Five Ten Hellcat Pro Clipless Shoe

Vital Rating: (Spectacular)
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2019 Five Ten Hellcat Pro Clipless Shoe
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Tested: Five Ten Hellcat Pro Clipless Shoes

Greg Minnaar has won World Cup DH races in these shoes, but are they good for all-around use? You bet.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: Five Ten Hellcat Pro Clipless Shoes

If you’re in the market for a new clipless shoe, we’d suggest you grab a beverage and read this little piece about an extensive redesign for the Five Ten Hellcat Pro. With the help of Greg Minnaar, Five Ten has taken an already popular shoe and addressed previous issues while increasing performance and comfort. Sound too good to be true? Keep reading and we’ll tell you how they did it.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Lighter, more comfortable and more breathable than previous model
  • Excellent performance in wet conditions with less mud build-up on sole
  • Improved toe box protection
  • Orthopedically-correct liner with EVA midsole that’s lighter and creates a shock absorbing layer
  • Better retention in the heel cup
  • Flexible enough for hiking but stiff enough for pedaling
  • Available in men's and women's models
  • Good long term durability
  • Possibly tricky to clip into clipless pedals with large pins

Five Ten Hellcat Pro Features

  • Clipless compatible
  • Lace / Velcro closure
  • Full dotty C4 tread pattern
  • Perforated tongue for breathability
  • Full synthetic DWR upper
  • 3/4 dual-density vibration damping TPU shank allows for flex when walking while maintaining rigidity when pedaling
  • Compression molded EVA midsole reduces weight and provides added comfort
  • Impact resistant four layer TPU toe box with 2mm of impact resistant foam
  • Good for aggressive all-mountain to downhill use
  • Sizes: 5-14 US Men and 5-11 US Women
  • MSRP: $180 USD

Initial Impressions

Right out of the box we noted the new Hellcat Pro is much lighter than its predecessor. Holding the old model in one hand and the new model in the other makes for a very noticeable difference. After further investigation it became very apparent that the entire shoe has been revamped from the inside out. Improved comfort was immediately apparent, with a glove-like feel that is far superior to the previous model.

The makeup of the now full synthetic DWR uppers has changed dramatically, providing reinforcement and flexibility in key locations. The toe box is wrapped in TPU plastic that extends to the midsole and helps keep unwanted moisture and dirt from penetrating while providing better protection in rougher terrain. A deeper heel cup allows for a more “locked in” feeling, especially for those with skinnier heels.

Previous issues with ventilation were addressed with a new breathable tongue that also adds comfort. Once tied, the upper strap secures the closure and increases durability while holding the laces away from moving parts.

Five Ten decided to do away with cheap insoles and give customers a more orthopedically-correct, molded, and padded liner. Under the footbed is a new EVA midsole that’s lighter and creates a shock absorbing layer. The new midsole design allows for rigidity during pedal strokes and flexibility when walking, addressing another issue that we had with the older model.

The sole was replaced with a harder, more durable C4 compound that still grips under all conditions but lasts longer. The cleat area also received a plastic lining around it to prevent deamination.

On The Trail

We spent eight months riding in a range of conditions from wet, cold, and muddy days in Colorado to hot and dry shredfests in the Moab desert. The uppers did their job in the wet and cold by keeping our feet dry and comfortable. We also noticed that there was much less mud buildup on the sole, which often caused the old model to get quite heavy. After our first muddy ride the shoe was completely covered in mud and snow, but once removed you could see a clean outline on our socks from where the foot entered the shoe. High-five to Five Ten! This was a game changer alone.

After our first muddy ride the shoe was completely covered in mud and snow, but once removed you could see a clean outline on our socks from where the foot entered the shoe. High-five to Five Ten!

The toe box on each shoe saved us on several occasions when our feet would catch rocks at speed. We were also impressed to find the rest of the Hellcat Pro breathed remarkably better and we weren’t left with sweat-soaked socks on hot days.

Hats off to Five Ten as this may be the most comfortable clipless shoe we’ve reviewed. The claim of having flexibility while walking and rigidity while pedaling is true.

Curious to see exactly how comfortable it is to hike in them, we spent an entire day hiking around rocky, sandy desert. Again, hats off to Five Ten as this may be the most comfortable clipless shoe we’ve reviewed. The claim of having flexibility while walking and rigidity while pedaling is true.

Another notable difference was the heel pocket. Even when wet, it kept the heel locked in while pedaling and walking long distances. The deeper cleat area also prevented the metal from grinding on rocks, which will increase the lifespan of cleats.

Things That Could Be Improved

As for complaints, we only noted a slight increase in difficulty while clipping into one out of three pedals used during this test.

Long Term Durability

Following eight months of use, the shoes are holding up well. There are no tears, no separation of materials, and the cleat box is doing well despite some wear from long pedal pins.

What's The Bottom Line?

Having experience with the older Five Ten Hellcat design, we can confidently say that any complaints about the prior shoe have been addressed. The new model is better in every way. No expense was spared dialing in the comfort and performance of the new Hellcat Pro, and we can recommend trying some out to see for yourself.

Visit www.fiveten.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

Matt Swenson - Age: 34 // Years Riding MTB: 27 // Height: 5'11" (1.80m) // Weight: 160-pounds (72.6kg)

He's a ColoRADo native who's been shredding bikes since the age of two and his life revolves around two wheels. He is currently working for Wheelie Creative as well as running logistics, timing and operations for multiple race series across the country. His past employment includes working for Winter Park Resort and in the medical field, but has also built and judged slopestyle events like GoPro/Teva Games, the Colorado Freeride Festival, Crankworx and others. Growing up working in bike shops as a mechanic, he's always been a nerd when it comes to bike components and tech. These days he enjoys the bike park, trail riding, skatepark and dirt jump sessions with his wife and puppy. He's always down to shred a lap at Trestle Bike Park, so don't be afraid to say hi! "Hold the throttle wide open ‘til you see God... then brake."

Photos by Dillon Lemarr

Specifications

Product Five Ten Hellcat Pro Clipless Shoe
Riding Type Downhill, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Rider Unisex
Construction Lace / Velcro Closure
Full Dotty C4 tread pattern
Perforated tongue for breathability
Full synthetic durable weather resistant upper
3/4 dual density vibration dampening TPU shank allows for flex when walking and rigidity when pedaling
Compression molded EVA midsole reduces weight and provides added comfort
Impact resistant 4 layer TPU toe box with 2mm of impact resistant foam
Pedal Type SPD clipless compatible
Sizes US 5 - 14
Colors Black/Red/White, Legend Ink/Night Navy/Grey One, Semi-Solar Yellow
Weight 1 lb 3 oz (539 g)
Miscellaneous The Hellcat Pro comes equipped with a DWR synthetic upper to keep your feet warm and dry in the harshest conditions by beading up and repelling water. The 3/4 dual-density, vibration-dampening TPU shank allows for flex when walking while maintaining rigidity when pedaling. The Stealth C4 rubber absorbs shock and reduces vibration while the classic Dotty tread provides great traction on and off the bike, even in wet conditions.

Stealth C4 Dotty outsole offers vibration and shock dampening but still provides grip when off the bike excursions require it.
Price $180
More Info

​​​www.fiveten.com

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