best dirt jumping shoes

Dirt jumping is an exhilarating sport that combines skill, speed, and style. But while most enthusiasts focus on the bike and the trail, there's another crucial element: shoes. The best dirt jumping shoes can enhance grip, boost confidence, and even prevent injuries.

In the world of dirt jumping, not all footwear is created equal. Some offer superior traction, while others prioritize comfort or durability. It's essential to find a pair that strikes the right balance for your specific style of riding.

In this post, we'll delve deep into the best dirt jumping shoes available in the market. From the latest innovations to tried-and-true classics, we'll guide you through the top picks to help you make an informed decision.

Our overall pick is the Five Ten Freerider Pro shoes. We think these are unmatched when it comes to hitting dirt jump trails

Our top choices

OVERALL PICK

our choice
fiveten freerider overall pick

FiveTen Freerider Pro

Check Price

BEST VALUE

cheapest choice
best value etnies culvert shoe

Etnies Culvert

Check Price

BEST PROTECTION

upgrade pick
etnies semenuk protection shoe

Etnies Semenuk

Check Price

OVERALL PICK

five ten freerider shoes

Five Ten Freerider Pro

  • Versatility and Durability
  • Comfortable in all circumstances
  • Breathable
  • Quite heavy
  • Lacking Weatherproofing
  • Too flexible for some riders
Check Price Affiliate Link

The Five Ten Freerider Pro Mountain Bike Shoes are a top-tier choice for dirt jumping enthusiasts. These shoes, with their skate-inspired aesthetic, seamlessly blend style and performance. The Stealth S1 rubber soles are a standout feature, providing unparalleled grip and a secure connection to the pedals. Designed for versatility, they excel across various terrains and weather conditions. Comfort is a hallmark of the Freerider Pro, making them suitable for both short rides and casual wear. While they aren't the lightest on the market, their weight is well-suited for their purpose. The open synthetic mesh uppers ensure breathability, and the shoes are built for durability with strategic reinforcements. In essence, the Five Ten Freerider Pro shoes are a blend of style, comfort, and performance, making them a prime choice for dirt jumpers.

MOST PROTECTION

most protective shoe is the etnies semenuk

Etnies Semenuk

  • Athlete-Influenced design
  • Several protective features
  • Excellent grip
  • Breathability hindered by moisture resistance
  • Overprotective for some riders
  • Quite expensive
Check Price Affiliate Link

Etnies, established in 1986 by former pro skater Pierre André Sénizergues, has been a trailblazer in the action sports industry. Originally named Etnics, the brand quickly made its mark with the first pro-model skateboarding shoe, the Etnies Natas. Branching out from skateboarding, Etnies collaborated with Brandon Semenuk, a Canadian freeride mountain biker and rally racer, to design the Semenuk DJ Shoe. Born in Whistler and a dominant figure in freeride mountain biking, Semenuk's influence is evident in the shoe's design. It boasts a Force Shield reinforced upper, 3M Thinsulate lining, and unique ankle protectors. On trails, the shoe offers optimal grip and durability. Despite its many advantages, including athlete-influenced design and protective features, some might find it overprotective and less breathable. The shoe's robust construction and protective elements make it a top choice for aggressive mountain biking, though it comes at a premium price.

BEST FOR COMFORT

the comfiest mtb shoe is the rice concepts vice

Ride Concept Vice

  • Great comfort on the pedal
  • Immense grip and traction
  • Super durable
  • Pretty soft construction
  • Gets very muddy
  • Slightly heavy
Check Price Affiliate Link

Ride Concepts, a rider-owned company founded in 2018, emerged from a desire for superior mountain biking footwear. Based in Reno, Nevada, the brand benefits from local riding terrains and a team of passionate riders, ensuring continuous product testing. The Ride Concepts Vice shoe, tailored for dirt jump, slopestyle, and BMX enthusiasts, stands out with its RC Fuzion outsole, offering exceptional pedal sensitivity. Collaborating with Rubber Kinetics, the shoe incorporates a DST 6.0 High Grip rubber sole, a durable suede upper, and features like D3O injected insoles for impact absorption. Its design ensures excellent pedal traction, comparable to Five Ten's Stealth rubber but with a distinct feel. While the Vice excels in wet conditions and offers unparalleled comfort, its softer construction might not appeal to riders seeking more robust support. Weighing 450g per shoe, it's a blend of performance and style.

