Five Ten Impact VXi Shoes - Review

Nov 6, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
Five Ten VXi review

Five Ten Impact VXi

When it was first introduced to the mountain bike world, Five Ten's original Impact shoe was an immediate hit, thanks to its super-sticky rubber and overbuilt construction. The unparallelled grip that the Stealth rubber provided made it easy for riders tired of slipping off their pedals and driving pedal pins into shins and calves to overlook the shoes' heavier weight and clunky styling, and the Impact became a ubiquitous classic, the shoe of choice for flat pedal riders around the world.

Over a decade after they were first released, Five Ten decided it was time to give the Impacts an update, and the new Impact VXi is the result. The revised version is a claimed 25% lighter than the original, and gets an even stickier sole that uses Five Ten's Mi6 rubber. Originally developed to help Tom Cruise run on glass in the Mission Impossible 4 movie, the Mi6 compound is slower rebounding and has a lower durometer than the S1 rubber that was previously used. The shoe's profile has been slimmed down as well, and hydrophobic foam is used throughout to help reduce the amount of time it takes for the shoes to dry. MSRP: $150 USD. Weight (one shoe, size 11): 435 grams. Sizes: US 5-14. Colors: Blue / Yellow, Black. www.fiveten.com

Five Ten VXi review

The overall shape of the Impact VXi is much more streamlined than its predecessor.


Fit and Function

Right out of the box, the reduced weight of the Impact VXi is immediately noticeable; they feel closer to what you'd expect from a trail running shoe, rather than a hiking boot. I spent much of last season wearing a pair of Five Ten's Freerider VXi shoes, and found the fit of the Impacts to be much roomier, particularly in the toe box. This will work well for riders with wide or high volume feet, but others may find there to be too much room for their liking. Installing a flat insole blank (the type used for ski boot fitting) to take up the excess room solved this issue, and my feet were much happier with the snugger fit.

A good portion of my time on these shoes was spent in the bike park, and even after multiple long days of downhill riding I didn't experience any hot spots or sore feet. The sole is quite stiff (for a flat pedal shoe), which does mute the sensation of your foot contouring to the shape of the pedal, but the sticky rubber sole ensures that slipping off the pedals will be a rarity. The stickiness of Five Ten's rubber is still unmatched, and the Mi6 takes it a step further, so much so that I found myself removing a few pedal pins in order to slightly reduce the amount of grip and to make repositioning my foot easier. I'd say this is a good thing, since I'd much rather be taking sharp pointed objects off of my bike instead of installing more of them.

Five Ten VXi review

It's all about the details. A rubber toe bumper, sticky Mi6 rubber, and a quick drying outer help keep feet protected and securely in place.


The last six weeks have seen the fall rains return to the Pacific Northwest, which provided plenty of opportunities to evaluate the Impact VXi's wet weather performance. I was consistently impressed by how dry my feet remained during rainy rides - the shoes shed water very well, and they never turned into saturated sponges like the previous version had a tendency to do. When they do become fully soaked, which usually happened after riding through puddles and streams that dumped water over the cuff of the shoe, the drying time was fairly short, and although Five Ten's claims of 'overnight drying' may be a stretch, it's still a marked improvement over the originals. The tradeoff for this improved wet weather performance is that there's not a lot of air circulation for those hot summer days, but they don't seem any steamier than the standard Impacts. As far as durability goes, after almost four month of solid usage, the Impact VXi shoes have held up extremely well, and even the high wear areas like the inner cuff near the ankle and the sole itself have plenty of life left in them.


Pinkbike’s Take
bigquotesThe changes Five Ten have made to the original Impact to create the Impact VXi are all for the better, and the lighter weight, increased water resistance, and stickier rubber add up to make these some of the best flat pedal shoes on the market. I'd still like the fit refined slightly to be less boxy, but other than that, this revised classic is ready for another generation of riders to discover the benefits that Five Ten's extra grippy rubber compound brings to the flat pedal world. - Mike Kazimer


