If you’re new to mountain biking, you don’t need to worry too much about using mountain bike shoes. Using regular shoes like Converse or sneakers when riding flat pedals on a mountain bike is OK.
Chuck Taylors are suitable for almost any footwear situation. They are very close to being ideal for cycling shoes.
Using Converse for mountain biking isn’t a wrong choice, but you should consider shoes that offer more traction and protection at some point.
When riding a mountain bike, it is essential to consider shoes. You want shoes that are stiff because if they are flimsy, you will lose power on the pedals.
While a mountain bike shoe with flat pedals will offer you more traction than regular shoes, you can start with an alternative with Converse shoes.
You also want to make sure that the converse you will be using, for the time being, is designed with proper ankle support and fit perfectly into the pedal cages.
So my thoughts on using Converse shoes for mountain biking are pretty basic: It’s not exactly ideal, but if you’re starting, it’s OK to use regular shoes like Converse when you ride flat pedals.
Over time, you will realize that you need shoes that offer traction on the pedals of your MTB, such as trail running shoes.
However, there are more of them.
In this post, I’ll explain what you should consider with your Converse shoes before taking them on a mountain bike adventure.
I will also show you some examples of converse sneakers that I can recommend starting your mountain biking adventure with, as well as other shoe brands that are ideal as MTB shoes.
Why is Converse suitable for mountain bikes?
As I mentioned before, one of the essential features to consider when using Converse for mountain biking is to ensure that they are designed with proper ankle support and fit perfectly into the pedal cages.
That said, not all converse designs are ideal for mountain bikes. In other words, some specific technical features can be found in some converse shoes that make them quite suitable for mountain biking, and these features are as follows:
Stiffness and flexibility Converse:
It’s no wonder why Converse was initially made for sports. They are stiff and flexible in most designs.
The stiffness of Converse shoes comes from the foundation that connects the outer sole with the inner insole, i.e. the midsole.
So Converse are flexible and offers comfort on longer rides, but the downside is that most flexible designs can’t effectively transfer the footprint to the sensitive nerve endings in the toes and feet.
Converse with supportive and stable insoles will come in handy for cycling tours. Finding Converse shoes with extra features like D3O impact zones can be impossible because you only find them in mountain bike shoes.
But Converse is designed with a very supportive insole; it adds a plus.
Whatever you wear when pedalling, you want a shoe that will protect your feet from bumps and impacts from stray rocks and debris.
The Converse I will show you and some other well-respected designs are designed with reinforced toe and ankle zones that perform this function.
Most people say that the design of New Converse protects against splashes and cold weather. While this is true, it adds a plus for its suitability for mountain bikes as it can absorb repeated impacts from the uneven terrain below.
The lightness of Converse shoes:
Converse shoes are lighter and make pedalling more efficient because you need them.
It rotates the cranks with each shot. The fact that they can be so light doesn’t make them any less intense for transferring the rider’s power to the drive train.
It is something that even most mountain bike boots can’t achieve.
Laces or straps:
You will notice that most flat mountain bike shoes come with laces because there is no fastening.
Converse with additional straps provides more stability and serves as a shoelace cover while cycling.
The durability of Converse shoes:
A good mountain bike shoe should stretch and erode the upper and sole uniformly so that maximum durability and performance are well-balanced.
Converse sneakers are not life-threatening because you can wear specific Converse shoes for years. The only fear is that you will have to deal with the folds in the conversation over time.
Final words: Are converse good for mountain biking?
There is no doubt that the ideal mountain bike shoes have more grip and also offer more stiffness compared to regular shoes like Converse.
The differences to consider when choosing MTB shoes are undeniable between Converse and authentic MTB shoes.
However, if you are a beginner or new to mountain biking, regular shoes like Converse are fine for a while.
But you will surely realize that you need to get something better, especially when you notice that it is slipping off your pedals.
Another aspect where you will see a vast difference is Converse shoe sole patterns versus MTB shoe-exclusive patterns.
The grip on the Converse shoe is pretty above average, but it’s much better when you’re wearing a shoe specifically designed for mountain biking.
At the very least, Converse shoes will perform much better than sneakers, but the truth remains that Converse are not made for slippery pedals.
Last, you’ll also want to consider that Converse shoes generally don’t have as much cushioning as MTB shoes.
The bottom line is that Converse probably slips flat pedals, especially when it’s raining. It can cause you to fall off the bike. Therefore, it is not highly recommended.
If you’re new to MTB, you can use them in the meantime, but after a while, I recommend going for a shoe that provides a bit of traction – like the two mountain bike shoes I suggested in this post.