Ion's Range of Shoes Takes Flat Pedal Grip Seriously

Apr 20, 2018 at 4:49
by IONbike  
William Robert, Ainsa/Spain


Shoes are about more than just the soles. The same applies to bike shoes. Of course, you want the best possible grip on your flat pedals. But there are other factors to consider:

- How well does the shoe fit you? Does it enable a precise, direct, yet sporty feel for the pedal? Or does it feel more like a spongy pillow, or worse, a rigid vice?
- Remember that time you banged your toes on that rock? Or when you lost control and bashed your ankle on the cranks? Embarrassing, right?
- And what about fatigue? How about more support in terms of power transmission when pedaling or standing on level pedals?

Raid Amp Black
Raid Amp, Black
Raid Amp Blue Nights
Raid Amp, Blue Nights


While developing the 2018 version of the Raid Amp flat pedal kicks, ION focused on a shoe concept to try and answer all these questions (and provide the grip of course) in the best way possible:

Regarding grip, for 2018 ION is using a new slightly softer rubber compound for improved traction on the pedal. At the same time, they didn’t want to go too soft since durability is definitely high up on their list of priorities. As you probably already know, the grip of your flat pedal shoes is always influenced by the interaction between pedal and sole (position, length, pins etc.) – and for most riders, having the right rebound settings on the rear shock also plays a role…

The Raid Amp offers a more direct (sporty) feel on the pedal. To achieve that, the development team decided to go for a slimmer upper without excessive soft foam cushioning and a stiffer sole. The brand wanted to ensure precise pedal feedback and have a supportive construction (in the mid-sole and sole) to prevent arch fatigue.
SupTraction Rubber Soul FL
SupTraction Rubber Soul FL

It might take slightly longer to get used to the (more direct) feel and grip in this type of shoe, but you do get used to it. For comparison, think of the difference between a body-contoured bucket seat and a sofa…

Raid Amp top

The new Raid Amp is made over a slimmer (maximum mid-wide) last. As a result: the fit won't suit people with really wide feet. This is an issue that hasn’t been discussed much. In fact, it’s rarely considered when discussing (flat pedal) bike shoes. Yet, people are familiar with it when it comes to clipless shoes, ski or hiking boots. They choose the brand with the best fitting last. This is not the case in biking. ION feels this needs to be reconsidered. Why? Because if you have slim feet, but wear a wide shoe, good grip on the pedal is undermined by your foot moving inside the shoe.

Ankle Pad
Ankle_Pad & pre-shaped heel
Jet Stream ventilation holes
Jet_Stream ventilation holes

All-in-all, with the stiffer sole construction (anti-fatigue and power transmission), slim last and reduced upper cushioning (better feel) and good safety features (robust, protective toe cap and ankle-pad) plus very good grip Raid Amp is a very sporty, technical (trail) flat pedal shoe for skilled riders with a high(er) level of fitness. And it’s still comfortable to walk in.

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Raid Stone Grey
Raid, Stone Grey
Raid Black
Raid, Black

The Raid is a stripped-down version of the Raid Amp: this shoe is based on the same concept with identical rubber blend & midsole construction and made over the same last, but the upper is less technical. Safety-wise it also comes with an asymmetrical shaft to put some material between the feet and the crank, but it has no reinforced toe cap. The whole upper has a clean appearance with less ventilation holes and no reinforcements on the lower ankle to give this shoe a look that allows for both, ride and post-ride usage.


The 2018 shoe line-up is completed by ION’s clipless shoes named Rascal with a combined lacing and Velcro closure system. The Rascal emerged as an award-winning product right from the start in 2017: it has been awarded the Design & Innovation Award 2017 in its first year, followed by the German Design Award 2018.

Rascal Blue Nights
Rascal, Blue Nights
Rascal Black
Rascal, Black

Raid Amp and Rascal (together with a selection of knee pads, bike apparel, gloves and backpacks) are available for the North American market via &

For further information about the 2018 ION shoe range, visit ION’s website.

Mike Hopkins, Ainsa/Spain



  • 51 2
 is it just me, or does every time a new shoe comes along, everyone says it's terrible and recommends 510's? then when there's a 510 article/new product, everyone complains that the 510's fall apart and don't last and there are so many better options available. oh wait, right, pb comments section. sorry, spaced out for a minute there.
  • 22 3
 because even with their problems, 5.10 are still the best grip out there.. and regardless of what ION says, grip is what matters.
  • 24 2
 I just want more flat pedal LACE COVER shoes for gods sake!
  • 6 0
 @H3RESQ: couldn't upvote enough also more hight tops would be sick
  • 2 0
I bought 3 sets of 5.10 carvers for $120 total a few years back when they weee being phased out for this very reason and I jealously guard that stash like a dragon and his gold! Wish more shoes would go this route.
  • 5 1
 @RGonz: Yes high tops are so underrated! Way more ankle support with no downsides. They really help keep your feet stable when you're shredding!
  • 2 1
 @Dhsteez: Vans Sk8 His is the way to go! Some people say the sole of Vans shoes is too thin but in my opinion this is false, I ride DJ and FR in those shoes.
  • 1 0
 @NoBikeNoFun: lol I rode in sk8 hi's for ages until I actually rode in some 510's. The grip is rediculous compared to a skate shoe. I sacrificed hi tops for being able to stick to the pedals even past 90 degrees (not that I'd ever need to get that far back). I'm just gonna get some 661 lace up ankle supports to make up for the trade-off
  • 13 0
 I will pass and continue to keep my Ion the market for a flat pedal show with a lace strap
  • 3 0
  • 1 0
 It looks like the Raid Amp and the Specialized 2FO have systems similar to a lace strap. The black cord you see in the middle of the tongue on the tan Raid Amp shoe is an elastic band that you can tuck the excess lace loops into. Not the same as an actual velcro strap but it effectively does the same thing as a velcro strap (unless you want the velcro to really snug down your ankle). I've used a set of specialized 2FO laced clipless shoes over the past 2 years and haven't had any issues with the laces coming out and catching on a chainring or anything
  • 3 1
 seems like 510 has a foothold on the market
  • 1 0
 You people are completely sole-less.
  • 1 0
 @kylemcnulty23: My Specialized 2FO (original version) have a little bit of elastic on the tongue that you can tuck your laces into to keep them out of the way; it works really well.
  • 1 1
 @Losifer: Casey Brown posted?
  • 11 1
 My Favorite at the moment is Adidas Terrex Trail Cross:

