Pinnacle is the in-house brand for the large UK bike shop chain Evans Cycles and the Pinnacle name is adorned on everything from mountain bikes to socks. Pinnacle are probably not the first brand you think of when looking for gravity shoes but their Alder clipless shoes are skate-style clipless trail and enduro kicks at a keen price.
We have been putting the Pinnacle Alders to the test to see how they compare to the best mountain bike shoes.
Construction and fit
The Pinnacle Alder has a skate-style aesthetic with an understated black-on-black look (the women’s version has pink details), a suede-like finish on the toe and heel, and subtle logos. Pinnacle has armored the front of the shoe with an abrasive-resistant material to improve durability. The tongue has a scooped-out shape and is made out of a mesh, as is the collar around the shoe opening. Finally, there is a loop on the rear to help pull the shoes on and off.
Standard laces are further secured by a velcro strap that hooks and loops over the top of the foot and can be used to tuck away any loose laces. The inside of the heel is lined with a single direction, ‘cat tongue’ material to help further hold the foot in place.
Underneath there are no fancy rubber partnerships for the sole as you often see on premium shoes. Pinnacle has chosen a hexagonal tread pattern for the phylon and rubber outsole, with smoother sections on either side of the two bolt cleat recess.
Cheaper mountain bike shoes can often suffer from being too heavy or too floppy however the Alders do well to offer a decently stiff sole with a competitive weight. The sole gives the shoes a supportive platform when pedaling and descending to keep foot fatigue to a minimum.
I liked the cleat recess too which particularly deep giving an easy stamp on the pedals clip in action as well as stopping your cleats from touching the ground when walking. The tread on the bottom is quite shallow though which limits traction when walking in slimy muddy conditions and gives fewer edges for pedal pins to bite into.
Sizing is pretty limited and Pinnacle only offers five sizes for men and three women's sizes. I found the Alders comfortable and although my EU43 size shoes maybe came up a little large, my feet didn't squirm or lift when I was riding or walking. The laces give a good amount of adjustment down the foot and the velcro strap helps hold the foot in place.
While the lack of vents on the shoe has been nice on our cold winter test rides lately, we expect the Alder’s would get a bit hot on summer rides as other than the mesh tongue there’s no way for heat to escape.
If the limited sizing that's available works for you then the Pinnacle Alder shoes are decent budget performers considering they undercut a lot of other clipless trainer-style shoes. Especially if you can get them discounted and with the 50 percent discount at the time of writing the Alders are unmatched in terms of performance at a price point.
The stiff sole and slip-free fit give a comfortable and stable platform when riding although the lack of vents or chunky tread means they won't be great in the baking sun or for boggy trail sessions.
Tech specs: Pinnacle Alder
- Price: $149.99 / £100 / €119.99
- Colors: Black
- Sizing: EU 41 - 46
- Weight: 882g (EU43, no cleats)