9 Best Gravel Bike Shoes In 2020 – Footwear For the Adventure Riding!

gravel bike shoes
Photo by Tucker from Pexels

A gravel bike shoe is essential footwear for anyone who likes bike riding. It helps to create an excellent contact between the foot and a bike, providing a comfortable feeling, efficiency, and increasing power transfer while cycling. With ventilation surfaces, air enters the shoes cooling and drying the rider’s feet on hot days.

While gravel bike shoes have such great importance, many bike riders and commuters find it pretty hard to pick the best gravel bike shoes. Manufacturers avail them in different designs, brands, costs, sizes, functionality, and distinct features for their customers’ selection. This often confuses most buyers while making purchase decisions.

If you make an inappropriate choice, it becomes costly as you will be forced to buy a gravel bike shoe time after time. Besides, disappointments arise, preventing you from enjoying your ride or walk. Injuries and discomforts become threats to your daily cycling, hiking, or walking.

9 Best gravel bike shoes -Find Your Perfect Fit!

With the following reviews, we have highlighted the Nine best gravel bike shoes available in the market. Besides, core factors to consider when purchasing gravel shoes are meant to help you get the best and most reliable gravel shoes of your desire.
Let’s do quick view if you’re in a hurry and you can also find the deep review for every gravel shoes by scrolling down.

  1. Giro Privateer MTB Shoes – Budget Friendly, Stylish Gravel Bike Shoes
  2. Fizik X5 Terra – Truly gravel-specific shoes on budget
  3. Louis Garneau Men’s Shoes– Best Value gravel shoes cycling (Editor Choice)
  4. Tommaso Vertice Men’s 100 – MOST CAPABLE MOUNTAIN SHOE
  5. Mavic Crossmax Elite CM Gravel Shoes-Men’s – Good for seasonal riders
  6. Tommaso Strada 200 – Cycling shoes for wide feet
  7. SHIMANO SH – XC5   – Lightweight 
  8. Giro Cylinder Gravel Bike Shoes– Best choice for Women’s
  9. Shimano RX8 Gravel Shoe – Super stiff 

1.Giro Privateer MTB Gravel Bike ShoeBudget Friendly, Stylish Gravel Bike Shoes

 Giro Privateer MTB Gravel Bike Shoe

Privateer MTB Gravel Bike Shoe takes the first position in our today’s reviews. If you are a mountain bike rider who desires a gravel bike shoe with a perfect fit for comfort and long-lasting performance, Privateer Gravel bike will be the best pick for you. It comes with spike compatibility and an EVA foot-bed containing Aegis antimicrobial treatment for your feet.

The upper one-piece microfiber with reinforced toe cap, heel, and closed laces offer a soft and support to the rider’s feet while cycling, giving optimum comfort and safety. Additionally, this gravel bike shoe has superb properties, including lightweight, highly ventilated mesh allowing air to enter hence cooling the feet of the rider. The rubber logged outsole provides efficient traction and increases grip on rocks or roots, providing additional comfort to the rider.

The Privateer Gravel Bike Shoe has a high construction of sturdy co-modeled nylon fibers that give the shoe its maximum durability. With a single buckle closure system and double strap laces, the rider can comfortably and easily adjust and tighten while on the fly.

Pros

  • Exceptional comfort
  • Reasonably priced
  • Durable performance
  • Attractive design
  • Generously sized
  • Multiple colors for a wide selection

Cons

  • Quality of rubber thread is not too good
  • Designed for men only


Why it is recommended

The Privateer MTB Gravel Bike Shoe offers protection to the player’s feet, not only by covering them up but also from a microbial infection that would otherwise cause health problems. It comes with a design meant for long-term and continuous top performance while providing maximum comfortability at a reasonable price.


2. Fizik X5 Terra Gravel Bike ShoeTruly gravel-specific shoes on budget

 Fizik X5 Terra Gravel Bike Shoe

The X5 Terra black gravel shoe has the most specific features like an adaptive fit and a durable carbon fiber hence suitable for riders who value maximum comfort, style, and best quality. With six different colors, you can comprehensively select the best shoe depending on your desires. Besides, it weighs 790grammes hence lighter for a comfortable road walk.

