The Best Kids Mountain Bike Shoes

The Best Kids Mountain Bike Shoes

First off let me just say that most kids DON’T need a pair of mountain bike shoes.  They will do just fine with tennis shoes, or for more rugged riding, a pair of thick soled hiking boots or similar (this is what we do for my 4 year old).  I’ve found that skate-style shoes also work well.  That said, if your child is starting to ride more technical trails, is hitting up the bike park, or they are getting to an age where perhaps they are interested in clipless pedals, then there a few (read: very limited) options out there.

Things to Consider Before Shopping

Clipless or Flat

Most kids are going to want to use a flat pedal and shoe. Using a flat pedal/shoe allows kids to practice skills without having to focus on clipping in and out, and allows for a proper range of motion for developing knees and hips.

That said, if your child is older and is already comfortable handling a bike, has good pedaling technique, and is perhaps interested in racing, you can certainly introduce them to clipless pedals.  This article provides a great overview of when your child might be ready to transition.

Consider shopping for women’s shoes

Once your kiddo can fit into a size 37 (European),  you can also consider getting them a woman’s cycling shoe.  These come in very small sizes, and neutral colors work well for boys as well as girls.

The Best Kids Mountain Bike Shoes

Five Ten Freerider Kids Flat MTB Shoes

Five Ten Freerider Kids Mountain Bike Shoe

The Five Ten Freerider Kids shoe is the exact same as the adult Freerider shoe, just in miniature.  For kids who mountain bike, this is a fantastic shoe for use with flat pedals.  The “Marathon” rubber soles provide grip on the pedals and hold up well to kids who can dish out lots of abuse.

Buy: $75 Amazon.com or Backcountry.com

DMT M6 Kids MTB Shoes

DMT M6 Kids Mtb Shoe

Unlike many other bike shoes, these actually come in multiple colors which is nice.  I have a pair of DMT shoes which have lasted for 8+ years, so I can speak to the quality of the brand.  Unfortunately, that quality comes with a big pricetag.

Buy: $125, find a dealer at DMTCycling.com.

Diadora X-Phantom Jr Mountain Bike Shoes

Diadora Junior/Kids X-Phantom Mountain Biking Shoe

Great for racing, these SPD-compatible shoes have a composite sole for optimal power transmission.  This is a popular shoe in the BMX community as well as out on the trail.

Buy: $99 on Amazon.com

Northwave Hammer Junior

Northwave Hammer Junior Shoes

The Northwave Junior Hammer is another SPD-compatible shoe, and one that is affordable considering they will probably be grown out of quickly.   Rubber-covered spikes allow kids to walk/run/hike without falling.

Buy: $80 on Amazon.com

Comparison Chart

ShoePriceSizesFlat or Clipless
Five Ten Freerider Kids$7510.5-13.5 (US)Flat
Diadora X-Phantom Jr$9933-36 (EU)Clipless
Northwave Hammer Junior$8032-38 (EU)Clipless
DMT: M6$12533-36 (EU)Clipless

Note: If you know of a great kids mountain bike shoe, that is not on my list, please shoot me a note so that I can include it here.

Kristen

Kristen is a project manager and writer. She spends all her free time mountain biking with her family on the trails in Salt Lake City and Park City, UT.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Brian says:

    My son has the Five Ten shoes and they are fantastic and have held up well.