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119 Comments

  • 77 3
 These shoes were worth every penny! Flat pedals for life!
  • 10 7
 Flats have their place as do clips. The mud on my left arm and leg can confirm this. Not quite a flats for life guy but they are a little more versatile.
  • 5 1
 The flat version of this shoe seems to be good. But at the shop I work at I've had three pairs of the clip in version be sent back for warranty because the plate which the cleat sits cracks in two.... Its a bummer cause the rest of the shoe is so nice.
  • 7 3
 That's why I go cheap. I don't cry as much when something happens to them.
  • 16 5
 Flat pedals win medals
  • 5 0
 If you think it's heavy by few grams, try have some pins on the shins.
  • 6 4
 I ride flats when I'm doin to XC to rockin park runs, flat pedals is life, haha
  • 28 5
 Why does every article that even mentions the word "shoe" have a comment section that is just a circlejerk about how awesome 5.10s are and how they'll never run clips....
  • 2 0
 What's the rubber durability like on 5.10's? Judging by @wobbem the circles were already showing noticeable wear after only 6 weeks. My Sombrio SLATS didn't last too well either, the pins tore through the rubber. Is this the norm for flats?
  • 2 1
 Think so mate. Its gonna happen after a while. Flats for life though Smile
  • 2 0
 these are light & very grippy on flats but the soles of mine were well on their way after a week in the Alps! some of the circles & wording is already falling off! My original Sam Hills are still going strong after 3/4 years!
  • 6 3
 Count me in for the circle jerk. Anybody bring cookies?
  • 2 0
 5.10's for life....If you don't know, ya better axe somebody!
  • 1 2
 Bet you've never used them.
  • 12 0
 Got a solid season on mine and they have been great. They are much lighter than the previous version and fit & feel like a shoe instead of a bulky boot. While the sole is showing some wear the uppers are still pretty much like new. Also have to give 5:10 thumbs up for their warranty service. I bought a pair of the old model in the spring and the toe box quickly delaminated from the sole. they replaced those with the new model straight up no hassle, no cost - and I offered to pay the extra $20 to upgrade.
  • 7 1
 The shoe needs more R&D. Haven't you all noticed that Sam Hill doesn't wear them. He must have a reason. A word to the Five Ten Company...Continue making the original Impacts! They work! And expand the colour ways.
  • 5 1
 I have these and the Sam Hills - I would swap these for another pair of Sam Hills in a second.
  • 5 0
 These with my Burgtecs flats are unreal! Only downside is the end of the shoe isn't very comfy as it's almost square where your toes are. But apart from that, worth every penny!
  • 3 0
 Square toe boxes are actually better for a number of reasons, one of the main ones being that they let your toes move so that you can use them for grip and balance. A lot of people are used to wearing shoes that are either too narrow or pointed for their feet and don't fit.
  • 3 0
 hmmm. i have used fivetens for severeal years now. I usually get a season (9 months) out of the older impacts, before the sole resembles butch the dogs plaything. whilst other friends of mine get 3 years. but i do ride a lot...typically 15hrs a week. i got the new fvivetens 1 month ago and whilst they are better in nearly every respect, i have two issues. 1... the sole is already looking knackered after appx 25 hrs use, and 2 - the edging just before the toe cap is peeling away already. i have contacted my seller and i need to send photos then a warranty may be on its way. but i do know someone else who's edging came away after 2 rides (same as me) and if the durometer of the sole is lower then i can't see the wear issue being resolved at all. can see me trying the specialized ones soon.. at least the crappy cardboard midsole seems to be changed to some kind of plastic foam now.
  • 2 0
 Me too. I've been through several pairs this summer. The soles have worn through from the pins after only a couple of weeks, and on my latest pair the sole has started peeling away from the bottom of the shoe
  • 1 0
 I would typically get two seasons out of the old impacts, whereas these ones are absolutely thrashed after 3/4 of a season. Soles have completely de-lammed from the shoe. Disappointing, I think I'll go back to the originals.
  • 4 0
 I much prefer old 5/10s new style may be lighter but your feed do not breath in new plastic which means smelly/ sweaty feet not good!!!!!!!
  • 2 0
 my 5 10's grip all peeled off after only 2 months riding, overpriced slippers they are now, great grip when they did work but at the price I will spend my cash on Solomon's that have for the same price lasted me several years.
  • 4 0
 Switched to these shoes from the Teva Links...unbelievable difference, the rubber is so much grippier
  • 1 0
 I'm with you Forkbrayker. I bought Freerider VXI Elements in Jan and in the last month they've started to fall apart. The smooth section of the sole has broken up and the edging on both shoes is separating. I do fancy trying these impacts, perhaps not having the smooth sole sections will last longer - but it's a lot of money for a shoe that might only last 9 months. I probably ride about 3-4 times a week. So they do get used, don't really wear off the bike. I'll give them a second chance and then I might be moving on.
  • 3 0
 but does the front end of the toe box come off instantly, like both my recent impacts, including a pair sent back to warrantee? PLZ SEW.
  • 6 0
 Thats what I want to know too. I've had the same problems. Love the grip, hate the build quality.
  • 2 0
 Same here , I'm so sick of my 5-10 falling to bits long before they are worn out
  • 3 2
 I used them last summer and I wasn't as happy as the reviewer. They are light and the rubber is sticky but that is about all the highlights. The shoe is way too stiff and too hot for summer riding. I much prefer the original freeriders. Also the above model colour in my humble opinion isn't pretty at all, thankfully you can get them in black.
  • 1 0
 great evolution! lighter, dryer, slimmer! never really ride the new ones, but before i DH with the old impacts and pedal with freeriders VXI (lighter & not so hot). But holding one of the new impacts, seems they should be fairly good for all types of riding
  • 1 0
 I'm curious about trying these next season. I had the original 510 Impacts for many years, and I liked them, but it seemed on every bike that I rode, I would destroy my inside ankle bone because I tend to hug the inside of my pedal. Not to mention it destroyed the inside part of the shoe. Moved onto the Karver because the came up above the ankle on the inside, just for this reason. They eventually exploded the insides by the ankle as well, but they protected that bone. Now no option for the Karver, don't want to go full high tops, so looks like I'll be back to these, with a neoprene sleeve for protection.
  • 1 0
 I have had my Impact VXis now for a few months after riding the original Impact for years. VXi's are definitely lighter and have the same nice roomy fit as the original Impacts.

