We spent 9.8 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what cyclers think:

6 reasons to buy

  • Almost everyone who has reviewed the Northwave Clan claims that it has excellent traction for both on and off the bike.
  • This mountain bike shoe is impeccably comfortable, based on the majority of the feedback.
  • According to several purchasers, the Clan is well-constructed using premium materials.
  • It is a highly-recommended MTB shoe for its stiff sole and protective upper, a handful of reviewers point out.
  • Some consumers find this footwear to be stylish.
  • A couple of testers claim that it is very durable.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The Northwave Clan should have more color options, say a number of shoppers.
  • An owner claims that he has sensitive feet and felt rubbing after a whole day of cycling.
  • One commenter who has special foot conditions say that the shoe’s insoles didn’t do anything for his feet.

Bottom line

In a market dominated by another brand, most flat MTB cyclists have been initially apprehensive. But the Northwave Clan proved that it deserves a seat in the best-rated flat mountain cycling shoe table.

From its grip, durability, protective design, and stiff soles, it has been acclaimed as a well-engineered and efficient flat shoe.


Expert Reviews

85 / 100 based on 8 expert reviews

  • 82 / 100 | Trail Talk MTB | | Level 1 expert

    Sneaker-like comfort, stiff soles, comfy to walk in too, excellent grip.

  • 85 / 100 | Singletracks | | Level 2 expert

    For a flat pedal mountain bike shoe, the Clans hit every mark I can think of. They’re not too heavy at 860g for the pair, about a pound per foot. With the tight lacing and reinforced toe, the Northwaves feel light and secure. Lastly, I believe that the aesthetics are pretty dang nice, especially since it’s from a brand more known for their clipless XC shoes. I’ll be hanging on to these shoes for a while, for practicing skills, riding dirt jumps, or when I occasionally want to get back to my roots.

  • 83 / 100 | Single Track World | | Level 2 expert

    What is noticeably better is the added control you feel you have over your footing and bike position with the Clan on. The fit is more tailored than the bulkier Five Ten, and the added support from that stiff sole gives you a level of connectivity normally associated with an SPD set up, just as Northwave had hoped for.

  • 93 / 100 | Bike Mag | | Level 1 expert

    The Clans are snugly comfortable, with well-designed uppers and enough grip underneath that I don’t hesitate to reach for them instead of a pair of Freeriders. Which is not to say that they’re better, but that they’re at least as good. And that’s the nicest thing I’ve ever written about a flat pedal shoe that isn’t made by Five Ten.

  • 93 / 100 | NSMB | | Level 1 expert

    It sounds like there are a few new options out there now that are challenging 5.10 at their flat pedal domination. If you're looking for something different, these are a pretty good bet. They're a solid, well built option and the grip is certainly there. And they're available in black or gray if you're not feeling up to the day-glo blue. I'm going to keep my Freerider Pros, but I haven't felt a need to wear them for quite a while now. And if a pair of black or grey Clan's every showed up on my doorstep, I'd be even less likely to go back.

  • 90 / 100 | Pink Bike | | Level 1 expert

    There are a number of good options for a flat pedal shoe out there and the Clan is undoubtedly one of them. It offers plenty of traction on and off of the pedals, it has a supportive fit, and it has proven durable with use in some pretty poor conditions. For someone that's looking for a well-engineered flat pedal shoe, the Clan is worth checking out.

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The Clan by Northwave are sturdy MTB shoes crafted with durable upper materials and flat, grippy soles. They feature a tough abrasion-resistant welded upper with mesh inserts for enhanced comfort and pockets of ventilation. TPU reinforcements are also employed to provide impact-protection.

The bottom part is endowed with Michelin’s super-sticky Gravity FPS Technical soles for an unmatched grip.

Flat soles with excellent traction. Giving the shoe its excellent pedal grip is an outsole design, called Gravity FPS, that took two years in the making. Crafted from Michelin’s adhesive Gecko+ rubber compound, it allows the rider to stay connected and take control while pedaling.

Foot support and stability. This model’s power transfer is administered by an adaptive TPU shank. Apart from its rigid make-up, the shank also keeps the foot feeling supported and secure.

The Northwave Clan features a flat and grippy sole design. It offers excellent shoe-to-pedal connection and gives the wearer confidence in the trail by providing the freedom to plant their feet any time needed.

Some of the pedals you can try with this shoe are Dimension Baic Heavy-Duty Nylon, DMR V6, and Fyxation Gates Slim Platform.

Tough yet breathable upper. Crafted from welded synthetic materials and mesh inserts, the Northwave Clan is both durable and well-ventilated. A padded tongue enhances comfort and cushioning.

Impact-protection. TPU reinforcements are placed on the toe and heel areas to keep the foot protected from rock strikes and other unexpected impact sources in the trail.

Proven lockdown. For its retention system, the shoe utilizes non-stretch laces for a consistent and tested efficiency to keep your feet in place. An elasticated lace keeper helps keep loose ends from getting caught in the crankset or pedals.

Heel loop. For faster and easier on and off, the Clan comes with a heel pull-tab.

This footwear comes with a standard removable insole. If you need more support, feel free to replace it with special orthotic footbeds.

  • The Clan’s tread design is derived from Michelin’s XCR tire model.
  • This shoe is acclaimed to be on par with Five Ten flat shoes, the leading brand in the flat MTB shoe category.

The Clan was released alongside another flat MTB model from the brand called the Tribe. Both shoes belong in Northwave’s top-of-the-line MTB shoe department. 

Their main differences lie in the sole construction. The Clan employs the “Gravity” sole, while the Tribe features the “Gravity Top” sole. The latter is considered to be more sport-level and provides more arch support and cushioning than the former.