Review: Five Ten Hellcat Pro Shoes

Jun 28, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  
Five Ten Hellcat Pro review

The Hellcat Pro is what Five Ten calls their "aggressive all-mountain riding and downhill shoe." The SPD shoe features a DWR synthetic upper designed to repel water and keep your feet dry. There is a lace closure and then a protective velcro strap that also adds in some support.

The C4 rubber sole provides Five Ten's classic grip, and the area around the cleat has a hard plastic lining for durability. The compression-molded EVA midsole adds support and a dual-density TPU shank dampens vibrations. The footbed is an orthopedic style, providing additional support and padding for the foot. The Hellcat Pro retails for $180 USD.

Five Ten Hellcat Pro Details
• Clipless / SPD specific
• DWR synthetic upper
• Lace closure with velcro strap
• Colors: black
• Weight: 560 grams (per shoe, size 10)
• MSRP: $180 USD
www.adidasoutdoor.com/fiveten-brand


Five Ten Hellcat Pro review
The wrap-around and reinforced toe box adds protection for rock strikes.
Five Ten Hellcat Pro review
The sole has Five Ten's C4 rubber and then a more durable plastic by the cleat.


Construction

The Hellcat Pro is Five Ten's top-of-the-line clipless mountain bike shoe. The name isn't new, but the shoe itself has been completely re-designed. Greg Minnaar races in the Hellcat Pro and was very involved in figuring out what needed to change to make the new shoe better than the previous version.

The upper part of the shoe now has a full wrap-around toe box to provide additional protection. There is a tougher compound for the sole - Five Ten's C4 rubber, and the area where the cleat rests and engages into the pedal has been reinforced with a harder plastic for durability. The upper is said to be more breathable, better ventilated, and more element resistant to help keep your feet comfortable and dry. The strap that was a common source of complaint about the old model, with frequent tears, has been re-worked and reinforced along with the heel cup of the shoe.

The lowers of the shoe are designed to be directionally flexible in places, making them comfortable to walk in while also having the rigidity and support needed on the pedals. There is a compression-molded EVA foam layer that is designed to be supportive and cushion hard impacts, along with impact-resistant foam in the toe box to guard against rock kicks. In place of the worthless foam footbeds that many shoes, including Five Ten, have historically come with, they've gone with a full-on orthopedic style footbed that actually provides support and cushioning.


Five Ten Hellcat Pro review
Five Ten Hellcat Pro review
The orthopedic insoles provide extra support for the bottom of your foot and the new, reinforced strap helps hold everything together and keep laces out of the way.


Performance

I've had a mixed relationship with Five Ten shoes over the years. While I have had a few pairs last longer than I would ever imagine and the only reason I tossed them was the funk from multiple seasons of riding, I have had others that fell apart on the third ride. In recent years, I believe that Five Ten has really stepped up their game and their latest generation of shoes is much more durable, better fitting, and better constructed.

These shoes are in no way the lightest clipless shoes, but for many riders what they offer in protection, durability, and comfort is going to be worth the weight penalty. They fit snugly to the pedals and create a good connection with the bike. Five Ten has shims that you can add between your cleat and shoe to tailor how snug the pedal-shoe interface is, making for an easy way to fine-tune things to your liking. The shoe really does fit well and is one of the more comfortable shoes I've put on.

Five Ten's claim of having a lot of support while riding and then also being able to walk in the Hellcats holds true. They are supportive, but not too stiff on the pedals, and were easy to walk and hike around in. The Hellcat Pro strikes a good balance between being stiff enough for long rides, whiles still maintaining enough flexibility for off the bike comfort.

Five Ten Hellcat Pro review
Five Ten Hellcat Pro review
Stitching on the lace junction was messy from the start but hasn't further deteriorated.


Issues

When I pulled the shoes out of the box, brand new, the stitching that mates the lace system to the liner was extremely sloppy and appeared to be unraveling. After a couple months of use, it's still intact and everything is still holding together. This seems more like a quality control issue than anything else, and I'm curious to see if it continues to hold up after a full season of riding.

The Hellcats aren't the lightest shoe. They do a good job of keeping muck and water off when it hits but when the Hellcats are submerged in water, as frequently happens, they become pretty heavy. They are better than previous Five Ten shoes when it comes to drying out and not becoming a total brick, but if it's going to be raining or there are river crossings on my ride, they aren't the shoes I would pick.


Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesFive Ten's Hellcat Pro is a great clipless shoe for anyone riding aggressive trail and DH. The shoe is a little on the heavy side, but it also brings a bit of confidence in rocky terrain knowing that it's up for a good thrashing and your foot is well protected. The soles are stiff and provide ample power transfer to the pedals, and the orthopedic style footbed along with the molded heel cup provide an incredibly comfortable fit and loads of support.Daniel Sapp







81 Comments

  • + 87
 aaaaaand for the upteenth year running, why can't we get the flats with the velcro strap? Are flat pedal riders to be punished with muddy laces for being on the dark side?
  • + 9
 Yeah I really dont get it. I Just want the strap for extra tightness when the laces Open.
  • + 5
 Keep your eyes open at the germans, eco friendly and tech flat shoes are coming next summer.
  • + 5
 the giro riddance have a strap www.giro.com/eu_en/riddance-mid.html
  • + 4
 heck, with the amount of grip on a flat pedal shoe these days, I also want the strap for extra stiffness on top. Not to mention just being able to tuck the laces away (and no those elastic laces that tuck are not what I want, too stretchy with no stiffness)
  • + 3
 The freerider elc has a a cover and is my favorite flat shoe that I've used (I have used freerider pros, freeriders and freerider elc)
  • + 1
 Your shoes stink
  • + 2
 @Balgaroth: from What Brand.

Only shoes from Fiveten are the Freerider ELC with a strap
  • + 0
 @Daledenton: they’re ugly as hell and super hot. Plus they already stopped making them
  • + 2
 Shimano has the AM7 and the new GR9. I know the market isn't full of flat pedal shoes with lace covers, ratchet or boa systems but those shoes take a beating and tick some of those boxes.
  • + 1
 @Daledenton: I don't think Five Ten is making that model anymore, at least it's not listed on their website.
  • + 2
 @joepax: I got GR9's for this year. they are GRIPPY, and i like the lace covers. i think shimano is taking my 5.10's place for the future as long as they hold up long term. good shoe so far though.
  • - 2
 Because tucking the loose lace ends under takes mere seconds, and then you can be proud of being an adult that is able to effectively tie a shoe lace. Every one of my young child's velcro shoes eventually fill in with random crap and no longer stick. That's fine when a pair of shoes is tossed at after 6 months. Not so good if I'm wearing them for 2 years.
  • + 1
 @joepax: am5s are like 30 dollars online
  • + 1
 yeah untying muddy, wet laces after a long winters ride makes me feel all grown up. @Dethphist:
  • + 1
 SERIOUSLY THOUGH! I just don't get it, drives me nuts.

I've been riding the Shimano AM7 flats for that reason, had a full cover/strap, exact same as the clips version, no reason fiveten cannot do the same!
  • + 2
 Please, Santa, Jesus, Mohammed, Easter Bunny, Frosty the Snowman, Festivus Pole; it really cannot be difficult to make a relatively light shoe with some kind of flat tread and somewhat sticky rubber with a stiff sole for under $100. Just take a Vans or Adidas or whatever skate shoe and put a thin 2 layers of fiberglass the length of the shoe or something. Is that reasonable?
  • + 1
 @Daledenton: same here, fantastic shoes, struggling to find a new pair or a way to resole my current pair that has a tear all the way through the sole
  • + 1
 @andnyleswillriot: stiffness up top... I tie my shoes a couple times til worn in and almost never tie them again. I suppose I don't care about upper stiffness.
  • + 2
 @NRogers27: Accidentally downvoted you... I actually agree and have seriously considered beefing up a pair of skate shoes myself with a couple of layers of fiberglass under the footbed.
  • + 1
 @NotNamed: Vaude Moab Tech, proper flat pedal shoe with all the tech you can hope to find on a shoe. They will be presented more officially at Eurobike so keep an eye open Wink
  • + 1
 @NotNamed: Plus FiveTen is not German eventho it has been bought by Adidas which is gonna kill the brand and it's history soon enough.
  • + 11
 The reviewer didnt mention, if they were using a glue that isn`t water soluble or not, to hold the sole in place. The last pair I had fell apart after one winter of mud and water...Shame really
  • + 2
 Yup, exact same thing here. And the rubber seemed too soft on them as it was really in bits after a short period of time.
  • + 2
 I have these shoes, have put a ton of miles on them, including many wet rides and don't have any signs of edges peeling.
  • + 1
 @m-t-g: Same. Very happy with them and have soaked them plenty of times
  • + 1
 @nvranka: maybe they were from a different year design? Mine were terrible. All the previous 5Ten shoes I had were exceptional
  • + 2
 @humoroususername: don't know, this is the first pair of 5.10s I've owned.

I've seen elsewhere in the comments that post - adidas acquisition, quality has actually gone UP, contrary to popular belief.