Two down sides with I see with VXi's are 1) They dont seem quite as stiff as original Impacts (they are still stiff). The toe/side impact protection is not as good as orginal Impacts. I found this out last weekend smacking my toe on a huge rock.

If I was going to run a shoe just for downhill riding I would stick with the original Impacts.
  • 1 0
 I got these basicslly as soon as they came out the entire season at whislter and they have held up well. Apart from being dirty still look new. I will go back to my Karvers for the wet riding and the flap over the laces will keep my feet dry longer. I will purchase these again when my current pair decide they've had enough
  • 4 0
 Timing is perfect for this review!!!
  • 3 0
 That sole is the best thing to ever glue itself magically to even the crappiest oe pedals. I love 5.10
  • 1 0
 the good thing is, now you can ride lighter pedals with less pins and still have the same grip, which is perfect
  • 2 0
 He forgot to mention how is it like to walk on wet loamy or mossy trail when hiking the bike up. Does it provide good grip? Thanks
  • 1 0
 No personal experience with this exact model, but no flat soled shoe will be as good as a hiking shoe with actual tread.
  • 1 0
 I walked around in mine in the snow and wasn't slipping too bad or anything. It got pretty muddy too as it dried up.
  • 1 0
 Well, thanks for the additional info. I just need a solid review before purchasing. Thanks.
  • 2 0
 I have the previous model and the walking grip is mediocre in dry and bad in wet. I have also teva links and they are very good for walking, much lighter, better in water resistant, more breathable, better in reposition the feet and more pedal efficient with very good grip when pressed and better fit. Five tens have more grip overall, more protection, warmer in winter. For pure downhill maybe five ten are a little bit better, but in enduro (all mountain) and long distances i prefer teva's...
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the input @louis19
  • 1 0
 had them since i went to whistler and the grip is awsome especially when you end up in pemberton on a ride that is way out of your league and you have to walk down a rather steep rock slab
  • 3 0
 Ehm previous Impacts are great for walking on anything compared to any hiking shoe. If you want grip in soft stuff - get some XC racing shoes with pins - avoid rock though!
  • 3 0
 No they aren't great, they are slippery up and down whenever you need some grip. They are excellent in pedal, pin grip, but for walking-hiking you need more aggressive soles...
  • 1 0
 Sorryy I was meant to write: in my experience of walking with five ten impacts and Maltese Falcons on wet, granite rock faces or greasy mud/ loam they were at least as good as my hiking shoes like Scarpa Zen/Mojito (Vibram) or Zamberlan Flex-STM (Vibram) or old Salomon I don't remember the name with their own contagrip undersole. Definitely better than my ÈS skate shoes with Vans like undersole... for your own consideration and my own pure speculation Five Ten S1 undersole has been developed as a rock climbing undersole that found it's use in MTB due to crystal grippiness and slow rebound rate.
  • 1 0
 All climbing shoes have very good grip in dry rock and five ten bicycle shoes, mimics this. But in all other conditions are not so good for walking-hiking, at least, in my poor opinion. But if it's ok for you, i have no problem. Same things don't work the same, for different people, terrain and expectations...
  • 1 0
 I love mine! Picked em Up on a end of season blow out at big bears shop when I forgot a pair of shoes to ride in and I now where them all day everyday. One of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn!
  • 1 0
 I'll 100% get these since I've always been really happy with my old impact low which start to be really tired.
Can't wait to test the new grip and lower weight.
I'm really not fan of the color choice though...
  • 1 1
 I have a pair of these and I also felt that they are a bigger size than my other five tens of the same size. I would not recommend buying this model unless you try them on (I ordered mine based on the size of my other five tens). Padding them out with a second inner sole defeats the purpose of having a shoe that lets me feel the pedal.
  • 3 0
 So if this pair of shoes is best of all five ten downhill shoes why Sam Hill doesn't use them?
  • 5 1
 OK, Now give me a FiveTen high top platform shoe with Boa lacing.
  • 2 0
 You're awfully demanding mister axleworthington.
  • 1 0
 In for the hightop version!
  • 1 0
 I have Brooks Cascadia 7 shoes for running. Its anatomy fit is by far the best. I'd like to see the combination of VXi Impacts rubber and rigidity and Brooks tehnology upper shoe.
  • 1 0
 Also. Nearly every racer out there (including most dh racers) clip in! I shall let all their parents know that they are gay then. The only thing flats are good for is pump tracks and dirt jumps.
  • 1 0
 Twice the price; half the grip.

