Bontrager Launches Updated Flatline Shoe

Nov 8, 2021
by Ed Spratt  

Bontrager has revealed an updated version of its Flatline shoes designed for flat pedal riders.

The new shoes use a refreshed design with a claimed improvement to durability, breathability and toe protection thanks to a stronger synthetic perforated upper with a reinforced toe box. Just like the previous model, the Flatline shoe uses a Vibram rubber outsole.

For the new shoe, Bontrager also updated the Flatline with a flatter foot position, shock-absorbing EVA midsole and directional tread patterns at the toe and heel for improved off-bike traction. Bontrager has backed up the new shoes with a 30-Day Unconditional Guarantee.


Features:

- inForm Performance last
- Laces with integrated lace keeper
- Vibram rubber outsole
- Synthetic upper materials with full perforations
- Reinforced, protective toe box
- Shock absorbing EVA midsole
- Directional tread at toe and heel for high traction
- Integrated heel loop
- Unisex sizing: 36-48 (No half-sizes)
- 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee

The Flatline shoes are available now for $139.99 in unisex sizing with multiple color options.


118 Comments

  • 147 0
 So guys, why do we hate these ones?
  • 219 1
 No space for a water bottle.
  • 42 1
 grumble grumble NO LACE COVER, NO SALE
  • 25 0
 Square lugs? No way those could work. They have to be circular.
  • 29 0
 I'm having trouble deciding whether they look like geriatric shoes or space ballerinas, but I know I despise them anyway
  • 16 0
 vibram
  • 51 1
 That one guy who keeps asking why no one makes Boa laces for flat pedal shoes, even though someone already does.
  • 1 0
 Lacet madness
  • 37 0
 They are not interchangeable, left-right, right-left
  • 4 0
 @bok-CZ: I had the original flatlines and loved everything about the shoes, except the soles. Hard rubber and no traction on or off the bike vs 5-10s. Ended up with shin stitches because my feet slipped off in an XC section, never a problem with grippy rubber. On the positive side, they looked brand new after two months when I gave them to the thrift shop.
  • 5 1
 @jeremy3220: I think by 'no one' they really mean 5.10
  • 4 2
 No BOA closures.
  • 2 0
 ..oh, it’s gonna flatline for sure
  • 4 0
 @jeremy3220: he's friends with the guy that keeps complaining that there are no waterproof winter flat pedals shoes
  • 2 2
 Haha. Great comment/question.
  • 6 0
 My grandfather has pair just like em...
  • 3 0
 no size 50
  • 4 0
 They're not crocs
  • 2 0
 cause they are not 5-10s ?
  • 3 0
 @whambat: I have the same experience with more riding shoes with vibram. Now I'm changing RCs and 5.10s occasionally based on special discounts as both of these are mostly for one season only
  • 17 0
 toe angle is not slack enough
  • 2 0
 @bok-CZ: this. I have never seen an MTB flat pedal shoe with a vibram sole get good reviews for grip.
  • 4 0
 @CustardCountry: apparently Vibram don't license climbing shoes rubber for other than climbing shoes. Said so, is not like 20 years ago when rubber was a dark art, now all climbing shoes with house brand rubber are decent and there's plenty of climbing companies mtb brands could partner up with, like Evolv or Boreal. I wonder why that's not happening.
  • 3 0
 @natecher: dude, I started biking because I have two left feet.
  • 4 0
 no 4E wide version, why I hate every shoe
  • 2 0
 @bok-CZ: I have Giros with Vibram soles, they grip poorly and now have bald spots where the pins contact the rubber.
  • 1 0
 @jeremy3220: Pearl Izumi X Alp Launch
  • 1 0
 looks like pedal grip would be significantly worse than, like, vans with the waffle sole.
  • 1 1
 No sizes for grown ups…
  • 1 0
 Price and need to make a SPD version for going to the store.
  • 3 0
 Shitty color
  • 4 0
 Those vent holes should be 0.2mm larger... like what were they thinking??!
  • 1 0
 No, it's a flatliner - dead on arrival!
  • 2 0
 They don't match my pedals and grips .
  • 1 0
 @sjma: there is a very minimalist lace keeper
  • 2 0
 cause anything I've bought by Bontrager fell to pieces within a season of use
  • 1 0
 @phazedplasma: are you a hobbit?
  • 2 1
 Because we have small egos and derive a sense of worth from competing products we have previously owned
  • 3 0
 Laces are stupid when they're constantly beside a spinning chain and chainring, instead of creating a problem and then attaching a solution (lace holder) just don't put the laces there to start? Thanks for the outlet @Arierep, we appreciate it.
  • 1 0
 No half sizes!
  • 1 0
 @iiman: I ride in the Evolv Rebels and they use a pretty sticky rubber for flat soled shoes as well as 5.10s. I’m not sure why all climbing shoe companies don’t make flat pedal mtb shoes. The evolvs are great for biking if a tad bit softer in the midsole than 5.10s.
  • 1 0
 @whambat: I still have my Flatline shoes. I use them every day for commuting, even through winter. They are supremely durable shoes
  • 19 0
 Here’s what I don’t get, standard free riders are 100 bucks what makes these any better for 40 more
  • 38 1
 They're guaranteed for A WHOLE MONTH. Durr.
  • 2 0
 Ive got a pair of the older versions and theyre actually pretty good. Maybe not better than free riders but I think they hold their own - grip is pretty close, nice and light, dry well and look good. Mine have lasted really well too - but Im not much of a shoe wrecker. I moved off them onto a pair of Unparrallel shoes which I like a bit more - most areas are similar although the UP shoes have 5.10 levels of grip and seem to be less durable than the Bontragers.
  • 2 0
 I had the OG flatlines, which lasted multiple seasons. I think the benefit of these over the standard free riders is that they are not sponges. They are not a grippy as 5.10 rubber, but they are light, dry relatively quickly do not have all that mesh to retain moisture and stench. They are closer to the 5.10 pros is design, but not as sturdy/stiff as the pros.
  • 3 0
 Standard freeriders dont have any toe protection though. That kind of eliminates them as a contender right there.
  • 1 0
 I would say these fall in between the Freerider and the Freerider Pro..Much better toe box protection than the Freerider.. Not as much grip as a 5.10 but you can move your foot on the pedal without lifting off the pedal.. 2+ seasons on my Flatlines and still going strong..
  • 3 1
 @chakaping: If 5.10 had a month warranty, I would have used it...
  • 1 0
 I can think of a few things... Standard freeriders are canvas constructed that I've found lose support and shape within a couple months of riding... they soak up water and hold onto it and have thin soles with very little support that make my feet hurt 30 mins into my ride.

