7 Best Cyclocross Shoes Reviews in 2021 with Buying Guide

best cyclocross shoes

What is the most physically challenging activity that you can think of? Trekking, hiking or maybe rafting. Wrong! It is Cyclocross, wherein you have to navigate through all the obstacles and when required you even have to carry the bicycle on your back for some miles. If you are participating in such a cycle race, then you need to be equipped with all the right gears and one of them is your shoes.

Today, we will discuss some of the best cyclocross shoes that are available to purchase in your region. There are a variety of options available in the market from multiple brands, but we have selected only those that are tough and can take all the tears during an intense situation.

1. Smartodoors SIKEBIKE All-Road Cycling Shoes

If you want to choose from a long range of colors and two soul types, then have a look at our top recommendation from Smartodoors. Mountain bikers can try its carbon TPU sole. For all other purposes, it has an option to choose the nylon bottom.

So, what makes this cycling shoe our favorite? Its quick-lock system or the ergonomic built? Well, both of them. Quick-lock makes safe for riding your bike on any terrain while its ergonomic design keeps you comfortable as well as energetic.

Due to the veneer microfiber in the upper part, the footwear is breathable and keeps your feet moisture-free. It also comes with external D-Link snaps, which is helpful for better ankle positioning without putting extra pressure on them. The price is comparatively higher, which is compensated by its weight of just 1.28 pounds. Considering its perfect fit and features, the investment looks reasonable.


  • Double adjustment buckles to hold your feet
  • Wrapped heel to keep you stable and balanced
  • 2mm veneer microfiber for a moisture-free cycle race
  • Available in two sole varieties – nylon and carbon TPU
  • Comes with dual adjustable D-link snaps
  • Removes extra stress due to a low weight of 1.28 pounds


  • Excellent ankle positioning
  • Quick-lock system for perfect fit and durable life
  • Lightweight


  • Expensive


The Smartodoors cycling shoes are excellent for professional cyclists who always have to make way through harsh terrains. Lightweight, ergonomic and sturdy, you cannot ask for more from a pair of cyclocross shoes.

2. Gavin MTB Mountain Bike Mesh Indoor Fitness Cycling Shoes

Our second recommendation comes from Gavin. These fitness shoes are versatile and are suitable for a wide range of activities apart from cycling. Whether you need a durable treadmill gear or tough footwear that can withstand all the rough terrains, the MTB shoes stands tall as an inexpensive purchase.

Built with mesh panels, the upper part of the Gavin shoes keeps your feet safe from excessive heat. Its insole is made of perforated material that keeps moisture at bay. To prove even more helpful in your cycling cum trekking trip, this footwear also has an anti-slip lining. Due to a robust fiberglass fortified nylon, it facilitates complete power transfer and keeps you stable at all the terrains.

The MTB shoes have a couple of unique features that make your cycle race even more comfortable. The first one is its notch in the tongue area that gives some extra freedom to your ankles. Then, there is a toe bumper that absorbs all the shocks while you ride.


  • A two-bolt cleat that you can use with multiple pedals including STB, MTB, and Crank Brothers
  • Carbon fiber design with three hook and loop closures
  • Notch in the tongue for convenient ankle movement
  • Mesh panels allow complete airflow and keep your feet moisture-free
  • Perforated soles are removable and dry quickly
  • Lightweight ad easy to wash


  • Fiberglass fortified nylon sole for a durable life
  • Versatile footwear that you can use with multiple pedals and physical activities
  • Includes top class features at an inexpensive price tag


  • No cleats are included, you need to purchase them separately


Suitable for all the individuals who need a versatile pair of shoes for indoor as well as outdoor physical activities. The price is budget-friendly and looks reasonable because of its high-quality build and wide range of applications.

3. SHIMANO SH-CT5 Cyclocross Bicycle Shoes

Do you need some versatility in your cycling gear? Reach out to the Shimano SH-CT5 that looks like a regular sneaker, but gives you added security of cleat mounts. These two-bolt mountain cycle cleats allow you to clip in with the pedals and hammer through all the terrains without worrying about slips.

The upper part of the Shimano bicycle shoes is made of synthetic leather that withstands the harsh and rigorous nature of your bicycle commute. It makes way for the fresh air flow and hence keeps excess moisture away from your feet. There are visible perforations on the sides and toe box that’s responsible to maintain the freshness.

SH-CT5 comes with an EVA midsole that absorbs all the shocks and proves to be useful on long rides. Its laces secure with your feet and keep it stable while doing all your movement. If you are in a hurry to get some fried fish while watching the sunset along a river, then Shimano shoes are the right option you can try.


  • Sneaker-inspired stylish appearance
  • Mountain cleat mounts to clip your steed
  • Shock-absorbing EVA midsole
  • Perforated sides and toe box for a fresh ride
  • The outsole makes a secure grip when you are off the bike
  • Lace enclosure for a perfect fit and a classic appearance


  • Hidden shank for complete power transfer to the pedals
  • Cleat installation is easy
  • Sneaker style appearance for a classic and unique feel
  • EVA midsole to keep you comfortable


  • Might be narrow for users with wide legs


Suitable for users who want comfortable and durable cycling shoes that can be also used as regular running wear. Keeps your feet fresh, so that you can easily pedal those last miles.

