Shoe recommendations for flat pedal MTB

What kind of shoes or shoe styles do you recommend for flat pedal trail riding?

Thinking about shoes for CyclingGirl. I run clip-ins on my bike, whereas CG runs flats. Skate shoes have great grip, and are suitable for dirt jumping, but probably not enough support for pedaling distance on trail. There are specific shoes for flats, like Five Tens, but they’re probably quite expensive. For a cheaper shoe, what would work best - hikers, cross-trainers…?

A flat bottomed shoe works best. Hikers are no good for riding. If you don’t want to spring for a set of 5 10’s stick with skate shoes. Alas most are kinda floppy and offer little support.

But seriously a dedicated riding shoe is going to be worlds better then a skate shoe in grip and comfort. Bonus 5 10 and Specialized both make women’s specific flat pedal shoes. If she is only going to use the shoes on rides and not every day walking around in they will last a long time and be well worth the investment. Your looking at say 120 - 160 ish. Thats only 2 or 3 skate shoes worth, tread them nicely and you’ll get your investment back.

Specialized 2Fo Womens … flat-women

5 10 Karver Womens … black#tab3

Agreed on the shoes - a dedicated riding shoe is the way to go. I recently ordered a pair of Five Tens online, all-in for just under $100, so not much more expensive than your average hikers. Locally though, Idealbikes has the best selection and they have women’s shoes too.

Just as important as the right shoe though is to make sure she’s using a true downhill/platform pedal. I switched from a pair of crappy pedals you’d find on a department store bike to a true platform pedal and the difference was incredible. I got a pair of these V-Sixty pedals with sealed bearings and adjustable/replaceable pins at Cyclesmith for just under $50. So very affordable.

She’s riding a nice set of Kona Wah-wah flat pedals. She’s been using a set of cross-trainers or an old pair of my hikers that are falling apart. I have skate shoes that I use on my dj bike, but they are really floppy. CG has some foot pain and needs shoes with good support. She also does a lot of walking the bike on technical trails, so good grip on the ground is important too.

Who sells Five Ten’s around here?

I did quite a bit of research before I got mine and Idealbikes has the best selection (upstairs on the 2nd floor). MEC also has quite a few online that can be shipped for free to the store.

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I usually ride clipless but I’ve been riding flats for a while now just to mix things up, I wear a pair of Airwalk skate shoes that I got for $10 at Wmart. I’ve never noticed much of a problem with stiffness, support or grip, that being said if i was riding flats 100% of the time I’d be getting a dedicated pair of shoes, 5-10’s would be my first choice.

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Another vote for the Five Tens… I’ve been using the Freeriders that I picked up at Ideal for two seasons and I find them great. Lots of grip, no sore feet…