The chill in the morning air might have you thinking ahead to the upcoming ski season, but don’t be fooled – there is still plenty of mountain biking to be done. Here in the Wasatch, fall is the ideal teal time of year to ride – check out Nate’s blog from yesterday about fall mountain biking in Round Valley. Additionally, with most bike shops attempting to clear out their 2013 summer inventory, this is the time to snap up some great deals on mountain bike gear. If you’re looking for a new pair of mountain bike shoes, come check out what we have left in stock (and on sale at 40% off!) at White Pine Touring on Bonanza Drive and Jans on Park Ave.
Best Cross Country Mountain Bike Shoe
If you’re an XC mountain bike enthusiast, the Jans experts recommend the. This race-oriented trail shoe features an EC70 sole, a carbon composite which delivers optimal power transfer, yet is forgiving enough for the occasional hike-a-bike. The reinforced upper is plenty durable, increasing the Gauge’s versatility from a lightweight race shoe to an everyday riding, trail epic and cyclocross workhorse. An aggressive, lugged outsole delivers traction on a variety of terrain from granite slabs to mud.
The White Pine Racing powered by Jans.com race team uses this off-road shoe (and the Sica, the women’s version) for both mountain bike and cyclocross races. While Giro’s top-end XC mountain bike race shoe, the Code, features a slightly stiffer EC90 sole, the Gauge wins out, in our opinion, due to its versatility and comfort with minimal decrease in performance.
The Giro Gauge Shoe accommodates a wide range of fits. A key feature of this medium volume mountain bike shoe is Giro’s Supernatural Fit System. The tapered footbed allows more space in the toe box, while cupping the heel for a ‘lock down’ fit. An interchangeable arch support offers three different inserts – low, mid and high – for complete customization to your foot. For those with wider feet, Giro also makes the Giro Gauge HV Shoe, the exact same shoe with a larger toe box and higher volume.
For female mountain bikers, the women’s specific version, the , offers a narrower, lower volume fit with the same performance features as the Gauge. I’ve raced and ridden in this shoe all summer and have been impressed with its stiff, race-oriented feel, trail riding comfort, and ability to withstand abuse. Additionally, the Gauge and the Sica both accommodate two spikes, so bring on fall mud riding and cyclocross!
Best Freeride Bike Shoe
For all-around park and downhill riding, the Jans experts vote the as their hands down favorite. This freeride mountain bike shoe features a super sticky Stealth Contact outsole, designed to grip flat pedals with confidence. Additionally, the Freerider VXi is engineered with a treadless pattern under the ball of your foot, allowing riders better float and adjustability.
While its BMX-inspired style lets you rock the Freerider XVi as an everyday work, school and commuting shoe, this is a high-performance piece of footwear designed with a highly breathable upper and extra durability on the crank side. You’ll probably see any number of our shop mechanics at White Pine Touring sporting the Five Ten Freerider VXi Shoes while wrenching on your bike, ready to go take a shuttle run and hit up the trails after work.
Check out our selection of mountain bike shoes online at Jans.com, at White Pine Touring on Bonanza Drive, or at Jans on Park Ave, and talk to our experts about what shoe best fits your riding style and feet.
Evelyn Dong, content writer