Review: Ion Raid Amp II - Flat Pedal Shoes With Plenty of Grip

Apr 16, 2019
by Mike Kazimer  
Ion Rascal II


Ion released the original Raid Amp flat pedal shoe a few seasons ago, and while they were light and comfortable, there was one problem – the soles just weren't sticky enough. Time to go back to the drawing board. The latest version is called the Raid Amp II, and uses a new rubber compound and a softer midsole that's designed to allow the shoes to really latch on to the pins of a flat pedal.

The shoes still have the same look and basic design elements of the original – the uppers are ventilated and designed to be quick drying, and the asymmetric cuff provides a little extra ankle protection. There's also a molded rubber toecap to help prevent a rider's toes from getting bruised and battered.
Ion Raid Amp II Details
• Pin Tonic sole design
• Molded rubber toe cap
• Elastic lace holder
• Asymmetric padded ankle cuff
• Weight: 470 grams (size 45, per shoe)
• Colors: black, grey, pink
• Sizes: 37-47
• $139.95 USD
www.ion-products.com

The tongue isn't gusseted, but there is an elastic strap sewn into the middle that helps keep the laces tucked out of the way. The Raid Amp II shoes are available in sizes 37-47, with three different color options: black, grey, or pink.


Ion Rascal II
Ion call their new sole design 'Pin Tonic'.
Ion Rascal II
The asymmetric cuff and extra padding help dull the blow from crank and frame impacts.

Performance

Good news – the Raid Amp II shoes are actually grippy, and not in the usual “almost like a 5.10, but not quite” way. In fact, I'd put the stickiness level right on par with that of 5.10's S1 rubber, the stuff that's used on their Freerider Pro shoes. I've used the Raid Amp II's on a very wide range of pedals – Shimano XT, Anvl Tilt, Kona Wah Wah, Burgtec Mk4 Composite, and found that there was plenty of traction in every instance. The shoes are stiff and supportive enough to wear on long rides without needing to worry about foot pain, but there's still enough flex to make walking around off the bike feel very natural.

The shoes have a snug, foot-hugging fit, closer to what you'd expect from a pair of well-broken-in climbing shoes as opposed to a super-roomy skate shoe. That means these may not be the best option for riders with wide feet, but it does give them a very high degree of sensitivity, which makes it easy to tell exactly where your foot is on the pedal. How precise a shoe feels isn't something that's discussed very much, but it makes a difference when it comes to making those foot position micro-adjustments that flat pedal riding often requires.

The Raid Amp II's aren't going to keep your feet from getting soaked in a rainstorm, but they don't turn into lead weights once they're fully saturated either. The upper material doesn't retain much water, and it didn't take long to get them dry and ready for another dousing after wet rides. I haven't tested them in any really scorching temperatures, but they do seem to breathe well, and the lack of any extra-thick padding in the uppers should help prevent any overheated feet once summer time arrives.


Ion Rascal II
Ion Rascal II
The soles are going strong, but some of the stitching has started to come undone.


Durability

The soles of the shoes have held up very well over the last few months of use, without any unexpected wear or delamination, but I did run into some stitching related issues with the uppers. The stitching that holds one of the pull-straps on has begun to come apart, and while the last few stitches are holding strong, I'm not sure how long that will last. Some of the stitching just past where the front of the laces end has begun to give up as well, which is a little more worrying than losing the use of a pull-strap.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesSequels aren't always as good as the original, but in this case the Raid Amp II's are even better. They're light and precise, with a sole that delivers plenty of traction. They lose a point or two in the durability department, and wide-footed riders will want to look elsewhere, but the overall on-pedal feel that they deliver is top notch. Mike Kazimer








