Shoes designed for mountain biking include impact and rain protection, a rigid base that supports the foot and an optimal contact surface for a pedal.
A pair of shoes designed for platform pedals will have three distinct characteristics that will differentiate them from a traditional shoe.
1- The sole is reinforced to provide better support for the user's feet.
Indeed, the more rigid base of the mountain shoes helps support certain muscle areas such as the arch of the foot that are under tension during pedaling. This tension comes from the force exerted by the cyclist which is concentrated directly on the pedals. Thus, a good shoe will have a more rigid sole in order to avoid pain in the feet.
2- The exterior of the shoe is made to resist shocks and bad weather.
On several models, there are metal protectors placed at the front and back of the shoe which are intended to protect the toes as well as the heel of the user. For riders who have a leaning towards rough terrain, these guards have quickly become a must-have, as the slightest impact at high speeds could cause a fracture. In addition, a mountain shoe is made using insulating and water resistant materials. The construction of your shoe can thus be the difference between a day with dry or wet feet.
3- The rubber under the sole increases the traction between the pedal and the shoe.
The "grip" you feel with platforms pedals comes as much from the pedal as from the shoe. To have the best grip, you need above all a smooth or not very aggressive sole. This will give the pedal the optimum surface for traction, as each stud will be in contact with the shoe. The rubber that makes up the sole also impacts the grip of the system. Now every mountain bike shoe manufacturer has their own version of the perfect sole material. DST, SlipNot, Stealth S1, Vibram; all of these brand names represent different rubbers that have adhesion properties. These gums are thus very soft so that the crampons of the pedal can grip the shoe as much as possible.
In summary, shoes designed for mountain biking include impact and rain protection, a rigid base that supports the foot and an optimal contact surface for a flat pedal. These three characteristics differentiate them from a pair of running shoes, ankle boots or "Vans" which are very popular. They will therefore not only protect the user during an accident, but they will also improve his experience of this activity.