Buying your first pair of flat shoes for mountain biking is a big decision. Some people stick with skate shoes and it works for them; some walking shoes – they provide a stiff sole and are waterproof. But if you are going to buy a pair of shoes designed for purpose you are going to spend upwards of £80 and you will need to be sure that they are right. Read some reviews, try them on in your local bike shop. There are many choices and many opinions. Here is my 2 year experience with a pair of TEVA Links in purple with Spider Rubber soles!
I wont deny part of my decision making process was they had to look good, who doesn’t look good in pair of purple shoes?
I have been wearing the pair pictured for over 2 years on all sorts of rides and in all sorts of weather including snow and typically British heavy rain. They are not waterproof the mesh above the toes will let water in and of course being typical shoe (under the ankle) height water and puddles find a way in. So we wont labor on this point – buy some waterproof socks.
They look cool and the being of rubber and leather construction with stiff plastic elements they are easy to clean. The stiff Spider365 Rubber sole doesn’t have the typical tacky feel of some other brands but the PedalLINK grip pattern has mated particularly well with both the DMR and SuperStar Nano pedals that I have used. The toe and heel sections of the underside has some addition grip patterns for off the bike and will help when you have to get off and push.
The ShocPad cushion in the heel provides additions comfort and shock absorption – it also means that even with stiff sole walking in the shoes is really comfortable.
The fit for my size 9 has been perfect and with 2 years of battering they still look great today, complete with a few battle scars.
I have recently bought another brand of shoes (a spare set rather than a replacement) but with some suede paneling I try to keep them for the drier conditions and the Links are my favored choice for the mud and wet conditions because they clean easier.
After 2 years the pins on my pedals have begun to tear at the grip patter in a few places and I have had 1 or 2 pedal slip moments – however I am of the opinion that I will get another pair of Teva shoes though it looks like they don’t make them in purple any more.