There is a reason sam hill still runs the old version of the impacts

www.velovert.com/information/8993/coupe-du-monde-dh-hommes-a-meribel-hill-et-bryceland
  • 6 3
 Grip might be great but these are UUUUUUUGLY!
  • 4 0
 Sketchers called...
  • 4 4
 The soles of all the cycling Five Ten range are awesome but, in my opinion, this shoe is a bit ugly. No where near as nice looking as the original Impact. Is this superseding the old design or will those still be available?
  • 2 0
 Over some time i got used to the look of the old ones, but i think these look way better.
  • 2 1
 the new ones may not exactly be lookers, but the old ones were pretty butt ugly.
  • 1 0
 I have the black (w/ red logo). They look great. They are a little round at the toe and they are somewhat hot after 3 hours. They stick like crazy, so I'll try and remove a couple pins from my Xpedo Spry's.
  • 1 0
 If you're talking about the current shoe sold as the regular impact, those are ugly IMO, & that stupid fake leather they use cracks & looks crap pretty quick. If you're talking about the original suede impacts, those were awesome, & lasted longer than any other shoe I've had.

I just pulled my old LAKE Schleys out of the closet(showing my age) I'd love a new version of those in sticky rubber. www.pinkbike.com/news/Lake-DH-Shoes.html
  • 1 0
 Still ugly. I think it would be super cool to have some slim cycling shoe with flat pedal rubber. Then maybe flats. Im cool with clips however.
  • 1 0
 Dude you're missing out. If your feet don't slip off in Vans that just means you're going slow.
  • 1 0
 or your suspension is dialed perfectly
  • 3 0
 Oh yeah, sorry, that must be what it is.
  • 1 0
 thats what i was thinking anyway. lol
  • 1 0
 or you're not even riding at all.
  • 1 0
 Now just make an updated water resistant boot. Or at least keep making the impact 2 boot
  • 1 0
 Niente di che, fa' cagare e poi sono molto più performanti le Northwave !!!
  • 1 0
 about water- logging and dry time etc. who lives in the NW and doesn't have boot dryers? duh
  • 1 0
 How do they fair,carrying/pushing up a wet,greasy hillside.
  • 5 3
 Clips for life
  • 1 0
 Isn't there a clipless version of this shoe? Pretty sure my friend has a pair. ..maybe early protos since he works in industry.
  • 2 3
 Dylan, I think you meant to say "Clipless for life" Smile
  • 1 1
 No I meant clips.
  • 1 0
 Ability to hold two opposing opinions and still function normally is a quality of a truly intelligent mind.
  • 2 0
 toe clips - future of mountain biking
  • 1 0
 lol, didn't really know about the Tom Cruise bit
  • 1 0
 Pair them with some Burgtec's and Bobs your Grandma!
  • 1 0
 My grandmother is dead, and her name wasn't Bob, it was Dave. Have some respect.
  • 1 0
 I cant believe how light they are. Definitely a step up from the Impacts
  • 1 0
 I totally love these shoes, they feel pretty good to me.
  • 2 1
 Two words "Five Ten"
  • 1 0
 ready for mars
  • 1 0
 five ten>vans
  • 1 1
 U - G - L - Y you ain't got no alibi
  • 1 0
 Two numbers "5.10"
  • 3 5
 I just want them to make a shoe that could pass as a normal hiking shoe.
  • 4 1
 Like the guide tennie?
  • 3 0
 Kinda on the climbing side but close

