Riding off-road on a mountain bike is not only a great way to get fit but it often allows you to enjoy a better view and a closer to nature feel than going at it on pavement. Mountain biking can be at times more challenging that straight out because you are biking through different terrains and the bike itself is a lot different. With all that in mind, you need a different kind of gear and footwear when using a mountain bike.
Mountain biking puts in a whole different list of requirements and it is no longer just about speed. Mountain bike shoes allows for god traction on a pedal or the ground for both efficiency and security. The rubber outsole should make it a lot easier to walk on slick or even rugged trails. Most mountain bike shoes also come with a form of protection for the toes. There are primarily two main kinds of mountain bike shoes.
Casual MTB Shoes
It looks like most cross trainer shoes or hiking shoes with a regular lace-up design making it easy to deal. Being a mountain bike shoe, these often are designed to have a facility for a clipless pedal which means that it can be used as a clipless shoe or on a regular pedal. It often has a nice stiff-soled shoe that is not very expensive and has a more casual look.
High-end MTB shoes
Most of these kinds of shoes have a different design and has a buckle and a strap, usually with velcro, to secure the shoe. It also not unusual for higher-end MTB shoes to have some carbon fiber in the insole making it stiffer but more lightweight that casual MTB shoes. It have a bit longer spikes so you have more traction whenever you need to walk on the ground, much like the shoes used by soccer players. Most of these shoes look like road cycling shoes with some spikes on the bottom.
Mountain bike riders require the highest level of traction, not just for riding but for walking as well so they need to have aggressively designed soles to grip on rocky and often unstable surfaces. As for closure styles, most casual mountain bike shoes have laces which offers a customizable fit for the rider as long as he makes sure that the ends are short enough or tucked away to avoid getting caught in the chain.
Other mountain bike shoes have a hook-and-loop straps which is less stretchy than laces but offers more security. They are also easier to close and lasts longer on muddy and wet conditions which is to be expected in mountain biking. Lastly, notched cam straps with buckles have the best security and clamping power of all mountain bike shoes but they are also the most expensive.
So there you go. These are just some of the things to consider before buying a mountain bike shoes. They are very useful for people who likes spending time with nature and wants a more challenging ride than the road can offer.