- Stealth rubber (Adidas owns Fiveten)
- Not so slippery in Mud (great pattern of the sole)
- roomy enough for my wide feet (snug fit)
-stiffer construction than most fiveten I tried, great for long pedaling
  • 1 0
 I second all these comments - wish Adidas would put more resources into making various models/offshoots and being more imaginative with color! These shoes run long and wide - I went down a half size and they are still roomy for a thick sock.
  • 4 1
 I went from a Five Ten Contacts to the Adidas Terrex Trail Cross after my sole delminated on the Five Ten and I really like the fit of the shoe, quality, stiffness, lace bungee etc etc. However my feet kept slipping off the pedals in super gnar rough terrain. I ended up getting fed up with the lack of grip and purchased a set of the new Freerider Pro's, much better grip and fit and quality seem good too. My understanding is that hte Terrex Trail Cross doesnt use the same Stealth S1 it's more like the Stealth rubber thats in the regular Freerider which isnt as sticky.
  • 2 0
 @chrischandra: yeah I can see how that extra stiffness could translate into lack of adhesion in the chunder. Still a decent all around shoe - I like wearing mine when I have to go on my roof!
  • 2 0
 From a dude who trail runs I recommend the Terrex too. Stiff, rugged, protective and if I gotta hike it out I know I can cover up to 10 miles without problem.
  • 4 1
 I do ride the actual AMP for 3 months now and I do not like it. Will swap back to 5/10 since grip can not be compared. Sad because I liked the Idea of having a good alternative...
  • 1 0
 That bad?
  • 2 0
 Vaude MOAB ?
  • 2 0
 stop lying, you´re riding clipless!
  • 3 2
 Five Ten already Amp'd up their freerider shoe with basically identical features. Cost the same and have way better traction. These look like Euro tourista shoes for walking to the espresso lounge in downtown Manhattan.
  • 1 0
 What don't you like about it?
  • 1 0
 The afton shoes have been really nice
  • 2 0
 @Balgaroth: i will grab a pair of the moab high for autumn and winter. really like about vaude that they are environmentally friendly and the shoes seem to have good features
  • 1 0
 @rodeoknight: they just don't stick to the pedal like five ten freerider or freerider pro and I have the feeling not to know where the pedal is exactly under the shoe.
  • 2 0
 @Patrick584: I do ride clipless but only on Mondays
  • 6 0
 how about FLATS with a VELCRO STRAP!? ????????
  • 2 1
 Flats with Velcro straps, please!
This ION shoe + Velcro + stealth rubber = take my $!
  • 2 0
 I also am still waiting for these to exist. I will probably try the Shimano GR9 as my next flat pedal shoe.
  • 1 0
 @retswen: yes cool concept shimano shoe. but goofy looks imo haha.
  • 3 1
 I have a pair of Amp flat pedal shoes. Used few times and then came back to 5.10. Grip and feel on pedals is not comparable with the five ten rubber. And a pair of flip flops is less noisy on a walk to the pub. Totally garbage, imho.
  • 2 0
 This discussion seems to focus on the Flat pedal shoes. I am riding a pair of ION Rascal Clipless shoes and I love them. They fit is very performance oriented, I feel very connected to the bike, but they are still comfortable. My foot is an average width. The sizing is correct to US standards.
  • 2 0
 Looks heavily influenced from products already in the market. No wide options means I won't be wearing them with either my duck feet or my ankle brace.
  • 4 0
 at least your not a size 16 (17 US)...
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: Ha! That's half my height! If I was a size 16 I'd be a movie star Smile
  • 1 0
 Looks identical to Bontragers new flats, specifically the tread. If the price was better they`d get a try.
Edit: nevermind, just looked at the Bontragers and they are close but not the same. I might have the Ions confused with either the new Giro or Specialized I was looking at in a shop last week.
  • 4 1
 all mtb shoes should have lace covers. bottom line
  • 1 0
 Only whats necessary make some amazing falt pedal specific shoes with 2 liners. Amazing grip and superb comfort. Not sure these or 510s would compete with them..
  • 2 0
 Cant you just duct tape your flip flops to your pedals like everyone else?
  • 1 0
 That is a very cool photo of William; however I can't see the shoe, which kind of defeats the point Smile
  • 2 0
  • 2 1
 Sorry, but 5.10 Contacts are still the gold standard!
  • 2 1
 5.10 Karver, the Kovaricks
  • 1 0
 Mmmkay, so what are the dimensions of a so called large foot?
  • 1 0
 No bottle cage? No gearbox?
  • 1 0
 High tops?
  • 2 0
 High hopes.
  • 1 0
 High inner ankles
  • 1 0
 Yes indeed more high top options! Some of us have significant hardware in the ankle, its nice to cover it up.
  • 1 1
 Looks like a 5.10.

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