4. Fizik Cyclocross X5 Terra Mountain Bike Shoe

The mountain bike shoe from Fizik is a versatile cycling accessory that’s a suitable choice for users who enjoys riding bicycles on harsh terrains. X5 has laser-treated microtex upper part that fits exactly according to your feet and gives you a customized feel. Due to the same, robust footwear passes the time test and remains abrasion-free all its life.

To tighten the shoes and secure the grip, the shoes come with Boa L6 dial. There is also a lower strap that keeps your foot in place in terms of extreme pedaling. It’s carbon and TPU made sole is lined by revolutionary lugs that generate better traction, gives you better balance and makes you efficient while pedaling. Above all, the shoe has a very low weight at 2.4 pounds. With all these styles, durability and features, Fizik X5 justifies its price tag and stands as a suitable option for mountain bikers.


  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Breathable built
  • Adaptable fabric for a perfect fit
  • Carbon fiber and TPU sole for a durable life


  • Perfect fit fabric for a customized feel
  • Carbon and TPU sole generates great traction
  • Boa L6 straps for a stable and balanced cycling
  • Additional lower strap for extreme pedaling


  • The toe box is comparatively rough


X5 is a great purchase for cyclists and fitness enthusiasts who needs stylish footwear that has the strength to deal with harsh cycling. Due to carbon fiber and laser-treated microtex, it’s durable as well as comfortable.

5. SHIMANO SH-XC31L Off-Road Sport Shoe

Want to kick off all the obstacles while you ride? Try the cyclocross shoe from Shimano that’s specially built for casual mountain bikers who like to match their identity with their shoes. The brand designs this pair of shoes after taking inputs from multiple cycling and fitness experts. It’s the reason why the SH-XC31L allows proper movement of your feet on the pedals, resulting in low wastage of energy and a better cycling session. Such an efficient ride not only keeps you fit but also prepares your body for the upcoming races.

Shimano off-road sports shoes have three layers that work together to give you a unique cycling experience. Its construction releases the stress from your feet and allows you to pedal for longer than usual. Due to its padding, the shoes keep you comfortable as well as stable on the pedals as long as you want. Its sole is made of modified polyamide fiberglass that has polyurethane tacos, which prevents mud build-up. The pair of shoes has a combined weight of 1.76 pounds, which is a bonus at such a price.


  • Synthetic leather is stretch resistant and durable
  • X strap to relieve the tension from the upper part of your foot
  • Improves pedaling efficiency due to a perfect fit
  • Robust glass fiber reinforced polyamide sole
  • Polyurethane outsole that avoids soil layer


  • Stable and balanced design to improve efficiency
  • Does not allows any mud build-up
  • Suitable for mountain terrains
  • Helps while generating the pedaling power


  • You cannot replace the studs


Stable, helpful while pedaling, and comfortable; the Shimano SH-XC31L has all the qualities to be included in your cycling gears. The glass fiber reinforced polyamide sole makes it durable and polyurethane outsole avoids any extra soil the can slow you down.

6. Giro Cyclocross Privateer R MTB Shoes

Our sixth contender comes from Giro. The Privateer is handmade footwear wherein none of the automatic machines are used. Designed with EVA footbed, the Giro R MTB shoes provide you medium arch support. Its outsole is a mixture of nylon and rubber that produces a lot of traction. All thanks to its robust rugs, this footwear remains stable and makes a strong grip on rocks as well as rough terrains.

The Privateer comes with an n1 ratcheting buckle closure and an n2 strap. It keeps you comfortable as well as fresh with the help of perforations on the toe box and sides. Due to such a breathable fabric, this pair of shoes avoid any humidity or moisture and hence you can pedal for long without feeling irritated. What’s more? The R MTB has a weight of mere 0.86 pounds (375 grams), which is comparatively lower than other variants.


  • Lugged outsole to crate high traction
  • Anti-microbial treated built
  • Molded EVA footbed for medium arch support
  • High-quality upper fabric that promotes airflow


  • Robust and long-lasting design due to the nylon and rubber mix
  • Aggressive lugs for excellent traction
  • Suitable for rocky paths and mountain biking


  • Width in the center might be narrow for some users


The Privateer is a great purchase for individuals who love to spent time on rocks and mountains. Its improved grip, durable design, and breathable build make sure that you can complete the cycling or any other physical activity in complete comfort.

7. Giro GF21210 Men’s Carbide Dirt Bike Shoes

The Carbide is a tough footwear that comes with a comfortable design and supportive fit to give you a premium feel. Put your feet inside the pair and they will help you to pass through any of the trials or terrains. Moreover, its upper part is made of breathable synthetic fiber that has three closure straps for a simple and precise fit.

