Review: Five Ten Freerider Pro Mid Flat Pedal Shoes

Jan 18, 2022 at 18:01
by Mike Kazimer  
Five Ten Freerider Pro Mid review


The look of Five Ten's Freerider Pro Mid flat pedals shoes is polarizing, to say the least, thanks to the use of three hook and loop straps to adjust the fit. Make all the jokes about geriatric or toddler footwear you want – there's no denying that these are a departure from the typical lace-up, skate-style that's the norm for flat pedal shoes. Personally, I'm not all that bothered by the appearance – I don't really spend any time staring at my feet while I'm riding, and my shoes are usually covered with mud anyways.
Freerider Pro Mid Details
• D30 inner ankle padding
• Stealth S1 sole
• Sizes: 4-15
• Weight: 473 grams (per shoe, size 11)
• MSRP: $180 USD
www.adidas.com

With that out of the way, let's dig a little deeper into the details. Along with the aforementioned three-strap system, the Freerider Pro Mids have a mid-top cuff with a loop at the front and back to help make it easier to pull them on. That cuff has a section of D3O padding around the inner ankle that hardens up in the event of an impact, whether that's with a crankarm, frame, or a random trail obstacle.

Traction is provided by Five Ten's Stealth S1 rubber outsole, which is formed into the familiar pattern of raised circles. The sole is sewn on at the toe box (which is reinforced for additional impact protection) in order to help reduce the chance of delamination.

The Freerider Pro Mid shoes are available in men's sizes 4 – 15, and are priced at $180 USD.


Five Ten Freerider Pro Mid review
A patch of D3O provides extra ankle protection.
Five Ten Freerider Pro Mid review
It doesn't get much simpler than this.


PERFORMANCE

Five Ten's website says that the Freerider Pro Mid shoes run small, but I found the fit to be nearly identical to that of the standard Freerider Pro shoes. Putting them on does take a few extra seconds due to the ankle cuff – it reminded me a little of putting my foot into a wakeboard binding, but thankfully it doesn't require nearly as much effort.

Out on the trail, the shoes deliver the flypaper-like traction that Five Ten's Stealth rubber is known for. I'm a fan of extra sticky shoes – I'd rather take pins out of a pair of pedals to achieve the level of grip I want versus installing longer, scarier ones to ensure my feet stay in place. The overall height of the shoe's sole and midsole is fairly low, which gives the shoes a very precise, direct feel – they're the opposite of clunky. The protection around the ankle is free of any unwanted bulkiness, which keeps it from rubbing on crank arms.

The taller cuff helps keep mud and debris from getting into the shoes, although that does make them run a bit warmer than the standard Freerider Pro. My rides all took place in cooler temperatures, so the extra warmth wasn't an issue, but these wouldn't be my first pick for a mid-summer ride.


Five Ten Freerider Pro Mid review
Five Ten's proven Stealth rubber provides plenty of grip.
Five Ten Freerider Pro Mid review
A reinforced toe box for extra protection.


ISSUES

I did experience some chafing at the front of my ankle that was caused by the fabric cuff bunching up and rubbing on a long ride. The sock-like design of the cuff means there's not really an easy solution to this – you can move the tongue slightly to either side, but the cuff itself is fixed in place. I've found the wraparound style of the cuff on FiveTen's Trailcross Gore-Tex shoes to be less likely to cause this issue.

The only other comfort-related issue I encountered has to do with the Ortholite insole – they don't provide all that much support. Riders with flat feet (my hand is raised), or anyone looking for more arch support will likely want to swap the stock insoles out for something with more shape too it.

DURABILITY

I've had these shoes for the last three months, so it's still a little too early to really comment on long term durability. So far, though, I don't have any major gripes. The soles are still securely attached, and the amount of wear isn't anything out of the ordinary. A couple of threads have started to come undone at the front pull loop on each shoe – I'll see if that gets any worse over the coming months, and update this article if so.

