First Look: Ride Concepts' TNT Mid-Top Shoe - Pond Beaver 2021

Apr 8, 2021
by Daniel Sapp  

Ride Concepts have unveiled a smattering of new shoes as of late and the TNT is the latest to their release party. The mid-top shoe is designed for, as the team at Ride Concepts claims, "Big Mountain, DH, and Trailbuilding." Collaborating with a number of top-level athlete, including Dan Atherton, the TNT is built to be incredibly robust and versatile all at the same time.

The shoe has a number of updates to help it fit the bill of being dynamically capable and durable. There's a new outsole with more surface area that uses RC's DST 4.0 Max Grip rubber compound with a 12mm hexagonal pattern. The sole of the TNT is constructed with a rubber blend that was developed with Rubber Kinetics, and it's rated as a 4.0 on Ride Concepts' own grip scale. According to them, this equals a high amount of grip with the lower number meaning grippier rubber. For example, the Livewire shoe rates a 6.0 on that same scale. There's a also recessed area on the toe and heel of the shoe where some hexagons are tied together for more traction when hiking and digging, similar to the Powerline shoe.

The upper is now a synthetic microfiber which is said to be more durable and water-resistant along with an anti-bacterial mesh lining for keeping funk at bay. There is a fully gusseted tongue to help limit the amount of dirt and debris the shoe can onboard and a 40mm power strap for added support. As a bonus, it helps with lace retention although there's a small elastic strap built in to control laces as well. The toe and heel feature a molded cap for added protection against rock strikes or other trail incidents while the high-rise EVA midsole adds to protection and shock absorption. Carrying over something we've seen in other shoes from Ride Concepts, the insole also has D3O built in to help with absorbing impacts. The asymmetrical collar of the shoe is mid-height to give extra support and it has D3O built into it for impact protection.

The TNT is available in US sizes 7-13 (UK 6-12), including half sizes.

Hexagons with a recessed area on the toe and heel are designed to mate well with pedals as well as the earth.

Wide power straps keep the shoe snug and adds support.
A higher asymmetrical collar gives additional ankle support and protection.

TNT Details

• Mid-height design for DH/Trailbuilding
• Anti-bacterial mesh lining
• Water resistant microfiber synthetic upper
• 40mm wide power strap
• Molded rubber toe and heel caps
• Rubber Kinetics DST 4.0 Max Grip rubber outsole
• D3O impact protection
• Weight: 987g (pair, size 10)
• Price: $160 USD / $240 CAD / €160 / £140

D3O plays a big role in the shoe's claimed foot protection from rock/terrain strikes and impacts along with hard landings.
The high-rise cuff is made to help keep dirt out while offering some additional protection for aggressive riding.

Molded rubber toe and heel cups.

bigquotesThe updates made to the TNT are subtle in appearance but they make a difference on the trail. A more water-resistant upper should help keep riders drier than before, important for a shoe of this nature. Additionally, the tread of the shoe ought to provide for further hikability and function when riders are off the bike for hiking or whatever trail work situations present themselves.

I would have liked to have seen a little more traction added in the toe and the heel but, this is without a doubt, a step in the right direction. In the little time I've been able to ride in the TNT, the rubber has proven to mate well with a number of flat pedals, but it's not quite as sticky as the new Specialized SlipNot ST blend we've been liking and just below what Five Ten's Stealth rubber compound offers.

The shoes are supportive and give the feel that they are ready to go to battle. I fortunately didn't kick any rocks in testing thus far, but out of all the shoes I have these seem to offer the most protection in terms of both rock strikes to the toe, ankle support, and a cushy footbed to smooth impacts. The stoutness of the shoe did take a bit away from the pedal feel for me - the shoe is very robust in construction overall. If riding a bike park or DH was in the daily queue for me, I wouldn't hesitate to pick the TNT, but for general trail riding the shoe may be a bit overbuilt and while that's not its intended primary use, it's worth noting. I feel that the loss of pedal feel directly contributed to the decrease in shoe to pedal grip for me.