I've never used these but if +$40 eliminated those issues, then it seems like a good spend.
  • 3 0
 @chakaping: you are confusing the guarantee with the warranty. You can return all Bontrager products for any reason with 30 days. That’s the guarantee. Bontrager apparel has a 2 year warranty against defects.
  • 1 0
 They have laces to get caught in your chain?
  • 12 0
 Considering they don't advertise which Vibram rubber it seems safe to assume that at best it is Vibram Megagrip which is definitely subpar compared to the best rubber out there. Either this is a major PR fail, or it will be just another flat pedal shoe with no grip brought to you by Vibram.
  • 5 1
 Ive got a pair of the older versions and they are pretty grippy. Not as grippy as 5.10 or Unparrallel, but better than RC's or Aftons if thats helpful. I only found the grip limiting on really rough DH trails - for trail and enduro the grip was mint.
  • 2 0
 I had the first version a couple years back and thought the grip was equivalent to my contact freeriders at the time. Which i thought were pretty grippy but also allowed me to reposition my foot when necessary. Its no Fiveten Impact, but its definitely good enough. I didnt stick with them because of the lack of stiffness in the midsole. I prefer a more stiff shoe. Its Freerider Pro life for me.
  • 1 0
 i got a cheeky one for you... change flat pedal pins to screws.. tada every shoe bites into them.
  • 1 0
 @russthedog: I had a pair and they had very little grip. They’d even slide on my hard wood floors after a few weeks use. Maybe it was from a bad batch, but I was very disappointed in the rubber.
  • 1 0
 @whambat: weird, possibly - or maybe got a good batch? Both RCs and Aftons nearly killed me!
  • 12 0
 Hey Trek, If you actually want to compete with some of the market share that Five Ten has, THEN MAKE YOUR SHOES RETAIL FOR SIGNIFICANTLY LESS
  • 4 0
 Don't work withy Bikes why should they cange it with Shoes?
  • 1 0
 @dark-o: what
  • 14 1
 Looks like a shoe
  • 6 0
 Looks like a sieve.
  • 8 6
 Looks like a session?
  • 3 0
 Looks orthopedic
  • 2 0
 Looks geriatric
  • 1 0
 Looks like the grim donut
  • 11 0
 Stand on a pancake call that shit a waffle
  • 6 0
 A waffle is just a pancake with abs.
  • 10 0
 Can also double as a peg solitaire board
  • 2 0
 Boa be damned, this is what I've been waiting for in a flat-pedal shoe.
  • 8 0
 ah just what I needed going into winter, an ankle height breathable shoe.
  • 6 1
 The flatline, with looks that kill. No seriously, these shoes are possibly the ugliest green color I've ever seen. Who sees color swatches of green, and goes on to pick "exorcist projectile vomit green"?
  • 2 0
 I like the colour. Not so sure about the tread pattern on the sole though. Can't see that meshing too easily with my pedal pins.
  • 4 0
 Bike Shoe Product Managers, please read: 1. Remove the toe spring from your shoes, no evidence supports the utility of this outside of backpacking, 2, make your toe boxes functional (like Altra), the Italian last design is a dress shoe social convention that is thousands of years old 3. Use the Specialized 2FO Roost rubber as the baseline to compete against, this includes deeper grooves.
  • 3 0
 Specialized 2fo roost soles are way better then the new 510’s
  • 3 0
 @dagzin: +1 for 2FO Roost. Casual skate shoe ish looks, and the soles are phenomenal. Every bit as good if not better than 5.10s.
  • 5 0
 Hey shoe-manufacturers!
1: develop a really grippy sole if you haven't already.
2: Sell the soles as resole-soles
3: design your shoes to be easily resoled.
= You're in 2021 and not 1950.
  • 4 0
 The first thing Adidas did when they bought 5.10...discontinue the resole kits! Brutal.
  • 3 0
 I have to say, after having some Bontrager shoes, I can't find a reason to go back to them. The shoe design was fine for my foot shape, but the rubber was god awful. It was my first pair of riding shoes and I had no idea what a nice pair of shoes felt like on pedals.
  • 1 0
 What shape is that? Reviews of bike shoes never mention fit, so I just have to buy flexible shoes and go up a size with my narrow heel, high arch, wide foot but not wide enough for an extra wide version typicall. Never actually liked a pair shoes.
  • 3 0
 Ugliness aside, they are not water resistant, they are not mid eight, they don't have ankle protection, they don't have a velcor instep strap, and they're not Boa. Might be great for the pump track, but for trail riding, no thanks.
  • 4 1
 I’ve got the previous gen of these and they’re fantastic. Plenty of grip and hard wearing.