90 Comments

  • + 41
 "I'd put the stickiness level right on par with that of 5.10's S1 rubber"
Stopped reading there.
Finally
  • + 11
 A grip level similar to S1 is good but I’m going to wait until it’s on par with the Impact not the Freerider Pro. That’s the true grip benchmark.
  • + 13
 @m47h13u: the classic bulky Impact is S1. The Impact vxi uses Mi6 sole, but people complained that it was too sticky (couldn't move feet around when needed) and wore out quickly, so Five Ten went back to the S1 for the Impact Pro, I believe.
  • + 5
 they are grippy, so continue reading
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: it is not too sticky it is too fast wearing.
My Mi6 get f*cked fast. I just glued a MM to it , now I dont need a new shoes.
  • + 3
 @Serpentras: MM as in Magic Mary?
  • + 3
 @dingus: Or the tasty candy-coated chocolate treat... though I doubt they'll hold up in warmer weather Wink
  • + 3
 @tipsword: Could potentially be some offcuts of Marshall Mathers too I guess.
  • + 1
 @dingus: yes Magic Mary, had no rock razor on hand in super gravity. I did this almost 2 month ago, shoes still working and I see less material ripped away then the original Mi6 sole.
  • + 1
 @Serpentras: Good idea. I'll maybe try that next time.
  • + 8
 When you buy these shoes you either get a great pair that will last forever or you will get a pair that will start falling apart the first week.I have owned 3 pairs and love them if they don't fall apart.
  • + 22
 Pretty much like some five ten models then.
  • + 5
 @fatduke: Pretty much a fact.
  • + 3
 And if it's anything like my ION knee pads...you'll be waiting 4/5 months for them to warranty them!
  • + 1
 @jlawie: which pads you got? Not had a problem with the zip ones so far.
  • + 1
 @fatduke:

Zip ones lol
  • + 1
 @jlawie: weird I've had no problems with mine.
  • + 9
 Why not put lug pins on the soles of the shoe, and the stealth rubber on the peddles? Chinese reverse engineering.
  • + 10
 Can't remember if it was on pinkbike or another site, but I read an article of someone trying that, it was terrible
  • + 1
 @kevin267: It was here, I remember. And ya it looked way sketchy.
  • + 2
 @kevin267: now that you mention it, I do remember seeing that. lol
  • + 2
 Why not try pins on both
  • + 2
 Walking on rock or worse smooth concrete is deadly on studded shoes. I wore lace up rubber caulk boots with probably a good dozen of old school golf spikes for traction. Really good on wet wood and muddy soil. Not good on rock. So spiky shoes might grip a rubber pedal but you wouldn’t want them on for walking about much.
  • + 2
 @Gummo: I actually have a mechanism that clips my shoes and pedals together believe it or not!
  • + 7
 "wide-footed riders will want to look elsewhere" wish it started with that!
  • + 21
 You mean your approach to pinkbike articles isn't just scrolling through the pictures before reading the final take and then comments?
  • + 3
 MTB shoes wide enough for my feet just dont exist, its very frustrating. but i must wear something, closest is specialized 2fo in a size that too long but wide enough. currently have Ride Concepts hellion which I had high hopes for but still kinda tight. Tried the ions, no f'in way.
  • + 3
 Yeah, I was hopeful for wider sizing availability when Adidas took over FiveTen, but still no joy.
  • + 2
 All those precious seconds of useless reading lost forever....
  • + 1
 @badbikekarma: Same problem here shit sux. The VXi mi6 was wide, but can't get them in larger sizes now. I just got a new pair of next size up freeride pro and it fits pretty good
  • + 1
 @DirtMcGuirk07: not wide enough for my feet.
  • + 2
 @badbikekarma: Have you tried five-ten? The pairs I have feel wider than the 2fo for my foot.
  • + 1
 You can get shoes resoled in 5.10 rubber. Find a pair of shoes that fit properly and you might need to send them off but at least you get something properly sized... Just search 5.10 resole...