It is constructed basing on a single BOA design of Fizik’s R1 road shoe comprising enough flex to make easy shouldering, walking, and running comfortably on gravel. Also, a micro-text crafted on the upper side of the shoe, rugged outsoles with super stylish off-road preference, makes it the best for gravel commuting.

The suede material added to its sole scrubs up well and slowly on a variety of off-road adventures makes it amazingly long-lasting. A single Velcro strap crosses the toe box takes up any slack properties of the shoe. The combined perforated micro text parts and polyurethane reinforcement and luxurious, highly ventilated suede gives the shoes an extra hiking appearance and protects the feet of the commuter from microbial infection and injuries as compared with other mountain bike shoes.

The treated carbon sole helps to maintain stiffness driving maximum power and a mighty grip while walking. Its woven heel loops ensure easy cleaning and fast-drying, adding an adventurous and elegant appearance onto the X5 road shoe. It has incredible strength, and the large polyurethane bounded grip pieces effectively provide fitness and support.

Pros

  • Ideal for gravel road walk or running
  • Unique and an attractive appearance
  • Luxurious fit, thanks to its sole grip and flex
  • Long-term performance
  • Excellent support and grip

Cons

  • It’s difficult to clean the shoe.
  • Relatively expensive

Why it is recommended

The Fizik X5 is the best road bike shoe in the market with the top assurance of maximum comfort, stability, durability, and a perfect fit on any clipless bike pedal. Also, the dual up design allows you to get maximum control of its fit and adjusting with the Fizik’s BOA dial system.


3. Louis Garneau Men’s ShoesBest Value gravel shoes cycling

 Louis Garneau Gravel Bike Shoe

Ride or walk comfortably all-day-long with maximum comfort and stability with Louis Garneau Bike Shoe. This Bike Show is ideal for individuals who are either new or like mountain bike riding. This shoe has distinctive features that make it always elegant and authentic in the market.

This shoe has been standardly designed with adequate space for a perfect fit giving more comfort for riding the whole day, minimizing pressure on the feet. The stable HRS retention system provides stability, allowing easy adjustment. Its cleat holes are compatible with all major MTB pedals keeping the feet firmly in position, reducing power loss while cycling. Also, its performance is maximized by the SPD cleat system giving the best out of it. Ventilated mesh adds arch support as well as allowing air circulation in the feet cooling and drying them on a hot sunny day, ensuring continuous comfort cycling.

Louis Garneau shoe has a high construction of synthetic leather on the upper side, which gives it not only a classic and elegant appearance but also maximum durability. Besides, its soles are rigid and incredibly strong enough to sustain the friction from rough gravel terrain hence assures non stop performance and durability. It has a reflective heel that is visible in dim light or the dark protecting the cyclist or commuter from accidents. The ergo grip double outsole has removable studs that give the best traction and clears the mud efficiently on a rainy day. With the three hooks and loop closure straps, dynamic adjustment of the Garneau Bike shoe during cycling is comfortable and safer.

Pros

  • Adequately ventilated
  • Easy to fit on foot to enhance comfortable cycling
  • No pain in the feet or ankle
  • Excellent cleat fit
  • Relaxed walking without damaging the cleat

Cons

  • The shoe may reduce in size with time
  • No warranty
  • Insufficient feet protection from bacterial infection


Why it is recommended

The Louis Garneau Bike Shoe is known for its exceptional comfort, roomy fit, breathable mesh, and compatibility with most bike pedals on the market, ensuring total control and comfortable ride or walk all day. Also, the reflective safety heels allow you to get maximum adventure even when at night.