I had heard of 5.10 quality concerns before buying these, but wanted to try a new shoe after the AM-45 was discontinued/rebranded...threw the dice and have been super satisfied.

The orthodic insole is legit too...all shimano shoes I've owned had paper thin insoles laid over plastic lol...

If you aren't focused on the weight of your shoes...these are a great option.

The price is probably higher than warranted, however. I remember buying AM-45's for like $50...
Hellcat delievrs way more value, but not at a justfiable premium if money is an object. I personally get such a long life out of mtb shoes even with tons of regular use that I didn't care what the price was
  • + 6
 Im kind of over 5.10s. $150 for a ugly shoe that has laces that are always way too long, a heel that requires a shoe horn or it collapses, eyelets that rip out and soles that barely last a season? I wish Salomon would make an xa pro with a super grippy sole!
  • + 2
 I've never used 5.10s but why not just cut the laces if they're too long? That's what I've done in the past with my Giros.
  • + 1
 none of your stated issues are true with this shoe...it's the only 5.10 shoe i've owned FYI. Laces arent too long Shoe isn't ugly in person...at least IMO...look at other MTB shoes lol heel is sturdy and easy to get the shoe on with no extra effort or shoe horn...lol soles are in good condition after 12 months I ride an average of 4 days a week...
  • + 2
 @philipmcm: I guess i think a shoe company should equip a shoe with the appropriate size lace if they are going to charge $150/pair...
  • + 3
 So overall it seems like the Adidas purchase is going to be a bad thing for Five Ten right? Quality control seems to be lacking. Anecdotally the warranty seems to have gone from “yes, here is a new pair, sorry they broke” to “you think we are actually going to respond to your inquiries, hahaha”. They fired everyone in California and handle out of the adidas offices.

And now i hear rumors they are phasing out the five ten brand all together and making everything Adidas.

When can someone else start using the five ten rubber?
  • + 3
 I have this shoe and have owned many 5.10 leading up to it. The last few pair pre- adidas buyout didn't last long at all. Terrible construction.These seem much better, although I only have a half season on them so it's a bit early to call. May not have been a bad thing Adidas taking over...
  • + 2
 Five Ten has never had good quality control, or at least they havent in a long time, if anything I would expect Adidas to update their manufacturing abilities to the modern era. The Adidas Terrex shoes I have are FAR better made than my Five Tens, they use more advanced manufacturing tricks like seamless construction and covering up all the stitching while the Five Tens are no different than your average $50 skate shoe. Ive been nothing but impressed with the Adidas Terrex shoes, Five Ten has always left me feeling like I paid way too much.
  • + 4
 I bought this Shoes, but after "Feeling" them with my hands and foot I send them back and bought the non PRO version, IMHO they have a better feel, less plastic and more cushy, they cost even less Smile
  • + 1
 Yea I have the standard Hellcats and they are really good. Comfortable, tough and durable.
  • + 2
 I thought my Shimano AM7s were heavy, but these are around 100g heavier per shoe. As far as durability is concerned, my AM7s have been flawless so far, my freerider pros have been pretty good too, but the pins have eaten up soles pretty badly.
  • + 1
 The first clip in shoes from 5.10 were worth the money since they had a base around the cleat mount that could be used with both clip ins and with flats, actually if you were using Time or Crank Bros sleats you could ride on flats without removing the cleats. But now, with this huge and hard cut out? For just clip ins? Give me Shimano shoes anytime. Half price, better quality and they used to look better.
  • + 9
 Shimano shoes for clipless, fiveten/adidas trail Ross shoes for flats. Nothing else.
  • + 1
 @etga6657: I have zero complaints with the giros I’ve owned.
  • + 3
 @etga6657:

Ross? Marshall's are the way to go.....
  • + 1
 They're a pretty odd shoe, I'd say be very careful about pedal choice. They're probably pretty solid with Crankbrothers cleats and pedals, but I found SPD cleats (Shimano SH51) stick out an mm or two below the sole (with no shims), so forget about traction walking on rocks. I also tried them with HT X2 pedals, but you had to remove all pins for the shoes to work (flat soles?).

A couple other notes, the lacing system is actually pretty sweet, the red tab is actually a strap that wraps your foot. On the other hand, the leather on the heel pocket tends to let your heel slide up and down (maybe a fit thing, I love my Freeriders in that regard). Also, they theoretically have ventilation.