BEST VALUE SHOE

cheapest shoes are the etnies culvert

Etnies Culvert

  • Stylish design is reminiscent of skate shoes.
  • Grippy Michelin rubber sole.
  • Effective protection against the elements.
  • Durable construction.
  • The 'pedal zone' could be wider for better grip.
  • The tread pattern might not be optimal for all terrains.
  • Shoes' narrow fit might not be suitable for everyone.
Check Price Affiliate Link

The Etnies Culvert shoe is a fusion of skate aesthetics and mountain biking functionality. Stemming from Etnies' skateboarding and BMX heritage, this shoe targets slopestyle and downhill riders. It showcases a Michelin-branded sole, touted as Etnies' grippiest rubber blend, paired with a tread pattern that's deeper at the toe and heel for off-bike traction. Inside, a Pro Foam molded PU insole offers support, while the synthetic "force shield" reinforced upper, lined with 3M Thinsulate, ensures durability and warmth. Unique features like tongue gussets, a lace pocket, and hot-melted toe and heel caps enhance its appeal. While the shoe offers a commendable grip and protection against the elements, its sole shape and tread might limit optimal pedal interaction. The collaboration with Michelin adds a premium touch. Overall, the Culvert is stylish, protective, and reasonably priced, but might not be the first choice for those prioritizing grip and fit.

ALL ROUNDER

all round great specialized 2f0 roost

Specialized 2FO Roost

  • Versatile Design
  • Well Designed Comfort Areas
  • Water Resistant
  • Great Performance on the Pedal
  • The Sizing Runs Small
  • Expensive
  • Long and Bad Quality Laces
  • Minimal Protection in Some Areas
  • Annoying Walking Noises
Check Price Affiliate Link

The Specialized 2FO Roost shoe is a testament to Specialized's rich history, which began in 1974 and saw the company pioneering the first production mountain bike and playing a key role in trail access advocacy. The 2FO Roost Clip is a versatile MTB shoe, merges casual looks with performance. Designed for dirt jumps and trail rides, it boasts a leather-synthetic upper, limited toe ventilation but ample side perforations for breathability. The shoe's lightweight design, Body Geometry insoles, and SlipNot rubber sole ensure comfort, arch support, and grip. It's water-resistant, with quick-drying, although the tongue may retain moisture longer. While offering excellent pedal performance and comfort, some drawbacks include sizing issues, higher cost, and minimal protection in certain areas. The shoe weighs 360g and features an ergonomic design with an EVA foam midsole.

BEST FOR BEGINNERS

best beginner shoe vans half cab

Vans Half Cab

  • Durability of DURACAP
  • Superior Grip with the SICKSTICK
  • Comfort from the POPCUSH sole
  • Iconic Design
  • Grip can require a break in period
  • Higher heat retention
  • Slightly heavier than other models
  • Soles can come apart quickly
Check Price Affiliate Link

The Vans Half Cab skate shoe, an iconic staple in skateboarding for over 30 years, which has proven its versatility on dirt jump bikes. Vans, a leading name in skate and BMX footwear, introduced the Half Cab as a nod to the street skating boom of the '90s. Today, it's celebrated with fresh colorways for its 30th anniversary and appeals to more than just skateboarders. The Skate Half Cab '92 I reviewed boasts DURACAP reinforced underlays for durability, a SICKSTICK rubber sole for unmatched grip, and a POPCUSH footbed for optimal cushioning. Its suede-canvas combo isn't just stylish; it's performance-driven. While incredibly durable and protective, some users noted grip break-in periods and sole issues. Overall, its advantages like the iconic design and superior grip outweigh minor drawbacks.



Best Dirt Jumping Shoe Brand

Finding the best dirt jumping shoe brand is hard. Unlike other mountain bike products, where a few companies make all of best products, many different brand produce great quality shoes that can be used on a mountain bike.

Throughout our research and testing, we've noticed several companies come up multiple times. While we recommend specific shoes from these companies, they often make multiple models that can all be successful on a dirt jumping bike.

Five Ten

Founded in 1985 by Charles Cole, Five Ten revolutionized the shoe game for mountain bikers. The brand's name comes from the decimal system used in Yellowstone for rating climbs/walks.

Vans

Anyone interested in skateboarding or BMX will have torn through many pairs of Vans while growing up. They are now a much more mainstream and a lot of peopel wear them for everyday use.

Etnies

Founded in France in 1986 by Pierre André Sénizergues, Etnies is a pioneering skateboard footwear brand. Initially named "Etnics," derived from "ethnic," a nod to the skate community, the brand changed its name due to legal issues.

