Best shoes for mountain unicycling

My mountain uni has the nimbus studded pedals. I typically wear Nike running shoes but those don’t offer much support. Regular hiking shoes don’t fit well on the pedals because of the cleats? Push the sole farther from the pedal. Are there any shoes that offer support and are affordable?

The ones you have.

Have you tried your hiking boots for a month?
Try them for a month and you’ll see that there is no difference in how they feel.
In fact, they will feel better overall as it’s a shoe that you already wear for hiking.

…and if you ever have to walk out, you have a comfy pair to do it in.

I use my hiking boots for my riding.
Very well protected and great grip on the pedals with pins.

I wear Everlast boxing boots. Good grip and ankle protection.


There are many serious municyclists but also mountainbikers who use flat pedals and wear Five Tens. They are known for offering bags of grip, they protect your feet better than soft running shoes and they give you a better sensation of your foot positioning than hard and knobby hiking boots. There are few models which also protect your ankles. Lacking real hiking profile they can be slippery in mud, though. There will be other brands out there which might suit you as well, look out for MTB shoes. There also seemed to be a group of hiking boots enthusiasts:

I once damaged the capsule of my big toe during a UPD while wearing soft running shoes on my first muni rides. That seemingly little injury took me a half year to fully regain painless agility in my toe, so I would highly recommend to change for more protection. Now I wear Five Ten Freerider Pros and they worked really well on my Nimbus studded plastic pedals until I had to replace them (I mean the pedals). I really like my Five Tens!

I have tried boots but anything with a heel is a no go for me.

My five ten’s were indestructible and gripped like no other but felt like bricks on feet

I now ride Vans BMX shoes. They are more comfortable then five tens and have loads of grip on MTB pinned pedals. If you haunt the sale page on vans website you can usally snag a pair for $50’ish and free shipping

The regular vans skate shoes with waffle soles work fine also but the BMX sole compound is softer for pedals

I’ve been using Specialized 2FO’s for the past 5 months or so and have no complaints. They are light, grippy, stiff and not too bad for general use either. They do hold and track mud and dirt however.

There are plenty of different “flat pedal”- mountainbike shoes out there now. I have some scott ones that look suspiciously like fivetens, and got them on sale for very reasonable money. They are great for riding, but not so great to walk in.
I still think adidas sambas are good for unicycling, especially since I used to get them used for super cheap, but it turns out shoes that are designed to be on pedals are better.

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As a beginner, I got these for mountain unicycling and they are working really well for me: SHIMANO SH-GR701 Versatile Flat Pedal Trail Shoe. I am currently doing very easy trails in PA and cautiously, but enough to hurt body parts, lol. They were pricey though, and while I initially had no plans to buy special shoes for muni, I’m really glad I got these. Their stiff soles seem to give me a little more power than flexible shoes, the overall foot protection seems very good, and maybe best of all they grip the pedals well, no slips or worse, sticking. They also have a handy band across the center of the laces where you can tuck your tied laces very securely. For non-muni I wear a lot of different shoes and most of my other shoes including outdoor are moderate to very minimalist, but lately I find myself grabbing these for street rides I want to work on stuff for their protection or for longer rides, for better protection from the feel of the pins. They also have these hard to find musts for me: a wide toe box and one that allows a healthy straight-ish position of big toe, as well as minimal heel or toe rise. Due to their stiffness I reserve them just for riding. I can imagine I may or may not grow out of wanting/needing a stiff sole, but for now they fit the bill. (I just reread the OP and realized this is more of a review than a good example of an affordable shoe as these are exorbitantly expensive; sorry about that. Will post anyway in case some part is helpful…also things often get price slashed over time.)

I use for Muni a safety Shoe. Haix Eagle Safety Mid Black/Blue. It’s a good Shoe for Muni but it is expensive. I use the shoe also for Work, it works also great and it does a good job. I use the shoe also in my Freetime and it works great. In the mud it’s a little bit of slippery but it goes better then another Muni shoe that I had used for 2 years for the Muni rides. It was the Five Ten Impact VXI Shoe, the Shoe was very slippery you can’t walk with them in the mud. You can very good slide in the mud with this shoes.

I use Ride Concepts Powerline.
I have ridden with FiveTen Impacts before and I find the RC lighter weight and slightly more flexible.

Ever since Adidas consumed FiveTen those shoes have not been quite the same.

