Verdict from 16 experts and 100+ user reviews

10 reasons to buy

  • The majority of reviewers find the Five Ten Kestrel Lace to fit as expected.
  • Many owners rave about this pair’s superb comfort.
  • The sole is relatively stiff, which provides efficient power transfer, according to a significant number of cyclists.
  • Plenty of wearers marvel at this shoe’s ultra-grippy Stealth rubber outsole.
  • Several bike enthusiasts appreciate the Kestrel Lace’s recessed cleats as it allows them to walk comfortably. 
  • A good number of long-time wearers attest to this model’s ability to withstand heavy rides for extended periods.
  • Some consumers adore this model’s relatively stylish design.
  • The shoe is well-made and crafted from quality materials, according to a number of users.
  • A few commend the pair’s superb toe protection.
  • A handful thinks that it is well worth its price.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Several testers claim that the tongue could use more padding as they felt something digging in their feet once they close the Velcro straps.
  • Some wearers say the shoe could get quite warm on summer days.
  • A few reviewers gripe about this pair’s relatively heavier built.
  • A number of users don’t like it when the laces get caught in the Velcro.

Bottom line

Engineered as a beefy enduro and all-mountain bike shoe, the heavily equipped Five Ten Kestrel Lace allows you to power down any trail. Owing to its Stealth C4 rubber outsole, users rave about its grip and walkable construct.

Moreover, it ticks all the essential features of top-performing MTB shoes such as excellent fit, comfort, and efficient power transfer. Its flaws may be considered minor compared to its good features. All in all, the Kestrel Lace by Five Ten is an efficient and versatile mountain bike shoe especially recommended to non-weight conscious riders.

Tip: see the best mountain cycling shoes.

Good to know

This model’s low profile allows maximum ankle movement while pedaling. It is an updated version of its older sibling. The shoe is highlighted with alterations such as the switch to lace-up and Velcro closure, nylon shank, and Stealth C4 rubber outsole. These revisions aim to improve on its predecessor’s shortcomings such as durability, flexibility, and improper lockdown fit.

Excellent power transfer. The shoe’s outsole is made from the brand’s Stealth C4 technology. This innovation strikes a good balance between flex and rigidity. Combined with a nylon shank, this model provides stiffness in the right places for efficient power transfer.

Durable. This version employs the Stealth C4 technology in exchange for its predecessor’s Mi6 rubber. Studies show that former rubber technology is more durable than the latter.

Enhanced flex. Replacing the carbon shank of its older sibling is the nylon shank. According to the brand, this change reduces stiffness by 15 percent. Encased in a compression-molded EVA midsole, this shank update should help in a more comfortable feel off the bike. 

Note that the shank is placed behind the cleat area extending to the rear part of the shoe. The empty space in the toe area offers flex for walking.

Tried and tested grip. The C4 technology fused with the brand’s Dotty tread pattern results in a classic Five Ten traction.

The Kestrel Lace is designed to be compatible with all SPD pedals. It doesn’t matter if you ride a road or a mountain bike. SPD pedals have a 2-hole cleat system and allow pedal entry from both sides. Try it with the following pedal models: Shimano XTR M9020, Nukeproof Horizon CS CrMo, Crank Brothers Mallet E, DMR V-Twin, Shimano XT M8000 XC, and many more. The position of the cleats could be adjusted in a lengthwise manner.

The cleats are recessed into the sole to allow the wearer to walk comfortably. It avoids an excess clump that hangs from the outsole, which makes noises and makes walking difficult.

Even pressure throughout the upper and secure lockdown fit. The combination of a lace-up closure, a Velcro strap, and a non-slip heel cup aims to enhance the fit of the original Kestrel model. The laces evenly distribute pressure throughout the upper while allowing for an adjustable fit. The large Velcro strap helps keep the laces in place and further locks down the foot.

Water-resistant. This version utilizes the same PU-coated synthetic construction as its older sibling. This material efficiently resists water.

Adequate toe protection. Synthetic toe box equips the shoe with appropriate toe protection against impacts. This feature makes it an ideal mountain bike shoe.

The Five Ten Kestrel Lace comes in both men’s and women’s sizes. The ladies’ version has a women-specific last to better fit their naturally slender feet shape. Apart from cushioned footbeds, tongue and collar are cushioned for added in-step comfort. Finally, the Kestrel Lace features a sneaker-like fit but has a heavier, sturdier and less porous construct than the common sneaker.

The Five Ten Kestrel Lace comes with a regular cushioned insole. This helps enhance in-step comfort and cushioning.

  • A mesh tongue and perforation holes placed on the toe box and medial upper to help improve breathability.
  • The bottom two eyelets are metal-clad for added durability. The rest of the eyelets are crafted from the extension of the upper’s material.
  • Branding is placed on the lateral side of the upper, tongue, insole, and recessed cleat area.


How Five Ten Kestrel Lace ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 12% mountain cycling shoes
All mountain cycling shoes
Top 48% Five Ten cycling shoes
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Top 22% water-resistant cycling shoes
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The current trend of Five Ten Kestrel Lace.
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