Refining the connection between your feet and pedals is the best way to get faster without spending a jillion dollars or almost as many hours, so Diadora's X Vortex Comp Men's Mountain Bike Shoes are a relatively minor investment that'll help take your riding to the next level. The secret's in the Speed MTB KR sole, a carbon reinforced plate that rates 8. 5 on Diadora's stiffness scale, so it won't let watts go to waste. It won't transfer road vibrations into your feet, either, so you won't feel like you've been riding on a rumble strip after a day of pedaling. Inside, a perforated Hi Vent EVA insole helps your feet stay cool and supported, and its removable design lets you pop it out to dry or swap it for your own custom insoles.A stiff sole isn't the end all be all, though. A shoe has to fit like a glove, and the X Vortex's Suprell Tech upper and Morpho AM TPU cage work together to keep your foot locked in place with the perfect combination of stiffness and flexibility. The cage prevents the shoe from deforming under pressure, and an additional Duratech heel support makes sure your heel doesn't slip, which improves fit and reduces the likelihood of blisters. All this tech seals up around your foot via a Boa dial closure and two hook and loop straps, so you can fine tune the fit without having to worry about pinching or pressure points.