Five Ten Impact Pro Flat Pedal Shoe

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Tested: Five Ten Impact Pro

The best heavy-duty flat pedal shoe just got better.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: Five Ten Impact Pro

If there is one model that defines Five Ten’s legacy in mountain biking, it’s the Impact. As the first ever shoe sold with the magical Stealth rubber derived from the world of rock climbing, for many years it was quite simply the go-to model for any serious flat pedal rider. Of course, that’s because it was almost the ONLY go-to model available during that time, if a shoe with actual grip was what you wanted. Now, for as much as people loved the grip, the overall quality of the Impact over the years often left riders with a bittersweet aftertaste, as the shoes would fall apart or take on copious amounts of water, to name but a few common complaints. Over the years, things got better, and the most recent generation Impact we tested had addressed quite a few of those earlier concerns. There

If there is one model that defines Five Ten’s legacy in mountain biking, it’s the Impact. As the first ever shoe sold with the magical Stealth rubber derived from the world of rock climbing, for many years it was quite simply the go-to model for any serious flat pedal rider. Of course, that’s because it was almost the ONLY go-to model available during that time, if a shoe with actual grip was what you wanted. Now, for as much as people loved the grip, the overall quality of the Impact over the years often left riders with a bittersweet aftertaste, as the shoes would fall apart or take on copious amounts of water, to name but a few common complaints. Over the years, things got better, and the most recent generation Impact we tested had addressed quite a few of those earlier concerns. There was still room for improvement however, which is where the all-new Impact Pro comes in. Along the lines of the Freerider Pro (a Vital staff favorite), this shoe gets a complete makeover with new construction and a fresh new shape. We’ve had it out on the trails for a couple of months, so now we can share with you what that all adds up to.

Strengths

 Weaknesses

  • Grip
  • Protection
  • Stiffness/support
  • Improved all-weather capabilities
  • Can feel a bit “clunky” or "wooden" under the foot.

Five Ten Impact Pro Highlights

  • New, aggressive Stealth S1 multi-dotty rubber outsole
  • Abrasion-resistant, fast-drying synthetic upper
  • Stitched & reinforced toe cap with Poron XRD foam
  • Durable & supportive, compression-molded PU midsole
  • Colors: Black/Camo, Black/Gold, Navy Blue
  • Sizes: 6-14
  • Weight: 622 grams (size 12 US, verified)
  • MSRP: $160 USD

Initial Impressions

Take the old Impact, and mix it with the Freerider Pro, and that should give you some idea of what to expect from the Impact Pro. There is no mistaking its burly heritage, but at the same time, it features a slimmer profile and more modern materials than the previous generation Impact. The color options available are all of the more subdued variety, well suited to the rough life that no doubt lies ahead for any shoe of this caliber.

The old Impact was particularly burly in the upper, with the most recent version featuring a “SlingShot” heel cup design that was meant to grip your heel. We never really got along with this particular feature, which always felt a bit out of place, almost like the shoe was coming off the heel (which it wasn’t, it was only ever a feeling). The Impact Pro is a complete departure from the old shoe when it comes to the construction of the upper, with fully synthetic materials now replacing the leather, and a closer cut. The toebox has however been made roomier, which helps avoid your toes getting all pressed together which could sometimes occur with the old shoe.

From left to right: Impact Pro, 2016 Impact, 2015 Impact

The sole is stitched around the whole toebox which should help ensure that any delamination issues are a thing of the past.

The sole is made from Stealth S1 rubber, arguably the best combo of stickiness and longevity available in the flat pedal world today. The pattern of the sole has been updated on the Impact Pro, to provide even better grip with all kinds of plat pedal pin patterns. The sole is stitched around the whole toebox which should help ensure that any delamination issues are a thing of the past.

When it comes to protection, Five Ten has stayed on the burly side. The wrap-around toe cap features a “Poron XRD” layer to help ward off impacts. Comparing it side by side with the previous generation Impact, the toe box definitely feels every bit as strong if not stronger on the new shoe. Similarly, the sidewalls feature less internal padding, but they are quite stiff and resistant to the touch. The tongue is slimmer, but the foam it contains also feels less soft to the touch, which should help it ward off any stray objects intent on getting to know your foot a bit too intimately as well.

The insole of the new shoe is now fully synthetic, and it retains that trademark Impact stiffness/bulkiness. The Impact was never made for those who like to feel what the pedal is doing underfoot, and the same is true of the Impact Pro. Ventilation is also minimal, as this takes a backseat to protection on this model.

On The Trail

Lacing up the Impact Pro revealed a snug fit, true to size. We immediately appreciated the extra room inside the toebox, while the rest of the foot was held in place securely without any obvious pressure points or other discomfort. The first few steps and first few pedal strokes revealed that little has changed when it comes to the overriding design goal of the Impact Pro: provide a stiff, grippy platform for your feet to stand on. If you’re looking for a shoe that lets you feel the pedal through the sole, this is certainly not the one for you (you’d be better served by the Freerider Pro in that case). If you want a shoe that sticks to your pedals no matter what, this one ticks all the boxes.