As for the hook-and-loop straps, they're all still working fine. Occasionally the tail ends of the straps lifted up a little when the shoes were absolutely filthy, but after a quick rinse and dry their functionality was restored.



The Freerider Pro Mid and the Trailcross Gore-Tex.


Five Ten Freerider Pro Mid vs Trailcross Gore-Tex

The Freerider Mid Pro shoes aren't waterproof, but they do a decent job of keeping water and mud out on days when it's not actively pouring. However, I managed to get my hands on a pair of the FiveTen's Trailcross Gore-Tex shoes, which are waterproof, and after a few rides with those the Freerider Mids started seeing much less use.

I found the Trailcross shoes to run a little big – some riders may need to size down, or plan on wearing thicker socks. They're also a little taller underfoot than the Freerider Mids, although that didn't bother me at all while riding, and if anything adds additional stiffness to the sole. They're also a touch heavier, at 527 grams vs. the 473 grams, and cost $20 more.

I prefer the lace-up design of the Trailcross shoes, and the way that the adjustable neoprene cuff wraps around the ankle. I also got along better with the fit – the Trailcross has more room in the forefoot, and was more comfortable on longer rides.




Pros

+ Stealth rubber is still the gold standard for grip
+ Three strap system is about as simple as it gets
+ Cuff helps keep dirt and other debris out

Cons

- Insole doesn't provide much support
- Noticeably warmer than low-top version




Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe Freerider Mid Pros are a good shoe, it's just that Five Ten simultaneously released what I'd consider to be a great flat pedal shoe in the form of the Trailcross Gore-Tex. I prefer laces over hook-and-loop straps, and if I'm going to wear a mid-top shoe I'd rather have it be waterproof, considering how many of my rides take place in the pouring rain. However, for some riders the Freerider Mid Pro may be the ticket – they're grippy and precise, with ankle protection that's effective and unobtrusive. Mike Kazimer








91 Comments

  • 67 4
 @Adidas: I think you should maybe invest more of your R&D into your quality control and secure better suppliers.
Came off the previous Gen hellcat pros, which had some issues with the sole staying laminated after several months of riding. Something that wasn't a major issue, but quite frustrating. When the new Hellcat Pros dropped, I jumped on a pair, as I love the low profile look and slightly softer feel, but boy was I dissipointed.
The sole came delaminated after a few rides. This also happened to several other pairs from other riders I know.
I reacged out to the supplier, and they no longer support with warranty. I then reached out to Adidas Canada, and they required me to ship them back on my dime, and they would issue me a credit once they received them and their warranty team asses them. They could not give me a timeliness or a guarantee if they would warranty them even with photos and proof of purchase.
Good job offering after sales support and warranty service on a failed product, as well as keeping riders riding on your brand let alone riding at all.
I am currently awaiting Crankbrothers Mallet shoes.
  • 4 1
 I like my Mallets. Hopefully you will as well.
  • 4 0
 Same. My freerider primeblues sucked. The soles got all torn up after just a few rides. Very dissapointed. Now jsut running a pair of vans. Loving them!
  • 4 0
 I have Mallets right now as well. Good shoes but unfortunately, just not the same as the OG 5.10s.
  • 4 0
 I've had Mallets for the last year and they've been holding up, but in terms of grip, they are not on the same level as 5.10s . I've been considering going back to 5.10s, but if their quality is this bad now, I'll most likely be looking at specialized's shoes going forward.
  • 33 0
 I spoke to a 5.10 rep at Crankworks a couple years ago, and complained about terrible durability issues on recent shoes. He was candid in saying that Adidas had changed their manufacturing process to use more environmentally friendly materials, including glue. He said he thought the new glue was crap, and was a major headache for reps as everyone complains about soles coming apart.

