Are Skateboard Shoes Good For Mountain Biking

It is okay to not be overly fussed about buying specific mountain biking shoes. You might have heard somewhere that skate shoes can make a very good alternative. How true is this? And what brand, type, or model is recommended?

That’s what this post is all about.

The truth is, Skateboard shoes are not as good as proper flat sole mountain bike shoes. This is because most skate shoe designs have soles that are too flexible and not really built to survive wet, muddy conditions.

But if your mountain bike has flat pedals, then using actual MTB shoes is not really necessary. While skate shoes may not be as comfortable as hiking shoes, they’ll have a better grip on that kind of pedals. But as for bikes with clipless pedals, skateboard shoes should never be an option.

Are Skateboard Shoes Good For Mountain Biking

If you are opting for skateboard shoes only because of how affordable it is compared to MTB shoes, then you can consider affordable options of MTB shoes such as the likes of the Shimano AM45s.

To sum it up, the relevance of wearing actual mountain biking shoes cannot be overemphasized because it has been specially built to enhance your overall experience by providing better support, grip, and protection.

This does not translate that skateboard shoes are not comfortable or give good support, only that majority of them are not ideal for MTB. It can be a little difficult to see a skateboard shoe that is great for mountain biking.

But if you still want to be sure that you are using the right skate shoes for your mountain bike, I have done the work for you.

Skateboard shoes that are great for mountain biking

Among the skating shoe brand, Vans is a very famous one out there, not only have they been able to dominate the industry, but they have also produced styles and pattern that fits everyone’s favorite trends.

One of the constant features of every van’s shoe is the waffle pattern sole which gives Vans the grip you can rely on for skateboarding. This is a feature you would want in cycling, too.

From the angle of proper gripping as it matters to MTB riders, Vans sole design contributes to pedal power which is the only way to create momentum and move forward.

That waffle pattern sole you see under every Vans shoe offers great traction that allows the feet to stay in place… not just in place but also staying put on your mountain bike pedals.

Another thing that makes an ideal shoe for mountain biking is a flat, hard sole which you can find in some vans shoe design as it is fitting for flat pedals.

This gives us a good ground on which to establish the fact that yes, there are skateboard shoes that are great for mountain biking.

After an extensive review, these are the few skateboard shoes that tick all the basic must-haves for a normal flat pedal MTB shoe.

The first one is this Vans BMX Shoes Warner DH Black that is known for its Lightweight gum rubber “Off the Wall†tread pattern.

One of the essential features that makes this shoe great for MTB is that it is styled with weather-resistant synthetic leather and a molded EVA foam sock liner. The SPD compatible plate also makes this Vans BMX Shoes Warner DH Black a better alternative for actual MTB shoes.

Similarly, this Vans Old Skool (SEE HERE ON AMAZON) of course has the Vans Waffle BMX construction soles that offer an absolute grip that is the perfect fit against your pedal, and then the DURACAP reinforcement rubber underlays.

It is one of the best skateboard shoes that can also be used as an MTB flat pedal shoe as it is designed with PopCush footbeds for extra comfort and sturdy suede and canvas uppers. The only downside is that the latter is not the easiest to maintain.

We can not talk about a list of skateboard shoes that works great for mountain biking without mentioning this Vans ERA (Retro Sport (SEE HERE ON AMAZON) not only is it perfect for flats, it also have a TRAX rubber outsole Waffle Grip tread pattern that works great for cycling and putting your foot in place.

The water-repellent synthetic materials and ImpactSorb heel insert are two added essential features that make this shoe the perfect alternative for MTB shoes. The Vans ERA (Retro Sport also features a reflective side stripe which we find appealing.

Are MTB shoes really that much better than skateboard shoes?

Now, we have been able to look at the areas in which skateboard shoes can be used for mountain bikes. But the reality, as I have mentioned earlier, is that they are not as good as actual MTB shoes, even though they are flat-soled.

Of course, skate shoes are preferable to running shoes or most other casual/work footwear as long as mountain biking is involved. But when it comes to sturdiness, these skate shoes do not have enough in the sole to stop your foot from wrapping around the pedal during rough terrain, landing jumps, or drops.

You will even find it hard to do lots of uphill trail climbing when riding on skateboard shoes.

Most importantly, before you say that actual MTB shoes are not all that much better than skate shoes, consider the protection level of both.

You will see that actual MTB shoes provide better protection to your foot against the potential risk that is involved in mountain biking.

In this vein, if you are going to be slowly riding around a local park, wearing skateboard shoes is okay. But when it comes to weaving between rocks and trees, you know better than to wear skate shoes.


Skate shoes are generally considered to be comfortable as most of them feature flat soles which means there is no supporting arch. And since they are no supporting arch, it will not be a good idea to wear them for long walks.

But when it comes to mountain biking, it is different, it is exactly that flat sole that you need for gripping the flat pedals of your bike so that your feet stay in place.

If you are thinking of taking your mountain biking to the next level, then it may be better to leave your skateboard shoes at home and get more supportive footwear which is an ideal MTB shoe.

But if you go on such an adventure occasionally, you can use the right skateboard shoes as recommended in this post. Whatever choice you make, ensure you are not wearing a slip-on Vans as these can come off your feet too easily.

That brings us to the end of this post, and I hope you now know how to go about wearing shoes for your next MTB ride.

Let me know if you’ve found this comment helpful.

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