The combination of the rubber’s sticky compound and the shape of the sole lets it cling to any flat pedal like pro riders to their cellphones.

The Stealth S1 sole is in our opinion the best sole available for a flat pedal shoe. It is incredibly grippy, perhaps marginally bested by the Mi6 version but far, far superior in terms of longevity. It provides near-magnetic levels of grip, sometimes it feels like all you have to do is approach the shoe to the pedal for the two to lock together – and stay that way, no matter what. The combination of the rubber’s sticky compound and the shape of the sole lets it cling to any flat pedal like pro riders to their cellphones. This is most evident when you’re hauling the mail down a rough piece of track, many other shoes can leave you feeling like your feet are floating on the pedals, or even at risk of blowing off them completely, but with Stealth rubber that feeling just never materializes. If your feet come off the pedals with these shoes, it’s because you are really doing it wrong.

Whilst the Stealth sole remains grippy in any weather, precipitation was always the Impact’s kryptonite. The original generation could be used to store water in during a drought, that’s how slowly they would dry out once soaked. The Impact Pro is nowhere near as bad. We’ve had them out a couple of times in absolutely dreadful weather, the kind of ride that ends with you grabbing the garden hose and rinsing your shoes both inside and out, and we were pleased to find that just a couple of hours with a makeshift shoe dryer had them back to rideable condition again. The synthetic upper, the slimmer design, and the PU insole are all to thank here.

We’ve also been able to test the protection, and while it is always hard to quantify these aspects, we feel like our feet are at least as secure in the Impact Pro as they were in the classic Impact. We’ve managed to stuff our toes into the ground or on a rock more than a couple of times already, and our feet have come away unscathed so far, including a pretty vicious shoe-on-stump-dead-stop-to-OTB-yardsale hit that left us with a plenty of scrapes and bumps as well as a severely bruised ego.

Things That Could Be Improved

We really don’t have a lot to offer up here. The Impact Pro takes the legendary protection and grip of the original Impact family of shoes and ups the game with more modern materials and a more functional and comfortable cut. Yes, they still remain fairly “wooden” in terms of how they feel on the pedals, and at 622 grams for the size 12 tested here, they are certainly not among the lighter shoes out there – but those issues fade away as soon as you drop your heels and head for the gnarly stuff.

Long Term Durability

Two months of testing have not revealed any weak spots in the Impact Pro, including quite a few wet weather rides that left our test pair covered in mud, soaked, or both. Based on our recent experiences with the Stealth S1 sole on the Freerider Pro, we also feel like you should expect to get at least a couple of seasons out of them, if you’re in the weekend warrior category. For reference, the shots below shows the S1 sole of a Freerider Pro after 10 months on the trail, on average 4 rides per week, 90% “enduro with doing your own climbing” type of riding (reference shoe on top).

What’s The Bottom Line?

The best heavy duty flat pedal shoe just got better. With the same awesome grip and great protection as its predecessor, the Impact Pro is now slimmer and faster drying than ever before, and we see no reason not to prefer it over the current Impact. If you earn your turns, you might appreciate the lighter weight and better breathability of the Freerider Pro, but gravity fiends will be hard pressed to find a better option than the Impact Pro when it comes to getting gnarly with it.

More information at: fiveten.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 44 // Years Riding MTB: 12 // Weight: 200-pounds (90.7kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan 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 Nils Hjord and Johan Hjord

Four Ten Five Tens

Rating:
The Good:

Good fit, solid construction a moderately stiff sole, and they're fairly water proof

The Bad:

Pedal grip seems a little less than other models, they can be a little hard to clean, and there are limited color options

Overall Review:

These are great shoes. I like the fact they are lighter and a little less bulky than my older Sam Hills, but offer more protection then my Freerider Contacts. I've only been riding them for about a month, but construction seems solid and they still fit well. Overall, I'm very impressed with these shoes. It seems like Five Ten has made some comfort and construction improvements over previous models.

Specifications

Product Five Ten Impact Pro Flat Pedal Shoe
Riding Type Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Downhill, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Rider Unisex
Construction Stealth S1 multi-dotty outsole
Synthetic upper
Stitched and reinforced toe cap with Poron XRD foam
Durable and supportive, compression-molded PU midsole
Rubber Type Stealth
Sizes 6 - 14
Colors Black / Gold
Weight 1 lb 1.4 oz (493 g)
Miscellaneous The Impact Pro features a fast-drying synthetic upper and a burly, protective toe cap and an aggressive Stealth® S1™ multi-dotty outsole sheds dirt and mud while providing a more consistent feel and edge control across the entire pedal.
Price $160
More Info

​www.fiveten.com

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