For rough DH riding on Crankbrothers pedals, these would probably be awesome.
  • + 2
 My heals slip too. And I have two pairs of these in two sizes and they both do the same. That's one reason why I almost never wear them, as much as I crank down on the laces, my heals just don't stay put. And they feel like I'm wearing clogs on my feet.
  • + 1
 I have this shoe and It is a solid performer. It's certainly heavy, to the point I only use it for DH and racing enduro. It does feel solid, and is super stiff without being too harsh. It's probably the best DH shoe Iv'e ridden. With that said I think they missed the mark with the lacing and smooth heel material. I get heel slip to some degree, especially if walking in the shoe. The laces and strap also put pressure too far up close to my ankle and so if the strap or lacing is too tight it bites in and causes discomfort. Perhaps a more padded tongue would help. I think the Impact II clipless (which they have discontinued) was better at feeling secure and comfortable on my foot. If they could remake that shoe with the sturdiness of this one, it would be a 10/10.
  • + 1
 I don't know what's happened to Fiveten... they used to make the best shoes out there by miles but instead of pushing forward they've taken a step back. Their shoes have got much poorer in terms of quality and they look pretty terrible too. I want to buy their shoes- I was so stoked with the first few pairs I got - but they have basically driven me to find another manufacturer.
  • + 1
 They were tolerable like 10 years ago. Since then, everyone has just put up with it. Imagine if it's 2018 and everyone is still stoked on elastomer shocks... that's the reality LOL.
  • + 1
 i have a pair, they are as good as it gets.

Tough, confortable, and they look to last.
Your feet feel safe in them. Really good to walk on.

Heavy? So What, prefere to have tough and protective show that light and weak.
Wish they were a bit higher for uncle protection.
I will recomend them 100%
And i ve had Many shoes
  • + 4
 ok, it's "flats" or "clips". No more of this "clipless" nonsense. Editors, please don't continue the madness.
  • + 1
 Since adidas bought a local company they have gone down hill. If you notice the pricing has increased since being bought out by the corporate f*cks. I’m all about the local companies.
  • + 2
 Is the toe box moulded as part of the sole? Or is it just glued on and waiting to peel off like the rest of their post-Adidas soles?
  • + 1
 A version of the freerider pro, with the insole and new construction, plus the lace cover and waterproofing of the freerider elc, this is what we need.
  • + 2
 So, so bad looking. These should look like Vans, and be able to roll into a brew pub without looking like Sling Blade.
  • + 1
 How do these shoes make you look like Billy Bob Thornton?
  • + 1
 Maybe macaskills(flats only), sleuths, or the district..all 510
And the aftons looks sick.
  • + 1
 Since the Adidas buy out support for Canada has suffered. The first move was to cancel pro discounts for Canada. Too bad. Nice shoes
  • + 2
 how about Velcro straps for flats, maybe even a BOA system for flats would be nice
  • + 3
 I'm just not a 510 fan anymore. They just fall apart too fast.
  • + 4
 Ugly AF.
  • + 1
 These look like normal shoes. I don't think you have seen Shimano's SPD shoes...
  • + 1
 I've been running their ancestors for 2 years now, and they keep up really well. Not the prettiest thing, but probably the most durable and comfy!
  • + 3
 How is it feels comparing ot Kestrel lace? Their aim seems to be the same.
  • + 1
 I orderer these and they will be delivered on monday, now that i see the weight i think kestrel lace might be a better choice!? anyone here try both?
  • + 2
 @alidhojd: i have both and prefer my kestrals over the hellcats
  • + 2
 I still have my Minnaar's and I love them.
  • + 1
 About time 5.10's came with a decent insole, it can make a world of difference to how shoes fit and is too often overlooked.
  • + 1
 I have these, they are comfy af and hike a bike really well. If im doing some flowy, more xc stuff ill run a lighter show tho
  • + 1
 Great shoes really at least to me
  • + 1
 "Hi, I'm a nurse. These are my shoes."
  • + 1
 He'll of a review. Cats out of the bag now....
  • + 1
 how about a five ten with a boa system or even a double boa system?
  • + 1
 Ummmh...too Adidas for my taste. Big Grin
  • + 2
 over rated Frown
  • + 1
 what would be a 10 1/2 in EU sizes for that Giro?
  • + 0
 Love my Mavic shoes.... hands down the best
  • + 1
 Other shoes please..
  • + 1
 The best ever
  • - 1
 they have orthopedic inserts, and they look like orthopedic shoes.
  • + 1
 And orthopedic shoes look like normal shoes besides being bigger. Hellcats are the same size as my Nike sneakers.
  • - 2
 I wish this review included how well they function as a flat pedal shoe...
  • + 1
 They don't. They're not a flat pedal shoe. Speaking as someone who tried to use the Kestrels on flats, they function poorly. But then I expected that.

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