How to Size Mountain Bike Shoes

Are you planning to buy shoes for your adventurous mountain bike ride? Are you confused about which shoe size should you buy? Well, it is quite important that you figure out how to size mountain bike shoes. Since the shoes that are specialized for mountain bike rides are stiffer than regular shoes, they need to be chosen correctly. Otherwise, they can be uncomfortable and even cause constant pain or permanent injury.

It is easy if you are buying at a store, but it is a big struggle if you are buying online. There are just too many options and so many different sizes to choose from; hence, it is important that one knows beforehand how to size mountain bike shoes. It is better to do it right the first time than to regret it later.

One more point that should be kept in mind is that different brands have different shoe-size systems. Therefore, one should clearly understand how to size their mountain bike shoes to avoid any mistakes when buying.

To make sure that the shoes you buy will provide you with comfort and the best biking experience, follow the steps below. This size guide will take into consideration all of your favorite brands and tell you how to choose the perfect match.

If you check online, each brand has their specific shoe size chart. They measure the size of the shoe based on the length of your foot from your heel to your toes. It is therefore, necessary that you measure your foot length in the same way to be able to check against the different brands.

How to Size Mountain Bike Shoes

We have listed four simple steps that can make it easy for you to size the mountain bike shoes.

Step One: Measuring the Length of Your Feet

  • Find an A4 sized paper.
  • Place that paper against the wall and place your foot on that paper. Ensure that your heels are pressed tightly against the wall and that your toes are not bent.
  • Get a pencil and make a line right above the longest toe that you have. The first toe is not always the tallest; in some individuals, the second toe can be longer. Make sure the longest is used to make that line.
  • Measure the length from the end of your paper (your heel) up to the line (your toes) to find your foot length. Use the centimeter unit.
  • Measure both of your feet as not everyone has the same foot size. Buy the size that is larger of the two.
  • It is advised that you add five millimeters to the obtained length to allow room for slight movement to your feet. Plus, you may want to add or decrease to this extra length as some people prefer tighter shoes than others.
  • One more thing that should be considered is that your feet expand during the bike ride due to the heat that your body lets off while producing energy. You might want to add those extra millimeters to let your feet expand.
  • Ensure that they are a perfect fit. If your shoes are too loose, your feet will slide inside the shoes and may cause a drastic decrease in your performance.

Step Two: Look for a Brand According to Your Foot Length

As mentioned earlier, different companies display their shoe lengths in the form of a chart on their websites. Hence, you can easily check the chart before purchasing a pair of shoes. Ensure that you include the additional small space for perfection in the match. Once you start scanning those charts, you will realize the difference in measurement of other brands.

Step Three: Measuring the Width of Your Feet

The online shops usually mention the width of the shoes as wide, medium and narrow. Therefore, to cross-check the shoe widths with your feet, you need to find out the circumferences of your feet.

Look for the widest part of your foot and use that part to check the width. Place your foot on a table and measure the width of your foot. Again, check the width of the other foot as well, to see if there is any difference. If the width of your right foot is different from the left one, make sure to use the larger measurement as your guide in searching for shoes to purchase.

On the chart, besides the foot lengths, foot widths are also listed. You can then easily identify whether your feet are wide, medium or narrow. One noteworthy point is that one should not add the extra millimeters to this reading. Your toes need space to wiggle, not the side of your feet.

Are your feet wide? If yes, it is a better idea not to buy the ones that are narrower. Trust us—you’ll regret taking that decision. Narrower shoes will cause pain in the pressure points, and you’ll feel extremely uncomfortable in your brand new shoes. That is not a good feeling, especially when you are doing an extreme physical activity. The medium sized shoes are usually the ones that fit everybody, but then again different humans are distinct from each other.

Now we proceed towards the last step of this simple yet vital procedure.

Step Four: Don’t Forget to Arrange the Cleats

Once you are done with the first three steps, double check your readings and proceed. Hopefully, by now, you would have taken your pick and decided which shoes you want to order.

The most common cycling shoe brands are Sidi Cycling Shoes, Shimano Cycling Shoes, Northwave Cycling Shoes, Cycling Shoes, Bontrager Cycling Shoes, Lake Cycling Shoes, Mavic Cycling Shoes, and Five Ten Cycling Shoes. Just place an order for your shoes and get them to deliver the shoes to your home. It usually takes a few days to receive your order.

When the order arrives, it is sensible to try them on and mount the cleats. By the way, you will have to arrange the cleats yourself. You can now get on your bike and go on that mountain ride you were dying for. You can even tell your friends and family how to size mountain bike shoes!


Buying footwear online is not as difficult as you think. Shoe retailers post all the information you need on their websites or on any online shop to make sure you get the right size for the shoes you prefer to purchase. Keep these guidelines in mind when you buy your next pair of bike shoes, and you’ll surely find your perfect fit.