GF21210 Carbide Dirt Bike Shoes has a molded EVA footbed, hence it keeps you stable as well as balanced. Its anti-microbial treatment makes sure that you don’t have to face any infections due to sweat or any other factors. The sole transmits your power instantly to the pedal, so that you can reach your destination without applying extra effort. It also accommodates steel tor spikes. Overall, it’s a great choice for bikers who want a comfortable, stylish as well as durable pair of shoes for their cycling ventures.


  • Upper part made of breathable synthetic fiber
  • Molded EVA footbed that provides medium arch support
  • High traction nylon sole
  • Can accommodate steel toe spikes
  • Anti-microbial treatment


  • Cleat mount can be moved forward and back for proper adjustment
  • Very comfortable when compared to other options available at the same price
  • Lightweight at 0.71 pounds (375 grams)


  • Might fit loose around the toes, which gives you a feel that the shoes could slip


Giro Carbide is perfect for male users who need footwear to use all round the year. Whether it’s the rocks, mountains, or any other rough paths the dirt bike shoes co-operates well with your mission and makes sure you reach the endpoint on time.

What Should Have in a Good Cyclocross Shoes?

Footwear with an ergonomic built to keep you comfortable and includes a robust sole, which can withstand all the adverse conditions that you will face during a bike race. It should also maintain the airflow and provide ample space for your ankle movement. Above all, it should be lightweight and fit perfectly in your legs. Any of the options that have all these qualities is the best cyclocross shoes. These are the reasons why we recommend Smartodoors cycling shoes to all our readers that are inclined towards mountain biking and cycling.

Benefits of Using cyclocross Shoes?

Cyclocross shoes make you look stylish and trendy. Such a pair of shoes are designed for an improved cycling experience and it’s the reason why you should choose them over regular shoes when it comes to cyclocross or any other cycling activity wherein you have to deal with rough terrains.

Instant energy transaction: Cyclocross shoes have stiff soles when compared to regular running shoes. It’s the primary reason why the push energy from your legs is instantly transferred to the pedals. Stiff soles also safeguard your feet while riding through those bushes and hilly areas.

Comfortable: All the cyclocross shoes come with a breathable upper that enhances airflow and avoid moisture buildup. Moreover, you will not feel much flexibility or bending while pedaling. Hence, none of your physical energy is wasted and you get a productive cycling session.

Anti-slipping: Cycling with a cyclocross shoe means your feet will never slip on the pedals. Cycling shoes with SPD compatibility clip them on a clipless pedal and ensures no slipping while you push down the pedals.

Buying Guide of Cyclocross Shoes

There are some key factors that you should check before investing in any of the cyclocross shoes.

Retention mechanism

All the shoes need a retention system to stick with your feet. The Boa adjustment system is the most common and quick among them. Due to thin wire and minor parts, you might think that it will break easily. But, that never happens. Apart from Boa, you can also choose the classic ratchet combined with Velcro. Its more reliable then boa, but tends to be slightly heavy. Finally, you have the laces. You can choose cyclocross shoes with laces because of their cost-effective nature. However, such footwear tends to collect extra mud as per our tests.


A critical factor for the power transfer and your cycling performance, the sole is another important component you should check. Almost all the product that we were discussing today comes with either carbon or nylon soles. Some of the options has both of them as a combined material for better durability and grip. However, you should also look at their density. You will notice that some of the manufacturers keep the sole thin and light for faster pedaling. However, this will not be suitable when you have to get off the bike and carry it on your shoulders for a while, that also in a hilly area. Then, you will see some shoes that have a fortified sole and some added weight. So, choose one of these two categories according to your nature of races and cycling activities.


No matter how stylish a cyclocross shoe is, if it’s not fitting in your feet; you have to look for other options. A pair of shoes that’s not gripping your feet has painful consequences. Therefore, choose the right size and check the Expected fitting on Amazon. Check the forefoot width and shoe length and choose according to your preferences. Reading the reviews can be helpful as well.


Consider the lugs as your pedaling booster. Look for a model that has lugs surrounding the sole that can produce better traction and make your ride easy.


Do all the cyclocross shoes come with cleats?

It depends upon make and model. Some of the shoes come without cleats while several others are SPD compatible. Few of the cyclocross shoes also support external cleat installation.

When to replace the cleats?

Check the cleats regularly for any signs of wear and tear. If you face difficulty while releasing the cleats, then it’s time to replace them. Even if they release without your concern, you should replace the cleats.

How often you should clean the cyclocross shoes?

Keep your pair of shoes clean always. The best way is to clean them is by using a brush or soft cloth once you finish a cycling trip. If they are heavily soiled, then rinse them with water and let dry for some time. You can invest in a boot dryer if you are regularly involved in mountain biking or cycle races.

Final Words

We understand that cycling is your passion and it’s the reason we have selected these options after a lot of las tests and user reviews. Cycling across all the hilly terrains is not suitable for weak hearted ones. For all others, we covered the best cyclocross shoes and hoe that the list can be helpful to make the right choice.

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