Our Top 10 Best Bikepacking Shoes In 2020

About to leave for your big bikepacking trip and don’t know yet which shoes to choose?

We’ve got you covered! We’ll tell you everything you need to know to help you choose the ideal bikepacking shoes. But that’s not all! We have selected the top 10 shoes to make it even simpler! No matter what route you plan on taking, one thing you won’t wish to forget is a solid and comfortable pair of shoes. 

A good quality pair of bikepacking shoes is your number one accessory as tired or injured feet can easily ruin your trip and take the fun away from exploring. Before you can choose which pair is for you, take a look at the comparison table below for the key features.

Bikepacking Shoes Comparison Table

Shimano RP 4 Road ShoesOverall Performance ShoesMens Regular - Wide1 Boa L6 Dial, 2 hook-and-loop straps3 bolt$105.00
Shimano SH-MW5 Cycling ShoesWinter ShoeUnisex RegularHook-and-loop, flap2 bolt SPD$160.00 - $200.00
Lake MX 145 Wide Cycling ShoesWide FitMens WideBOA Lacing SystemCleat Support$250.00
Sidi Genius 7 Mega Cycling ShoesLightweight ShoesMens RegularRatchet, Hook-and-loop3 bolt Look/SPD-SL$180.00 - $340.00
Five Ten Krestel Mountain ShoesWomen’s ShoesWomens RegularLace, Velcron/a$150.00
Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevate Cycling ShoesTechnical ShoesMens RegularBOA, Rotary Ratchet, Hook-and-loop2 bolt SPD$75.00 - $180.00
Giro Terraduro Mountain Bike ShoesAllrounder ShoesMens RegularRotary Ratchet, Hook-and-loop2 bolt SPD$67.00 - $180.00
Pearl Izumi Quest Road ShoesBudget ShoesAvailable in Men & Womens Sizing
Velcro2 bolt SPD, 3 bolt Look/SPD$100.00
Sidi SD15 Cycling ShoesHiking ShoesMens Regular3 Push System Velcro2 bolt SPD
Adidas Terrex Trail Cross ShoesCross-terrain ShoesMens RegularLacen/a$120.00

Buyer’s guide

What features should I look for in bikepacking shoes?

When purchasing a pair or bikepacking shoes you will have a few unique features to choose from depending on what you prefer and on your style of riding. 

Shoe Closure: Lace Up, Velcro & Ratchet, DIal or Cable Lace
Cleat Type: 2-Hole or 3-Hole or Clipless
Weight: Lightweight (more expensive & higher quality) or Heavier (less expensive & not as high performing).
Material: The variations in material include different levels of breathability and waterproofing for the changing seasons. A tighter less breathable material is commonly used in winter but is not suitable in summer as your feet will get hot and sweaty. The material you select also affects the sole, the grip and the durability of the shoe both on and off the tracks.

What should I consider when biking bikepacking shoes?

Here are three key considerations you need to have when you are looking for a new pair of bikepacking shoes.

Comfort: The first consideration with any pair of sporting shoes is often comfort. You personally have to feel comfortable with the shoes you choose. Features that can affect the level of comfort are the pressure points, where the shoe could likely rub and cause pain, the flexibility of the sole and the closure of the shoe. 

Durability: Bikepacking is not a light sport; these shoes need to be tough. They must take you from cycling to hiking all in one day so the durability and performance of the shoes is very important. Consider the material and find out if they are going to meet the needs of the location you are travelling. 

For example, if you will be near water or it is likely raining you will need adequate waterproof and quick dry material. In the summer months you will need material that is breathable and light. In the cooler climate you will need material that can keep your feet warm and dry and the ability to wear thicker socks. If you are a year round bikepacker, for this purpose, you might need multiple shoes to suit each season and terrain. 

Fit: Lastly, you want to be looking for the perfect fit. Certain brands have created shoes suited for a wider fit and have adjustable soles or closures. Bikepacking shoes for women are purposefully designed with a narrower fit and are often paired with a shallow insole. Once you have found the perfect fit, this should take priority over your preferred style or brand as the correct fit will be the most beneficial part of your purchase.

Why do I need bikepacking Shoes?

Aching feet, blisters, less power when you cycle, no matter what discomfort you are in – if it impacts your bikepacking trip you might want to reconsider the shoes you are wearing. There are many advances in technology and design, with shoes available in every shape and size specific for both men and women. A good quality pair of shoes is considered a worthy investment if they are durable and efficient. They truly complete your bikepacking gear! Investing in your gear is a personal choice and one that a rider must ultimately make. If you are searching for a new pair of bikepacking shoes, check out our top list below.

