efficiently transfers power from foot to pedal. Overall, the ME7 is an impressive blend of engineered comfort and functionality – being the favorite not only with us but more or less across the board wherever it has been reviewed.
Despite a partly treaded sole, the Freerider Contact provides immense grip. The synthetic uppers keep the shoe lightweight and significantly reduces drying time. Its stiff midsole ensures maximum pedaling efficiency while the wide rubber outer layer gives vast pedal contact and effective ride feedback.
As this shoe is only suitable for hiking and riding in dry conditions, it can get slippery when the trail is wet. Flexible near the forefoot, this shoe allows for rapid foot mobility. With its sturdy and robust build quality, the shoe is made of abrasion-resistant textiles and comes with toe-cap protection.
- The robust construction ensures a durable and comfortable fit.
- Due to its stiff midsole, it provides ample support and optimum pedalling efficiency.
- The partly treaded soles offer ideal pedal contact, ride feedback, and grip.
- The Freerider Contact is not suitable for damp or wet conditions.
Due to the bare mid-section of the sole, you can make small foot adjustments on the go. Lightweight, durable and grippy, the Freerider Contact is ideal for downhill and enduro riding.
FiveTen Impact VXi Clipless or Flat Pedal Shoe (840g)
With its broad sole, the grip offered by the Impact VXi is firm. Stiff, comfortable and lightweight, the shoe provides plenty of support and improves pedaling efficiency. While it is not exceptionally breathable, the shoe is water-resilient and features toe-cap protection.
Cushioning feet against shocks, it has a robust build with a sizable rubber sole. While the ride feedback does suffer, it aids better power transfer due to increased levels of stiffness. Durable and hardy, the fit is spacious while providing adequate arch support.
- The sizable sole offers firm grip while cushioning against shocks.
- Due to increased stiffness, the power transfer is efficient.
- With its synthetic uppers, it is lightweight and comfortable.
- The shoe does not have proper ventilation.
With a roomy fit and stiff midsole, the shoe is comfortable and lightweight. With solid build quality and a secure grip, the Impact VXi is a suitable shoe for downhill riding.
With its grip and stability, the snug shoe supports the foot despite weighing more. While flexibility suffers due to its rigid construction, the power transfer remains efficient. The reinforced toe-box and cushioned sole offer protection and shock absorption.
With the traditional lace system in place, it allows adjustability and ventilation. The arch support and slingshot heel are robust while its durability ensures all-terrain traction and use.
- It provides grip and stability for all terrains.
- The cushioned soles and reinforced toe-boxes protect and absorb shock.
- It has an excellent fit and arch support.
- Flexibility and ride feedback suffers due to stiffness.
The shoe provides high pedaling efficiency with a sturdy build. Due to synthetic uppers, it is water-resistant and dries quickly. Providing a firm grip and suitable protection, it is ideal for downhill riding
The build quality is robust, with lace straps, cushioned heels, and appropriate arch support. For protection, it features padded ankle straps and rubber toe caps. While retaining sufficient flex, the stiff midsole offers ample pedaling efficiency.
While it weighs more, the shoe is durable, water-resistant, breathable and has an excellent fit. The secure grip is impressive despite little tread. The cleats are long enough and easy to use. The shoe also comes with an anti-bacterial lining.
- Durable and sturdy, it provides optimal protection against debris.
- The shoes consist of synthetic uppers, making it water-resistant.
- It comes with an anti-bacterial lining.
- Weighing at 536g, it is quite heavy.
Comfortable for hiking and riding, it offers both flexibility and stiffness in the right mix. It is grippy and provides a snug fit. Water-resistant and breathable, the Chamber Mid is a sturdy shoe that is apt for aggressive riding.