Relocating to California, the epicenter of skate culture, Etnies solidified its presence with innovative designs and commitment to the community.

Notably, in 1989, they introduced the first pro-model skate shoe, thus giving the industry a good shake-up. Over the decades, Etnies has expanded its offerings while maintaining its core skateboarding roots. Beyond shoes, the brand champions environmental initiatives, reflecting a deep-seated commitment to sustainability.



What to look for When Buying Shoes for Dirt Jumping

Fit and Comfort

As with shoes for any type of hobby or sport, the fit and comfort is the most important factor to look for. You're going to be working hard in these shoes on a dirt jumping trail, filling them with sweat, dirt, and debris.

It's hard to determine the fit of a shoe without actually trying it on in the store. We've made our best effort to go through various reviews of each of these shoes to supplement our personal experiences.

Retention System

A retention system is basically just the way that the shoe tightens around your foot.

Obviously, most shoes just use laces as their retention system. You often see velcro and elastic as other popular forms of retention.

When companies need a shoe to be a little tougher and more protective they look to dual retention systems. You will see that some of the shoes on this list of mountain bike shoes will feature two methods of retention. Usually a combination of laces and velcro.

Sole Construction and Material

Adding onto the section about impact protection, the materials used to construct all parts of your mountain bike shoe can alter the feel and quality of the product.

Many manufacturers use leather or suede/fabric. Each one has a different feel and reason for use.

You firstly need to decide on the type of riding you'll be using this shoe for and what are the qualities you're looking for.

Leather is great for wetter riding with more risk of impacts but it can get hot and sweaty.

Suede and fabric shoes are normally very comfortable and breathable but their weatherproofing is normally lacking.

Weatherproofing

You're going to be using these shoes in some terrible weather conditions. Getting caught in the rain is super common and getting to some dirt jumps to see puddles dotted around the trails is nothing new.

A good pair of MTB shoes should be at least somewhat weatherproof. Water splashes and dirt can't immediately get through to your feet or the product is effectively useless.

Impact Protection

Unsurprisingly, dirt jumping includes a lot of harsh impacts. Even the best riders have tons of landings that aren't perfect. Whether you land flat, case the jump or even crash, you need all the help you can get from your shoes.

The technology included in your shoes should absorb and displace some force from the landing before the energy travels up your legs.

Look at the specifications for the rubber and technology included in the soles of your shoes. Most brands are working on this very aspect and it significantly helps your imperfect landings.



Why Should You Trust Us?

Michael has been riding dirt jump and slopestyle bikes for nearly a decade. Throughout that time he has gone through dozens of different shoes. Even before testing the best shoes for dirt jumps, he put many different brands through their paces. This gave him a great advantages when starting to research and test the shoes on this list.



FiveTen Freerider Pro Mountain Bike Shoes

Five Ten Freerider Pro Mountain biking shoes

photo credit  Photo by MountainJerk

Click Here to Check Best Price Affiliate Link
  • Quality
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Weight
    4.5/5
  • Price
    4/5
  • Overall
    4.6/5

Five Ten is a renowned American brand, known for its innovative outdoor and athletic footwear. Founded in 1985 by Charles Cole, the company has been a pioneer in creating high-friction, durable rubber soles that have revolutionized the shoe industry. The brand's name, "Five Ten", is derived from the Yosemite Decimal System for rating the difficulty of walks, hikes, and climbs, with 5.10 denoting a particularly challenging level.

Five Ten's reputation for quality and innovation caught the attention of global sportswear giant, Adidas. In 2011, Adidas Group acquired Five Ten, aiming to strengthen its position in the outdoor market. Since the acquisition, Five Ten has continued to operate as a separate brand, maintaining its unique identity and commitment to high-performance footwear. However, being part of the Adidas family has allowed Five Ten to leverage Adidas's global reach and resources, enhancing its ability to serve outdoor and athletic communities worldwide.

Today, Five Ten is known for its "Brand of the Brave" tagline and its focus on footwear for climbing, mountain biking, and other extreme sports. The brand's commitment to innovation, quality, and performance remains as strong as ever, backed by the power and support of Adidas.

In my journey to find the best shoes for dirt jumping, the Five Ten Freerider quickly emerged as my top pick. This classic flat pedal shoe, with its skate-style aesthetic, has a versatility that I found to be unmatched. It's not just a performance shoe; it's a shoe that fits comfortably into your everyday life, making it a perfect companion for any dirt jumper.

