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The Five Ten Freerider is the industry's most popular flat pedal cycling shoe. This review focuses on the model’s 2019 iteration. It continues its predecessor’s unparalleled popularity that comes with many good reasons. But mainly it is revered for its excellent mix of comfort, performance, and style.
The Five Ten Freerider displays the simple aesthetic of skate kicks but equipped with durability and essential features to withstand the demands of mountain cycling. Made with a burly and sturdy construct, this model offers versatility that would feel right at home in different mountain cycling activities such as gravity, enduro, and trail use. It is equipped with the well-known Stealth S1 rubber outsole to deliver excellent grip, while a medium flex midsole provides a bit of flex.
Unparalleled grip. Gum rubber outsole with medium flex covers the bottom surface of the Five Ten Freerider. The rubber material is crafted from the brand’s proprietary Stealth S1 outsole technology. This innovation has essentially put the Freerider shoe in the popularity list.
Five Ten describes the Stealth S1 as their most versatile rubber compound. The brand claims that it adheres to every type of surface, whether dry or wet. It is said to provide the ideal balance of durability, high traction and cushioning. What’s more, is that the outsole displays a dotty pattern throughout for added grip to flat pedal bikes.
Optimal pedal feel. The shoe’s one-piece molded cupsole allows the user to feel directly connected to the bike. It also allows a little bit of flex for a more comfortable experience once you are dismounted off the bike.
This shoe features a flat cleat system which is intended for flat pedal bikes. With its non-clip-in design, it offers fast release from the pedal in no time. Riders who prefer flat cycling shoes say that it gives them the confidence to focus on honing their skills. Why? Flat shoes aren’t attached to the pedals, and wearers can easily plant their feet on the ground, especially in times of urgency.
Well-ventilated and durable. The Five Ten Freerider employs a combination of mesh and suede materials for its upper. The mesh panels in the toe box, midfoot panel, heel, and tongue areas provide ventilation to keep feet dry in warm conditions. The suede overlays, on the other hand, act as reinforcements that offer stability and durability.
Time-tested closure system. Staying consistent with the sneaker-inspired aesthetic, this pair utilizes the traditional lace-up system. Apart from offering the tried-and-true function of the lace-up’s lockdown fit, it also works with the textile lining to prevent any hotspot. Users can search for different lacing ways that can fit their foot shape better.
The Five Ten Freerider is offered for both genders. The women’s version features specific design elements that cater to the ladies’ narrower foot shape.
With this pair’s sneaker-inspired shape, the Freerider offers a casual feel but burlier, heavier, and stiffer. It has a wide toe box, making it ideal for riders who prefer a more relaxed fit in the forefoot. Finally, due to the sole’s ultra stiff build, a break-in period might be requisite.
With a skate-inspired build, this shoe employs footbeds made from compressed foam and is lined with polyester for enhanced in-step comfort and added cushioning.
When it comes to riding flat pedals, finding a pair of excellent shoes is essential. And one brand pops up when the topic of flat cycling shoes comes on: Five Ten. The brand has a slew of flat cycling footwear that’s mainly adored by mountain cyclists. Their Impact model is popular among gravity riders. While the skate-inspired Freerider has been taken by the trail cyclists.
Released during the late 2000s, the Freerider initially captured the attention of enthusiasts due to its casual looks. But they were hooked upon trying it in the trails thanks to the Stealth S1’s excellent grip. From then on, the shoe became the brand’s best-selling flat model. But how did Five Ten start exactly?
Five Ten’s early beginnings
Did you know that Five Ten wasn’t born in the world of cycling? That’s because the brand has been in the outdoor sports market since the 80s. In 1985, Charles Cole, Five Ten’s founder, introduced the Stealth with the Five Tennie rock climbing shoe. Charles was an avid climber, which mainly served as the driving force behind the brand’s creation.
The company’s name was derived from the 80’s standard measurement of a climb. During this time, the climbs were rated using the Yosemite Decimal System. And one of the most challenging climbs is rated a 5.10.
Five Ten didn’t start manufacturing bike shoes until 2000. After hearing that a couple of top riders, such as Chris Kovarik and Nathan Rennie, were opting for a pair of Five Ten climbing shoes for racing, the brand took notice and embarked on their journey into the world of cycling. And the rest, as they, is history.
- Some of the colorways available are the following: black/grey, onix/orange, black/grey/red, slime, black/khaki/white, grey/black/blue, black/orange, grey/black/yellow, and legend ink/black/shock blue.
- The Freerider’s collar and tongue are well-padded to keep the top of the foot and ankle area comfortable and cushioned.
- The women’s version of the Freerider came later in 2015.