Obviously if the shoes get thrown in a landfill after 6 months, the “green” glue is not having the intended effect…
  • 4 0
 I'd say my Vans have more grip then my mallets. I've had them for a year and they don't touch 5.10s for grip. They look cool and are solidly built but wouldn't recommend them because grip is the most important to me. They are starting to get a bit grippier because all the holes wearing in, I use them for easy group rides and my 5.10s for anything serious or rough.
  • 8 0
 I hear these complaints so they must be true but I’ve been using Five Tens for about 15 years, riding around 3 times a week, downhill, dirt jump, XC, from the old classics to the Adidas trail cross and have had zero problems and only replaced shoes because after a couple years the soles start to lose their grip as the rubber hardens and gets beat up enough by pedal pins. What am I doing wrong?!
  • 3 2
 @BiNARYBiKE: The new ones have a different compound. The older ones are tougher. You got the gold
  • 5 1
 @noakeabean: I never got complaints about soles getting torn up. Shoes and tires both: there is a direct relationship between softness and grip, both of which are inversely related to longevity. Balance these variables as you see fit.
  • 6 0
 @noakeabean: I’ve used multiple “new ones” with zero issues as well.
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: Even the primeblues?
  • 1 0
 @noakeabean: I have not used the prime blues and have heard that they are crappy. So I’m with you there.
  • 13 0
 @Drew-O: also nothing "green" in Adidas discontinuing the Stealth resole kits after buying 5.10.
  • 1 0
 @dfish: Personally grip is not as relevant, as I'm clipped in, and I run my pins all the way in for more of a floaty feel on the pedal.
  • 1 0
 @noakeabean: I've been riding the primeblues for a year now... zero issues. I hear all these quality complaints, but I've been running five tens for years now and can't tell a difference between the previous non-adidas ones and new ones (from a quality perspective). For reference I ride 3+ times a week during the season in Utah, put about 1200 miles down with the primeblues so far and see no reason why they won't last me another season before I feel like replacing them. Sure, the soles look a little worn where the pins sit, but the grip hasn't been impacted yet. My last pair of freerider pros were only replaced cuz I'm vain and liked the look of the primeblues better lol. Are people wearing theirs around when not riding their bike? I have a hard time believing everyone else is beating them up more than I do while riding.
  • 1 0
 @recneps57: I only wore mine on the bike. Rode every other day. Soles were torn to shreds after 2 months
  • 1 0
 @recneps57: all shoes wear out more quickly when the rider's foot is ripping off the pedal more often due to poor technique, dabbing, etc. I have primeblues too, with lots of miles on them, and they are also holding up quite well...
  • 3 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: all my five tens have lasted years. The soles wear thin but they never fall apart. I stick with the classics, freerider and the Sam Hill orthopedics. I’ve never tried the newer types.
  • 1 0
 @shimano has a lot to learn about this as well. Pedals and drivetrain are great but your shoes fall apart and brakes can't be serviced enough and have their own bite point problems.
  • 1 0
 @recneps57: The average humidity could play a role.
  • 1 0
 @cfox109: I was unaware that Vans made clipless shoes.
  • 2 0
 @jomacba: haha ya got the mallets and stamps mixed up. I just assumed you were talking about flats like the article. Some of my buddies have the mallets and they like them a lot. Just wouldn't get the stamps again.
  • 2 0
 @cfox109: Finding a good flat pedal shoe I find is definitely a challenge, which is ironic given the vast selection of flat pedal shoes available. I remember when flat pedal shoes WERE vans. I rode what I wore everyday to the trails. Now I find it's the opposite. It's hard to find a good clip shoe to be honest. On the same note I'm much more picky with what I want.
  • 1 0
 @letsgethurt: I found some of those in an old storage box last year. It was a shame but the rubber had perished from not being used. I was pretty upset that I had forgotten about them.
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: my bad - I made the same mistake as @cfox109 - I've got Stamps, not Mallets. I do have Mallet E pedals, but I have Shimano AM-5s for those - and those have held up but they're boat anchors!
  • 18 4
 >> Durability: I've had these shoes for the last three months...
seems about right for the lifespan of Adidas five-tens.