The grip of the Freerider, thanks to the Stealth S1 rubber soles, was one of the first things that stood out to me. This is a signature feature of Five Ten's bike shoes, and it didn't disappoint. The soles are firm, yet they provide a reliable connection to the pedals. The tread, filled with numerous small divots, latches onto the pins of your pedals like a hawk, providing a secure and stable platform for dirt jumping.

During my testing, I found the Freerider to be a surprisingly capable climber with excellent downhill performance. The Stealth S1 grip performed admirably across various weather and trail conditions. Whether on dirt, rock, or pavement, the soles provided ample traction both on and off the bike. You could happily use this shoe when riding dirt jumps or building dirt jumps.

Comfort is another area where the Freerider Pro shoes shine. For short to medium rides, riding the chairlift, or just kicking around town, these shoes kept my feet happy and comfortable. They have a medium-volume fit that should accommodate most riders, and the toe box is generous without being overly spacious. The BMX-inspired style of the shoe also adds to its appeal, making it a stylish option off the bike.

The Freerider Pro isn't the lightest shoe on the market, but for its intended use, the weight is spot-on. At 14.75 oz per shoe in a men's size 9, it's a bit heavier than some high-performance options, but this isn't a significant drawback for casual riding and off-bike use.

Breathability is another strong suit of the Freerider. The open synthetic mesh uppers allow for excellent ventilation, even on hotter days. While the open pattern does let in more water and fine dirt, the shoes clean up easily, which is a big plus.

Durability is a key factor for any dirt jumping shoe, and the Freerider doesn't disappoint. The molded single-cup outsole and the suede and mesh uppers are designed for durability and abrasion resistance. The reinforcements on the toe, heel, and sides just above the sole add to its longevity.

Pros and Cons:

  • Versatility and Durability
  • Comfortable in all circumstances
  • Breathable
  • Quite heavy
  • Lacking Weatherproofing
  • Too flexible for some riders
five ten freerider show box fiveten freerider mtb shoe soles

photo credit  Photo by MountainJerk

FiveTen Freerider Specifications:

  • Lace closure
  • Fast-drying synthetic upper
  • OrthoLite® sock liner
  • Molded EVA midsole
  • Impact-resistant toe box
  • Stealth® S1 Dotty™ rubber outsole
  • Colors: Core Black / Core Black / Cloud White

These Are My New Favorite Flat Pedal MTB Shoes!



Etnies Semenuk DJ Shoe

etnies semenuk mountain biking shoes

photo credit  Photo by etnies.com

Click Here to Check Best Price Affiliate Link
  • Quality
    4.75/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Weight
    4.5/5
  • Price
    4/5
  • Overall
    4.5/5

Etnies is a renowned company in the action sports industry. The company was first formed in 1986 by Pierre André Sénizergues, a former professional skater. The brand's original name was Etnics, inspired by the idea of an ethnic tribe, a nod to the skateboarding sub-culture. The name Etnies didn't come until a little later.

The company made history in 1987 with the creation of the first pro-model skateboarding shoe, the Etnies Natas. This marked the beginning of a journey that would see the brand become a leading name in the skateboarding world.

Etnies' vision, led by Senizergues, battled their way into multiple action sports markets. Dirt jumping is one of them. Skateboarders don't get as dirty as slopestyle but they do require durable, comfortable rubber.

Being owned and operated by athletes heavily into action sports has greatly influenced Etnies approach to product design and development. The company was started with the simple goal of making shoes for skaters that are designed by skaters.

Just to show how well they've expanded out of the Skateboarding market, Etnies teamed up with Brandon Semenuk. A Canadian freeride mountain biker and rally racer, Semenuk was born on February 2, 1991, in Whistler, British Columbia. Standing at 6 ft 1 in and weighing 176 lbs, Semenuk is a force to be reckoned with in the world of freeride mountain biking.

Semenuk's journey into mountain biking began at a young age. Growing up in Whistler, he was riding a mountain bike by the age of six. His talent was evident early on, and he burst onto the freeride scene in 2008 by winning the Red Bull Rampage as a teenager.

Over the years, Semenuk has established himself as one of the best freeride mountain bikers ever. He is the most successful rider ever at both Red Bull Joyride and Red Bull Rampage. His accolades also include being a three-time Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour Gold Medalist.

In addition to his mountain biking career, Semenuk is also a rally racer. Despite his success, he remains a humble and dedicated athlete, continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible in freeride mountain biking. His passion for the sport and commitment to excellence have made him a role model for aspiring riders worldwide.

