I have been riding for the last four months in nothing but Five Ten Freerider shoes and lycra shorts. Review for the lycra shorts to come later ...
I have been riding for years with skate shoes and flat pedals. In my search for the perfect shoe and pedal combination I have tried all the major brands of shoes and pedals. Recently I have been pretty happy with Deity Decoy Pedals and Nike 6.0 shoes. The issue I have with skate shoes is that after a couple of months my pedals eat away the grip where I place my foot on the pedal. This usually does not cause a great deal of problems until the trail gets wet and sloppy.Review and pics inside
For the past four months I have been using the Freerider shoes from Five Ten. I wanted to find out how much abuse they could take so I have not taken them off in the past four months. I shower, sleep, eat and ride with them on. My socks eroded away long ago but the shoes are still going strong.
I have ridden pretty much everything while wearing these shoes. I rode Cross Country, Downhill, Dirt Jumps and a Skate Park in Taiwan. I toured through Northern Thailand and Laos. In Thailand I walked up a waterfall and then rode down it. I wore them to the beach, through the mountains and Bangkok streets. As well as walking countless miles down paved streets, dirt roads and shopping malls. In Laos I rode through rubber tree forests (Ninja Trees), tribal villages, rice fields and up and down more hills than I can count. I rode to waterfalls, temples, remote villages, the border and everywhere in between. I wore the shoes on trains, boats, buses and planes.
I have been more than pleased with these shoes. I rode them with three different sets of pedals (Deity Decoy, Straitline and Wellgo MG-1) to see how much pedals make a difference. To be honest they have worked best with the Straitline pedals, but there is not much difference between the three.
While riding at the skate park and local dirt jumps I found the shoes to work too well. While jumping I like to move my feet around on the pedals. At first I found that I had to lift my foot to adjust it on the pedal. Over time they have worn or I have grown used to them and do not notice anything different from a new pair of skate shoes. Removing pins from pedals is also an option in changing the way the shoes grip the pedals.
While riding Cross Country and Downhill I never slipped a pedal once. While climbing I found that if I pointed my toe and tried to curl it around the front of my pedal I was able to transfer more power to my pedal than with regular shoes. While riding into berms, doing tricks (at first it was a little awkward because I could not move my foot, but when I got used to being connected to my pedals I found it easier to do some tricks) and downhilling I felt like I had more control over my bike. These shoes really do stick to anything. I walked up a waterfall, down wet logs and rocks and did not slip at all.
After riding and walking in my Five Tens they do not smell or look too bad. Traveling is a good way to ruin a pair of shoes and these ones have stood up better than most. I washed them with a little bit of laundry soap and they look as good as new. The only issue that I have had with them is the rubber around the outsole is starting to separate. An easy fix with a little bit of super glue.
If you are sick of searching for the perfect skate shoe pedal combination check out the new Five Ten Freeriders
For more pictures of the Five Ten Freeriders in action go here
to see my albums here on Pinkbike.com.