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MTB Footwear Guide

We at ION believe there’s more to a good bike shoe than just grip. That’s why we focus on the Concept of Control, mixing grip, protective elements, and a sport seat feeling into stylish & technical mountain bike kicks.

Does it matter what shoes you bike in and how do I find the right ones?

Skate-style shoes or regular sneakers won’t offer more than just a stylish look and can’t keep up with the perks of dedicated mountainbike shoes. Cycling shoes are worth their costs as they come with improved comfort, better power transmission, protection, and traction on and off the pedal. First of all, our kicks come with high durability to withstand wear and tear from pedal pins, dirt, and general strain from biking. Furthermore, protective elements in the toe or ankle area add up to versatility. The major difference is grip and the direct feeling on the pedal. Sneakers may feel grippy and comfortable though the construction is not meant to support your foot on the pedal. Also, the rubber won’t hold long when you apply pressure on the pedals. Mountainbike shoes offer the best power transmission making your riding more efficient and precise. It’s time to ditch your old sneakers and to invest in some fresh kicks that will hold up for a long time!


When buying your new mountain bike you will notice that you have to decide between two different types of pedals – flat or clipless. This decision also influences what kind of mountain bike shoe you will need. The difference between flat and clipless shoes lies in the outsole. Flat Pedal shoes feature a flat sole that creates traction on the pins of your pedal. This is good for beginners but also for riders that do tricks or jumps or if you just can’t bring up the commitment to be tightly connected to your pedal. Clipless shoes on the other hand come with an integrated cleat that acts as a counterpart to your pedal. In contrary to road bike or racing shoes, mountainbike-specific clipless shoes also offer a grippy outsole for maximum traction when you are pushing or carrying your bike.


Be aware: There is no rule which shoe you should ride in which terrain. This is a recommendation for ION mountain bike shoes, but you should always follow your own preferences. Here are some tips from our side to make your decision easier regarding which system to use.

Easy to change foot placement. More freedom to move and change foot positioning. Better for personal bike technique development
Secure foot placement. Direct power transmission (more efficient). Improved control of your bike


You will find that our ION mountainbike shoes come in different levels concerning pricing and features. The different levels will give you an orientation on which model to choose:

SELECT: Our top-notch level with premium materials and features such as protective elements

AMP: Maximum performance with protective elements

CORE: Entry level & minimalistic

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Clipless Shoes

All mountain / Enduro

In this category, it is most likely you want to go for the Rascal, our clipless shoes. The direct connection to your bike offers uncompromised power transmission, making pedaling more efficient. On technical trails, you don’t have to worry about keeping your feet on the pedal and rocky sections or roots won’t shake you off. You’re united with your bike and can fully focus on your adventure that lies ahead of you.

Compatible with all common MTB-Pedals

Best power transmission & efficiency

Protective toe box and ankle pads

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Clipless or Flat Pedal

Enduro / Downhill

Here it’s about your own preferences and individual riding style. Some swear to clipless shoes, others prefer the freedom of movement & the uncomplicated use of flat pedal shoes. Whatever you choose, you can be sure to get the optimized stiffness for perfect power transmission, ultimate grip on and off the pedal and protective elements against rocks or roots.

. Ultimate Grip / Smart cleat positioning

. Protective toe box and ankle pads (Amp/Select level only)

. Technical & performance-oriented

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Downhill / Freeride

The Seek shoes are the right match for everyone who wants to keep it casual but doesn’t want to sacrifice performance. Those shoes are perfect from Slopestyle riding progressive freeriding or downhill, to the bar after the session. A sticky rubber compound and grippy profile of the outsole will provide all the traction on and off the pedal that you need.

Urban-inspired & progressive

Ultimate grip

Protective toe box and ankle pads (Amp level only)


Your mountainbike shoes should have a snug fit in the heel area without pressure points on the toes or the instep. Please note that especially leather shoes get a bit softer the more you ride. ION shoes come with a stiffer construction that creates the most direct feedback between rider and pedal. That's why they will feel unusual when trying them on flat ground. But we are almost certain that you will enjoy this feature in the long run since it prevents your feet from tilting on the pedal resulting in less fatigue.

How do I find the correct size?

ION mountainbike shoes follow regular sizing. Simply measure the length of your foot and find the right size in our fit guide.


To extend the lifetime of your new shoes and prevent smelly surprises, you must maintain and care for them regularly. Most of the time it is enough to brush off dirt with a soft brush. Please consider the following points to prevent damage to your product:

  • Bike shoes do not belong in the washing machine.

  • Before cleaning, remove the insole and laces or loosen all straps and buckles.

  • Dust or light dirt can simply be wiped off with a moist cloth.

  • For coarser dirt use a soft nylon brush and water.

  • Shoes made of real leather need special care: Use suitable shoe care for leather to grease them regularly. Never leave your shoes damp and unventilated, e.g. in the trunk of the car, and always keep them away from heat sources (heaters, ovens), as the leather can become brittle, dry, and cracked or, in the worst case, deform.

  • Stuff your shoes with newspaper to dry them and do not leave them to dry directly in the sun or a heat source.

  • Waterproof your shoes regularly – preferably after cleaning, when they are not yet completely dry

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