The Freerider VXi flat pedal shoe combines the styling of a skate shoe with the pedal-gripping properties you’ve come to expect of Five Ten soles.
These shoes are designed to be used with flat pedals, rather than cleats. The Stealth Mi6 rubber sole, which was released late in 2013, is made of a super grippy compound that was developed for one of the latest Mission Impossible films (hence the name, geddit?) Five Ten also make climbing shoes, so they know their stuff when it comes to producing materials that stick and cling in just the right way.
I’ve been using these with flat pedals with pins (namely the Hope F20 and DMR Vault pedals) and I’ve found the grip enough to keep me securely in place, even when riding down rocky, loose and bumpy Alpine descents.
These shoes are the summer version, or at least the ‘less-wet-weather’ version of the Freerider Elements. They are slightly lighter in weight than the Elements. The leather and polyester mesh upper is robust and has survived a regular battering in a variety of weather conditions over several months with barely anything to show for it other than the expected creases in the leather.
The mesh gives a little ventilation to the foot, but of course also means that water can penetrate easily. Once wet, the shoes do take a while to dry. I’ve worn these in hot conditions, and not noticed getting particularly hot feet
The sole is much stiffer than your average trainer, but still has a lot more flex than a stiff-soled XC shoe. I find them really comfortable for trail riding, anywhere where I’ll need to push or carry the bike, and uplift days, but if you do a lot of cross country riding with long pedals and climbs, you may be better off with a stiffer soled clipless option.
One small gripe is that although these shoes are great at gripping pedals, the minimal tread pattern on the sole makes them treacherous when walking on slippy terrain like wet grass or mud.
In terms of sizing, I’m a UK women’s 7 so that’s the size I received to test. These aren’t a women’s specific shoe, and so it wasn’t totally unexpected that they come up a little large in size, about a half-size too big I’d say. Although these shoes are theoretically available down to a size 2 in practice these smaller sizes can be hard to find in shops.
A great pair of flat pedal shoes, perfect for shredding trails or all-mountain adventures, that will give you excellent grip with your pedals. They are comfortable for all day use, and are robust enough to cope with regular hard wear.
– Incredibly grippy Stealth Mi6 rubber sole.
– Simple skate shoe style, with robust leather upper.
– Very little grip when walking on slippery terrain.
– Size up around a half-size too big.
– Hard to find smaller sizes.
Sizes: UK 2 to 13
Colours: Mono Grey/Blue, Brick Red (Pictured)
More info: Five Ten
Looking for the wet-weather option? Check out our Review of the Five Ten Freerider Elements VXi Shoes.
If you’re in the market for a new bike, how about our 10 of the Best Mountain Bikes Under £1000 Article?
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