Ride Concepts have been starting to make their mark on the mountain bike scene, developing a complete line of shoes consisting of flat and clipless models in options for men, women, and youth. The Vice, a shoe aimed at the dirt jump, slopestyle, and BMX crowd, is the brand's latest offering which debuts today.
The shoe is designed to give riders exceptional pedal feel and compliance by utilizing their RC Fuzion outsole. Contrary to other shoes, such as their Powerline flat, the RC Fuzion outsole has a sloped and angled inverse hexagon pattern, with larger hexagons at the toe and heel, allowing the pedal to sink into the outsole to give riders more sensitivity. Additionally, there is a D3O injected insole to help absorb impacts and reduce fatigue.
• Rubber Kinetics DST 6.0 High Grip outsole
• D3O insole, Internal TPU toe protection
• Gusseted tongue, Suede upper
• Colors: Men's - black Kyle Strait Signature, charcoal / black, camo / black, Women's - black, grey, Youth - charcoal / black, camo / black
• Sizes: Men's 7 - 15, Women's 5 - 10, Youth 2 - 6
• Weight: 481 grams (per shoe, size 9.5)
• MSRP: $100 USD / €100 (men's / women's) $80 USD / €80 (youth)
Ride Concepts again collaborated with Rubber Kinetics for the sole compound on the Vice which is a new DST 6.0 High Grip rubber. The hexagonal pattern on the sole is inverse, with 9mm hexagons at the toe and heel and smaller 7mm ones in the pedal contact area. The shoe utilizes a suede upper for durability and protection.
Other details include a cup outsole design with 3mm of EVA for extra shock absorption, perforated ventilation for breathability, and Internal TPU toe protection. The tongue is also fully gusseted to keep dirt and other trail debris out.
The Vice is available in a wide range of men's sizes, from 7 - 15, women's sizes from 5 - 10, and youth sizes from 2-6. Color options include the Black Kyle Strait signature model, along with a variety of other options for men, women, and youth. The adult sizes sell for $100 USD and the youth sells for $80.Performance
Fit on the Vice shoes was true to size from the start, with the US 9.5 fitting exactly as other US size shoes do. As with the Powerlines, using EU sizing may land riders in a little bit big of a shoe as they seem to let these run a bit large but the US was spot on.
Overall comfort is far and above beyond what other flat pedal shoes I've ridden are able to offer. The Vice feel more like a casual street shoe and are supple enough I never found myself wanting to get them off of my feet after riding to swap for a better walking option. They aren't the stiffest shoes on the pedals by any means and provide an excellent feel of where your feet are when riding. I found that feeling to be similar to a pair of Vans, but in a more performance-oriented way - as the shoes weren't overly compliant.
Traction on the bike was superb. I found my feet locked in on the pedals nicely and I didn't feel myself longing for more traction, as I have with other shoes and I had no issues keeping my feet on the pedals, even in rough terrain.
Now, what everyone really cares about - how does that traction compare to Five Ten's Stealth rubber? It's just as grippy but different. With the Five Ten, the pedal pins sink into the rubber itself. With the Vice, the rubber alone has a lot of grip but where most of the traction comes from is the pedal pins sitting in the recessed hexagons.
The DST High Grip rubber compound on the Vice is much faster rebounding than the Stealth and without the inverse hexagons on the outsole, the equation wouldn't equal great traction. With them, there's not only great traction but moving your foot around on the pedal, when you want to, is easy and you're not locked into as rigid of a position as with many other riding shoe options.
I've had the shoes out on a number of rides and, for the most part, I've stayed dry enough to avoid a full soaking. In the wet conditions I've encountered, I didn't experience any loss for traction although I don't think that the design of the sole will lend itself to easily clearing muck if you wind up walking a lot. Durability wise, I haven't had the shoes on the trail quite long enough to give much of an opinion here but there have been no red flags thus far and they are holding up as they should at this point.Toe to Toe: Ride Concepts Vice vs. Leatt DBX 2.0
The Ride Concepts Vice and Leatt DBX 2.0 are both new options aimed at the same crowd of flat-pedal shoe riders. They also both have a somewhat similar recessed pattern on the tread so let's see how they stack up.Weight:
The Vice and DBX 2.0 are very similar in weight, coming in within 2 oz, or 57g, of each other for the pair. Not a significant difference but the Vice is slightly heavier.Design:
Both shoes are sturdy but the DBX 2.0 is slightly stiffer and more robust, which comes at a cost of being not quite as easy to walk in so the comfort factor falls short of the Vice. The shoes both provide similar amounts of protection in the toe box area. As a softer shoe, the Vice offers a little more feel for the pedals than the DBX 2.0. The DBX 2.0 does have a lace retention strap which is a nice feature for riding shoes. As far as style goes, both shoes could do double duty as a street shoe but the Vice is a little more neutrally styled and offers a good bit more comfort with similar amounts of protection for when on the bike.Grip:
As far as grip goes, the Vice wins. Both shoes are tacky and the recessed tread pattern gives a little freedom of movement and easy foot repositioning while still keeping you on the pedals but the Vice sits in the pedals better, and by a good margin. The Vice rubber is softer by a bit and staying on the pedals when in technical terrain is easier than with the DBX 2.0.
Great fit & comfort+
Huge selection of sizes
May be too soft for some riders