Need recommendations for MTB shoes for flat pedals

I have a pair of 5 ten freeriders but the sole is too soft and I get blood circulation issues in feet when applying consistent power. There has got to be a shoe with flat rubber at the bottom and a stiff sole similar to clipless…


I have the Specialized 2FO Flat 2.0 shoes. I got them because Specialized shoes always fit me well. But they have been nice shoes overall.

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I switched to pedaling innovations’ catalyst pedals. I can wear any shoe though I usually wear my Bontrager flats which have a similarly soft sole.

How do you like the catalyst pedals? Have you used them for a long time? I have been thinking about giving them a try but have been skeptical due mainly to concerns about hitting obstacles with already a large BB drop on the bike…

Thanks in advance for your thoughts…

To help you understand my perspective: I am just a mountain bike guy, just trying to improve fitness. I’m not the expert bike handling guy so being clipped in was not for me. I’m a heavier guy and regular shoes with flats hurt my feet after about 1 1/2 hours.

My observations after about 120 miles on them, almost all singletrack:

  1. many years of habit of riding on the balls of your feet (like since I was a kid) took a while to break. I am still catching myself reverting to riding on the balls of my feet from time to time, and they get uncomfortable. It is quickly fixed but I still think about it. The soreness goes away completely with the arch centered pedal position.
  2. I feel VERY stable riding downhill. Heels- down is not as low because your heel is less distant from the spindle. Having both sides of the arch planted feels strong.
  3. I think I have the same number of pedal strikes (that is hard to objectively measure). For sure the type of pedal strikes are not the toe-catching, bike stopping high impact kind. They are more flat-hit, pedal-over kind.
  4. I feel stronger climbing but I have also improved my fitness using TR. The pedals seemed to help but I cannot say with certainty this is a contributing factor, only a suspicion.
  5. you will need to move your saddle forward to get the foot placement right.

In summary, it is a purchase I was hesitant to make (I was skeptical too) but wish I would have done it sooner. For a guy of my skill, fitness and ride durations they have helped reduce sore feet to almost nothing and increased my confidence downhill. I think they help uphill a little too. Also I can ride in any shoe.

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