Ion Rascal Shoes - Review

Aug 15, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
Ion Rascal review

Ion are a relative newcomer to the footwear world – it was less than a year ago that they introduced the Rascal clipless shoe, and the Raid, its flat pedal counterpart. Designed for the all-mountain / enduro crowd, the Rascal uses a simple-lace up design, with a Velcro strap that zig-zags across of the top of the shoe to fine-tune the fit, and to stop those laces from flapping around.
Ion Rascal Shoe Details
• Reinforced toe cap
• Ankle padding
• Weight: 537 gram (size 11)
• Sizes: 37-47
• Price: $149.95

The cuff of the shoe is asymmetrical, with a bit of extra padding in place around the ankle area to keep that pointy bone safe from crank and frame impacts. There's also an injected toe cap that helps protect the front of your foot in case a rock or a tree decides to get in the way. The sole of the shoe is lugged at the front and back to help provide traction during hike-a-bikes, and there's a slightly smoother section around the cleat area to make it easier to clip in and out.

Available in either black or blue, and in sizes 42-47, the Rascal shoes retail for $149.95 USD.

Ion Rascal review
The lace cover / fit adjuster works, but the length of the Velcro sections could use a little fine tuning.
Ion Rascal review
Lugs at the front and rear of the sole help provide traction, while the smoother section around the cleat facilitates clipping in.


The Rascal shoes were a comfortable fit for my average-width feet, although they do feel a bit tall underfoot. Out of curiosity, I measured a couple other shoes (it was a really exciting day), and found that the Ion's sole height was approximately 10mm taller than that of the Giro Terraduro Mid and the Shimano AM7. What does that mean? If you only use one shoe and pedal combination all the time, then it doesn't mean much, but if you swap shoes, there's a chance the difference will be enough that you'll need to adjust your saddle height. Of course, that depends on how particular you are.

Ok, moving on from the fascinating topic of shoe sole height... The Rascal's have seen everything from frozen winter slop to deep moon dust conditions, and after six months of usage they're holding up well. There is one seam on the outside of the right shoe that's lost a few stitches, but otherwise there haven't been any durability issues. They dry quickly after being soaked, and they're reasonably well ventilated for those hot summer days . I do have a nitpick about the strap over the laces – when it's snugged down, the top Velcro portion is longer than the receiving Velcro below it, which makes it stick out to the side of the shoe. I never had it snag or catch on anything, but the system would work better if the lower bit of Velcro was longer.

There's plenty of stiffness underfoot for long rides, and I didn't have any issues getting the cleats as far back as I needed. You could always get crafty with a Dremel if you wanted to go even further. Off-the-bike traction is reasonable, although when things get really loose or slippery those toe lugs can get overwhelmed, but in most cases I didn't have any trouble keeping my footing.

Ion Rascal review
A few stitches have come loose on the side of one shoe, but otherwise they've survived six months of use quite well.
Ion Rascal review
The asymmetric cuff and ankle padding came in handy on multiple occasions.

Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesIon's Rascal shoes fall into what I'd call the 'workhorse' category. They're not the lightest, and they don't have any fancy dials or ratchet straps, but I also didn't need to think about them once I was out on the trail. They're worth a look for riders in the market for a comfortable, no-frills clipless shoe.  Mike Kazimer


  • 31 3
 Keep your Ion these in the clearance section because $149.95 is pretty steep.
  • 18 4
 $149.95, must be Enduro pricing. With stitches coming undone at the most crucial place for outside toe blow out, no thanks!
  • 6 6
 Still better than Adidas made five tens
  • 2 3
 $191.00CDN and after tax almost 250.
  • 12 0
 Six months of use, huh? I'm of the expectation camp where they don't start blowing up until at least a year in. Is that too much to ask?
  • 3 2
 No. My 5-10 impact's are 5 years old and still going strong.
  • 21 1
 @tremeer023: bro do you even ride?
  • 4 1
 @mollow: ha-ha. Not as much as I'd like. Job/Kids. Still a few hours a week though.
  • 2 0
 @tremeer023: my 5-10 impact vxi's lasted me about 8 months until the midsole cracked in half. My kestrels however have lasted 2 years now and i had to shoe goo the outsoles back onto the midsoles a few times.
  • 2 0
 I have had a pair of Teva Links for three years and zero issues, still have good sole Wink why they stopped making them I have no idea. They might not be as grippy as fivetens but they sure take a beating.
  • 6 0
 Lots of comments on the price. $149 is certainly fair play within the category. A general comment on price doesn't do much when not leveraged with the competition. You will pay similar for offerings by 5-10, Giro and Shimano. What I want to know is how does this compare to a Terraduro, Maltese Falcon or an AM9 and why might it be better or worse for the price compared to shoes in the same category. I'm fairly stoked on my Terraduros and would need a good reason to switch.
  • 9 0
 I don't want to offend anybody but it's getting tired everyone wastes energy complaining about the price of everything.