According to Etnies, the shoe has a Force Shield reinforced upper designed for multi-placement pedals. The material is designed to be as breathable but moisture-resistant as possible. 3M Thinsulate lining and tongue gussets are used to keep everything on the trail out of your shoes.

You will notice the sides of the Semenuk shoe rise quite high around the ankle. This is due to the team integrating thick ankle protectors. I love how safe you feel when wearing these shoes.

On the trail, the Semenuk Pros offer the perfect amount of grip. They dig into the pedals on steep terrains while still allowing for slight foot maneuverability when setting up for the next berm or jump. The shoes have a robust design and durable materials, making them a serious contender for aggressive mountain biking.

The Semenuk Pro shoes show no sign of significant wear. The stitching is impressively intact, with no sign of the sole peeling or the lace eyelets warping. The soles have held up well to the abuse of pedal pins, and the thick leather ankle guards do an excellent job of protecting the ankles.

Pros and Cons:

  • Athlete-Influenced design
  • Several protective features
  • Excellent grip
  • Breathability hindered by moisture resistance
  • Overprotective for some riders
  • Quite expensive
brandon semenuk signature slopestyle bike shoes semenuk dirt jumping shoes

photo credit  Photo by etnies.com

Etnies Semenuk Specifications:

  • Designed by Brandon Semenuk
  • Outsole tread pattern designed for multi-placement for pedals
  • Force Shield reinforced upper
  • Hot-melted quarter panel
  • Repel treated upper blocks moisture
  • 3M Thinsulate lining
  • Tongue Gussets shields moisture, dirt and pebbles
  • Ankle Shield protects your inner ankle from the gears and bike frame
  • The Lace Pocket on top of the tongue
  • Reinforced board lasted Pedal Shank 1 in the midsole
  • Pro Foam 1 molded PU footbed
  • Action Nubuck/PU Nubuck/Cordura

Walk Through of the etnies Semenuk Pro MTB shoe



Ride Concept Vice MTB Shoe

ride concepts vice biking shoes 2023

photo credit  Photo by rideconcepts.com

Click Here to Check Best Price
  • Quality
    4.5/5
  • Durability
    3.5/5
  • Weight
    5/5
  • Price
    4.5/5
  • Overall
    4.3/5

Ride Concepts is a rider-owned company born from a family's need for better mountain biking footwear. The dream evolved into a concept, leading to the launch of the company as recently as 2018. They aimed to be the first to offer a complete range of bike-specific footwear for all ages and genders. The market is already very populated so Ride Concept had to stand out.

The founders, unsatisfied with their careers at big companies, decided to create their own solutions. They put everything on the line to establish a company that prioritized superior fit, function, and style in their mountain biking shoes.

Located in Reno, Nevada, Ride Concepts benefit from the local year-round riding scene and proximity to California's finest bike parks. Every team member is a rider, further giving them the benefit of constant free testing.

Beyond its headquarters, Ride Concepts is present at various biking events worldwide. They've built a global family of athletes, from local trail enthusiasts to professional racers, all living for an uncompromising ride.

The Ride Concepts Vice is a shoe designed for the dirt jump, slopestyle, and BMX crowd. It utilizes the RC Fuzion outsole for exceptional pedal feel and compliance. The outsole features a sloped and angled inverse hexagon pattern, with larger hexagons at the toe and heel, allowing the pedal to sink into the outsole for more sensitivity. The shoe also includes a D3O injected insole to absorb impacts and reduce fatigue.

The Vice shoe is made in collaboration with Rubber Kinetics, using a new DST 6.0 High Grip rubber for the sole. The shoe has a suede upper for durability and protection, and other features include a cup outsole design with 3mm of EVA for extra shock absorption, perforated ventilation for breathability, and internal TPU toe protection. The tongue is fully gusseted to keep out trail debris.

The shoe fits true to size and offers comfort beyond what other flat pedal shoes can provide, feeling more like a casual street shoe. The Vice provides an excellent feel of where your feet are when riding, similar to a pair of Vans but in a more performance-oriented way. Traction on the bike is superb, with the pedal pins sitting in the recessed hexagons providing most of the grip.

In comparison to Five Ten's Stealth rubber, Vice's DST High Grip rubber is just as grippy but different. The rubber is much faster rebounding than the Stealth, and the inverse hexagons on the outsole provide great traction. The shoe allows easy foot repositioning on the pedal when needed.

