Five Ten Cycling Shoes offer comfort and style in very grippy, tough, cycling shoes. They are a great choice for urban and mountain cyclists who want to use their pedals effectively, yet don’t want to go clipless. Plus, when you hop off the bike, they are comfy and silent. And they also look great!
I discovered Five Ten cycling shoes a few years ago, and since then wear hardly anything else for cycling. Full disclosure – I have never been a fan of clipping into pedals. I tried it a few times, and had two spectacular falls. Luckily I was younger then, so nothing actually broke (well, nothing on my body, anyway). Since then, I have been on a quest for cycling shoes that work well, but will not cause me to entertain traffic with spectacular falls. These shoes fit that bill!
Best for Rugged Urban Environments and Mountain Trails
Five Ten cycling shoes are best suited for mountain biking, and also for city cyclists who want to be able to hop on and off their bikes without changing their shoes. Many mountain bikers love these grippy shoes because they feel safer not being clipped into their pedals. (I can relate.) This video shows how great these shoes are for mountain biking:
These days I order my Five Ten shoes online direct from Amazon, because they have accurate sizes and a wide selection – and although they are not cheap, they are a very good price for the quality you get. Especially compared to other cycling shoes, which sometimes cost more than a decent bike.
Here’s a video made by another fan of Five Ten shoes. This video features the Five Ten Freerider mountain bike shoes. Like me, this guy prefers flat pedal cycling shoes to clipless cycling shoes. Like me, he finds that the Five Ten shoes seem to last forever. And he points out that the shoes get grippier when they’re wet!
Five Ten’s founder, Charles Cole, was a mountain climber. He developed the first Five Ten shoes shoes for climbing up mountains, which explains why they’re so great for gripping pedals. Cole is an engineering major, and he invented a rubber compound that would have very high friction (and so be especially grippy).
He called it Stealth rubber (cool name), and the company claims that many athletes who are paid to wear other brands of shoes actually resole with Stealth rubber.
I can believe it. The first couple of times I wore Five Ten shoes, I had a panicky moment or two when I thought my shoes had somehow become glued to my pedals. I had visions of yet another spectacular fall. However, I soon realized they weren’t really glued – but they were gripping my pedals so tightly that it felt as if they were glued!
Five Ten Cycling Shoes – for Mountain Bikers and City Cyclists
Five Ten now makes shoes for a wide range of athletes. Mountain bikers were the first cyclists to embrace Five Ten cycling shoes. Five Ten produced several MTB-specific models, such as the Hellcat and Freerider, which offer riders increased stability and comfort. One of the great things about most of these shoes is that they fit medium to wide feet, resisting the trend towards slim-lining cyclists’ feet.
Soon, city cyclists also discovered that Five Tens are also perfect urban cycling shoes – ideal for the rigors of cycling in modern urban environments. Which can be a lot like cycling in a war zone at times, what with aggressive motorists, major potholes, and challenging weather conditions, such as rain and snow.
Five Ten cycling shoes are tough and grippy, making them perfect for cyclists who want to use their pedals effectively, yet still be able to put their feet down really fast when they need to react to unforeseen hazards.
Plus, they look really good.
What I Don’t Like About Five Ten Cycling Shoes
Nothing. That’s the simple truth. I just cannot find anything to not like about them. I know this does not make for a very balanced review, but what can I do? It just happens to be the truth.
What I DO Like About Five Ten Cycling Shoes
You’ve guessed it – pretty much everything. I love how good they look, of course. But best of all I like that they have freed me from the tyranny of clipless pedals. I have tried to go clipless many times, and always end up giving it up after I (inevitably) fall over sideways. Worse than the falls are the claustrophobic feeling that clipless pedals give me – I really hate feeling like my feet are locked to the pedals.
Five Ten shoes are an excellent compromise – my feet are free, but my pedaling efficiency is closer to clipless efficiency than to non-clipless efficiency.
Snow or Rain? No Problem for Five Ten Cycling Shoes!
Five Ten cycling shoes are also excellent in wet or snowy conditions. They continue to stick to your pedals like glue, no matter how wet it is. I spent decades cycling to work in a city that is classified geographically as being in a rain forest. I have cycled through monsoon-like rainfall (often), and also through heavy rain that suddenly turns into sleet. Obviously, I really needed excellent shoes that would work on and off the bike, and Five Ten shoes fit the bill.
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Style of Five Ten Cycling Shoes
All this AND they look good too. I wear these black Five Tens to bike to work on casual Fridays, and they’re smart enough to wear all day, so I don’t have to carry extra shoes. They have a wide range of styles, most of them pretty macho, but they do have a line of women’s cycling shoes as well.
However, most of the women I know would like most of the men’s shoes anyway – and unlike a lot of other shoe lines, many of the men’s styles come in really small sizes.
Bottom Line on Five Ten Cycling Shoes
If you want excellent shoes that work well both on and off the bike, go ahead and get yourself a pair of Five Ten cycling shoes. You really cannot go wrong. On the bike they’re grippy as all get-out, and when you (sadly but inevitably) have to park your bike and walk, they’re really comfortable and – bonus – as quiet as the name “Stealth” would suggest.
I love Five Ten cycling shoes. They rate an Average Joe Cyclist Gold Bike Star!
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