Best XC (Cross-country) Mountain Bike Shoes to Buy in 2020

There is no doubt that cross-country mountain biking is one of the most demanding sports. This off-road riding is hard simply because an enormous amount of physical strength is required.

Roads that are included in this journey are incredibly challenging. Unfortunately, they are not only challenging for your bike, but they are also challenging for your equipment.

Your equipment, or to be more precise, your footwear, should be equally suitable for your bike. After all, your feet are the ones that do the job, right?

Every XC rider prefers clipless footwear simply because they offer support, consistency, and placement. Let’s see which is the best XC model.

Best XC (Cross-country) Mountain Bike Shoes Reviews

Fizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoes

Riders that want to replace their old worn-out shoes should purchase these shoes. The affordable price and the mixture of excellent features can bring a successful journey without pain and lots of strength.


We all know that protection is a must when it comes to off-road grips. The Fizik X5 Terra Bike Shoe for the mountain is an excellent choice because it can be worn by almost every terrain on Earth. The shoe is made from materials that protect your foot in extreme situations.

It is incredibly comfortable and adaptable due to its asymmetric opening. That same asymmetric opening is sealed with micro-adjustable materials. It has a steal-coated nylon lace and a Velcro strap.

Its upper part is made from laser perforated microtex and is the one responsible for cooling, breathing, and great support. The down section provides protection against impact. The shoe can transfer power as well.

The heel is light, and there is a tough tape that is woven over. That tape is responsible for storing and carrying. This shoe’s outsole is made from injected carbon.

There are plastic guides and the shoe is not entirely made from microfiber. This can be a downer for those that seek 100% microfiber. It is made from 80% microfiber and 20% polyester.

Nevertheless, the Fizik X5 Terra Bike Shoe is comfortable. That is because it has been made for every foot type in the world. Additionally, it offers excellent performance.

Three other types of this shoe are available, yet there are no lighter colors. Choosing a half size down when picking this shoe is a must because the shoe can enlarge itself over time and no longer fit properly.


  • Injected carbon
  • Co-injected studs
  • Laster perforated Microtel
  • Excellent support


  • Ability to enlarge over time
  • Includes 20% polyester
Fizik X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoes

A great value shoe that is very adjustable and offers plenty of protection for the riders foot.

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Sidi Trace 2 Mega MTB Shoes

The Sidi Trace Mega MTB Shoe is made for bikers that have larger feet. This model allows them to feel comfortable once again and provides them amazing support while going on challenging journeys. It also gives strength and power transfer while performing.


The reason why they are such a good fit for people with larger feet is simple. Their upper is more extensive, thus compatible with wide feet.

A fantastic power transfer is possible thanks to the MTB SR17 sole that, at the same time, is excellent for walking journeys. Interestingly, the shoe features two Velcros. Those make the adjustments happen more quickly than usual.

The upper is tearproof, and based on performance is tremendously robust. Ventilation and air are required when journeys become extreme and durable, so the shoe contains laser perforations.

In detail, the shoe is stable and gives the biker a high grip because the sole is created with nylon and plastic inserts. Safety is something that should not be neglected, so for that reason, the creators made the center a safe spot thanks to the optimal traction.

Both soles here are acceptable for walkers as well because they are highly flexible. The reason why they are suitable for bikers as well is not that hard to spot – there is great stiffness for pedaling.

The good thing here is that there are parts in this shoe that could be replaced if they become destroyed. Although a high chance of a damaged traction toe pad is not appealing, that same destroyed traction toe pad can be replaced with a new one.

Pressure tolerance is another feature that this shoe brings because it is anatomically shaped. Plus, as was stated before, it can be adjusted according to needs.

Obviously, the shoe is reliable and comes at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, the shoe does not come in other colors than black. This is a huge step back for those that seek something brighter.


  • Pressure tolerance
  • Adjustable
  • Excellent for wider feet
  • Two Velcro straps


  • Not available in many colors
  • Not durable pads
Sidi Trace 2 Mega MTB Shoes

A shoe built for power transfer and the best choice for those with wide feet.

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Gaerne Carbon G. Hurricane Shoes

Gaerne proved to the world how serious they are when releasing this shoe. The Carbon G. Hurricane Shoes are the ideal shoes you need regardless if you go on extreme or easy biking routes. They offer abundant features that will leave every bike shoe seeker speechless.


This is an extremely light shoe, there is no doubt. Its upper is made from soft microfiber laser, and interestingly, there are mesh features included inside as well. That is the main reason why this shoe is so breathable. There is a BOA L6 reel. Not only that but also a cable. Luckily, both of them are made from stainless steel.

Features that are present in these shoes are the reason why these shoes can deliver comfortability. The enormous amount of comfortability removes pressure points and make users feel like paddling on clouds.

The reel and the cables are basically permanent, and they can assist you in many extreme and easy routes regardless of the environment and terrain you are in. The heel should not be neglected because it also helps the shoe be this perfect.

The heel is anatomic. It has the ability to hold your heel when it comes to slip resistance and at the same time to stabilize when facing a difficult situation. Furthermore, it is incredibly durable and does not weaken over time.