The Ultimate List Of Bikepacking Shoes

Best Overall Performance Bikepacking Shoes – Shimano Unisex RP 4

Shimano Unisex RP 4

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Shimano note this as their first performance based shoe that is suited for an above average rider who wants a professional look. The RP 4 is available in both a narrow and a wide fit and is designed with a rider’s comfort in mind. 

The RP 4 has a reinforced fibreglass sole and a synthetic upper and your foot is held in place by the lower velcro strap and the boa dial. Made by the original creator of the first clipless style shoe, these Shimano shoes feature expertly designed straps that purposely relieve pressure and tension when riding. They work to bridge the gap effortlessly between riding and hiking, function and performance.

  • Low price point for a high performance shoe
  • Features an elevated heel pad
  • Built for endurance events
  • High-density synthetic leather complex
  • Glass-fibre sole for power transfer
  • Sole stiffness Rating 8
  • The Boa dial can’t be loosened once fitted on the shoe without fully removing it
  • Sizing issues have been noted, recommended to size up, try before you buy
  • Non replaceable heel pad

Why We Love It: The RP 4 has added a soft backing to the microfibre upper ensuring riders only need to use thin cycling socks to achieve maximum comfort without worrying about using wool socks or additional padding. A high performance endurance bike shoe or a recreational bikepacking shoe, they make a great choice for any rider.

If you are looking for shoes that you can use not only for bikepacking but also for competitions, have a look at our cyclocross shoes guide.

Best Bikepacking Shoes for Winter – Shimano SH-MW5

Shimano SH-MW5

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The ideal shoes for winter will keep your feet clean, dry and warm. You can find shoes with added waterproofing and protective lining that serve this purpose. The inner lining of the shoe can be made with fleece for the winter months or with a higher ankle guard to keep out the wind. The second choice in our list is another pair from Shimano, The SH-MW5; great for cold weather bikepacking.

The perfect cycling adventure shoe, the SH-MW5 can be described as the shoe that will handle any winter conditions on the terrain. Designed to protect your feet from ice, rain and snow with the additional Dryshield Waterproofing feature, they have a warm fleece-lining and a synthetic leather upper and a thicker insole. The SH-MW5 has an extended ankle collar with a simple hook-and-loop closure that gives you added protection and provides sufficient insulation. They are compatible with 2 bolt mountain-style pedals and cleats.

  • Waterproof protective layer
  • Fleece lining for added warmth
  • High ankle collar keeps you clean and dry
  • Traction has excellent grip for added stability
  • Not ideal for year round weather if you experience a warmer summer climate
  • Not recommended as a Unisex shoe as it is marketed as a Mens Shoe; however they have been worn and reviewed by Women

Why we love it: The Shimano SH-MW5 will keep your feet nice and warm whilst providing added comfort from the quality insole padding. They feature a special speed lacing system which is great for easy and fast adjustments on the track.

Best Wide Fit Bikepacking Boots – Lake MX-145 Wide Cycling Shoes

Lake MX-145 Wide Cycling Shoes

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If you are looking for the ideal winter cycle boots, then the Lake MX-145 are just what you are searching for! Without question these are one of the best wide fit cycling shoes on the market with a highly water resistant design that results in a warm and durable fit. A Dual Side mounted Push/Pull BOA IP1 lets you easily dial in the fit that is made for aggressive riding whilst staying comfortable all day long. 

The Hypergrip Enduro Sole improves the overall grip and the anti-slip inserts support the foot both on and off the bike. With the Lake MX-145 you can avoid cold or wet feet which is great if you’re way out in the woods with miles of snow between you and home or you cycling during unpredictable weather during the rain season. The MX-145 are a fantastic choice when it comes to shoes for cold weather bikepacking.

  • Waxed canvas with with microfiber
  • Waterproof membrane ensures a highly water-resistant surface
  • LAKE Race nylon sole
  • Mountain Race X real rubber outsole
  • Double Side BOA system closure
  • Sole standard: SPD-R (2 hole) SPD (2 hole)
  • Independently adjust the tension on the forefoot and the heel
  • Only available in black
  • Higher price point

Why we love it: Lake has been specially creating cycling shoes since 1982 and has a reliable reputation. One added feature of these shoes is that you can lock down your heel, without having to over-tighten the rest of the shoe and that means better blood flow and greater comfort.