It isn't cheap though, but if you've tried everything else it may be worth it?
  • + 1
 Skate Shoes...I like DCs
  • + 1
 @ryan77777: Yes, ive had many five-tens. They are narrower than they used to be and with the exception of the impact xvi's the soles are as hard as rock. I do have an impact pro which isnt too bad.
  • + 1
 Yup, 2FOs for the win for us fat-footed friends
  • + 2
 @badbikekarma: Have a look at our Powerline shoes, dropping this June. They are wider than the Hellions and might be just what you are looking for.
  • + 1
 @RideConcepts: Are the powerlines wider than the livewire?
  • + 3
 Been riding them for 6 month, and still in great conditions.. pointing all the sides of a shoe, incredible quality, incredible comfort and incredible grip, so far, my favorite
  • + 2
 So it's the opposite of my 510 impact vxi. After 9 months of use (one ride per week), the shoe looks great, almost as new. But the sole, well it looks like it's scalping on their own.
  • + 2
 Asymmetric padded ankle cuffs are where it's at for me and my boney ankles. But those mud-collecting pinholes have got to go before I can take these seriously.
  • + 3
 Agreed. It should be a bloody standard across the board.
  • + 2
 I'm loving the venting holes although, I never ride in the mud. Cool feet is where it's at for me.
  • + 1
 You might like the Ion Raid Select then. Pretty pricey though.
  • + 1
 I've not harvested any mud in the ventilation holes in my pair. They're maybe a bit delicate though, I've a little tear in that area on mine.
  • + 0
 Whatever happened to the complete cover for your laces? Can that be brought back for all us freeriders out there? Also, it would be great to have an SPD sole, or 3/4 shank, but with the regular full rubber outsole if you don't want to ride clips but prefer a stiff pedaling platform. Hard landings and flexion of the heel below the pedal is the main cause for shattering the heel/calcaneus and the ankle. Perhaps provide a rubber insert that screws in and fills that SPD section, similar to the Mavic XA shoes? The 5.10 Raven's and Karvers were a great shoe, just needed a full 5.10 rubber outsole and stiffness of an SPD shoe.
  • + 1
 From what I've found, most shoes with lace covers are for riders on flat pedals. I ride clips and really struggled to find a replacement for my old 5.10 Ravens, finally getting the new Shimano AM9s. I really don't understand why more shoes don't have lace covers in general though...
  • + 3
 Can someone make a proper wet weather flat shoe?
  • + 1
 Looks great, anything as grippy as 5.10 S1 but cooler in warm weather is worth a look. A bonus if they don't look like orthopedic Mickey Mouse boots.
  • + 3
 Waiting for the day when shoe companies embrace anatomical toe boxes.
  • + 3
 Ion: We Refuse to Make Shoes for Tall People.®
  • + 3
 I don't get your point. I am 6'3" with pretty narrow feet.
  • + 4
 @etga6657: My point is that there are a whole bunch of riders who wear shoes larger than 47.
  • + 3
 Size 14US please!!! I thought for sure that when Adidas picked up 5.10 that they would start offering more shoes in size 14. . . not fewer.
  • + 2
 ☹️yes only for hobbit feet...
  • + 2
 This. So much this. Sizes 12 and up need to be wider than just a stretched out 10.5!
  • + 1
 They also don't make knee pads for "normal" guys. I wear pants in 34 and not even their largest pads fit me.
  • + 1
 @jmrmuc: Try Troy Lee pads. Their XS pads were too large for my average sized legs (by european standards).
  • + 2
 @Mike Kazimer: What about the Burgtec Composites? Is there a review coming?
  • + 1
 Bring on the Ride Concepts Power line shoes. Asymmetric and cool colours to boot!
  • + 1
 Is it possible to buy them in Europe yet ?
  • + 1
 @IvanKrzak: I think they are meant to be out next month
  • + 1
 @jaame: But is there any distributor of RIDE Concepts shoes in europe ?
  • + 1
 @IvanKrzak: Who knows?
  • + 1
 @IvanKrzak: We are shipping Shoes to Europe as we speak. You can expect to see them up for sale in the next month or two.
  • + 1
 Cycling shoe manufactures need to start making more cycling shoes in size 15's/50's. Its the twenty-first century.
  • + 1
 sounds good, could be a good replacement for my beloved vans gravel, not as bulky and hot as fivetens
  • + 0
 The only reason I’d buy em being as grippy as 510’s is if they had an lace strap. Missed opportunity there!
  • + 3
 Kazimer writes ...
"The tongue isn't gusseted, but there is an elastic strap sewn into the middle that helps keep the laces tucked out of the way.
  • + 1
 lol
  • + 1
 Where are the Hightop shoes for the ppl that have F&^%'d ankles
  • + 2
 @weaselssubie Ride Concepts Wildcat. They have a snug performance fit and are very supportive. But what you really want to to know is do they grip like 5.10s....yes, yes they do.
  • + 1
 @Rdot84: I mainly wear hightop shoes for the extra support for the ankles. Where lowtop shoes don't protect blown out ligaments as good as high top shoes do.
  • + 2
 I miss my Teva Links so much.
  • + 1
 @unrooted: This pleases me. Smile
  • + 1
 So is this like a summer type shoe????
  • + 0
 Need a size 48!
  • - 3
 @mikelevy Will these shoes work for "down country" riding?
  • - 1
 Kid's sizing only, sad.
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