If you're shopping for flat pedal shoes, Five Ten has been the go-to for decades now with their Stealth rubber and sticky soles. More recently, following Adidas' acquisition of Five Ten, there’s been an evident influence of trail running and hiking shoe features brought into the mountain bike footwear segment, and that’s been a positive change. They tend to breathe better, dry faster, and for those that really care, the looks are far less clunky than past models.
Trailcross XT Details
• Upper construction made from 50% recycled materials
• Stealth Phantom sole
• Sizes: 6-15 (half size increments 6-13)
• Weight: 370 grams (per shoe, size 42)
• MSRP: $160 USD
This is the second generation Trailcross XT shoe which sees the removal of the gaiter around the ankle. That revision was made to cater to a wider user group who prefer airflow over a debris shield. It wouldn't be out of line to call them a crossover shoe that could spend equal amounts of time on the ground as they could on pedals.
On that note of protection, the new XT model now looks identical to the LT, the lightest shoe in the Trailcross line, but there's more at play here. LT stands for lightweight, and so the XT receives more padding and support around the ankle, making it slightly heavier in the process. Those looking for more protection or waterproofing can check out the Trailcross Mid and Trailcross GTX.
The XT also includes a minimum of 50% recycled material in the construction of the upper shoe. Although it may resemble a tennis shoe with some dad-core vibes, it still utilizes the sticky rubber sole that initially made Five Ten popular among flat pedal users.FIT
The Five Ten Trailcross XT shoes offer a normal-width fit. For those with a usual size 42, I’d consider moving up a half size or trying them on in-store due to a slightly shorter length, even compared to other Five Ten models. The arch support is average and might require some break-in time for flat-footed individuals.
Despite those minor quibbles, the shoes are ergonomically designed, providing a cushy and comfortable feel for walking or hiking without compromising the desired flat surface under the mid-foot to contact the pedal. Opting for the additional lace eyelet at the opening ensures a snug hold.PERFORMANCE
Utilizing the renowned Five Ten S1 Stealth rubber, the Trailcross XT shoes maintain the expected gripping capabilities. The 'Phantom' S1 rubber is denoted the colorized version of the S1 rubber that is non-marking. These shoes are lightweight, well-ventilated, and permeable to water, which also means that they drain and dry quickly thanks to the absence of bulky, absorbent foams.
At the sole, their soft to medium cushioning is mega-comfortable and plenty thin for a connective feel to the ground or pedals. They're much more flexible and less flat that the burlier Five Ten Freeriders. The edges are rounded to enhance their hiking comfort without sacrificing the essential grip on pedal platforms.
Compared to models like the Freerider and Impact models, they don't offer the same protection or lateral support as those heavier-duty models. Granted, they do lock your foot in well, with a deep heel pocket that didn't cause hot spots on long days or pinching at the tongue.
On that forward fabric flap, there's a convenient loop for the dead-ends of the laces to tuck under, however, it's not secured to the side of the shoe. This can be annoying when slipping your foot in as it can often fold over and bunch up, although once positioned properly, it never occurred while riding.
Considering their high permeability, these shoes might be better suited for warmer, drier months - the water resistant Trailcross GTX shoe
exists for inclement weather. Alternatively, you could always rock these with waterproof socks if you aren't into splashing out for two pairs of season-specific shoes. DURABILITY
Despite rigorous use, including riding through dusty-bowl summer conditions and occasional river crossings, the S1 Stealth sole still looks as good as day one, proving their strong durability. However, the shoes might experience less stress from riding types with little foot movement compared to aggressive freeriding where the pedal pins can scour the dotted rubber sole. Notably, the bonded surfaces along the toe cap and the mesh-vented areas have proven resilient against pedal pins and rough underbrush.
The Trailcross XT (left) next to the Trailcross Mid.Five Ten Trailcross XT vs Trailcross Mid
In comparison to the Trailcross Mid Pro shoes, the Trailcross XT shoes differ significantly in appearance but share similar features in the lower portions. While the Mid Pro boasts a high-top style with added protection like a gaiter and D30 ankle protector, the lower design elements, such as mesh forefoot vents, toe cap construction, and sole, resemble the XT. Both models offer exceptional pedal grip but may make the rider feel slightly vulnerable due to their conforming nature to the pedals, particularly in rocky terrains where toe protection is limited. The Mid Pro's additional ankle coverage makes it less breathable but shares similarities in forefoot drying speed and ventilation.
Stealth Rubber is still the class leader in traction on the pedals+
Lightweight and highly breathable+
Shed water well and dry rapidly
Tongue is not connected to inside of shoe making it a nuisance to situate correctly-
Constructed with the bare minimum of protection