The Vice shoe has performed well in wet conditions, with no loss of traction. However, the sole design may not easily clear muck if you end up walking a lot. The shoe has shown good durability so far, with no red flags.

In comparison to the Leatt DBX 2.0, the Vice is slightly heavier but offers more comfort and a better pedal feel. The Vice also provides a better grip, sitting in the pedals better than the DBX 2.0.

Overall, the Vice is an excellent option for those looking for a performance-oriented shoe with a great pedal feel and comfort. However, riders who need extra support and prefer a more robust construction may find the shoe a bit soft for their taste.

Pros and Cons:

  • Great comfort on the pedal
  • Immense grip and traction
  • Super durable
  • Pretty soft construction
  • Gets very muddy
  • Slightly heavy
ride concepts dirt jump biking shoes best ride concepts mountain bike shoe

photo credit  Photo by rideconcepts.com

Ride Concepts Vice Specifications:

  • HIGH GRIP rubber outsole
  • RC Fuzion features sloped-angle inverse hexagons, varying in diameter for improved pedal contact
  • Cup outsole features 3mm EVA for additional shock absorption and comfort
  • D3O® High Impact Zone Technology insole absorbs impact and reduces fatigue
  • Durable and protective upper - Suede (Black, Olive), Suede/Canvas (Camo/Black)
  • Anti-bacterial mesh lining controls odor
  • Fully gusseted tongue prohibits intake of dirt and debris
  • Internal TPU toe protection
  • Weight: 450g per shoe

Ride Concepts Vice Shoe Review

READ NOW


Etnies Culvert Riding Shoe

etnies culvert mtb shoes

photo credit  Photo by etnies.com

Click Here to Check Best Price
  • Quality
    4.5/5
  • Durability
    4/5
  • Weight
    3.75/5
  • Price
    3.75/5
  • Overall
    4/5

The Etnies Culvert shoe is another product of the brand's foray into the mountain biking realm, drawing inspiration from its roots in skateboarding and BMX. This shoe is designed to cater to the needs of slopestyle and downhill riders, and it promises a blend of style and performance.

The Culvert shoe boasts a design that seamlessly merges the casual aesthetics of skate shoes with mountain bike-specific features. The shoe's base features a Michelin-branded sole, which Etnies claims is their grippiest rubber blend. This sole is complemented by a tread pattern that offers shallow cross-sections across the pedal zone and deeper treads at the toe and heel for better traction during off-bike moments.

Internally, the shoe is equipped with a Pro Foam molded PU insole, designed for support and impact protection. The shoe's upper is made of a synthetic material reinforced with a "force shield" for added durability. This upper is also lined with 3M Thinsulate, ensuring warmth during colder rides. Additional features include tongue gussets to keep out dirt and moisture, a lace pocket for safety, and hot-melted toe and heel caps for protection against trail obstacles.

An impressive grip is offered by the shoe's rubber compound, ensuring a secure connection with pedal pins. However, the shoe's sole shape and tread pattern might limit its full potential. The sole's tapering towards the mid-sole reduces the contact patch with the pedal, potentially affecting grip. Despite this, the shoe provides a balanced stiffness-to-flex ratio, ensuring comfort during long descents while maintaining pedal feel.

The shoe's upper is notably stiff, providing a predictable connection during quick directional changes or sudden pedal pushes. It also excels in keeping feet warm and dry, a feature that riders in colder climates will appreciate. After rigorous use, I've found much of the shoe looks exactly how it did when I received them.

I also love the way Etnies have teamed up with Michelin for help with the rubber soles. The Michelin logo on the side of the shoe is almost a stamp to prove its premium quality.

The Etnies Culvert is a visually appealing shoe that offers a good grip on trails. Its reasonable price, extensive size range, and modern design make it a suitable choice for gravity-focused riders. However, while it scores high on aesthetics and certain performance aspects, it might not be the top choice for riders seeking the absolute best in pedal grip and fit.

