Afton Shoes First Look - Crankworx Les Gets 2017

Jun 17, 2017 at 3:05
by Paul Aston  
Afton Keegan


When it comes to bike specific flat pedal shoes, the choice is limited, even though our poll suggested that half of Pinkbike users are flat pedal pinners, 25% always clip in and another 25% ride both ways. The same poll also showed FiveTen have an overwhelming stranglehold on the shoe market, so that leaves space for other brands to get involved, and that's where Afton want to step in.

Based in San Diego, California, Afton will be offering two shoe models that should be available in September. The Keegan is a flat pedal shoe, and the Vectal is designed for clip in use. The shoes should be hitting the shelves Worldwide in September, priced at €99.99 and €119.99.



Afton Keegan

Afton Keegan Details

• Intended use: dirt / trail / mountain biking
• mono-directional flex
• 60a compound IntactTM rubber
• Reinforced toe and heel protection
• MSRP: $99.99 / €99.99
• Available: September 2017
aftonshoes.com


The most important question when it comes to flat pedal shoes will it stick
The most important question when it comes to flat pedal shoes - will it stick?


They may look like skate shoes, but chatting to owner and designer TJ, at Crankworx in Les Gets, there are some interesting features hidden inside these bike focused foot pieces. The footbed of the shoe uses an injection molded, monodirectional nylon shank. This means that it flexes on way more than the other, my brain couldn't work it out either. This should allow the rider to walk comfortably, but when pushing downwards on the pedal, it should stop the foot bending over the pedal, increase power transfer and help to reduce and absorb impacts.



The shoes feature nylon reinforced protection in the toe and heel, but also keep a low profile. The memory foam insole is extra thick at 7mm under the heel, this is partly for comfort, and partly for bigfoots out there who can create more space inside the shoe by replacing it with a thinner insole. There are also vents and antimicrobial materials that should help keep the back of mountain bikers vans smelling fresh, but unlikely.
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The big question when it comes to flat shoes is the sole rubber compound. FiveTen are still way ahead of the game when it comes to pure grip, but this can come at the cost of durability. The Afton uses their own 60a compound rubber called 'Intact' that they admit is not as soft as some of their competitors, but is developed to give the shoes a long life against sharp, shredding pins but will still grip well.



The Vectal is uses laces and a velcro strap for fit.
The Vectal uses laces and a velcro strap for fit.


Teal is real in 2017, but timeless red is also an option.

Afton Vectal Details

• Intended use: trail / mountain biking
• Added heel and toe flexibility
• 35mm cleat range
• 60a compound IntactTM rubber
• Reinforced toe and heel protection
• MSRP: $119.99 / €119.99
• Available: September 2017
aftonshoes.com

For those in the clipless minority, there is also an option with similar styling and shape to the Keegan. The shank is designed for added flexibility and is tapered towards the toe and heel, this should help with walking and general comfort. The cleat area is oversized and tapered all around to help connect with the pedals without snagging. Cleats can be adjusted by 35mm front to rear and have raised 'traction bars' to grip the cleats and help with alignment.

The heel and toe shares similar built-in protection to the Keegan, but the Vectal gains a dorsal strap for fit and security if you pull up when pedaling.

The tapered shank should help with comfort and flexibility.
The Vectal offers 35mm of cleat adjustment.
The Vectal offers 35mm of cleat adjustment.



73 Comments

  • + 40
 Can someone tell me why clip shoes always get lace covers but flats not - surely both have laces that need managing?
  • + 9
 It's not to cover laces as much as it is to hold your foot down more when you pull up on the clipless pedals
  • - 13
flag dockboy (Jun 18, 2017 at 9:06) (Below Threshold)
 @lozzerbiker: And that is such a joke technique. Numerous studies have shown it does not help, and may even hinder. The best technique is the one where you just don't push down at all.
  • + 1
 I have a 5/10 for flat pedals with lace cover is one of the best I have. But maybe they use the lace in SPD pedals for when you twist to unclip the pedal the shoe stay in place.
  • + 2
 I dont care if there is a purpose for the lace cover for clipless shoes. I still want one on a pair for flats please.
  • + 1
 I have the ELCs they rock (just look like crap)
  • + 0
 I almost injured myself the other day by getting my laces caught on my large pedal studs. Oh well, can't make everything from bright foam padding.
  • + 18
 FiveTen has a stranglehold because there's no real competition. To compete you need a shoe that has:

1. Very stiff sole.
2. Rubberized sole that locks onto pedal studs.
3. Reinforced toe.
4. Some extra grippiness on the outer edges for dismounting on trails.
5. Wide sizes would be nice. (FiveTen does not have wides).

Barely any company fullfills #1 .. nevermind the other 4, except for FiveTen.
  • + 25
 Five ten only has a stronghold on the flat market because of their stealth rubber (and good design to a certain extent) but the clip market is full of great alternatives like shimano, specialised and giro to name a few.
  • + 1
 The shimano's are pretty stiff.
I went away from 5:10 as I wanted more flex in the sole, i used to run Vans Waffles all the time (albeit a bit too flexy) so wanted something in the middle ground.

