Five Ten Freerider Pro Flat Pedal Shoe

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Tested: Five Ten Freerider Pro Shoe

Their best flat pedal shoe yet.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: Five Ten Freerider Pro Shoe

Five Ten has produced quite a few excellent shoes over the past couple of years, but there were times when we thought that the perfect shoe would have been a combination of several models, taking the best aspects of each and combining them into genetically modified, super mutant footwear. We don’t know if they can read minds over at Five Ten, but Brown Santa showed up just before Christmas with something all new and very shiny – the Freerider Pro. Was it the real life manifestation of our dream shoe? Read on to find out.

Five Ten Freerider Pro Highlights

  • Synthetic, Light-Weight, Weather-Resistant Upper
  • Impact-Resistant Toe Box
  • Read More »

Five Ten has produced quite a few excellent shoes over the past couple of years, but there were times when we thought that the perfect shoe would have been a combination of several models, taking the best aspects of each and combining them into genetically modified, super mutant footwear. We don’t know if they can read minds over at Five Ten, but Brown Santa showed up just before Christmas with something all new and very shiny – the Freerider Pro. Was it the real life manifestation of our dream shoe? Read on to find out.

Five Ten Freerider Pro Highlights

  • Synthetic, Light-Weight, Weather-Resistant Upper
  • Impact-Resistant Toe Box
  • Compression-Molded EVA Midsole
  • Removable Ortholite Molded Sock Liner
  • Full Stealth S1 Dotty Outsole
  • Sizes: US 5 - US 14
  • Colors: Night Navy, EQT Blue, Light Granite, Black/Red
  • Weight: 452 grams, size 12 US, verified
  • MSRP: $150 USD

Initial Impressions

Imagine if you could combine the improved construction of the Impact VXi with a Stealth S1 sole that doesn’t deteriorate as fast as the Mi6 version, in a shoe that weighs less, absorbs less water, is stiff enough for any kind of riding but is also comfortable enough to wear all day. Throw in an Ortholite insole and good arch support, and you’re pretty close to the perfect shoe. That’s the Freerider Pro.

Compared to the regular Impact, the Freerider Pro drops 200 grams per shoe, and it feels very light when you pull it from the box. It also sports a very modern design, and although it retains sort of a bike look, you can confidently stroll into the post-ride pub without people wondering if you moonlight as Bozo the Clown. The attention to detail is great, and there are a lot of little features that are worth pointing out: ventilated yet water resistant upper, eyelets in the lace holes, fully stitched outsole, scuff-resistant rubberized coating on the toe and heel areas, and a reinforced toebox.

The general construction of the shoe is robust but far from clunky. The tongue is quite thin, and filled with material that should not absorb much water. Beneath the insole, the sole is coated with what appears to be a water resistant foam layer – all in all, we were excited to see that Five Ten apparently continue to improve on the all-weather aspects of their offerings.

Thin yes, but flimsy? Not so. There is a lot of inherent rigidity in the Freerider Pro, and a lot of that actually comes from the construction of the upper shoe. The upper holds its shape really well, and is doubled up on the side for extra sturdiness. Despite the slimmed down overall appearance, the Freerider Pro seemed ready for action – and we obliged.

On The Trail

Right out of the box, the Freerider Pro was among the most comfortable shoes we have tested. Snug but not tight, supportive but not constrictive, stiff but not clunky. The first thought that crossed our mind on the trail was “performance” – as cliché as this may sound, the Freerider Pro is definitely a performance-oriented shoe. It offers a bit more forward room for the toes than the regular Impact or the Impact VXi, and more support on the sides. The sole is also a lot stiffer than an Impact VXi, for reference. This translates to an on-pedal feel that is close to the regular Impact, but not quite as isolating. You can still just about feel your pedals with the Freerider Pro, but the focus here is definitely on power transfer and efficiency.

As one would expect from any Five Ten shoe, the grip of the Freerider Pro is outstanding. In fact, we found it to deliver MORE grip than the Impact VXi, even though the softer Mi6 rubber used on the latter would seem to suggest the opposite should be true.

We are splitting hairs here, but we tested across several pedals and we found that pedals that had previously failed to fully impress us really started to shine under the Freerider Pro. Stealth S1 for the win!

Combining the best parts of several shoes into one probably sounds easier than it actually is, but Five Ten has delivered a winner with the Freerider Pro.

Since we tested the Freerider Pro over winter, we made sure to get it both wet and dirty. We are happy to report that Five Ten has done an excellent job here, the shoe resists moisture exceptionally well, is easy to clean once it gets dirty, and dries out quickly. We initially worried that the ventilation holes on the top of the upper shoe would let water in, but that is not the case, they are protected by a water resistant, breathable membrane of some kind. A great way to make a shoe both water resistant and breathable.

We also managed to test some of the protective features, including a scary, high-speed toe-stubber that resulted in a spectacular wipe out. Bruised and battered we came out a lot worse for wear, but the shoe shrugged it off without breaking stride, if you forgive the pun. In general terms, the Freerider Pro does not offer the ironclad feeling of invincibility that the regular old Impact procures, but in terms of absolute protection, it’s probably not far off.

Things That Could Be Improved

If there is a way to improve the Freerider Pro, we can’t see what it is.

Long Term Durability

We’ve been putting several pairs of the Freerider Pro to the test, under several different riders, and after 3-4 months, we have no durability issues to report. The shoe is holding up nicely, and the sole is proving as hard wearing as we have become used to when it comes to Stealth S1. Overall, the Freerider Pro seems destined for a much better reliability record than some past Five Ten products.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Combining the best parts of several shoes into one probably sounds easier than it actually is, but Five Ten has delivered a winner with the Freerider Pro. Light, comfortable, and efficient, it provides world class grip from the bike park to the trails. Unless you’re a pure downhiller looking for the extra protection of the classic Impact, the Freerider Pro should shoot straight to the top of the list of the flat pedal shoes you have to try for yourself.

More information at: www.fiveten.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord and Nils Hjord

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Specifications

Product Five Ten Freerider Pro Flat Pedal Shoe
Riding Type Downhill, Freeride, Trail
Rider Unisex
Construction Synthetic, Light-Weight, Weather-Resistant Upper
Impact-Resistant Toe Box
Compression-Molded EVA Midsole
Removable Ortholite Molded Sock Liner
Rubber Type Full Stealth S1 Dotty Outsole
Sizes US 5 - US 14
Colors Night Navy, EQT Blue, Light Granite, Black/Red
Weight
Miscellaneous
Price $150
More Info Five Ten Website