The 411 on Five Ten Shoes
As you may already know, we’ve started carrying Five Ten’s well-respected MTB shoes at the Lamar store.
Since I’m a roadie at heart and a CX nut and not really much of a mountain biker (I’ll walk a bike plenty on the Greenbelt) I had to do some research and talk with a couple of folks that ride Five Tens. What they all said was that the shoes are “must haves.” As one person put it, “you know, like you would say tubulars are a must for ‘cross.” Indeed.
First though, a little on Five Ten.
Five Ten’s story starts with a climber and comes from the sport of climbing. The founder, Charles Cole, developed the plan for the company while out climbing after slipping during a descent. Armed not only with climbing experience but also an engineering degree and an MBA, Cole set out to improve upon the virtualy non-existant climbing footwear technology of the late 1980s. By the 1990s mountain bike riders realized the value of the first rubber compound Cole and Five Ten developed–Stealth S1–and since then the eight offshoots Five Ten has developed. Like the original, each Stealth rubber compound is highly durable and offers unparalleled grip, each tuned to a user’s particular need and preference. Today, as far as cycling goes, Five Ten shoes are worn by leading downhill MTB riders and folks like Danny MacAskill, a trials rider who is perhaps best known for videos like this one.
I’ll say this, the shoes look great. Everyone at the shop, MTB rider or not, has commented on that fact. But as to why someone should ride them I asked Steele Taylor. “For someone riding flat pedals, it’s going to give them a significant boost in traction and compared to a sneaker, added stiffness for pedaling efficiancy. Basically it’s going to feel a lot like a clipless pedal except you can easily remove your foot from the pedal and then put it right back on,” noted Steele. “I run the Five Tens for DH (that’s downhill, as I learned, ed.) and some folks run them for cross country as well, but they are definitely popular among the all-mountain style rider, folks who typically run flat pedals. Of course, the Hellcat model is a flat pedal-style show that actually offers SPD cleat design capabilities for the best of both worlds, added Steele.”
We’re carrying the Freerider, which is $99.99 in 3 colors: black/gray, red, and blue. The Freerider is a great kick-around bike shoe with a fair amount of mesh for breathability, but plenty of leather for durability. It sports the supportive flat sole with the sticky S1 rubber for reliable pedal traction. We’re also carrying the Hellcat, which is $129.99 in gray/black. This shoe basically takes the Freerider, and adds a little more leather, and thus durability, to the upper and SPD compatibility to the sole. Finally, we have the Impact Low in stock, which is $129.99 in black. The Impact Low is an all mountain/DH style shoe that’s over built a bit for higher durability but also offers high comfort.
I went back to the service area and asked Clay Kimsey about the Impact Low and what he thought about the shoe in between brake bleeds. “Stealth rubber compund. Probably the best sole rubber compound in the business. I’m currently standing in a pair of Impact Low’s right now and have ridden them for about eight years. I’m going to try the Hellcat out as well.” When I asked Clay if there were another shoe out there that he’d recommend or ride himself he said “did I mention I’m standing in a pair of Five Tens right now?” Gotcha.
Before I left the shop I went up front to make a purchase and Kailey Elkins was jotting down a model number for a pair of Freeriders that she was going to order for herself. “I really like the way they look. They look nice. Plus, I can totally shred in them.”
That seemed to be everyone’s take on the Five Ten shoes. Get in a check out a pair today.