I bought some adidas Terrex and have my perfect shoe. Stealth Rubber soles and better flex.
  • + 8
 Vans half cabs with snowboard/ski boot inserts.
What happened to the Vans dedicated DH shoe?
  • + 7
 Giro Jacket and Chamber shoes have been going strong for over a year. Indestructible.. Vibram sole over Stealth sole any day for me...
  • + 2
 Not quite. Insole made of paper on some models. Shimano AM9 is really close and the lace cover and quality is better than Five Ten. Adidas you did that on purpose. Shame on you !
  • + 2
 @denomerdano: agreed, having had both, the vibram eases trail buzz over full days in the saddle better than a 5-10. I use vans for street etc, but they're too soft for hard hits.
  • + 3
 Funny both pairs of my 5/10,s are beat to crap after one season . I switched to the Shimano AM7 last year and for a shoes with equal mileage and use the Shimano is in way better condition . Not to mention 5/10 shoes have gone up in cost so considering the better longer lasting shoe for equal or less $$ was a easy decision and $$$ well spent .
  • + 1
 I like my etnies rap cms or just nike SBs. The etnies sole is super stiff but the grip undoubtedly isn't as good as 5/10s
  • + 1
 Exactly Vans skate hi pro all day! You can't beat the waffle grip@Boardlife69:
  • + 2
 @denomerdano: exactly. My chambers sole is much better than and 5 10s I've tried
  • + 1
 And solid warranty...how easy is it to replace shoes with torn soles/stiching...
  • + 2
 @Keit: Adidas did it under is own brand: terrex cross trail sl
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: tell me more about that combo. Sounds good
  • + 2
 @anarchistx: Still technically the same company since Adidas bought FiveTen, hence the stealth rubber. Smile
  • + 1
 @BaeckerX1 I'm fully aware of the buy out but the Terrex is a totally different shoe.
It may use the Stealth rubber. It that's where the similarities end.
  • + 15
 " So young man as you left your PE kit at home you will have to wear these street cred destroying shoes we found in lost property "
  • + 8
 Mingin, how do these people even get to the position where they can produce a fully developed product without someone at least mentioning the fact that they have absolutely zero style?
  • + 8
 Is it me or does it look like the video of the mono-directional shank he looks like it's barely applying some force to make it bend in the "pedal" direction?
  • + 1
 My thoughts exactly, doesn't look like equal force in both directions to me.
  • + 5
 FiveTen nowadays is nothing compared to the past when they`ve been a great example for a high build quality shoes.
Their clipless shoes are really lacking of quality - the sole is coming apart very easily and wipes out pretty fast - Impact VXI clipless shoes.

Before i had FiveTen Raven`s clipless- the sole build quality was good and lasted really long, but the clipless mount came apart on my second ride and started to get wet really easy. Brought them to a repair shop but the same problem occured after a few rides.

Additionally they have increased their prices marginally (almost twice) since Adidas bough them.
I went to SHIMANO AM9 and they are much lighter, more comfortable, drying much faster and are more waterproof.
So far i am very happy with them.

Yes- i can feel that the sole is not so stiff and i pretty much like it for my DH riding style.
  • + 4
 I went to Shimano for same reason - 5.10 were falling apart every 4 months. My Shimano AM9s is still going strong after more than a year of abuse.
  • + 3
 @TomasK: There are people out there who are harder on their footwear, but I was wearing my 5.10 freeriders literally every day for urban and mtb riding on relatively aggressive pedal pins, as well as just walking about and they got pretty regularly soaked, machine-washed, scuffed and dirty. I never saw any loose stitching or anything on either of 2 pairs, over 4 years.

Plus, having wide, UK size 13-14 feet, there aren't many other brands out there who even go that big that I've found.

My biggest complaints with 5.10s is that they should really have metal eyelets for the laces so there's less friction and you can get more even tension across your foot and they're also like ice skates on anything slippy.
  • + 1
 The poor build quality must be a new thing. I bought some Minaar edition 5.10's about 5-6 years ago and am still using them as my only pair of riding shoes to this day. Only visible wear is the 5.10 logo starting to peel off on the right shoe. They have been through all the abuse I can give a shoe, rain or shine, rock strikes and all, and are still going strong.
  • + 0
 Never had problems either. the soles of my freerider contacts are deteriorating but that's bound to happen with the mi6 rubber. and they are still fine after 2 seasons. and my sleuths have been pretty much everywhere with me, on mountains, long jungle walks, deserts, street riding and I even used them as a waiter for a year. they got some miles on them. most comfortable shoe ever.
  • + 8
 The soles doesn't look like it has enough grip for some hike-a-bike action back up some steep section you want to session.
  • + 6
 This. Some people ride their mountain bikes in real mountains.
  • + 3
 Also no stitching connecting the soles on, I recon 6 months and they will be fooked.
  • + 4
 You forget a fantastic and far superior build construction shoes with stealth rubber: ADIDAS Terrex cross SL !
Tick all the boxes for trail riding !
Five ten Quality construction is poor in details... I have bought 4 free-riders, from different shops, each wet wrong ( angled insole etc etc)
  • + 2
 Adidas Terrex trail cross SL . Best MTB shoe I have owned . Looking at giving the Terrex trail cross protect a go next Summer .
  • + 4
 What if I told you Adidas owns 5 10
  • + 3
 Until someone comes up with an equivalent to Fiveten's sticky rubber, they will continue to dominate the market. What happened to the Vans Gravel with the sticky rubber soles?

