Are Vans Good for Mountain Biking?

Vans are a popular style of shoe that many people enjoy wearing every day. But did you know that while Vans are trendy and comfortable their design actually serves a purpose too? 

Vans shoes are good for a variety of sports and activities and mountain biking is one of them. Those flat soles come in handy when you ride mountain bikes because they have more traction on the pedals. 

Various factors come into play when deciding on the right mountain bike shoes to wear, including the type of pedal your bike has. So, if you are trying to decide whether or not to buy a pair of Vans for your next bike ride, then read on.


Are Special Bike Shoes Needed For Mountain Biking?

If you are planning on going mountain biking often, then you’ll need mountain biking shoes that will allow you to keep your feet on the pedals to enable you to ride better. While you don’t have to have MTB shoes to be a good biker, the right shoes, like a Vans shoe, can help you have a better riding experience. 

Why Are Vans Good for Mountain Biking?

When you think of Vans shoes, you usually think of skate shoes. Skate shoes are flat on the bottom, which offers better traction and helps the shoes stick to the board. 

Vans shoes for mountain biking have these same flat bottoms, which help the mountain bike rider’s feet stay on the pedals. 

Here are a few factors that make Vans shoes good for mountain biking:

Cool Design

There is no shame in wanting mountain biking shoes that are attractive. And Vans shoes, which come in a variety of different designs and colors, are super attractive—some are very unique and bright. 

Not only do these Vans shoes allow you to show off your personality while mountain biking, but they are also easier to find if you happen to wreck your bike and lose a shoe or if you keep your gear with other riders’ stuff and want to be able to grab your shoes quickly.

Flat Souls

Vans shoes are ideal for mountain biking because they are flat with grippy soles. The tread pattern of the Vans shoes and the rubber sole mean the shoes are more likely to sit tightly against the pedal. 

The flat sole on the Vans maintains traction when you are both uphill biking and downhill pedaling. Vans can also help improve your pedaling power as your feet are not as likely to slip off the pedal if it moves too quickly. 

There are so many different shoes available from brands such as Ride Concepts and Freerider Pro shoes, but when you wear Vans shoes, you’ll notice the superior grip is much better than other footwear. Even in wet conditions, Vans shoes will continue to perform well. 

Easy to Clean

Vans shoes are the best shoes for outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, (and even skateboarding) because they are so easy to clean. 

Whatever shoes you wear mountain biking, they’ll get dusty and dirty quickly; plus, they’ll get full of mud. After just a few hours on the trails, your shoes will look rough. 

But the great thing about Vans is that you won’t need to run out and buy new shoes; you can just clean the soles and the canvas and it will seem like you’ve got a new pair of Vans.


Vans shoes are very comfortable to wear, and whether you end up wearing them for skateboarding or mountain biking, they will also give you greater control over your bike or board. 

The flat grip of the shoes doesn’t affect the interior comfort of the footwear at all. Each pair offers ankle protection, a supporting arch design, a stiff sole, and a rubber toe box. 

Slip-on Vans are easy to put on and take off quickly, but if you are looking for the best mountain biking shoes, rather avoid slip-on Vans as they could slip off when you catch air.


Vans’ flat sole helps make the shoes more durable too. The flat Vans have thick soles with more rigidity than your average shoe. 

The soft canvas of the Vans is flexible so it moves with your foot and is less likely to suffer from common wear and tear as easily. The flats aren’t necessarily designed for mountain biking, but a pair of Vans flats can easily stand up to the activity and last for several seasons.


Of course, every biker wants to be good, but it’s also important to stay safe while enjoying your favorite activity. Vans shoes are designed to provide more protection than any other shoe. 

Other companies do not offer the same foot comfort combined with enough grip for the rider to actually feel his/her soles sticking to the pedals. Riders can enjoy more power with flats without having to worry about their feet slipping and their ankles hitting the pedals. 

The toe protection the Vans offer also means you can pedal with more force and not have to worry about your toes being caught in the chain or hitting the moving pedals of the mountain bike. In essence, Vans shoes help make riding safer.

What Do the Pedals Have to Do With It?

One of the things that makes Vans shoes good for mountain biking is that they are designed in a way that makes the sole sit flat on the pedals. The type of pedals your mountain bike has can help you decide what type of Vans shoes will be best for you.

Flat Pedals

Many MTBs prefer riding flats. These are pedals that are flat in shape with metal pins that sit on the surface. 

The pins and flat pedals make it easier for bike shoes to grip on and stick. It’s important to understand that not every mountain bike will have perfectly flat pedals. 

Some pedals are convex or concave, so it is up to you to decide which type feels more comfortable when you are riding. 

Both convex and concave pedals can give you different traction on the pedals and different control over a mountain bike. Mountain bike shoes usually work well with both types of pedals. 

Since flat pedals don’t have to be connected to shoes, you can easily hop off the bike when needed, which is ideal for dirt jumping.

Every cyclist has different preferences, for example, some people feel the Vans shoes are too soft for them. But, if you prefer a safer ride that allows your feet to be free, provides a strong grip, and works with a variety of different types of footwear, flat pedals are the better option for you.

Clipless Pedals

Clipless pedals securely lock the shoes to the pedals. They allow riders to keep their feet on the pedals no matter what. 

Cyclists often have more power when riding with these pedals because there is no pause or movement in the feet. 

The downside of clipless pedals is that they are hard to snap in and out of. They don’t work as well with all types of mountain bike shoes, and they make it harder to get on and off the mountain bike quickly. 

They can also lead to accidents and injuries as it’s not easy to move your feet when you need to do so quickly. In most cases, clipless pedals are meant for more experienced mountain bikers. 


Vans shoes are great for anyone who likes to have a good grip on the pedals but also likes to look stylish and feel comfortable. Their flat soles make riding that much easier, and they’re a lot cheaper than other shoes (MTB shoes) too. 

Cyclists of all ages and levels will find that Vans shoes give them a better mountain biking experience, overall. 

If you enjoy mountain biking and are looking for mountain bike shoes that will give you a better grip on the pedals and a comfortable ride, Vans shoes are an excellent option.