4. Tommaso Vertice Men’s 100 Gravel Bike ShoeMOST CAPABLE MOUNTAIN SHOE

 Vertice Men’s

If you are looking for a gravel bike shoe that will provide you with a high performance featuring an excellent Vibram X5 Trek sole at an ultimately best price, it’s time to try out Tommaso Vertice 190 bike shoe. It has a perfect fit, comfort, and lightweight for easy walking providing a fantastic power for sprinting.

Its sole is built to sustain and troll out through all-mountain trails without noticeable wearing or tearing. Also, the X5 Trek sole is made to offer maximum traction balance, comfort, stability as well as durability by giving a resistant response on tough terrain. The shoe sole is also rugged, grip, vibrant style with a substantially reinforced toe cap makes the vertices 100 gravel shoe ready for any trails and land terrain.

The ergonomic system of this Vertice 100 possesses three-strap Velcro that facilitates an efficient precision fit holding your feet firmly, preventing exposure to pressure points giving maximum comfort for a long-distance ride. Customization is made possible by the adjustable top strap to fit the rider’s needs.

The Vertice is developed to fit the two cleat bolts at the same time being compatible with all bike brands in the market. It has an amazing grip, perforated mesh that allows air circulation in the feet, providing a fresh and drying effect sustaining maximum comfort and enjoyment while on a ride.

Pros

  • Perfect fit with any bike brand in the market
  • Weatherproof
  • The two-year warranty offered by the manufacturer for coverage
  • Great traction and stability
  • High quality engineered to last long

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Difficult to adjust when loose while on the fly
  • Possible exposure to pressure


Why it is recommended

The Vertice 100 brand is highly recommended for riders and commuters who want to get the top-notch performance that will be impossible to break. It is known for high performance, durability, gives you the stability and comfort you need while on a ride or a walking on gravel.

5. Mavic Crossmax Elite CM Gravel Shoe- Men’s Good for seasonal riders

 Mavic Crossmax Elite CM Gravel Shoe- Men's

Mavic Elite CM Gravel Bike Shoe is very popular among mountain bikers due to its excellent all-time performance without caring about the prevailing weather conditions. This means that it is a unique waterproof and weatherproof shoe ideal for cross country racing beating your opponents using other brands.

This gravel bike shoe features a closing Velcro strap system and a supple grip ergo dial design that ensures efficient firm stability, fast adjustable and releases property giving maximum power to ride. Also, the stiff sole and smooth contra-grip premium compound offer a perfect root or rock grip.

The Clima Mavic designs in front and contra-grip sole gives the shoe its weather resistance ability offering perfect grip wet areas. At the same time, they prevent your ankle from mud splash and moisture or harmful particles. Its long screw stud guarantees a fantastic grip even if the ground is extremely slippery.

With a pedal cleat mounting system developed, the two cleat holes on the shoe can fit well in any MTB clipless bike pedals. Besides, this shoe has a large rubber grip on the wheel, enabling efficient functioning and giving an additional firm tightening on the bike pedals.

Pros

  • Weatherproof
  • Ultimate high performance
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable and strong appearance
  • Perfect comfort and feet protection
  • High traction and grip on slippery surfaces

Cons

  • Suitable only for men
  • Relatively expensive


Why it is recommended

The Mavic gravel bike shoe comes with a fierce dark red attractive color with high quality and durable design that many bike peddlers love. With excellent performance and weatherproof property, nothing will stop you from enjoying long-distance rides with the Mavic Elite CM shoe.

6. Tommaso Strada 200 Gravel Bike Shoe– Cycling shoes for wide feet

 Tommaso Strada 200 Dual Cleat Compatible

If you have been looking everywhere in the market for the best gravel shoe that will give you a fantastic experience and benefits of cycling experience in a single ride, then Tommaso Strada 200 bike cycling shoes will be the best option to go for.

This premium clipless shoe is primarily made to help a cyclist achieve full potential as a rider at an affordable price and highly accessible.

Its sturdy fiberglass sole treated with a powerful polyamide gives this shoe a sleek appearance, lightweight profile and increases the power transfer while cycling just like other premium level shoes. It is developed to fit all three-bolt and two-bolt cleat systems such as Shimano SPD and SPD – SL, thus excellent for off-road racing or daily commuting.