Foot stability does not occur, thanks only to the heel. Unlike other biking shoes, this type of shoe contains materials that are upgrading themselves. Every part works because it is connected and required for different components to work.

Different from other models out there, this model does not cover every foot size there is. Unfortunately, smaller sizes are not an option here because it is available only in three sizes.

At the same time, the model does not offer many color options. To be precise, it does not offer any type of choice at all. It is available only in one, black color. Under those circumstances, the shoe loses a large amount of appeal.


  • Air ventilation system
  • Anatomic heel
  • Durable materials
  • Sole designed for mountain bike use


  • Not available in many colors
  • Not available in smaller sizes
Gaerne Carbon G. Hurricane MTB Cycling Shoes

An extremely light shoe that offers plenty of support for the foot, a serious shoe for a serious mountain biker.

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Scott MTB Comp BOA Shoe

The construction of these shoes is flawless. There is not a single thing that is bad about them, and that is the main reason why they are number one on the popular demand list. They also have a fantastic appearance and fit just like a glove.


As previously stated, the Scott MTB Comp BOA Shoe is delivered with amazing features and an upper that can satisfy every rider. An L6 closure system covers the upper while at the same time, it makes it extremely useful.

It can be said that the BOA system is purposely made to deliver excellent performance. There are tons of adjustment solutions that this shoe brings and thus can satisfy every type of feet. There is a micro-adjustable dial to hone in the perfect fit.

The shoe also features lightweight laces and lace guides that are low friction. Each of the features is super strong and implemented for exceptional performance.

Bike shoes should be able to deliver precision as well as adaptability, and that is the case with the Scott MTB Comp BOA Shoe. Also, it allows the rider to take over and be in control all the time.

The lower strap allows for a more precise fit for those with larger feet. You can quickly adjust the volume of the toe box through this strap and this is sure to be a feature that those with high volume feet will appreciate.

Because this shoe is specially made for bikers and bikers often face terrains that are not easy, its outsole is not like the other outsoles out there. It is also explicitly made for mountain terrains that are usually rugged. To be more precise, the outsoles of these shoes can deliver incredible traction and grip in steep muddy conditions.

Insole quality is not different from outsole quality when it comes to this shoe. Insoles are well designed and entirely adjustable as well. The insole is mainly responsible for additional comfort and support while biking.

Comfort and stable performance are guaranteed with these shoes. They have a strong platform that, at the same time, is stable and supportive. There is also a larger volume shoe availabel to cater for those with wide feet. This ensures a comfortable and supportive shoe for all feet types.

One downside to the shoe for those who like a unique set of kit is the shoe is only available in two colours. The Scott shoe is only available in a silver or black color, not so pleasing for people that prefer brighter colors.

The most commonly used, 41 size, is not always available due to popular demand. This makes the process of getting the shoes a little bit frustrating.


  • Boa L6
  • Anatomic features
  • Removable insole
  • Fiberglass material


  • Continuous lack of size 41
  • Not available in bright colors
Scott Mens MTB Comp Boa Shoes

Great value shoes that offer superb adjustment for all feet types.

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Giro Privateer Mountain Biking Shoe

Available in red, olive, and dark colors, Giro shoes made for mountain cycling purposes put a smile on every customer’s face. That is because these shoes are incredibly durable and comfortable. Also, they are perfect for both long and short rides, so riders can benefit regardless of the route they choose.


Giro made this model for riders that want to enjoy every journey they take on regardless of its difficulty. An enormous number of excellent features are present in this shoe, plus it gives comfort like no other.

The shoe is quite similar to its predecessors. The inside of the shoe is soft and it offers a comfortable feel while at the same time provides ventilation thanks to its upper mesh parts.

Its upper is designed from microfiber elements, and to be sincere, it is very similar to leather. That is not a bad thing because it supports the foot’s shape.

When it comes to protection, it is safe to say that this is one of the weakest characteristics this shoe has. Cushioning throughout the shoe is not high. There is much less cusioning in this shoe that others in this category. 

On the other hand, the shoe offers an extreme amount of power transfer. The traction is also to die for, and the shoe is adaptable to almost any surface.

Another good thing that should not be neglected about this shoe is the price. The price is quite affordable for such good materials involved. Many other shoes with the same high-quality materials are much more expensive in comparison.

Despite the amazing inside materials and the enormous comfort this shoe offers, it is safe to say that it is not entirely adjustable. The laces however do provide a snug fit for the whole foot.

Check out our full review of these shoes here.


  • Extreme comfort
  • Powerful pedaling
  • Color options


  • Not adjustable
  • Low protection
Giro Privateer Lace Mountain Biking Shoe

Built for transferring power through the pedals these are built to go fast at the slight expense of the protection they offer the foot.

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After reading about the benefits and taking into consideration the negative sides of these shoes, an ideal choice was made. The third option, Gaerne Carbon G. Hurricane Shoes, is the perfect solution for every cross-country bike rider out there.

The affordable price is not the only reason why this model is the best. For that affordable price, you get shoes that are made with high-quality materials and a large range of features.

If you are also looking for cross-country mountain bike pedals then check out our picks here.