Best Lightweight Bikepacking Shoes – Sidi Genius 7

Sidi Genius 7

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A lightweight shoe is a common preference among bikepackers and those who are touring due to feeling they are less tiring and give added comfort both on and off the bike. All Sidi cycling shoes are still designed, developed and manufactured in Italy to the highest quality.

The Sidi Genius 7’s are a popular mid-range shoe that comes in a range of colours and sizes plus they are light and compact enough to carry around in your gear or touring bag. They have a typical Sidi fit with a narrower toe and are considered snug so the heel does not slip out when riding. The shoes have an adjustable ratchet system and they are designed to distribute the tension evenly with 2 velcro straps over the toes and foot.

  • Millenium 5 Carbon Composite sole with enhanced support
  • Anti-slip Polyurethane toe and heel inserts
  • Anatomically curved strap with EVA super-soft padding
  • Micro Caliper buckle for easy on/off fitting
  • Highly reviewed for exceptional comfort
  • Noted for having less ventilation than other available styles
  • Soles are not as flexible as some riders might prefer

Why we love it: Featuring the classic and much-loved Sidi style, the Genius 7 have a range of awesome colours to select from. Sidi are known for being instantly recognisable as a brand and are one of the most popular companies in cycling gear

Best Bikepacking Shoes For Women – Five Ten Krestel Lace Mountain Bike Shoes

Five Ten Krestel Lace Mountain Bike Shoes

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Women’s cycling shoes are usually a narrow or slim fit and offer riders a sleek design. The majority of shoes are typically unisex so it depends on the riders preference and shoe size. Womens shoes tend to accommodate a smaller heel with a shallow fit with less depth in the sole. A great recommendation for a Women’s Bikepacking Shoe is the popular Five Ten Krestel Lace Mountain Bike Shoe for Women. 

The Five Ten are one of the few clipless-models that come with additional performance features. They are reported to provide riders with excellent traction and grip enhanced by the flex through the toe and Five Ten’s signature Stealth C4 rubber sole.

  • Breathable with polyurethane-coated mesh for quick drying
  • Wider cleat interface that is highly compatible
  • Eva midsole for added comfort
  • Weather-proof micro-perforated upper sole
  • Heavier by comparison with a wider/bulkier design
  • No on-the-fly adjustment options

Why we love it: This is a solid mountain bike shoe that offers great power transition and is comfortable both on and off the bike. The Five Ten are available in a regular fit in both grey/blue and black/purple designs.

Best High Performance Bikepacking Shoes – Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevate Cycling Shoes

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevate Cycling Shoes

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A high performance option means the outcome of your bikepacking trip is secure and comfortable. With your shoes essentially connecting you to your bike; they are of extreme value to any rider. According to reviews, If you’re down to ride anything, this is your shoe! 

The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevate Cycling Shoe is designed to give riders an exceptional amount of power on technical climbs. These are a high-performance shoe that uses a special Vibram outsole for additional traction.They offer solid power transfer, a grippy sole and all day walking comfort. The shoes feature a larger cleat opening that makes it easier for the rider to adjust the cleat placement and the Vibram sole will provide added support on rough surfaces.

  • Advanced 3-Layer Seamless Composite Upper delivers all-day riding comfort
  • Highly durable
  • Boa IP1 reels allow 1 mm micro-adjustability and pop up for full release
  • Nylon/carbon composite 3/4 shank for efficient power transfer and off-the-bike versatility
  • Vibram Megagrip compound outsole for superior traction
  • Lightweight EVA midsole for off-the-bike cushioning
  • Noted to lack protection in areas around the midfoot and forefront
  • A heavier design than others on the market

Why we love it: Suitable for hike-a-bike sections and technical climbs that require added power, these are ideal for bikepacking trips. Available in both Men and Women’s sizing, the X-ALP Elevate won’t disappoint!

Best All-Rounder Bikepacking Shoes – Giro Terraduro Mountain Bike Shoes

Giro Terraduro Mountain Bike Shoes

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The impressive Giro Terraduro MTB has a number of features that support the rider in the most difficult mountain terrain. The reinforced toe box will help protect your feet from the impact of the ground whilst the Eva footbed has a medium arch to offer added support whilst riding. The sport design is available in both Red/Black or Black and are great bikepacking mtb shoes. 

The tread pattern is both grippy and long-lasting with an upper constructed from breathable synthetic Evo-Fiber material. This fabric is great for repelling water and ensuring your feet can breathe. The Giro are one of the best mtb shoes for bikepacking and are designed for all-mountain riding. They easily manage endurance racing and trekking on and off the bike.

