MTB/gravel shoes for road

Hi all, looking for a pair of shoes for road cycling that take an mtb (ie two bolt) cleat. Any recommendations or experiences appreciated. Lighter better, stiff good but don’t need the stiffest thing going.

Replacing Giro Rumbles. Options I’m looking at so far -

fizik x5 terra (£110)
giro empire (£200)
shimano rx8 (£175).
(All prices fairly good reductions on rrp just nbow)

Thanks in advance!

I could swear this came up before.

Shimano RX8. VR90 is fine too, but different. Laces, more rubber on the bottom, can take spikes, etc.

RX8 looks more “road”, it is a trimmed MTB shoe, less rubber, no spikes.

Don’t have the X5, can’t comment on that.

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Thanks! I was leaning towards the shimanos.

I probably should have had a search first.

I’m still fairly new to road cycling and haven’t tried road cleats, but I do wonder why there’s not more in the way of road shoes that that take mtb cleats. The walkability factor seems a no brainer to me, for convenience and safety. Actually aware of two cyclists out of the not that large number I’ve met that have seriously injured themselves slipping on road cleats in the last six months.

And you won’t slip and fall on your butt when you step on a puddle.

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All the road shoes I’ve owned have had very little rubber. Barely any at all, in fact. So little that they’d be a slipping risk regardless of what cleat you put on it.

To make it stable and good for walking or running up hills, you’d have to add rubber. Add enough rubber, and don’t you just wind up with . . . an MTB shoe?


Started this thread below asking a similar question a few months ago. Love my RX8’s, use them for all my bikes now.


I know but there does seem to be somewhere in between mtb and road, basically like the shoes I’m looking at epecially the shimano rx8. My questions more why are these shoes more common.

Thanks @shawrx. That’s confirmed the rx8s for me.

How do you find the fit?

Out of interest, do you notice anything in the way of disadvantage with the spds on the road compared to your Looks? Obviously the weight won’t be something you can feel, but in terms of stiffness/locked in feeling people talk of

Depending on how wide your feet are (I have feet that enable me to walk on water!), I would recommend taking a look at SIDI and Northwave. SIDI have a specific range for wide feet and the Northwave MTB offerings fit me perfectly.

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Thanks @PusherMan.

I’ve normal width feet I think. Thinking about some north wave winter shoes later in the year though.

Personally, I find the SIDI wide shoes to be pretty narrow. I own S-Phyre shoes that are significantly wider.

I don’t really see the point of the RX 8. It weighs 60g less than an XC 9. Skip two swallows from the water bottle and you’ve made up the difference.

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25% cheaper (for me in sale just now anyway)

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Sounds like we’re in the same boat. Thanks for the heads-up on this brand. I’d never even considered them before.

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I have a pair or Terras X5.
They are brilliant but the 1 boa could be a bit tricky.
I’ve also bought a pair of shimano xc-7(red ones) with 2 boa’s.
The shimano have more rubber so your feet have more contact to the spd pedals than the fizik(mostly side-side)


To answer your question on “how does it feel”, I know lots of people who ride SPD full time on the road and claim no issues. Personally, I have had hot spots develop on longer rides with SPD, but that was many years ago. I should probably try it again with today’s stiffer MTB soles. I’d love to buy the SPD Power pedals and be able to just swap them between the road, gravel, and MTB!


I use Giro VR90’s for most riding now, and I really love those shoes, but as typical with shoes YMMV. They are super stiff (and I think you need a super stiff mtb shoe if using on road), and you will feel a small difference to really good road shoes mostly due to the wider cleat platform, but there’s no reason not to do it if you have a good setup.

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RX8 might be the easiest to walk in and put covers on in cold weather.
I didn’t find Shimano’s wide shoes noticeably wider than their normal shoes.

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Thanks for all the advice folks. I was wanted the RX8s but in the end plonked for the Fiziks just because they’re cheaper.

I’d say I have pretty “normal” feet and they fit me great. The single Boa seems to be enough to provide a good fit and as others have said they are very easy to walk in.

I personally have not noticed a difference in feeling between my old Looks and the SPD’s. To be fair though I’ve been using SPD’s on my gravel and MTB for years so I was already used to them.

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ah okay, fair.

I’m not sure why, maybe it’s style / people identifying what “tribe” they are basd on their shoe. I mainly ride mountain so i just use the mountain shoes (with eggbeaters) and have no issues. I ride Specialized with carbon bottoms and for me they are perfect.

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