Paired with an orange vest these look perfect for geriatric Maine duck hunters.
  • 9 0
 For what it's worth, The Sam Hill signature shoe is the undisputed king of durability among 5:10 shoes. They don't seem to have changed over the years and have been spared the extra "development" Adidas has brought to the five ten lineup. I'm currently on my 4th pair of Sam Hill's over a span of about 12 years. Each pair has reliably lasted 2-3 years of abuse. And all have suffered the same ultimate fate, the hole in the sole, after wearing through the rubber. Completely adequate. I just hope and pray they don't change them from their current form.
  • 1 0
 I was disappointed to discover that a recent (late 2020) pair of impact pro went to shit in two months. I usually get a year and a half out of Shimano or spec shoes, I’m currently using Scott flat shoes and they’ve already lasted three times as long as the impact pro did.
  • 1 0
 I second the Sam Hill edition5/10. I’ve gone through 3 pairs of normal Freeriders. w/one up pedals destroy em PDQ
The Sam Hills I bought were even used and after prob 8 months of solid use still have hardly any sign of wear. They’re def tougher and more robust ,seemed just as tacky too if not more but almost seems they’d have to be made of diff rubber or something. make a couple loops w/yer lace near the bottom eyelets u can put a strip of velcro in for loose lace ends and they’re the shizz I’m sold on em prob get another pair b4 they do change Beer
  • 1 0
 Agree. Went away from the Sam Hills and replaced them with the sleeker Freerider style. They started to delaminate and split after a few rides. Sent photos back to the dealer who refused to replace them saying I was too rough???. Very pissed off -never buy from that website again. Waited until they were on sale and bought two pairs of the Sam Hill 5.10s - durable and I'm happy as a pig in shit. Stay away from the Freerider (new) styles.
  • 1 0
 Agreed Sam Hill orthopedics are goated but are too hardcore for everyday riding.
  • 1 0
 I hope they don’t change them but stocking up just in case.
  • 1 0
 Been climbing and MTBing in 5.10 shoes since I was a sponsored climber for them back in the early 90's. I've gone through every shoe they ever made until Adidas bought/destroyed them and I lost my pro deal. The Sam Hill is just a newer version of the original Nathan Rennies, which I agree is a stout shoe. The Rennies had the best look of any 5.10 shoe ever made, I use to wear them as street shoes and had people comment on them constantly.

The Minnaars/OG Hellcats, same shoe different colors, get my vote as the best shoe 5.10 ever built. Clipping in and out of a pair of Mallets with traction pins screwed out to the max is one of the hardest thing on a shoe that you can do in my opinion. 3-5 years, 100-200 days a year, I never wore out a pair to the point I couldn't use them anymore, usually would just retire them because I had new pairs waiting. The new Hellcats look like a shoe built to fail, I would never buy a pair. I'm lucky and still have boxes of old 5.10s both climbing and MTB, worth their weight in gold to me now.

FYI same durability conversation is happening in the climbing side of 5.10 shoes. I think the best scenario would be for 5.10 to fail as an adidas product and them to sale the rights to use the stealth rubber to some outside companies.
  • 1 0
 @dug801: what’s the consensus around unparallel climbing shoes? I want to try their dust up or west ridge mtb shoes.
  • 10 1
 Shoe product managers please look at what Lems and Altra are doing with their modern shoe lasts. Toes are not meant to kink inward at 35 degrees at the last joint in pointy Italian lasts. The arch is not a load bearing surface.
  • 5 0
 Completely agree with this. Hopefully the foot shaped toe box thing will come to mtb footwear sometime soon!
  • 2 0
 Another Lems fan in the comments? Let’s go
  • 10 0
 Free-riders don’t know how to tie shoes.
  • 5 0
 I won't buy those Adidas shoes until they do something about their sizing. Where FiveTen was just fine in size 47 for me, Adidas 47 1/3 is too short and 48 is too wide.

I had velcro straps on Specialized shoes in the 90s, the velcro collected a lot of debris (thistles!) and delaminated at the bend after a year or so. Those were clipless though, where one wants a tighter fit.