I KNOW, that when I get a pair of Fivetens, I'll have to E-6000 the toe rubber back down. I know this, and I still buy them because the shoe WORKS (for flats).

However, I'll likely never buy another pair "new". Or any shoe that costs over $100 pair. I picked up my last two pair used (but in new condition) and have no problem with that.

If these new shoes from CA don't have a sole that anywhere near the sticky rubber compound, they'll go the way of TEVAs...
  • + 3
 Im done buying skate shoes. Next shoes will be Adidas Terrex Cross SL, they actually seem to understand that mountain biking sometimes involves hiking up trails and a slick loose fitting skate shoe is a pain in the ass. I've probably fallen more times slipping on a trail while holding my bike than I have while on the bike.
  • + 2
 I've had terrible luck with Five Ten. Soo expensive, and they only last me 3 months and the sole is delaminated and beat to shit. 3 pairs in a row must be something wrong with how their larger size shoe is constructed im size 14. I dont think i can risk buying expensive bike shoes that fall apart in 12weeks. Soooo with this Afton shoe........why would you put the molded plastic word Afton right where a rider will be trying to dig into the pedal.................looks like a perfect design to start ripping away the sole from the shoe.......kinda a turn off from this shoe. Just make a shoe that gonna last me a year freaking dare you.
  • + 3
 Everytime a new shoe comes out, i'm happy that there's more to choose from, than i look at my Hellcats and think that i don't need anything new. Which makes me feel kinda sorry for other shoe companies.
  • + 1
 I wear these. reebokwork.com/168/Reebok-Bema-RB1940 . Forgot my regular shoes one day after work and wore my safety shoes. I'll buy another athletic safety shoe again. They have help up 2+ years and the soles are really showing wear now but I think they will finish out the season. They are stiff. I've never tried 5.10's so I can't compare grip. Before wearing these I was using artificial turf soccer shoes. The knobs gripped exceptionally well, but the soles were too flexible.

The composite toe cap has saved my toes so many times I can't count.

I believe at the time they were 70$, not the msrp on the website.
  • + 2
 @aljoburr no mate you are absolutely spot on.. nobody will challenge 5 10 unless they come out with a shoe that performs as good as it looks.. these are plain old nasty looking
  • + 1
 Why is the logo at the ball of the foot where the pedal contact point is? I just envision pedal pins getting hung up in there. You do all this work with rubber compound and tread, then put the logo right there and ruin it all. It's the bottom of the shoe, a logo is hardly necessary here.
  • + 1
 All I want is for someone to sell something similar to the mono directional shank that we can put in what ever shoes you run. I love something like that in my half cabs to stiffen them up just a bit.
  • + 4
 Look like something you'd see in Lidl!
  • + 4
 IS it just me, or do they need to fire designer and start again?
  • + 4
 They look like Walmart "skate" shoes. I'm willing to bet these barely last 6 months before the uppers start separating from the soles.
  • + 4
 but can i store a spare tube and multi-tool in them?
  • + 1
 Is a PB poll an accurate reflection of the real shoe market I wonder? Perhaps the results show the actual number of flat pedal riders out there ????
  • + 4
 sorry but ugly AF
  • + 2
 How does the huge rubber "A F T O N" help for traction?
  • + 1
 I wish someone would make a flat pedal shoe with BOA. Velcro straps dont do much and laces suck.
  • + 1
 More Garbage being put out there. MTB Industry is hurting in that department. Sad
  • + 1
 I was really impressed by the OWN brand flat pedal shoe. Not ready to hand over so much money though.
  • + 2
 Great pricing. five tens are so good, but it comes at a cost.
  • + 1
 I was really impressed by the OWN brand flat pedal shoe. Not ready to hand over so much money though.
  • + 1
 they look like my favourite shoe that self destructs after 5 months...Teva's. Almost identical in every way.
  • + 1
 Just no. no. just buy vans and be done with it, there is a good reason why vans are used in bmx/mtb
  • + 1
 I love the look but that sole doesn't scream traction to me
  • + 1
 I would rather wear clogs.
  • + 1
 Saw these on a rider in an article here, thought they where Leatte!
  • + 1
 Nice looking shoe, good price, any chance of a high/mid top?
  • + 2
 Hahahaha
  • + 0
 Fuck bike specific shoes, all about the Vans waffle sole - if you need more grip you're doing it wrong!
  • + 3
 It's not just about grip -- sole stiffness and toe protection are also very important
  • + 1
 Five Ten Freeriders for trail and DH, Adidas Sambas for the dirt jumps.
  • + 1
 Same old thing ,same as every other skate type mtb shoe ever made yawn..
  • + 1
 When will somebody make shoe like this in a wide size ?
  • + 1
 Not feeling them.
  • + 1
 Teal is real UGLY

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