I use those pedals on my 29 and while I usually am on road or smooth dirt roads, my favorite is the Fubu brand of medium/high top sneakers that I found at Walmart. They have a relatively uniform chevron bottom that doesn’t get stuck on the pedal spikes and permits fine position adjustments of your feet on the pedals. Very good control. I don’t ride in wet conditions so I don’t know about that. Price is very reasonable, but I keep mine exclusively for unicycling, and picked up an extra pair when I discovered how much I liked them.

I found these vans on sale a while back and they are almost perfect for Mountain unicycling and biking.

I love this year’s 5.10 Freerider: all black with red accents. I can wear these to work no problem. They’ve had ghastly colors in past years.

The pictured Freerider Pro Mid VCS just came out and got a review on bikerumor.Five Ten Freerider Pro Mid VCS & Trail Cross GTX MTB Shoes have your feet covered as seasons change - Bikerumor Had I knew this ankle-protecting version of Freerider existed, I would’ve gotten them instead.


Those look amazing. I’ve been thinking I need a pair of shoes for my Schlumpf riding and all the ones I’ve seen recently haven’t been that inspiring.

Currently just use high Vans but this looks a lot more robust yet light.

There are also the Five Ten Impact High shoes. Pro: Very good protection around the ankle. Con: Putting them on and off takes a bit more effort than lower shoes. Noteworthy: Five Ten’s production quality has been varying over the years – some are awesome and endure a lot of abuse, others are badly cut and badly glued.

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One of my Five ten Shoes are a bad glue. I’ve fixed this shoes bad they are open again and again. Other pear of Five Ten I take for the everyday life and they hold fantastic, if no problems with this shoes. The laces are so open that I can that like an slip in shoe. That’s very nice, you don’t have open your shoe laces and tie up the shoe. That’s a Five Ten Freeridern and it’s the best shoe for the everyday life.

Muni I ride with safety shoes, that’s is going very well.

Agreed. The Impact line is very rugged, and presumably great for Muni. But I do way more errands and casual rides on the uni than hardcore sweaty muni, so I love the Freerider for that. The Impact’s a bit much for getting milk down the road on the unicycle.

Either way, having a grippy, stiff sole for unicycling really improved things over sneakers or running shoes. Depending on your budget, it might be a stretch, the 5.10s are 150-200USD, 100 if it’s on sale. Being one of the main contact points, it’s well worth the investment for control and comfort.

I have a pair of the Five Ten Trailcross GTX shoes which I got to replace some Five Ten ‘Guide Tennie Mid’ shoes which they discontinued after Adidas acquired Five Ten (the Guide Tennie were probably the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever had and they live on even though they are starting to fall to bits…)

The Trailcross GTX are really quite comfortable too, the only negative thing I’d say about them is that it can be a pain to get your foot into the neoprene cuff on the top of them.

I also agree that the Impact High are somewhat of an effort to put on, so-much-so that I don’t wear my ones all that much – one of the pitfalls of online shopping – if I had tried them in a shop I might not have bothered with them.

I tried a pair of Impact but they are much wider inside than the Freeriders - I have narrow feet. Shame because I wanted some ankle protection. But I’ll give those a shot to see if they’re built on the same last than the low Freeriders.

I ordered a set of these. Size 7 and while I loved the idea of Velcro for securing them they just didn’t have enough ankle support or option to tension there.

I previously just used high ankle Vans and occasionally 5.10 High Impact shoes for unicycling.

The Vans are nice and soft and just feel like normal shoes. The Impacts always felt too clompy and BIG but good ankle wrap around.

I’ve since returned the Freerider Pro Mid VCS for the reasons I didn’t like the ankle support or lack thereof. And size 7 was too tight for me. Previously my 5.10s have been 6.5.

All UK sizes.

I have just received a lovely pair of Trailcross Mid Pro. And I’m sold. They are so comfy and the ankle protection is just right. Plus while laces need tucking away they offer the really custom tensioning of a shoe across the board and these already feel so great.

Firm yet some pedal feel - 90% flat sole but I’ll be able to walk in these much more comfortably than the Impacts. And I suspect the D3O panel will work perfecting for Schlumpf shifting.

Just feels like I’ve found my uni-shoe :heart_eyes:
(7.5 fits perfectly with a mini amount of room which I like.)

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