When Italian company Northwave set out to develop a new flat pedal shoe, they knew they had to bring something really good to the table in order to get riders to consider stepping away from the more well-known options on the market.
By partnering with Michelin, Northwave believes they have the rubber compound - one of the most important parts of a flat pedal shoe - figured out. The Clan shoe is designed to be stiff but not overly clunky or difficult to move in, with ample padding and protection throughout.
The Clan is part of Northwave's "Pro" line of shoes. It comes in black, blue, and orange colors and sells for $149.99 USD.
Northwave Clan Details
• Michelin rubber sole
• Internal adapted TPU shank
• Reinforced toe and heel
• Rubber sidewall arch support
• Tread on toe for walking traction
• Colors: black, blue, orange
• Weight: 484 grams per shoe, size 43
• $149.99 USD
The Clan is Northwave's top of the line gravity flat pedal shoe. Northwave developed two different soles with Michelin, the "Gravity Top" used in the Clan and then the "Gravity" which is used for the more sport-level shoe, the Tribe. The Gravity Top sole has a few things that separate it from the lower-end Gravity sole, including its tread pattern, increased arch support, and EVA cushioning.
The tread compound on the shoe is inspired by Michelin's Jet XCR tire. It's made to offer a lot of traction on wet and slippery surfaces while still being durable enough to hold up to being repeatedly poked by pedal pins. The tread pattern on the toe and heel is designed to provide traction during hike-a-bike sections of a ride. In the middle of the shoe, where the shoes will sit on the pedals, there's a smoother flat area with cuts and sipes for locking into the pins and keeping your feet securely in place.
There's an internal shank that's designed to keep the shoe stiff and firmly secured around the shape of the rider's foot. Last but not least, an elastic lace trap is used to keep the shoelaces from becoming ensnared in your chain, or wrapped around a crankarm. Performance
Right out of the box, the Clan was noticeably well supported yet comfortable. My foot is a tad on the narrow side, and I found that I did have some extra room in the toe box, but I wasn't slipping or sliding around in the shoe. The heel cup is stout and does an excellent job of keeping the foot supported, and there is ample arch support as well. The Clan laces up nicely and the laces stow out of the way with the elastic band. It also does a nice job of helping the shoes stay tied, something that can be a bit of an issue with lace-up shoes, especially if you're riding jungly trails where branches tend to magically untie them.
On the pedals, the Clan is extremely grippy and offers all of the traction I could ask for, as much as any of the other leading shoes. Even with all that grip, I still found it especially easy to reposition it if my stance wasn't exactly how I wanted. The middle of the sole being flatter and having more siping than raised tread helps with this. I had no trouble keeping my feet on the pedals when the terrain became rough, and the shoe doesn't mute the feel of the pedals, something that's crucial when riding on flats.
As far as walking around and traction off the bike is concerned, the Clan scores top marks for wet rocks and sketchy terrain. The shoe has traction enough for plenty of confidence in hike-a-bikes and isn't so stiff that it's not comfortable enough to hang out in post-ride.
If we were to compare it to the popular Five Ten Impact Pro, it’s very similar in many ways. The tread pattern is, of course, quite different and I find the Clan to be easier to reposition the foot on the pedal than the Impact Pro. It’s also an ever so slightly lighter duty construction in the toe and upper. If choosing between the two it’s going to come down to personal preference more than a massive difference in performance.
Plenty of support for long rides+
Comfortable & well constructed+
Good traction on and off the bike
May be a little roomy for riders with narrower feet.
|There are a number of good options for a flat pedal shoe out there and the Clan is undoubtedly one of them. It offers plenty of traction on and off of the pedals, it has a supportive fit, and it has proven durable with use in some pretty poor conditions. For someone that's looking for a well-engineered flat pedal shoe, the Clan is worth checking out.—Daniel Sapp|
Flat MTB shoe manufacturers: I’m going to make the ugliest shoe in existence.
Nicely stiff - bit more than Five Ten Freeriders - but less than Specialized 2fo . A nice balance between pedalling efficiency and sensitivity
Protection - great protection around the toe and heels for when kicking rocks
Stickiness - I wouldnt say it's as instantly sticky as Five Ten Stealth, it's like it compresses really slowly so once your foot has been in place for five seconds or so they feel really secure, but at the moment you put your feet on they aren't instantly stuck on like with five ten. Less sticky but in a good way.
Water resistance is decent and they dry out fast
Also available in black and grey options (black looks best)
I want boa/scotches on my flat shoes. Why is it only the clipless riders who get those cool things?
I have them and they are almost perfect for me. I dont think that i need more grip than these provide.
I never had 5'10s... and probably never will.
Didn't they tell us more competition would bring prices down? Free market my ass LoL
Consumers: "Give us a good product at a lower price."
Marketers: "See how high of a price the market will bear for an inferior product."
Consumers: "No, that sounds like a ripoff."
Business: "Brilliant, lets up the price until we go out of business due to reduced sales!"
I wanted those brown IONs real bad when I first saw them. $200... ION has lost their godamn minds. 3 months into the season the soles on most shoes are getting shredded and they smell like dickholes from getting flooded at creek water crossings. These dudes are all nuts.
I bought a pair of 5-10 Freerider Pros last year and the sole delaminated within a month. The inner lining started forming holes around the ankle and achilles area. And they looked like they've been through hell and back. In a month. Build quality was the worst I've seen from 5-10. But the grip was good and they were actually comfortable shoes to wear and walk around in.
I'd take a less sticky sole for a more robust, longer lasting pair of shoes. Need more grip? Get longer pedal pins.
Before these I had a pair of Fiveten Sleuth for everyday use (about 5 years). The NW Tribe offers more support, more damping, more venitlation. And they fit my narrow feet really well.
However grip in the wet is not great.
Or did they re-buff both sides?
I'm of the mind they just need to let that trail get more and more raw to cut DOWN on the traffic and funnel the less talented elsewhere. So now there's gonna a freight training descender center punching an unaware hiker in a blind left?
Meh...I find flaw in every thing.
Also, so these come in white?
Yes, the blue looks meh, but the black looks fine and they're the same price as other high end flat pedal shoes (160 for RC TNT, which I hope gets some reviews as soon as it comes out, 150 for 510 freerider pros, 130 for bontrager flatline).
I cant fault them!
...is they seem to be sized in W or Wide, which is awesome for heavier riders. Although once you fall under a certain weight, it's almost always best to just go with Five Tens.
These companies have huge opportunities to disrupt the industry with more cost efficient shoes with different sizing and features (toe or ankle protection anyone?!) but they all choose to do the same thing... buy 10$ factory shoes from China, slap a brand on them, and sell them to you for 150$. Really disappointing.
ive ridden and wrecked three sets of gravels ,2 pairs of ryan guettlers whips ,two sets of old schools ,the only vans up to the job of prope rriding were a pair of dh specific shoes from the years back looked like red clown shoes with rubber toe caps and ankle protection ,,I lost them though.
Used to love Blackspire pedals, but would ruin the soles. Went to Hopes and they have very few marks if any.
Seems to be they just need some slightly less pointy pins.
De la merde!!!!
Nearly as grippy as 5.10, pretty supportive. Look like shit obvs, and not great to walk in as tyre is thicker along centre line than side walls.
Still, I'm not paying the best part of £100 for a pair of flat pedal shoes any time soon, so they do the job pretty well.