Five Ten is showing off a new version of their venerable Impact flat-pedal shoe. The Impact Pro will be available in February of 2018, will come in three colors and will sell for $160.
The bigger question, though, is why mess with a shoe design that a lot of riders still feel is a classic?
“We started development on the new shoe two years ago,” says Five Ten’s Luke Hontz, “ and what we wanted to do was get back, closer to the roots, of what the original Impact was and further away from what the Impact VXi had become. The goal was to make this super durable, make it way more protective, and keep the grip and feel of the original Impact, but scale the whole thing down slightly.”
What, specifically, did they do to make that happen?
“The trend in the shoe industry,” says Hontz, “has been to go as light as possible on everything. What we did here was reduce the height of the mid-sole by 30 percent, but we made it out of PU [Ed. polyurethane] instead of going with a lighter mid-sole cushioning material like EVA.”
Why does that matter?
“EVA is really light, but it breaks down, wrinkles and fatigues quicker than PU. We used PU because it’s more durable."
It’s worth noting here that the Impact VXi features an EVA midsole whereas the original Impact had a PU version. What sets the new Impact Pro mid-sole apart from the original version? The new mid-sole has less coring than the original Impact, but a thinner mid-sole—the end result is that the new Impact Pro has a similar feel on the pedal as the original Impact, but a slimmer profile.
"We wanted the feel of the original Impact, but we also wanted to reduce the overall volume of the shoe and add some protection.”
The Impact Pro uppers are made from a weather-resistant synthetic material that Hontz says dries quickly and is durable. The toe box is a bit stiffer than that of the original Impact and borrows from the Freerider Pro in that it features four layers of material; it incorporates PORON (a fine-pitch, open-cell urethane foam used to deaden impacts...you find it in some knee pads), EVA, regular foam (“To keep it soft to the touch on the inside.”), and, finally, a rubberized toe cap on the outside. Five Ten added a lace tuck, a stitched toe and reinforced shoelace eyelets. They’ve also moved away from the Mi6 rubber outsole that’s on the Impact VXi and back to their original S1 Stealth rubber, which is more durable over the long run. Hontz noted that Five Ten also tweaked the tread pattern to maximize grip.
In short, the new Impact Pro is supposed to be a less bulky, yet burlier version of the original Impact model.
“The Impact is our heritage—it’s not going anywhere,” says Hontz. “It’s been on a lot of peoples’ feet for a lot of years and we don’t want to take away from that, but we’ve done a lot of testing on it and we’ve figured out how to improve on it.”
We’ll see how the new versions hold up to real world conditions as soon as test models make their way into the wild.