Those are dead ugly anyway. Love my gr701.
  • 1 1
 They fit me better now. Sorry!
  • 4 0
 I have both of these shoes. Both are great, they serve different purposes. I never noticed how much trail debris got in my shoes until I went did a ride in the regular freerider pros after riding with the boot. Also the Velcro closure is super easy to adjust and never comes undone. The boot and Velcro certainly elevate the performance above the standard freerider pro.
  • 5 0
 I agree this review is super subjective to Mikes personal tastes. I think these are the best shoes I have ever ridden. I wear them with pants so you don't even see the sock. The velcro allows you to eliminate foot pressure thats harder to minimize with laces. I literally see 0 downside to velcro.
  • 1 0
 @MarkSedman: It just runs out of sticky after a while, unfortunately
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer "I found the Trailcross shoes to run a little big" : how is that ? I had to upsize to be able to slip my feet in and don't tell me about planning on wearing thicker socks, no way ! I found them to be really narrow actually, way more than the Specialized Roost flat I'm also wearing for instance. Otherwise, I'm more than happy with my Trailcross.
  • 3 0
 Do you have the Gore-Tex version of the Trailcross? The fit varies depending on the model. I have both pairs next to me, and the difference in sizing is noticeable.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Yes, this is the Gore-Tex version. I guess it all comes down to foot shape !
  • 1 0
 They are narrower but they are longer. My trail crosses in 12 are probably half a size longer than my pros in 12. But they are narrower.
  • 1 0
 yep i found the same. i have wide feet and had to size up. all of the trailcross shoes are narrow
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: Turns out your eyes are actually pairs of measuring calipers. Incredible
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: try looking at footprint insoles. They’re designed by pro skaters but work really well with bikes also.
  • 2 0
 I still use 2 pair of my freerider high (discontinued). Best shoes I have had!

And now finally they release an version with some ankle protection again!

Price was quite steep but if it's as good as my other 5 tens I will get these!
  • 3 0
 My favorite 510's yet! Have these and the trail cross. The gater is the shit! No more stopping to clean debris out of shoes. Durability after 2 months of riding is great so far.
  • 2 0
 I tried the gore-tex ones and got very wet and hot feet. I find the pro mid a much better choice. Better at keeping water out and yet will have some chance of drying. Only issue I had was that the Velcro straps are too long, so I cut them down.
  • 8 3
 Coolest orthopedic shoes Ive ever seen.
  • 1 0
 Hey @mikekazimer, my normal Pros have a little stiffer sole than my normal trailcrosses and I prefer the Pros when shuttling or riding very long downhills, but prefer the trail cross for more pedaling rides. Any comment on how these compare in sole stiffness and support? Been consider a mid top/gore shoe for winter here in Oregon.
  • 4 0
 I found the Trailcross Gore-Tex to offer more support than the normal Trailcross shoes. With the normal version, I found those to be a little too flexy for my needs, but that's taken care of with the Gore-Tex model.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: they must be made with very different lasts… I sent the GoreTex versions back without riding, as the shape was awful (for me), where as the standard Trailcross Mid and these Freerider Mid I have are both very comfortable (but still clearly a different shape to each other). People should try all three before buying if they can. There is no “FiveTen Fit”, every model needs to be tried and judged on its own merit now. Frustrating for people who’ve previously found their fit, but means there is probably a boot for everyone willing to try them all on.
  • 2 0
 Still think Freerider Pros are the best flat shoes out there. Probably try a set of these when my current lace Freerider Pros wear out. Other companies are coming close, but Stealth rubber is still the hottest shiznizzle.
  • 1 0
 Shows first picture to my wife, once she stopped laughing she asked me if those are real? Smile

Maybe the ”designers” at Adidas should do something similar before they make it into production…
  • 1 0
 Can we get a more precise measurement of time/use to get an understanding of the test period? Like hours ridden or vertical meters?