  • The closure system is comprised of a single N-1 ratcheting buckle and two velcro straps
  • Reinforced rubber toe cap
  • Durable synthetic upper
  • Microfiber lining
  • Two-hole mountain cleat compatibility
  • Breathability is limited as the upper sole aims to keep the warmth in so may be better suited for cooler climates
  • Heavier design might not be preferred by riders who love a lightweight feel

Why we love it: The Giro Terraduro is also available in a HV (High Volume) model for those with wide feet and a Terraduro MID for more ankle support and protection in wet conditions meaning that if you love this model you can be sure to find the Terraduro that works in every condition. 

Best Budget Bikepacking Shoes – Pearl Izumi Quest Road Shoes

Pearl Izumi Quest Road Shoes

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The Izumi Quest Road Shoes are an affordable yet high quality shoe. They are a Men’s sizing and come in three colour options, red, white and black and the Women’s version is available in two colours, white and black. For $100.00 a pair, the Quest’s are considered one of the best value road shoes on the market. 

The Izumi Quests are built to help your feet breathe and stay cool during long periods of road cycling and offer plenty of additional support with the three strap design. If you are planning on cycling the majority of your trip without expanding onto rough terrain, these are an ideal choice for a full day of riding. The quality L6 Boa System provides micro-adjustability with an even and reliable closure.

  • Affordable in comparison to other shoes on the market
  • Fatigue resistant
  • Highly breathable
  • Easy adjustability on the go
  • Features a Composite Power Plate and Carbon forefoot insert
  • BioViz reflective elements for low-light visibility in low lighting
  • Cleats not included
  • Not ideal for off-road terrain or hiking uneven ground

Why we love it: A great starting point for anyone looking to start venturing out to see the sights on their bicycle. Affordable, durable and comfortable, as a road cycling shoe these are a great option. There is a 1cm rubber heel bumper ensuring they are comfortable for walking in with both 2 or 3 bolt cleats.

Best Bikepacking Shoes For Hiking – SIDI SD15 Cycling Shoes

SIDI SD15 Cycling Shoes

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The SD15 is a combination of a classic cycling shoe and a hiking shoe that most bikepackers are searching for. They offer enough comfort for the hike-a-bike sections that require cyclists to travel at times across various terrain, loose gravel or through water and mud. 

These shoes have been designed to provide the stability required for the moments where you find yourself carrying your bike by featuring grippy rubber soles and durable closures. 

  • Flexible nature of the soles
  • The “Tallone Heel” cup system which Sidi implements on their cycling shoes
  • Clipless style mountain bike shoe that can manage all terrain riding.
  • The flexibility is great for comfort but affects the power transfer while on the pedals
  • They aren’t as ventilated and may be uncomfortable in the peak of summer

Why we love it: These shoes use a Politex upper that is considered by the European Standards as a Green product. The Politex is uniquely constructed by layering the material which is pressed PVC. The process of then using a film dye means the colour will last much longer. 

Best Cross-Terrain Bikepacking Shoes – Adidas Terrex Trail Cross

Adidas Terrex Trail Cross

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The Adidas Terrex Trail Cross SL are a sleek and impressive design that is a popular and affordable cross-terrain shoe that is a remake of an older model. The newer improved Terrex Trail Cross shoes are noted to be good walking shoes with a softer sole with a solid rubber grip on the pedals and other rough surfaces. They are considered one of the best bikepacking clipless shoe options on the market in its price range. 

The Terrex Trail Cross are made with a high abrasion textile and a breathable fabric lining with a molded foam insole. The latest model is designed to be water resistant and highly durable. Overall they make a good versatile shoe for both hiking and riding.

  • Lace-up closure
  • Protective rubber toe cap
  • Plush tongue and collar
  • Pro-Moderator midsole supplies underfoot protection and midfoot stability
  • Stealth rubber outsole delivers hiking traction
  • Reviews have noted a slightly thinner upper, that prevents total optimal outright support in some cases

Why we love it: Adidas have successfully redesigned the Terrex Trail Cross SL shoes to be the perfect option for cycling, touring, hiking and bikepacking. With a thicker rubber sole for grip in various terrain and a reinforced toe box that protects you from obstacles; it really is one of the best value cross terrain bikepacking shoes around.

Final Thoughts

Bikepacking shoes are ideal for a variety of riding styles and budgets with the purpose of helping you to remain comfortable and safe on your adventures. Specially designed to provide you with stability, traction and support, a good pair of bikepacking shoes is a worthwhile investment when it comes to completing your cycling gear for any expedition.