Pros and Cons:

  • Stylish design is reminiscent of skate shoes.
  • Grippy Michelin rubber sole.
  • Effective protection against the elements.
  • Durable construction.
  • The 'pedal zone' could be wider for better grip.
  • The tread pattern might not be optimal for all terrains.
  • The shoe's narrow fit might not be suitable for everyone.
top view of the etnies culvert mtb riding shoe sole of the etnies culvert with michelin rubber

photo credit  Photo by etnies.com

Etnies Culvert Specifications:

  • Sticky Michelin compound
  • Force Shield reinforced upper
  • Hot-melted toe and heel cap
  • Repel treated upper blocks moisture
  • 3M Thinsulate lining
  • Tongue Gussets shields moisture, dirt, and pebbles
  • The Lace Pocket on top of the tongue
  • TPU molded Pedal Shank 2 in the midsole
  • Pro Foam 1 molded PU footbed
  • Die Cut EVA foam midsole
  • Nylon pull loop on heel
  • Action Nubuck/Synthetic

Walk Through of the Etnies Culvert MTB shoes



Specialized 2FO Roost Mountain Biking Shoe

brand new specialized 2fo roost dirt jump shoe

photo credit  Photo by @spinshoeguru

Click Here to Check Best Price
  • Quality
    4.5/5
  • Durability
    4/5
  • Weight
    3.5/5
  • Price
    3.5/5
  • Overall
    3.8/5

Founded in 1974, Specialized emerged from a genuine passion for cycling. From the outset, the company was determined to meet the needs of riders. When the market lacked quality tires, Specialized stepped in, producing some of the best.

Their innovative spirit didn't stop at tires. Observing a trend of riders wanting to venture off-road, Specialized introduced the world to the first production mountain bike. This move revolutionized the cycling landscape, catering to those with an adventurous spirit.

As road cyclists sought greater speeds, Specialized delved into carbon technology. They even established their own wind tunnel, ensuring that their bikes were at the pinnacle of aerodynamics.

Dominating the bike scene in the early 80s wasn't enough. By 1987, with mountain biking's rising popularity, trail access became a concern. Specialized took action, playing a pivotal role in the formation of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). This ensured that trails remained open and accessible to all enthusiasts.

The Specialized 2FO Roost Clip shoe came much later. It's a testament to Specialized's commitment to versatility, blending casual aesthetics with slopestyle performance.

Designed for dirt jumps and relaxed trail riding, this shoe strikes a balance between comfort and the ability to ride hard.

The 2FO Roost combines leather and synthetic materials in its upper construction. While the shoe has limited ventilation holes over the toe, it compensates with ample perforations on either side of the foot, ensuring breathability.

The upper is lightweight, which is beneficial for long rides. Though the shoe offers some toe protection, it's not as extensive as some other models, making it less suitable for those transitioning from bulkier, padded downhill shoes like the Etnies Semenuk. The shoe employs laces for security, complemented by an elasticated lace-keeper on the padded tongue. The ankle padding is designed to grip the heel, ensuring stability without feeling bulky.

Internally, the shoe is equipped with Specialized's Body Geometry insoles, known for their arch support and metatarsal button. This design prevents toe scrunching, especially during extended rides. The shoe's sole features a shallow tread made from Specialized's SlipNot rubber, providing grip both on and off the bike. The toe box is broad, positioned slightly inboard of the center, ensuring a comfortable pedal position.

The 2FO Roost Clip is water-resistant, with quick drainage capabilities, ensuring the shoe never feels waterlogged. However, the tongue may take longer to dry out after exposure to moisture. The shoe's breathability is commendable, with perforations on the sides aiding airflow, making it suitable for warmer trail days.

Comfort is a hallmark of Specialized shoes, and the 2FO Roost Clip lives up to this reputation. The insole provides excellent arch support, and the shoe's construction dampens harsh impacts, offering insulation from rough terrains. The sole's stiffness ensures effective power transfer to the pedals, making it suitable for various riding conditions. The SlipNot rubber offers a good grip on different terrains, from rocks to muddy slopes. However, the cleat channel might produce some noise when walking on tarmac.

One minor drawback is the friction experienced when pulling the laces through the eyelets, which might make the shoe a bit challenging to put on or take off. Additionally, the shoe's padding around the ankle might be noticeable to some users.

Pros and Cons:

  • Versatile Design
  • Well Designed Comfort Areas
  • Water Resistant
  • Great Performance on the Pedal
  • The Sizing Runs Small
  • Expensive
  • Long and Bad Quality Laces
  • Minimal Protection in Some Areas
  • Annoying Walking Noises
dirty pair of specialized 2fo mtb shoes

photo credit  Photo by @cxpatrik

Specialized 2FO Specifications:

  • Ergonomically designed
  • SlipNot ST rubber sole
  • Leather and textile upper
  • Cushioned EVA foam midsole
  • Relaxed Fit
  • Weight: 360g per shoe

Specialized 2FO MTB Shoes, Explained



Vans Half-Cab Skate Shoe

green vans half cab skateboarding shoes

photo credit  Photo by @johnny_hops

  • Quality
    4.5/5
  • Durability
    4.5/5
  • Weight
    3/5
  • Price
    4/5
  • Overall
    4/5

The Vans Half Cab shoe is an iconic piece in the skateboarding world, with a legacy spanning over three decades. After experiencing the shoe's performance on a dirt jump bike, I can attest to its suitability for various terrains.

