If you're having trouble keeping track of all the Freerider models in Five Ten's flat pedal shoe lineup, you're not alone. By my count, there are at least eight different options, ranging from an insulated high top to a more casual canvas version, plus an assortment of women's and kid's models.
The Freerider Pro reviewed here isn't an entirely new model, but it recently underwent a substantial revision, returning with an updated sole, a reinforced toe box, and a lighter weight. Available in four different colors, the Freerider Pro retails for $150 USD.
Five Ten Freerider Pro Details
• S1 dotty rubber outsole
• Synthetic, weather resistant upper
• Reinforced toe box
• Sizes: US 5–14
• Colors: black, blue, navy, granite
• Weight: 443 grams (size 11, per shoe)
• Price: $150 USD
There have been plenty of attempts, but so far, no one has been able to match the flypaper-like stickiness of Five Ten's Stealth rubber compound. Similar to mountain bike tires, there are several different versions of the proprietary rubber, with softer compounds that provide more grip but sacrifice long-term durability, and harder compounds that are a little less grippy but have a much longer lifespan. The Freerider Pro shoes have returned to the 64a durometer S1 rubber compound, and use Five Ten's signature dot pattern along the entire sole.
The overall design of the Freerider Pro is pretty basic, with good old-fashioned laces in place to adjust the fit rather than fancy dials or ratchet straps. The synthetic uppers are designed to be water resistant and quick drying, and there's extra reinforcement around the toe box to keep those little piggies safe from getting stubbed on rocks and stumps.
The toe box and heel are protected by an abrasion resistant material.
I've had mixed luck with the fit of Five Ten's shoes over the years. Some models fit me just fine, while others have felt boxy and overly roomy. With the Freerider Pro, the fit around my average-width feet was perfect right out of the box—snug without beeing too tight, and free of any excessive heel lift when walking. The removable insoles provide a good deal of cushioning, a little detail that's often overlooked, but one that makes a difference on long rides.
The S1 rubber provided plenty of traction with the array of pedals I used during the test period—mainly Race Face's Atlas pedals and Specialized's Boomslangs – and although it might not be quite as soft as the Mi6 rubber found on shoes like the Impact VXi, I never found myself wishing for anything grippier. The sole is stiffer than a pair of typical skate shoes, which is a good thing, but it's still flexible enough that walking around off the bike doesn't feel awkward. Off-the-bike traction is decent, although in super sloppy conditions the sole's tread pattern doesn't provide as much grip as something with more aggressive lugs would, but that's just all the more incentive to stay on the bike.
If I had one request, it would be for a mid-top version of this exact shoe, or at least one with an asymmetrical cuff that extended over my inner ankle bone—my feet sometimes end up in funny positions on my pedals, and a little extra protection from cranks and frames would be appreciated.
Durability is something Five Ten has struggled with in the past, but I'm genuinely impressed with how well these shoes have held up—I've been thrashing around in them for the past six months, bringing them on everything from big trail rides to muddy shuttle days, and they're still going strong. The S1 rubber dots on the sole are beginning to show a tiny bit of wear from the hours of being poked by sharp pedal pins, but it's nothing out of the ordinary, and they still have plenty of life left. Pinkbike's Take