Overall, the TNT could be a great choice for riders looking at a sturdier flat pedal shoe who don't need the absolute stickiest rubber soles. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone riding more aggressively or in demanding conditions where additional foot protection is warranted.
Daniel Sapp


  • 37 3
 You could get 4 o'clock senior special at the casino in these.
  • 2 0
 You would have to shuffle though... ha!
  • 4 0
 LOL. I was going to say, my Grandpa wants his walking shoes back!
  • 15 2
 At least they're not made by Adidas
  • 12 0
 People ask for a Lace strap, then Bitch about it? Lol
  • 1 0
 Hahahaha, under rated comment.
  • 8 1
 I'm wondering if someone in plastics engineering or maybe someone from RC can fill in some blanks for me here? I'm puzzled by the use of D30 in the inner sole. My understanding is that the viscoelastic polymer is soft and flexible until impact, when it hardens to disperse energy? At least that's the media spin we get when it's used in armor.
But in the case of footwear, don't we want it to behave the opposite way? Firm under pedaling load, to help transfer power, then soft and cushioning when sharp. harsh, repetitive forces are transferred through the pedals?
  • 11 0
 It's not that it "hardens." The molecules on the surface of the material that we use on our insoles, which D3O refers to as "Aero," realign when an impact is taken. The harder the impact received, the faster they realign to disperse that energy, absorbing it rather than transferring it beyond (to your feet). So, for instance, on a trail with successive chatter, the material is constantly absorbing those small hits, sending less fatigue to the foot. On something like a harsh landing, the molecules realign faster, almost instantly taking the abuse. So, it's kind of like suspension for your feet?
  • 4 0
 I don't know what it means, but I know that it works. I've had a few pairs of RC with D30 insoles and my feet do stay noticeably fresher or more comfortable.
  • 5 0
 @RideConcepts: purchased the Hellion shoes a month ago and they're superb! Really comfortable, supple and rigid(the good kind of rigidity) compared to the previous shoes I was using. Kudos RC
  • 1 0
 @lehott: stoked!
  • 3 0
 @RideConcepts: Thanks for the reply
  • 5 1
 Didn't realize so many people were into mtb for the costume contest. When I buy a pair of shoes for riding the main considerations are grip, support/safety, durability, waterproofing, and comfort. These shoes look to check a lot of those boxes. If you ride dj or serious mtb in vintage vans you probably will need those NB grandpa walkers after a few bails.
  • 7 1
 False dichotomy. It's perfectly okay for consumers to want something that works well and looks good too. We expect it of cars, phones, buildings, sunglasses, outerwear, bikes... It's not too much to ask. And since aesthetics are all we directly experience in an article like this, and everything else is just educated guesswork, there are going to be a lot of comments on looks, for good or bad.

I should say: I'm rooting for all Five-Ten alternatives but haven't felt inspired to pull trigger on anything else yet.
  • 3 1
These look lovely. But when people review shoes PLEASE could you give some indication as to how they fit? Seems like a pretty important aspect. Are they too bloody narrow like 5-10's and Etnies, or reasonably wide like Bontrager and Specialized?
That would be much appreciated, thanks.
  • 2 0
 Exactly. Having almost 27cm long foot ranks me for size 42 but decided to buy size 45 !!! Bontrager Flatline shoes because of my wide and tall feet and they feel super comfy roomy and fit to me, even with reserve for thicker winter socks. Yesterday, I added Leatt DBX 1.0 shoes as replacement of Adidas shoes and to test their waffle sole, again size 45, and they feel almost spot on.
  • 2 0
I have ridden the 5-10's for years and after switching to the Ride Concepts (I go back and forth between the Hellion which is now my favorite and the Livewire) I can say the fit seems more neutral. 5-10 seems a bit narrow and the Ride Concepts Livewire is more neutral with still better toebox room. The Hellion has a bit more room in the toe box and feels more comfortable on the longer rides for me. They are great shoes and I don't know why some reviewers say they don't have the grip of 5-10? Just for kicks I rode in my Freeriders the other day and the Ride Concepts is by far the better shoe with equal grip.
  • 1 0
 Length seems standard, they fit on the wider side which I love. My black Powerline's look like old man orthopedic shoes, but are probably the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. I actually play hoops in them a lot and wear casually just for comfort. A very neutral and supportive feel. Had them over a season and not even close to showing heavy wear. I'd only recommend more color choices to RC.
  • 1 0
 @scstrail: not even all 5.10s fit the same. Toe boxes have room in three dimensions...