The Ratcheting buckle system allows cyclists to make micro-adjustments on top of the shoe, gives a precision fit as well as holding the shoe heel into the heel cap. Also, two ergonomic Velcro straps added safeguards your feet providing a comfortable ride all day. For compatibility and versatility, its cleat platform corresponds with all bike cleat types in the market hence unlimited top performance. Outside this shoe, there is a visible reflective strip for maximum safety in low lights or night good for commuters.

Pros

  • Durable sole give a long-lasting performance
  • Two years warranty
  • Good quality and precision
  • Compatible with most bike pedals
  • Great comfort enhancement

Cons

  • One sized and single black color
  • Insufficiently ventilated
  • Unreliable traction and grip ability


Why it is recommended

Strada 200 cycling shoe is manufactured by high performing industries intending to provide the cyclists with a beautiful blend of quality, value for their money and high performance meant to last season after season. Also, it has a two-year warranty, keeping you covered for any defects.

7. SHIMANO SH – XC5 Gravel Bike Shoe– Lightweight 

 SHIMANO SH - XC5 Gravel Bike Shoe

Are you a bike rider or commuter who prefers practicality, stability, and comfort over performance? Well, try out SHIMANO XC5, and you will not believe the fantastic features designed to give maximum comfort and a perfect fit on many bikes in the market.

Just like other MTB gravel shoes, the XC5 model is light in weight and constructed with a stiff and sturdy carbon fiber midsole, which offers long term durability. Besides, the rubber arch outsole pattern is meant to avoid losing balance on watery or dump ground surfaces, while on a ride or walk, which could otherwise cause fatal injuries. That’s not all; the reinforced spike design allows more effortless operation even in extreme weather conditions.

The ventilated fabric and synthetic leather material supply the feet with fresh and dry air for comfort as well as keeping the shoe durable. A sizeable reflective heel panel and Michelin mud-shedding thread give safety and practicality while riding or walking on gravel.

Two-bolt cleats permit two studs or spikes to be firmly fitted at the front side of the shoe for high traction and preventing slippage. With a mini power strap that is pulled lace tightening and positioning the shoe firmly, the feet get protection from creeping that may interfere with lace tension while riding.

Its partly reinforced heel cap and well-padded foot pattern gives more excellent retention and rigidity on tough terrain. With laces and chunky rubber sole, XC5 is the best gravel shoe for anyone.

Pros

  • Smooth and comfortable
  • Lightweight ideal for long-distance rides and walks
  • Safe thanks to the anti-slippery outsole
  • Durable in nature
  • Multiple colors

Cons

  • Setting up toe spike is complicating
  • Difficult to wear due to the lace nature.
  • Impossible to adjust while on the fly.


Why it is recommended

This SHIMANO gravel shoe has distinct and unique features designed as the best quality to enable bike riders and commuters to enjoy the comfort and practicality while on a hike fully. It is safer to use this gravel shoe since it’s engineered to protect your toe and ankle from injuries when you miss the bike pedal.

8. Giro Cylinder Gravel Bike ShoeWomen’s

This is the best gravel cycling shoe Giro present in the market, popularly known for excellent performance on a mountain bike designed for compatibility and quick adjustment. With lots of unique features, the modern fashioned Giro Cylinder shoe will surely be the best pick.

A unique BOA inferior volume strap added to thus shoe facilitates a perfect fit. Also, the BOA L6 dial provides a micro release and adjustment of the one-millimeter increment that gives an additional firm fitting for a comfortable and instant version while cycling. It has a 12inch width and a bungee closure design for perfect closure and fit of the feet. Two cleat system is amazingly compatible with most bolt pedal bikes.

The injected nylon pedal plates ensure excellent power transfer while cycling, creating a powerful pedaling. It features stainless steel and co-molded rubber outsole that provides optimum traction effect and instant firm grip. Besides, the die-cut EVA foot-bed has a medium supportive arch for a comfortable ride on any terrain. The incredibly durable outsole assures a long-lasting safe journey as well as traction.