fiveten.com/products/outdoor/yosemite
  • 2 0
 I use the pursuit for hiking, and it's great. Solid, comfortable, and grippy.
  • 3 0
 As it says on their website, "the perfect shoe for walking on rough terrain"
  • 1 1
 I have "old" guide tennie and they are not as good for biking as Impacts because undersole is very narrow exactly where the shoe digs into rear pins of the pedal. Furthermore there's plastic there. They are super comfy though - unlike latest Guide Tennies 2 which are more of a... Cycling shoe. They have stiff soles, stiffer than my other shoes of that kind: Scarpa Zen.

I think I'm going to buy those new Impacts as mine are nearly 4 years old and they lost most of their grip. I bet they have still more grip in that state than Shimanos, Tevas and Vans
  • 2 5
 Flatypus : A person who rides flat pedals because they are too much of a pussy to use clipless pedals.
  • 3 2
 Or, ya know, because there are perfectly valid performance reasons for running flats.

The only people who consider it a "courage" thing are noobs and roadies. Which one of them are you?
  • 1 1
 LOL. I'm sorry, my comment didn't say "all flat pedalers are pussies." I was simply making a term for those whose sole reason to ride flats was to avoid getting stuck in clipless. Sam Hill uses flats and is by no means a pussy.
  • 2 5
 $150. here we go again. HATERS ASSEMBLE!!!!
  • 2 0
 MSRP is never what you pay in real life unless you're a noob or occationally i've seen it for pre-orders on some stuff... I just bought a pair of ski boots that have a MSRP of $700, the shop was selling them for $600, and i got them 15% off which worked to $510 (irony) before tax. That's wayy below msrp even if you ignore the sale. but i'm sure they still made $ on them. I think MSRP is 150% of wholesale cost or something like that. Ergo the wholesale cost of my boots would be ~$466.

Back to the 510s. Wholesale on them at $150 is $100, I paid $120 for my freerider ixv's last year so that falls right inline after you factor in margins and such, and is the going price for fivetens from what i've seen. Most high end sport specific shoes are in this dollar range.... It's not like it's a $300 cassette or something...
  • 2 0
 thanks for the lesson in retail. i was just effin around. ill just stick with my $60 vans. they will last me 5 years.
  • 1 0
 You're missing out. You can find 5.10s well below $100 if you wait for a good sale. And I'm pretty sure they'll outlast vans.
  • 1 0
 I got mine at our local bike park at the end of the season for under $100
  • 1 0
 i have been on vans for over 20 years. i never had a pair fall apart. they last freakin forever. i just cant walk away from a service record like that. i went riding today for 3 hours. pouring down rain and 50 degrees F. my feet never slipped off my $40 wellgos. ($80 retail) if the 5.10s work for u, good. im glad u found a shoe that works. i did a very long time ago.
  • 1 0
 I was running vans as well. I never had an issue with slipping. My problem with the vans was how thin they were. Don't get me wrong I love vans and always will but the added stiffness is nice also the extra rubber is nice if you have to bail and land flat footed.
  • 1 0
 oh yeah i know how u feel. i felt the same way, but i have found that i like to "wrap" my foot around the pedal. too stiff a sole or too large a platform and ill slip pedals all day. for me it is worth the tradeoff for a rare few harsh "one legged kickstands" or bails.
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