Looking for a great alternative to Five Ten mountain bike shoes? So have we! While we love Five Ten and regularly stock them at Thunder Mountain Bikes, we’ve been keeping an eye out for other MTB shoe options, especially as more and more riders choose to use flat pedals. When it comes to flat pedals, the shoes are just as crucial as the pedals themselves. Not only is the shoe-to-pedal grip super important, but a supportive sole that keeps your feet from flexing too much will go a long way in preventing foot fatigue on a long ride, helping to maintain comfort and control on the bike. We jumped on the chance to get these new mountain bike shoes from Crankbrothers and happy to report we have a new contender in the shoe game!
Crankbrothers aptly named their shoes after their popular pedal models. The “Stamp” shoes share the same name as their Stamp flat pedals, while the “Mallet” shoes share the same name as their Mallet clip-in pedals. Within these models, Crankbrothers offers a full lace-up, lace-up with velcro, and Boa with velcro options. Check out our review below of the Stamp Boa flat pedal mountain bike shoes.
The fit and finish of these Stamp shoes are excellent, clean lines with a black on black finish all wrapped together with a Boa and Velcro closure. The fit is precise, and the comfort of the shoe out of the box is undeniable. Pre-ride impressions are that the shoe feels comparable in stiffness as a 5.10 Freerider Pro and Shimano GR-9. While it’s not stealth rubber sticky, the rubber feels on par or better than mountain bike shoes from Shimano, Specialized, Ride Concepts, or anything with Vibram.
Sedona is a great proving ground for all sorts of products, from suspension design to tire durability. Why not add shoes to that list?! I went out hunting big lines and steep rolls on the first ride out of the box. I have to say these shoes did not let me down. I could write a whole paragraph about how well the shoes fit, with the deep heel cup and secure and reliable fit of the boa ratchet and large velcro strap up top to keep things locked in. There was ample grip walking up and down steep slickrock scouting lines or getting the good photo angles for my riding buddies. It’s amazing to think that it wasn’t that long ago that I was slipping around in Sidi mountain bike shoes.
But now for the important part, how did they grip on the bike? I haven’t had an opportunity to try the shoes with their intended Crankbrothers Stamp pedals, but I did try them with my tried and true pedals, the Deity T-MAC. I headed out for two rides in one day since anything could feel good when you’re fresh. On the first ride, the pedals gripped great with zero unintended slips or movement on the pedals. On the second ride, I decided to push the pace with all-out sprints on some uber technical and chunky terrain. By the end of this ride, I had a more challenging time keeping my feet planted on the pedals while climbing. The only reason I can come up with was my sloppy pedaling form as the fatigue set in. But with this fatigue, it became noticeable that the rubber is a bit less supple than my previous Shimano MTB shoes (GR-9) or Five Ten Freerider Pro shoes. The grip while descending was still excellent, though, as there are grooves designed into the bottom sole that you can feel “lock” into place with the pedal pins.
All in all, I would recommend these shoes! The comfort gets a 10 out of 10, and that’s what sets these apart from the competition. The off-bike grip was killer. If there was something I didn’t feel like riding, I could trust them not to slip and safely walk around any features or to any precarious photo spots. The on-bike grip was also very impressive. As mentioned, they performed great on my first ride. It could take some adjustments on my part or some further “break-in” of the rubber to perform at more of a race type of pace. Overall, the first ride more closely resembles the vast majority of my riding, and the grooves are very noticeable when they lock in with the pedal pins, so I’d give it 8.5 out of 10 for on-bike grip. That still puts these shoes ahead of most “Non Five Ten” shoe options. In some cases, being able to easily re-adjust your foot while riding really helps, as being too sticky can prevent getting your foot in the right spot on the pedal as you’re committing to a line. The Crankbrothers Stamp shoe has an excellent rubber for these on-pedal foot adjustments.
Lastly, I am extremely lazy when it comes to tying laces, and this Boa model is quick and convenient to dial in the fit that you desire. They may cost a little more, but personally, I was happy to pay the convenience fee to get the Boa closure. The only thing I cannot comment on yet is long term durability, but so far, they seem like a solid shoe that will last for miles and miles.
Pricing and Availability
Our initial run of Stamp shoes quickly sold out but our second shipment of Crank Brothers Stamp Boa Flat Pedal Shoes are available here and our second shipment of Crank Brothers Stamp Lace Flat Pedal Shoes are available here.