Vans, a brand synonymous with skateboarding and BMX, has always been at the forefront of producing reliable footwear that can withstand the rigors of these sports.

The Half Cab model, in particular, has its roots in the Vans Caballero, a high-top shoe that was modified into the Half Cab as street skating gained prominence in the 90s. Released in 1992, the half cap became emblematic of that era, reflecting the trends and styles of the time.

Fast forward to today, and the Half Cab remains as relevant as ever, with Vans releasing new colorways to commemorate its 30th anniversary. Now it's being used by way more than just the skateboarders.

The Skate Half Cab '92, which I tested, boasts several features that make it suited to the slopestyle trails. The shoe's DURACAP reinforced underlays and newly designed uppers make it super durable. This feature is further enhanced by the new two-part foxing tape with a deeper knurl pattern on the toe.

The SICKSTICK rubber compound on the sole offers exceptional grip. This is the newest and most advanced rubber produced by Vans. They have worked with their pro athletes to calibrate this proprietary compound.

POPCUSH is the energy return footbed. This technology provides superior cushioning, ensuring comfort during prolonged sessions. An excellent feature for mountain biking as it protects against large impact.

The shoe's design, a blend of suede and canvas, is not just about aesthetics. It's built for performance. The increased durability from the DURACAP materials, the fully redesigned uppers for a locked-in fit, and the legendary grip from the SickStick gum rubber compound make it a top choice for dirt jumpers.

I found the shoe very durable, considering it was designed for skateboarders and I was beating it up on mountain bike jumps. I didn't experience it through my use of the shoe but some riders have reported the soles being weak and coming apart quite quickly.

Having the cushioning around the ankle feels super protective. The padded tongue, held in place by tongue straps, ensures a snug fit in the midfoot area—no matter the size or shape of your feet. The shoe's stability is noteworthy, with the high foxing tape of the sole enveloping the foot, creating a secure feeling.

Pros and Cons:

  • Durability of DURACAP
  • Superior Grip with the SICKSTICK
  • Comfort from the POPCUSH sole
  • Iconic Design
  • Grip can require a break in period
  • Higher heat retention
  • Slightly heavier than other models
  • Soles can come apart quickly
sole of the vans bmx half cab shoes image of the insole on a vans half cab bike shoe

photo credit  Photo by vans.com

Vans Skate Half Cab | Skate Shoe Review



Notable Mentions

When researching these buyers' guides we always have many more suggestions than we can include on the list. Too many options make your decisions much harder. For those of you who haven't found anything you're fond of in the list above take a look at these options below.



Frequently Asked Questions About Dirt Jumping Shoes

How to Clean Dirt Jumping Shoes?

To clean dirt jumping shoes, first remove any loose dirt by tapping the soles together. Then, use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub away remaining dirt, especially around the seams and sole. If necessary, dampen the cloth with a mixture of water and mild soap, but avoid soaking the shoes, and always let them air dry completely before wearing.

How do I Extend the Life of my Dirt Jumping Shoes?

To extend the life of your dirt jumping shoes, avoid using them on rough terrains not meant for jumping. Regularly check for wear and tear, especially on the soles and seams, and address any issues promptly. Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent material degradation. Once you've finished your ride you always need to clean your shoes and dry them off.

Should I use the Same Shoes for Mountain Biking and Dirt Jumping?

Mountain biking and dirt jumping are very similar cycling disciplines. For nearly all riders and circumstances you will be fine using the same shoes for dirt jumping and mountain biking.

Do Dirt Jumping Shoes Offer Ankle Support?

Some do. Having some extra protection around your ankles and shins is appreciated by DJ riders and companies. You'll find a good portion of the best dirt jumper shoes have ankle support.

Should I Use Clip In Shoes for Dirt Jumping?

No. It's far too dangerous. Clip in shoes are great for gaining speed but it makes it far harder to fall off or control a bad landing. You also gain the necessary speed when rolling in on a dirt jump trail.



Our Sources

Etnies skate shoe history
A history of Vans
Ride Concepts Vice Shoe Information



next article   Previous Article
What is a G-Out
Next Article  previous article
Lightest Subrosa Bikes












We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn commissions by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.