Italian sportswear & shoemaker UYN has created their first gravel and mountain biking shoe with the unique new Naked MTB. The new cycling shoes start with a seamless sock-like upper made of natural castor bean fibers & a hemp insole, then wrapped with a synthetic exoskeleton over a carbon-reinforced sole for support and efficient power delivery to the pedals. The result they say is “so lightweight, breathable and comfortable that you feel like you are riding barefoot“.
UYN Naked MTB bio-based knit cycling shoes
UYN launched their Naked knit sock with an exoskeleton design concept first as a road shoe. It’s a logical evolution of their similarly-made and lightweight knit mesh running & sailing shoes. But now gravel riders and mountain bikers can get the same barefoot riding feel with the new UYN Naked MTB shoes.
UYN calls it a sock-like or even barefoot fit, but it still appears to be a regular style shoe best worn with cycling socks. To be honest, though, I’d be curious to see if the shoes are as soft & fitted as a sock that they could be worn sockless?
The off-road shoes evolve the seamless, ultra-breathable upper sock by using a new combination of organic & synthetic yarns, knit together to balance the desired stretch and ventilation with extra durability and cut-resistance.
The 2-layer 3D knit – lighter and faster drying 100% bio Natex castor bean fibers on the inside & Hi-Force TPU-reinforced yarn on the outside – allows for a shaped one-piece construction that closely wraps around the foot offering stretchy support without hot spots.
In between the two, a semi-rigid stability frame offers extra lateral stability and prevents foot roll in the otherwise soft construction.
Plus, with the addition of liquid rubber toe & heel protections added on, it also means an easier to clean finish for riding in the dirt & mud off-road.
A classic lugged XC MTB style sole is made of carbon-reinforced nylon for balanced stiffness and durability, with replaceable toe spikes. And inside, the insole itself is made of natural hemp to keep your feet dry and freshly ventilated even on the hottest rides
Then wrapping it all together, a recycled synthetic fiber Exoframe exoskeleton dials in a supportive fit between the stiff sole and adaptable upper. A single proprietary Micro-Tune Boa-style wire & dial retention lets you fine-tune the fit with asymmetric zig-zag lacing across the foot.
UYN Naked MTB – Pricing, options & availability
The new UYN Naked MTB shoes are available now for 279€ in whole EU sizes from 39-47, direct from UYN or their partner retailers.
The shoes are 100% made-in-Italy, and come in three colors, all sharing the same black sole, black Exoframe & light blue detailing. The all-black version is the most conventional-looking, while military Green starts to hint at the unique construction, and the sand-colored Bronze lays bare how the sock is differentiated from the structure of the shoes.