Would rate them over FiveTen
  • 2 1
 Looks identical to the gen 1 version just slightly increased price, these cost Trek 48 dollars. Sell them for 90 bucks and nearly make 100% back. Seems too expensive now. Poop Color, ill be running my gen 1's into the ground for some more miles to come, fantastic shoe looks like a terrible color update and a price increase. YAWNNNNN
  • 2 0
 When I saw the thumbnail on the main page, I thought to myself "WTF?? Camo Crocs with laces??"

When something flatlines, it's usually followed by someone looking up @ the clock, and calling out the time of death.........
  • 3 0
 Let’s name a shoe and make it synonymous with “death” and “inactivity”.

You had one job...
  • 2 0
 I feel like the FiveTen Freerider is the Minion DHF of the flat shoe world. There are other options to choose from, but you always go back and compare it to the best.
  • 2 0
 $90 shoes plus $49.99 for a one-month return policy probably seemed like a brilliant idea to the boardroom guys.
  • 1 0
 Unfortunately for Trek, REI exists.
  • 2 0
 Style=Flatline. Yikes is this what get when you ask for orthopedic shoes in the Army?
  • 1 0
 I would be more impressed if Trek/Bontrager could actually deliver anything. Seriously, sold out of shoes, tires, tubes for months.
  • 1 0
 I've had two pairs of Bontrager shoes and they came apart in every fashion within a year. Outstanding guarantee or not, I'm not dealing with it any more.
  • 4 1
 Golf..
  • 4 0
 Passat..
  • 2 0
 Tiguan..
  • 2 0
 Touareg
  • 1 0
 @xxinsert-name-herexx: t rock ?? Wtf is that man should of said polo
  • 1 0
 @dagzin: We were counting down in SUV blobs, the T-Roc is a Polo underneath. Hate it just as much as any SUV on the market.
www.volkswagen.co.uk/en/new/t-roc.html
  • 3 0
 needs more ventilation
  • 2 0
 Looks like the Giro Jacket, except worse.
  • 2 0
 I'm not sure I like the sole pattern, compared to 510.
  • 1 0
 Bontrager/Trek:

"If you want us to take a dump in a box and call it guaranteed, we will. We've got spare time."
  • 2 0
 Green my lord! A nugget of purest green! One for the Blackadder fans
  • 1 0
 No half sizes excludes me from considering the shoes and I imagine everyone else that is firmly a half size.
  • 1 0
 Shock absorbing midsole... Guess I'll wait to purchase a pair till they have the full shock absorbing sole.
  • 2 0
 Can I drain my spaghetti in these?
  • 2 0
 Best grip ever is the Unparalleled Dustup. Super underrated.
  • 1 0
 I'll ride 100 miles in these as fast as I can, give me a trophy please!
  • 1 0
 Look like wet feet to me...
  • 1 0
 wonder what their carbon footprint is like, compared to five ten....
  • 1 0
 Tal-y-bont-rager
  • 3 3
 Why are 95% of bike shoes ugly as sin?
  • 2 0
 Because most of the hipster fashion designers or complete morons that should be designing clothing for VERSACE not the cycling industry.
  • 3 2
 Bunch o' whiny twats.
  • 1 1
 Where boa

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.015721
Mobile Version of Website