XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 shoes (12)
If you’ve never tried riding with ﬂat pedals off-road, we suggest you give it a go. The connected-but-not feeling takes a bit of getting used to but will sharpen your skills immediately. Having a good shoe helps, and Salomon are pushing their new (snappily titled) XA PRO 3D Ultra 2 (yeah!) as bike-ready.
They’re not wrong, either, with those Schwalbe Rocket Ron look-a-like treads being soft enough to engage with pedal pins as well as any Vans we’ve ridden in. They’re also way better equipped to hike up loose tracks than smooth soled shoes.
They’re not quite Five Ten’s Stealth rubber sticky, but they’re effective nonetheless. Also, not everyone wants the Sam Hill ‘frankenboot’ look. We love the cool, airy feel of this shoe with all that mesh for hot summer riding, and a chunky plati-rubber toe cap gives your no-doubt precious tootsies more protection than your average skate shoe.
Build quality and durability is superb, which is just as well; as they look like trainers you’ll probably ﬁnd, like we have, that you start leaving them on before, during and after the ride. Loads of colours, from plain old black to hmmmm-grey to full colour-blocking madness will make the trendies smile too.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.