Mountain bike shoes can be as complicated or as simple as you like. For the first few years of my life as a dirt-caked mtb weirdo, I rode only in Vans Sk8 high tops. We rode Vans when I was in BMX as a kid, so it seemed natural. Then I realized I needed a much stiffer sole and upgraded to some Five Tens and was quite happy. The Freerider Pros are a great shoe and I never saw much reason to change.
But today, Endura launches their new mountain bike shoe line, and to review it, I’ve been riding the MT500 Burner Flat shoes for a couple of months now. I have not even looked at my Freerider Pros since.
I don’t want to get too caught up in details here — it’s just a flat-bottomed shoe after all, but there are a handful of features I love about this shoe and want to share.
First, it has a higher rise covering the inside of your ankle, but the outside of your ankle is cut lower. A fantastic touch, since I bag my inside of my ankles on chainstays, chainrings, pedals, forks, top tubes, etc. I’m clumsy.
Second, it has a rough pattern, like a sharkskin, on the inside of the heel. It keeps the shoe from slipping when you’re hike-a-biking up a steep slope, sweat running down your legs into your shoes. A cool little touch.
Speaking of hiking, and the third cool thing, is the tread pattern. The ball of the foot has a sticky pattern you’d expect on flat mtb shoes, and the toe and heel have more of a lugged pattern for better grip while walking. Much needed where I live as lots of my rides involve stretches of pushing a bike up near-vertical fire roads, or getting off the bike and tromping though the woods for a cool lunch spot.
And, other than that, it’s just a nice, simple shoe. Very comfy, plenty grippy and supportive, pretty much ideal. I have a few pairs of Endura shorts and love them, nice to see they’re making shoes as good as the apparel.