Gravel cycling shoes are designed for mixed terrain, offering the versatility needed by adventurous cyclists. The most frequently asked questions surround their compatibility with different clip-in pedal systems, comfort level on a variety of surfaces, durability in the face of intensive use, breathability and waterproofing, and how they compare with mountain bike or road shoes.
What is the main difference between gravel and MTB shoes?
Although similar in many respects, gravel shoes are often lighter than MTB models, and feature a moderately stiff sole balancing ample power transmission with a degree of comfort when walking and hike-a-biking. They also have a less aggressive tread profile, enough to offer grip on mixed terrain without adding unnecessary weight and bulk.
How do I choose a gravel shoe that is both breathable and waterproof?
To combine breathability and waterproofing, look for shoes with membranes made of tech materials Gore-Tex®, which keep water out while allowing perspiration to evaporate. Choose seasonally-appropriate footwear that provides good ventilation through strategically-placed vents that encourage air circulation without compromising protection against the elements.
Is it better to have a rigid or flexible sole for gravel shoes?
Ultimately the degree of sole stiffness depends on the rider's preference. A rigid sole offers better power transmission, which is ideal for long rides or rolling terrain. However, a slightly flexible sole offers greater comfort on long bike rides, as well as for walking, and is beneficial for technical creek crossings or off-trail exploration. Most gravel shoes tend to have a moderately stiff sole to provide greater versatility.
1 / 3