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Can You Use Hiking Shoes For Mountain Biking? (Pros & Cons)

When we talk about different outdoor activities, two activities come to mind: hiking and biking. There are plenty of outdoor enthusiasts who love to hike and bike, and they have shoes that are built for the job. But, if you only have hiking shoes, can you use hiking shoes for mountain biking?

You can use hiking shoes for mountain biking, that’s because hiking shoes are versatile enough that they fit most of the demands of mountain biking. But, for more advanced mountain bikers, it is best to go for mountain bike shoes that were specifically made for performance.

The thing that you need to understand about different outdoor activities such as mountain biking and hiking is that they are similar in terms of their demands. That’s why hiking shoes are good enough for a novice and intermediate mountain bikers, then again, performance-wise, mountain bike shoes are still better.

Can You Use Hiking Shoes for Mountain Biking?

Hiking shoes

While mountain biking is as popular as it has ever been, hiking seems to be the most accessible outdoor activity for most people because you don’t even need to use special skills and equipment to hike. That’s why there is a good chance that there are more hikers than there are mountain bikers.

But while hiking is indeed accessible because it is more accessible and is less likely to require special equipment, you would still need hiking shoes that were specifically made for you to be able to hike properly in the great outdoors.

So, if you are already fond of hiking and you are thinking of getting into mountain biking, can you actually use your hiking shoes for mountain biking? After all, having hiking shoes will allow you to save money if you can use them for mountain biking.

In that regard, the good news is that you can use your hiking shoes for mountain biking. The reason is that hiking shoes are versatile enough to be used for a lot of different outdoor activities such as mountain biking.

Of course, you also need to consider the fact that hiking and mountain biking are very similar in terms of their demands. This is why, even though hiking shoes were specifically made for hiking, they can still be used for mountain biking.

For example, both hiking and mountain biking require shoes that have tough soles specifically due to how tough the terrain of the outdoors can get and mountain biking requires that you are capable of transferring more power into your pedaling.

There is also the fact that hiking and mountain biking need shoes that are capable of allowing you to have a firm grip on the surface so as to prevent your feet from slipping. In the same way, as you don’t want to end up slipping on rocky terrain, you don’t want your feet to slip off from the pedals of your bike.

Hiker

Of course, the conditions outdoors are tough and rough. That means that you need to use shoes that are capable of withstanding the toughness and roughness of the outdoors. For example, hiking and biking require you to use shoes that are durable and capable of withstanding rain and other similar weather conditions.

All that said, hiking shoes can indeed be good substitutes for mountain biking shoes if you don’t have mountain biking shoes. Still, these shoes are better off for beginner and intermediate hikers as the more advanced mountain bikers that take on tough trails require specialized mountain biking shoes.

But, if you are someone who doesn’t want to spend money on mountain bike shoes especially if you already have hiking shoes, you can still use your hiking shoes without losing a lot of the advantages that mountain bike shoes come with. Just make sure you have hiking shoes that are very versatile.

Pros and Cons of Using Hiking Shoes for Mountain Biking

Now that you know that you can use hiking shoes for mountain biking, let’s look at the pros and cons of using hiking shoes in place of mountain bike shoes so that you can make a more informed decision on which shoes to use when you want to go mountain biking.

Pros

  • Hiking shoes are some of the most versatile outdoor shoes you can have. That’s because these shoes can be used for a wide variety of different outdoor activities that require a lot of walking.
  • Because most people who love the outdoors already own hiking shoes, you are basically saving a lot of money if you use hiking shoes instead of buying mountain bike shoes.
  • Most hiking shoes come with rigidity and toughness that will allow you to have a better experience when pedaling in comparison to other shoes with softer soles.
  • Hiking shoes are made with soles that are capable of allowing you to firmly grip whatever surface you are stepping on. This includes the pedals of your bike.
  • There are plenty of different hiking shoes that are made to be durable enough to be used for mountain biking.
  • Hiking shoes are capable of withstanding the rough weather conditions of the outdoors in a way that’s similar to mountain bike shoes.
  • Most people find hiking shoes to be much more accessible compared to biking shoes.

Cons

  • Hiking shoes are most likely to be more expensive than mountain bike shoes. So, if you only had one choice, mountain bike shoes should be more practical.
  • While most hiking shoes tend to have rigid soles, there are some hiking shoes that are still pretty much flexible. The flexibility of these shoes can be detrimental to your pedaling if you use them for mountain biking.
  • Some hiking shoes tend to be a bit too large. As such, they might not fit the pedals of some mountain bikes.
  • Hiking shoes were made with soles that are capable of gripping rough outdoor terrain conditions. While that can be useful for mountain biking, some hiking sole shoes aren’t the best when gripping bike pedals.
Hiking Shoes

Advantages of MTB Shoes Over Hiking Shoes

So, while we do know that hiking shoes can work as good substitutes for mountain bike shoes, there are still reasons why mountain bike shoes are better than hiking shoes. Let’s look at the advantages that mountain bike shoes have over hiking shoes:

  • Mountain bike shoes are specifically made with sole patterns that are great at gripping the pedals of your bike.
  • The rigidity of mountain bike shoes allows you to transfer more power from your legs to your pedals while you are pedaling.
  • Because mountain bike shoes are not too flexible, it is easier to safely pedal with these shoes without much effort.
  • Mountain bike shoes were made to protect your feet from the impact of drops and the rough terrain of most trails.
  • In terms of price, most mountain bike shoes tend to be cheaper than hiking shoes.

Conclusion

Hiking shoes are indeed very versatile to the point that they can be used for other outdoor activities. As such, you can use them for mountain biking if you are still a novice or an intermediate biker. Still, nothing beats mountain bike shoes in terms of what they offer in performance and safety

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I started mountain biking many years ago to improve my overall health state. After my first ride, I fell in love with the sport. Now I spend dozens of hours a week researching and training to compete in local XC and Enduro events.