If you are a beginner in Mountain Biking, you don’t have to be too worried about using mountain bike shoes. It is okay to use normal shoes like Converse or trainers when you ride on flat pedals for mountain biking.
Chuck Taylors are suitable for almost any foot-wearing situation. They are very close to being good for cycling shoes.
It is not a bad option to use Converse for mountain biking, but at some point, you might want to consider shoes that offer more traction and protection.
When it comes to mountain biking, it is important to consider shoes. You want shoes that are going to be stiff because if they are flimsy, you will lose power on the pedals.
While a flat pedal mountain bike shoe will offer you more traction compared to normal shoes, you can start off on an alternative by using your Converse shoes.
You also want to make sure that the converse you will be using, for the time being, is designed with the right ankle support and will fit into the pedal cages perfectly.
So my thoughts on using Converse shoes for mountain biking are pretty basic: It is not totally ideal, but if you’re just beginning, it’s fine to use normal shoes like Converse when you ride flat pedals.
Over time, you will begin to realize the need to get shoes that offer traction on your MTB’s pedals, like trail running shoes.
But, there are more to these.
In this post, I will be exposing you to what you should consider of your Converse shoes before using them for a mountain biking adventure.
I will also show you a few examples of converse sneakers that I can recommend to start off with on your mountain biking adventure, as well as other shoe brands that are ideal as MTB shoes.
Why Converse is suitable for mountain biking?
Like I mentioned earlier, one essential quality to put into consideration when using your Converse for mountain biking is to make sure that it is designed with the right ankle support and will fit into the pedal cages perfectly.
This means that not all converse designs are ideal for mountain biking. In other words, there are some specific technical qualities that can be found in some converse shoes that makes them quite suitable for mountain biking, and these qualities are as follows:
Stiffness and flexibility of Converse
Little wonder why Converse was originally made for sporting. They are stiff and flexible, most of the designs.
The stiffness of Converse shoes comes from the foundation that connects the outer sole with the interior footbed, that is the midsole.
So, Converse are flexible and offer comfort on longer rides, but the shortcoming is that most designs that are flexible are not able to effectively transmit trail to sensitive nerve endings in toes and feet.
Converse with supportive and stable insoles will do you good when hiking with your bike. It may be impossible to find Converse shoes with extra features like D3O impact zones because you only find them in mountain biking shoes.
But when the Converse is designed with a very supportive insole, it adds as a plus.
Protection of Converse
For whatever you will wear when pressing those pedals, you want shoes that will protect your feet from impacts and bumps from stray rocks and debris.
The Converse I will be showing you, and some other recognized designs are designed with reinforced toe-boxes and ankle zones that serve such function.
Most people say New Converse designs protect against water splash and cold weather. However true this is, it adds as a plus for its suitability for mountain biking because it is able to absorb repeated pummelling from rough terrain underneath.
The lightweight of Converse shoes
Converse shoes are lighter and make it more efficient for pedaling as you will definitely need shoes
That rotates with the cranks in every stroke. The fact that they can be so lightweight does not make them less solid for transmitting rider power to the drive train.
This is something even most mountain bike shoes fall short of.
Laces or straps
You will notice that most flat shoes for mountain biking feature laces because there is no clipping in of sort.
Converse with additional straps brings about more stability and acts as a cover for the laces when riding your bike.
The durability of Converse shoes
A good shoe for mountain biking should stretch and erode uppers and soles in a uniform way, so maximum lifespan and performance are well balanced.
Converse sneakers do not compromise durability as you can wear particular converse shoes for years. The only fear is that you will need to deal with creases on your converse over time.
My favorite Converse sneakers suitable for Mountain Biking
I have come across these Converse Sneakers and have matched them with the requirement of mountain biking shoes. I observed that they will do well in mountain biking shoes.
They are not only my favorite Converse sneakers but also ones I can recommend if you are looking at using Converse for mountain biking.
I am slotting this because most people that choose to use simple sneakers for mountain biking shoes rather than ideal MTB shoes are because of the affordability.
Here are the few Converse sneakers that are my favorite and suitable for mountain biking adventure:
First is this Converse Men’s Chuck Taylor All-Star High Street Space Explorer Sneaker: I used to think that when it comes to sneakers, Adidas will always have a feather to their cap. But this Converse sneakers really convinced me!
This High street space explorer sneaker brings more comfort than any other regular Converse shoes. They are much more comfortable, from the insoles to the tread patterns making the pair ideal for mountain biking.