Coming in three different colors, you can select your desired color to match the color of your bike. It has a well ventilate soft microfiber and mesh on the upper side of the shoe for maximum air circulation; therefore, cooling and drying the feel giving a comfortable feeling.

Pros

  • Full supportive grip and traction
  • Durable soles
  • Ultimate comfort thanks to the ventilated mesh
  • Reasonably priced
  • Multiple colors for wide range selection

Cons

  • Price


Why it is recommended

This is a gravel cycling shoe best for maximum comfort. With sturdy soles, high stability, excellent quality, and multiple colors, Giro Cylinder Gravel Bike Shoe gives an extensive range for selection depending on the cyclist demands. It’s priced reasonably hence affordable.

9. Shimano RX8 Gravel Bike ShoeSuper stiff 

SHIMANO RX8 is the best shoe highly selected in the market due to its high performance and extremely lightweight designed for both bike and footwear racing. It comes in both male and female versions with swirly graphics and colors, giving it a more beautiful and attractive look.

This model features an incredibly sturdy and full-length outsole for easy pedaling and durability of the gravel shoe. The SHIMANO gravel shoes wide fit is developed with heel stabilizer, and durable TPU lugs that increase the pedaling performance even on a hardened tenure. The anti-slip pad and a micro toe structure offer a more relaxed and safe ride.

The single BOA dial system is set to reduce heel slippage creating great insteps. Also, the heel cap design helps to keep the shoe heel firmly in its position. Additionally, its front side has a Velcro strap, which accounts for the lightweight ideal for an off-road ride or walks, gives maximum stability and support to the rider.

Its broader cleat pedal interface system is engineered to fit SPD pedals, enhancing efficient pedaling, stability, and firm grip. The synthetic leather carbon sole and upper vented mesh allow cooling and drying of the feet, giving a relaxed and reluctant feeling.

Pros

  • Super light ideal for bike and footwear racing
  • Elegant appearance
  • Stiff and durable sole
  • Great stability and support
  • Easy to adjust the snugness on the forefoot

Cons

  • Insufficient room for high insteps
  • It doesn’t flex a lot while pedaling
  • Unsuitable for long-distance walks


Why it is recommended

SHIMANO RX8 brand is a gravel footwear shoe driven to perform maximally, providing more comfort and ability to walk or cycle off the road. It is a specialized gravel shoe for gravel bike racing, footwear racing, and weekend warriors.

Additional basic and advanced info regarding gravel bike cycling shoes are given below for better understanding. These will help you pick best gravel bike shoe available in the market. So scroll down and explore:

Why I Should Use a Gravel Bike Shoes?

In the past decades, lots of upgrades and developments like clipless pedals and gravel shoes with special features have been made by the bike and footwear manufacturers. It aims at improving pedaling speed, comfort, and efficiency while ensuring the safety of bike riders. As many manufacturers say, comfortability goes hand in hand with top performance of a gravel bike shoe.

How to pick the Best Gravel Cycling Shoes?

As we earlier on discussed, the varied sizes, designs, brands, colors, materials, and functionality of gravel shoes leave the buyer confused. Also, many manufacturers with questionable reputations make buyers invest in unworthy bike shoes.

As a result, it becomes costly for the buyers because the shoes bought are less durable, attractive but of poor-quality, unsafe, and lack essential features for their operation. With the following buying guide, you will be able to choose correctly the best gravel bike shoe that will impress you.

  • Material construction

The material used to make a gravel shoe should be the first thing to look for when purchasing the best gravel bike shoe. This includes the type of material the body of the shoe comprises. The durability of a gravel shoe dramatically depends on the kind of material composition.

It is economical to choose a gravel bike shoe made of durable synthetic fiber and leather materials if you want long-lasting shoe performance. These materials are known for maximum strength and durability to survive rough terrains and gravels, assuring the long-term. Also, the straps and laces of the shoe should be made of durable leather material for maximum fit on foot.

