|Judging the shoes purely on performance, they're as grippy as I've come to expect from Five Ten's previous shoes over the years. While Five Ten has introduced these three new colours with the introduction of the new Canvas upper, it hasn't changed the most important part of the shoes that made them such a hit over the year: the Stealth Dotty rubber sole. It provides staggering levels of grip when used with any decent flat pedal, sticking to the shoe with enough tenacity to stop your shoes slithering around on the pedals, even when riding in the mud. The shallow tread still provides enough give to allow you to reposition your foot when needed, handy when making minute adjustments through a corner, but it's not in the same league as the Stealth Contact outsole for easy repositioning. However I find them easier for walking on dirt, especially when it's anything but dry, compared to that sole used on the Freerider VXi shoes.|
Fit and comfort is excellent. There's just enough padding to support your feet without overwhelming them. At 890g for a pair of 45 shoes, they're pretty lightweight - they certainly feel light on the feet too compared to older Five Ten shoes. They don't overheat when riding in the warm weather, with surprisingly good breathability from the canvas upper material, despite the loss of the mesh panels of the regular Freerider shoes. There's good support from the sole, they strike a good balance between stiffness for efficient pedalling, but enough flex to help you feel the pedal under the shoe. Pedalling efficiency is pretty good, it's not in the same league as a stiff carbon-soled clipless shoe, but considering their comfort and styling, it's more than adequate for blasting around the woods for a couple of hours, and you're only going to really notice if you ride like the clappers up the hills.
Downsides? Well, they're not cheap, but you do get the grippiest sole on the market with these shoes. They're pricier than similarly styled skate shoes, but they're clearly built to a high standard and last a lot longer. Another downside it that you might simply decide they're too nice to get grubby. Luckily, they do wash up niceley after a muddy ride, escpecially the darker color which seems to mask dirt well.
Five Ten hasn't drastically altered a successful formula with these new Freerider Canvas shoes, and they're light, comfortable, supportive and super grippy. The three new colours now available will appeal to those looking for understated shoes, perfect for trail riding and hitting the bars. The best just got better looking. - David Arthur
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