It is no news that Converse Chuck’s run large, while this one is not an exception, they are a mid- which means you can wear them with shorts without looking any goofier. It features extra padding at the ankle which poses as a plus for riding.
These shoes will hold up well even after wearing them for years. I can assure you that there are no rips, tears, or excessive wear. It is one of my favorites when the word mountain biking comes to mind.
Second is this Converse Unisex-Adult Chuck Taylor All-Star Canvas High Top Sneaker: Birthed from the iconic Chuck Taylor all-star high top sneaker, this one boasts of a classic silhouette and famed star ankle patch.
It is designed with a leather upper and flat laces that pose as an additional plus for mountain biking.
It may not look like, or work like mountain biking shoes, but it is designed with a durable outsole – Ortholite insole for cushioning that takes comfort to the next level by cushioning each and every pedaling.
These are essentially what you need in a shoe for mountain biking. I also like its lightweight, breathable canvas construction. It is made with a vulcanized rubber sole that offers durable traction.
Kudos to the unmistakable ankle patch, too. The shoe is not only good for mountain biking but also Versatile, fashionable, easy to wear.
Other non-Converse brands that are suitable for Mountain biking
Five Ten Adidas Mountain Bike Shoe
What attracted me to this Five Ten Adidas Men’s Trail cross Lt Mountain Bike Shoe is the raised ankle collar height. It reflects more of the added protection you will enjoy when wearing the shoe.
The shoe is also carefully designed with hard-wearing construction that will keep you comfortable while you ride through a variety of terrain.
Unlike other shoes of lower quality, this mountain bike shoe features a synthetic, textile, and breathable mesh upper. It is versatile and works well for both bike-packing and trail hiking.
If you are going to invest in real mountain bike shoes, you might want to consider this Five Ten Adidas Men’s Trail cross Lt Mountain Bike Shoe for a number of reasons which includes:
- The Lace-up closure.
- The Breathable mesh lining.
- The Cushioned textile insole for long-lasting comfort.
- The Cushioned EVA midsole for added underfoot support and shock absorption.
- And ultimately, the high-friction Stealth Phantom rubber outsole that offers unbeatable grip on the bike pedal
Tommaso Mountain Bike Shoes
If you are looking for a more affordable option for mountain bike shoes, This mountain bike shoe from the Tommaso brand is highly recommended.
This particular shoe design tells so much how they are ready to offer a level of quality and value that the competition can’t touch.
To be honest, I will be glad to call this one of the most capable mountain shoes I have ever gotten to review.
Why? Its amazing features like the ultra-rugged, grippy Vibram sole, and a hardened and reinforced toe box.
In other words, this is a type of mountain bike shoe that: No matter the conditions or weather, you can count on the Vertice of the shoe for amazing grip, stability, and quick-drying breathability.
I also fell in love with the quick and reliable closure system that features 3 ergonomic Velcro straps for the perfect fit every time. This ensures not only comfort but also maximum security for all of your rides.
The comfort and performance of this shoe too, as seen with many users, is topnotch. This is easy to tell because they have beaten competition by adding tons of extra padding for a fit that hugs your foot like a glove.
In addition, a fully adjustable top strap has been added to the shoe to allow for maximum customization to fit perfectly with every rider’s individual needs.
There is no doubt that ideal Mountain bike shoes have more grip and also offer more stiffness compared to normal shoes like Converse.
As a matter of fact, the differences to be considered when choosing shoes for MTB are obvious and can not be denied between Converse and real MTB shoes.
However, if you are a beginner, or new to Mountain biking, normal shoes like Converse are OK for a while.
But you will for sure realize the need to get something better, especially when you notice you slip off your pedals.
Another aspect where you will observe the huge difference is in the sole patterns of Converse shoes, compared to the sole patterns of MTB shoes.
The grip on the Converse shoe is pretty above average, But it is far better when you are wearing a shoe specifically designed for mountain biking.
At the very least, Converse shoes will do a lot better than tennis shoes, but the truth remains that Converse isn’t designed for slippery pedals.
Lastly, you will also want to consider the fact that Converse shoes, generally do not have as much cushioning in them as MTB shoes do.
So, the bottom line is that Converse will likely slip-on flat pedals especially when it rains. This can make you fall off your bike. Hence, it is not very much recommended.
If you are new to MTB, you can use them in the meantime, but after a while, I recommend you go for shoes that provide a bit of traction – just like the two Mountain biking shoes I have recommended in this post.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on wearing Converse sneakers for Mountain biking, what do you make of it?
You can share your thoughts in the comment section.
Thanks for reading.
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