  • Fit and compatibility

Many manufacturers produce cycling shoes with different sizes, foot-bed patterns, laces, cleat surfaces, and heel caps. Getting a shoe that fits your feet and the bike pedals is another excellent factor to consider. You should select a gravel shoe whose size corresponds with your toe size. The size involves the width and length dimensions of your toe.

For confirmation purposes, you can measure the shoe width by laying your thumb across the shoe. You should choose a gravel shoe with exact feet size or larger by half measurements for perfect fitting. The shoelaces and straps should be long enough for tightening the shoe. Besides the size, the shoe cleats should be compatible with your bike pedals.

  • Safety and comfortability

One of the critical functions of a cycling shoe is to ensure maximum comfort and safety to the rider or commuter. The soft fabric and leather materials, ventilation mesh, and strap Velcro system designed in a gravel shoe determine the level of comfortability. Whereas the lace closure pattern, sole composition, and reflective strip account for the safety of gravel shoes when riding or walking.

It is, therefore, vital to select a gravel bike shoe with features that assure high protection of your feet from slippage, infection, and injuries from external particles. The shoe should also guarantee you the optimum comfort level you desire.

  • Fastening ability

This comprises the traditional laces, BOA dial, Velcro straps that make it possible to make adjustments on your shoe for a great fit while on the fly. This is a fascinating factor that many bike riders and commuters love and put in mind while choosing their best gravel cycling shoes.

They are known to make wearing and tightening of the shoe with relative ease. If you love fast control and making adjustments to your shoelaces, you need to look for a gravel shoe with these features. Also, you should pick a shoe that can be worn quickly.

  • Value for your money

Cycling shoes are priced differently. The quality, features, design, and material composition determine the price of a gravel bike shoe. You should be careful with a shoe priced very cheap because most of them have non-lasting performance. This, in turn, makes it expensive in the long run as you will be forced to purchase a pair of shoes one after another.

We recommend you to choose a gravel shoe priced reasonably and whose performance will be worth the money value invested. Relatively expensive gravel shoes have unique features with tremendous and durable performance.

  • Functionality

Gravel shoes have been designed to serve different functions. Most of them are used for cycling, racing, walking, running, and road biking. Others have more than one role, while some of them have been specialized for a particular use.

It is crucial to select a gravel shoe which will satisfy your desires. You should buy a shoe brand that has several functions. For example, a shoe can be used for bike cycling, walking, and running. This will be more saving on cost hence the best unlike to a shoe meant to serve a single purpose.

  • Design of the shoe

Many manufacturers develop their products differently using different technologies, patterns, and materials. The weight of a gravel shoe defines material composition and the performance of the gravel shoe. You should choose a shoe made of lighter material for easy pedaling with high power and comfortable walking. Attractive and innovative craftsmanship but durable shoe body should be the best factor to consider.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QUESTION: How can I best protect my gravel shoes?

ANSWER: Conduct a proper cleaning procedure: beginning with soft brushing, deep cleaning, and lastly, washing with lukewarm water.

QUESTION: Is it a must to wear a gravel shoe while bike riding?

ANSWER: Yes. It is imperative as it helps to protect your feet from slippage, injuries, and dust particles.

QUESTION: Can I use my gravel shoe for normal walking?

ANSWER: Yes. It can be worn just like any other footwear.

Final Verdict

A fantastic pair of gravel cycling shoes can make or break your riding record! They are crucial for the provision of comfort, increases power transfer, ventilating your feet, and protecting your feet from external harm. Depending on the quality, compatibility with most bike pedals and cleats, design and comfortability, the performance of the gravel cycling shoe varies.

However, if you want to get the best experience and results during a ride or walk, it is essential to consider buying a gravel shoe that can last longer, has the best quality, offers great comfort, safety, and one that can perfectly fit your bike. It is also advisable to buy a gravel bike shoe mainly from sports shops offering good quality with exceptional performance.

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