@G-Sport: yep, another lame first look review which skimps on the most important criterion. Photo three of the Dakine's that came up today shows a tall toe box in a forefoot fit that I call 'baggy,' but I need narrow low profiles
  • 6 2
 Looks of RC shoes are spot on...the grip is not sadly. Five10s still the best..looks be damned, that rubber just works.
  • 7 1
 I'm on my second pair of RC's. Grip has been on point from my experience.
  • 2 0
 I tried RCs, the grip is like 90% as good as five tens... until things get wet, then they go to complete shit
  • 1 0
 @nfontanella: RC are like Maxxterra, and Five Ten are Maxxgrip. Choose all out grip or a longer lasting rubber that still offers good grip.
  • 1 0
 I rode 5/10 for 10 years and loved the grip for sure. But 5/10 do also have „weak spots“ like that they fall apart quite fast and if the fabric gets wet, they need a long time to dry. Also they often feel like being not snug enough.

I bought the RC wildcat last year and i absolutely love them i must say! I ride 95% DH in Bikeparks and kt seems to be just the perfect match. Snug, good enough grip, good protection, sturdy and also an acceptable look.

Prefer them over the 5/10 impact shoe for sure. But each to their own Smile
  • 1 0
 bought a pair of hellions recently and they felt great on my feet in the shop....unfortunately after a week of riding they hurt my feet so bad I can't wear them anymore. grip was also nothing compared to my freerider pro five tens. I'm actually gutted because I love the look of them and had high hopes...
  • 2 2
 Someone point me to a riding shoe that they actually like the look of. Everyone seems to dog on riding shoes, but give no indication as to what they actually consider a good looking shoe.
  • 3 2
 I don't ride flats but if I'd did, I'd probably wear old school vans with flat waffle soles.
  • 3 0
 Ride Concept Helion Elites in tan. Just got those and put red Lock Laces on them. Sweetness.
  • 4 0
 after an hour in vans, your feet will be killing you. They're too flexible for most anything but dirt jumping/sessioning. I think it's hard to make a decent flat pedal shoe stiff enough without it looking chunky
  • 2 1
 Ture. I guess the flat shoe is forever relegated to the mtb. version of the crossover SUV.
  • 3 0
 I'm having my Cole Han wingtips in Oxblood resoled with some nice sticky rubber. I went with the wingtips because they are not as dressy as other shoes. This is mountain biking after all. But I am sure to be the best dressed on the hill in my new leather wingtips with Michelin soles.
  • 4 0
 @KellChris: assuming that the soles would last in contact with the pedal pins, I'd totally use Vans SK8 mid/hi with a sole shank and beefed up toe protection.
I have a pair of SK8 Pros that I use casually and sometimes mess around on the bike with. Love the style, they're ultra durable and the sole is ridiculously grippy. It's just that the sole is too flexible
  • 1 4
 @gtill9000: Shoe stiffness is overrated.
  • 3 0
 I just bought the Crank Brother's Stamp Lace in white. While white isn't for everyone, the design looks slick.
  • 1 0
 @Chris0934SF: how is the sizing and is the white easy to clean? Had the Specialized 2FO but they were too small so I sent back before getting dirty, but they looked like they'd be easy to clean. 2FO seemed to run a 1/4-1/2 size too small and narrow. Thanks.
  • 5 3
 Do they come with a free bowl of soup?
  • 5 3
 These ain't it, they look like they serve some kind of orthopedic purpose.
  • 1 0
 How is sizing compared to 5.10? I wear a 14us in 5.10 Freeriders and 13 in vans...
  • 1 0
 I'm a 12US in Vans and when 12 in the previous version of these and they are a touch short.
  • 1 0
 I'd really like to try some RC shoes but I'm a UK 13 so one size short. Rubbish.

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