I remember reading in the comments from an article related to Sid Slotegraf moving from Squamish to Ontario where there is a sensible difference in salaries. If I'm not mistaken someone mentioned something about 36 to 42 CAD per hour. Supposing that you can earn 40 CAD per hour in a 8h a day job, that's a freaking amount of money!!. You can get 320 dollars in one day, 1600 in one week and 6400 in one month. Why the hell is everything so expensive for you?.

For instance, in Spain 1500€ monthly is considered a pretty fu**ing good income. A happy meal is 8€. In Switzerland 4500€ is a good income, but a happy meal is 23€. How much is a happy meal in Canada?
  • 1 0
 @Pichy: No comment about the price of the shoe here but 40 CAD an hour is pretty damn high. At 8 hour days that's over 80000 CAD per year. The actual average is about 50000 CAD per year or 24 CAD per hour. Even if you look at a good job like a mechanical engineer or a software engineer the average is about 65000 CAD per year.
  • 5 0
 Any one remember Kangaroos? Two velcro straps and a little zippered pouch for change. WHY CANT FLAT PEDAL SHOES COME WITH VELCRO STRAPS??? Or how about just velcro and no laces. I am so sick of f*cking laces. In the 60's they made Tang, Velcro, and pens that write underwater, and yet we are still having to double f*cking knot shoe laces?? Think about how much sense laces make with spinning gears, spokes and cranks. Now ask your self why? Motocross riders dont use laces. Moto GP riders dont use laces. wff???
  • 1 0
  • 7 0
 They missed an opportunity by not calling the flat pedal version the Rascal Flats...
  • 3 1
 I think it's pretty absurd that people think mountain bike shoes should last longer than a year of daily abuse. Pretty much every sport has to rotate their shoes every few months. Heck - if I walked in my robust hiking boots for the same amount of time I spend in my bike shoes, they'd be long retired before a year's end
  • 1 0
 I've worn the sole right through on my last 2 pairs of 5.10 Freeriders without anything else giving up on the shoes. Each pair lasted around 2 years of daily cycling, doing double-duty for urban and mtb, as well as being used as go-to shoes for kicking around town. All in all, I put hundreds of hours and thousands miles through those shoes, so I don't personally understand how so many people on here are killing theirs so quickly :s
  • 2 0
 I have worn these shoes for the last three months and I am pretty stoked. The stiffness of the sole has been great and I now don't feel like my foot is about to snap in half. They're pretty bloody tough although I could see the stitching getting wrecked. haven't had any issues waling in the shoes and I think they are bloody bonza.
  • 5 1
 Shimano AM9
  • 2 0
 yup im ordering a pair as my 2 sets of 45's are stinkin
  • 1 0
 @madmon: washing machine
  • 1 0
 I bought there flat version of these shoes after fancying something different from 510, really struggling to like them. A lot stiffer and less grippy sole than 510
  • 2 0
 I too did the same and I agree they are very stiff.I pressure washed a deck in them and got hem all wet and it kind of broke in the shoe but holy shit the soles you could stomp nails into a board with them.
  • 1 0
 Raid_Amp - yes, they are kinda stiff (i wonder how stiff Spec 2FOs are?). But I'm getting used to them. Actually i like the stiffness for pedaling. But I would like more grip. But i would not hesitate to try out this clipless version.
  • 1 0
 Any photos from directly about so we can see what feet they might fit? Are they as wide and straight on the inside of toe box as Bont Riot shoes? (which lacks protection?
  • 4 1
 Im drunk.
  • 1 1
 The quality looks like crap! I'll pass! I'm a die heart 5.10 fan and will never switch
  • 1 0
 I'd definitely feel better about these if the sole was stitched to the uppers.
  • 1 0
  • 1 3
 Clipless... has a clip-in mech.

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