That being said, thank you for comparing how it’s fared compared to other shoes.
  • 3 0
 Please bring back the high cut freerider winter. The one with thinsulate. Showers Pass make a waterproof sock that works.
  • 2 0
 Stretchy top, Velcro straps and $180 dollars.....hell yeah! I will say it again,... thanks Adidas for ruining a great shoe brand!
  • 3 2
 Tall waterproof socks and your favorite riding shoe 1/2 size bigger is the way to go. Prove me wrong. Looks like 510 is over thinking things (again).
  • 1 0
 Well, might be. But I have nothing to complain about my Trailcross GTX and I find them way more comfortable than my Sealskinz waterproof socks with regular flats. Not to mention it dries faster. To each their own I guess.
  • 1 0
 Can 5.10 (or someone) please make MTB shoes with stealth rubber, lightweight/durable/breathable uppers, and any sort of decent lace system?
  • 3 0
 I feel like the trailcrosses meet that criteria fully. Unless you’re looking for something fancier in the lacing system?
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: I would like boa laces please Smile .
I like my Trailcross a lot, they'd be better w/ boa laces IMO
  • 2 0
 @dolface: I'd be down for a boa but laces treat me okay. Actually what I'd prefer even more is Salomon's speed lace system. Best system I've ever used on a shoe.
  • 3 4
 5.10 should have made these with BOA laces to differentiate it from the Trailcross series. Or add a BOA version to the Trailcross series and not come out with these #1 Podiatrist & diabetes-specialist recommended Freerider Pro mid shoe.

I have a pair of the Pearl Izumi mid shoe with BOA lacing but a 5.10 sole would be the cat's teats
  • 2 0
 Agreed, the boa closure would be a really nice upgrade for the price I really like it on the Pearls I have. Unfortunately I found an awesome deal on some 5.10s so decided to try them.... The grip is insane, I didn't think it would be that noticable vs the Pearls.... They're on gravel bike duty now and the 5.10s are necessary kit for any MTB ride!
  • 2 0
 Ah man my toddler has recently learnt to tie her own laces otherwise these would have been perfect
  • 3 0
 Oh cool we’re back to the grandpa shoes look
  • 2 0
 I've got a pair of these and the trailcross and I'm a HUGE fan of both. I like these velcros more than I thought I would.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer I’ve always had a difficult time finding aftermarket insoles that fit well inside my 5.10s. Do you have any recommendations?
  • 1 0
 Seems like it'll just be hotter vs the regular FR Pro for features I don't need.
  • 1 0
 I ride in 100+ and these are no hotter than any other shoe.
  • 1 2
 kanye west designs all the mtb shoes, addidas had to pin him down, and fine him so he couldn't push the yeeze clipless shoes. it;s a tru story ask Kim!

Also scott volt boa, are the best shoe to ever adorn my feets.
  • 4 5
 One of the reasons why I don't ride flats anymore is the short durability of the stealth rubber. I don't like going through a pair of shoes every year, especially when everything but the sole still looks perfectly fine
  • 1 0
 If you are in Lower Mainland, this model is in Adidas store in Richmond outlet for 150CAD
  • 1 0
 5-10 gone from the best shoes you could buy, to the worst shoes you can buy.
  • 1 0
 If I owned these I'd have to have a t-shirt printed that said "don't ask me about the ankle cuffs".
  • 1 0
 Oh, and I picked up a tear in the plastic over the 3D0 ankle protection. It's rather thin and weak construction there.
  • 1 1
 Just checking the link to see if maybe a new podcast episode is hidden here somewhere. Nope.
  • 5 0
 Not here, but you’ll be able to listen to a new episode by the end of the week.
  • 1 0
 But do they serve an orthopedic function?
  • 1 0
 These look like every 4 year olds dream
  • 1 0
 How did they manage to make these even uglier
  • 1 0
 They look like they've been whipped with the ugly stick...
  • 1 0
 Does it come with Shoe Goo to fix them or is that extra?
  • 1 0
 Vans for life!





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