Ride Concepts Hellion Elite (2023) Flat Pedal Shoe

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Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
New and Improved Hellion Elite from Ride Concepts Reviewed
More grip for the second generation of this all-rounder from Ride Concepts.
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Vital Review
s1600 RCa 461724

For a company that has only been on the market for 2.5 years, Ride Concepts has certainly built up an impressive catalog of riding shoes by now. There’s something for pretty much every type of riding, and we’ve had good results with all the models we have reviewed so far. Not ones to rest on their laurels, this Reno, NV based crew is now turning their attention to making further revisions to some of their existing models. After the introduction of the Vice Mid last month, the time has come for the Hellion to kick things up a notch – meet the Hellion Elite.

Ride Concepts Hellion Elite Highlights

  • Rubber Kinetics | DST 4.0 MAX GRIP Rubber outsole
  • Microfiber synthetic upper is abrasion and weather resistant
  • D3O High Impact Zone Technology insole
  • Anti-bacterial mesh lining controls odor
  • Fully gusseted tongue prohibits intake of dirt and debris
  • Elastic lace tuck to keep laces secure
  • EVA midsole provides support and shock absorption
  • Anti-abrasion toe and heel protection
  • Men’s colors: KHAKI/BLACK and CHARCOAL/BLACK
  • Women’s color: BLACK/WHITE
  • MEN'S SIZING (US): 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 13, 14*, 15* (*Size 14, 15 available only in Black/Charcoal)
  • WOMEN’S SIZING (US): 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10
  • MSRP: $140 USD | $210 CAD | €150 Europe | £130 UK

Initial Impressions

When the Hellion Elite showed up, we knew what to expect – and we weren’t disappointed. Ride Concepts shoes are very well made, with outstanding attention to detail and great care taken during manufacturing to produce a well-finished item. The materials used look great, and the branding of the Hellion Elite is very much in line with other shoes from the company. Our test sample is the sober charcoal/black combo, there’s also a more colorful khaki/black combo (in the men’s shoes) if you want to brighten things up a bit.

The Hellion Elite is billed as the ultimate all-mountain shoe, made for all-day fun on any kind of terrain. The Hellion sat in the middle of the range in terms of pricing, while at $140 USD the Elite version is knocking on the door of the category above it. You certainly get a long list of features for your money though: D3O insoles, fully gusseted tongue, anti-bacterial mesh lining, elastic lace tuck and anti-abrasion toe and heel protection. Ride Concepts does not use a shank in their flat pedal shoes, relying instead on the EVA midsole and the general construction of the shoe to provide the necessary stiffness and power transfer to the pedals (much like many other shoes in this category).

As for the sole, the Hellion Elite gets a bump up to the stickiest rubber in the Ride Concepts catalog, called DST 4.0 (the regular Hellion made due with the slightly less sticky 6.0). In previous testing, the 4.0 rubber has proven itself more than grippy enough for any kind of riding, although it has always gone about its business in a slightly different way to Five Ten’s Stealth rubber, in that it relies more heavily on the mechanical aspects of grip as opposed to pure surface stickiness. Now there’s more to the story here however, keep reading to find out what…

On The Trail

The Hellion Elite runs true to size, and fits very comfortably. The overall feeling is firm and supportive, but with a certain amount of softness present as well – especially in the sole, which is super cushy thanks both to the midsole as well as the unique, D3O-equipped insole. Comparing the shoe directly to a Five Ten Freerider Pro, we would say it sits just below that one in terms of overall stiffness on the foot – directly comparable to a Leatt 2.0 for example. On the other hand, it is stiffer and slightly more protective than the recently launched 2FO Roost from Specialized.

As we rolled out onto the trail for the first ride with the new Hellion Elite, we noticed something – they seemed to have more grip than we remembered from testing previous Ride Concepts shoes equipped with the 4.0 rubber. In addition to the great mechanical grip produced by the lug pattern, the Hellion Elite was now exhibiting some of that surface stickiness that we’ve previously only seen with Five Ten Stealth and Specialized’s new SlipNot ST compounds. Curious to understand more about what we were feeling, we reached out to Ride Concepts.

The answer lies in improved manufacturing processes and quality control. Simply put, the factory has improved its execution of the compound formula, which gives it that much coveted extra surface grippiness. Is it fully as grippy as the aforementioned competition? Not 100%, but oh-so-close. This is great news for fans of the brand, as the shoe itself is definitely poised to take the fight to any comers, and now it can really back it all up on the pedals.

This is a First Ride type of review, so we can’t provide any observations on the longevity of this new shoe. Based on our previous experience with other models from the Ride Concepts range, we’re expecting the shoe to last a long time. The quality is excellent and we have not had any shoes delaminate on us or show any other signs of premature weakness. The 4.0 rubber does wear out fairly quickly if you ride a lot, but it does so in a uniform matter without developing particularly big holes or otherwise fall apart.

What’s The Bottom Line?

We’ve been fans of what Ride Concepts is doing since they first got started in 2018. The shoes are really well made, very comfortable and very protective. The new Hellion Elite steps things up another notch, with a rubber compound that is now really delivering when it comes to grip. If the top of the grip podium is currently being hotly contested by Five Ten and Specialized, the Hellion Elite comes very close and certainly looks like it has third place solidly on lock. As for the fit, features and quality of the shoe, the Hellion Elite can take the fight to anyone.

More information at: www.rideconcepts.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 47 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // 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

3 comments

Post a reply to: New and Improved Hellion Elite from Ride Concepts Reviewed

In reply to by mscofield4

2 member reviews

Great Shoe!
Rating:
The Good
Super comfortable
Grippy
Protective
Lace garage
The Bad
A bit warm
color options (subjective)
Overall Review:

I have been a fan of the Ride Concepts shoes for a while, however I found myself going back to Five Ten (Freerider Pro) for the grip and sole durability. Ride Concepts shoes were always very comfortable, and the shoes held up very well, it was the sole that I would shred prematurely. I will say that Ride Concepts would always warranty the shoe and send a fresh pair, and that it is amazing to stand behind your product like that!! Unfortunately, that would leave me without shoes for a week to 10 days in prime riding season. On the previous shoes the grip was "almost" there, now with the Elite they have the grip. The way these Elites grip does feel different, but with a ride with one Five Ten on one foot and the Ride Concepts on the other, the winner is clear! Ride Concepts is simply more comfortable and just as grippy. After a few rides there is no noticeable damage to the sole. Time will tell, but I am hopeful that these will last!

0 comments

Post a reply to: Great Shoe!

Comfy but no grip
Rating:
The Good
Durable, comfortable
The Bad
So so grip
Overall Review:

I wanted to love these shoes but they just aren't great. I have 130 miles and 22 hours of riding on them including an enduro race and they just dont have good grip. I have been riding flats for years and these shoes are the only pair I have ridden where my feet fly off and move around on the pedals in rough chundery sections. They are comfortable and seem very durable but for me it comes down to grip and these just dont have it

0 comments

Post a reply to: Comfy but no grip

Specifications

Product
Ride Concepts Hellion Elite (2023) Flat Pedal Shoe
Riding Type
Dirt Jump / Slopestyle
Downhill
Enduro / All-Mountain
Freeride / Bike Park
Trail
Rider
Unisex
Women
Construction
Microfiber synthetic upper with antibacterial mesh lining, gusseted tongue, rubber sole, EVA midsole, anti-abrasion toe and heel protection
Rubber Type
Rubber Kinetics DST 4.0 max grip rubber outsole, Ride Concepts' softest rubber compound
Sizes
Men's: 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 13, 14, 15
Women's: 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10
(Size charts included with product photos above)
Colors
Men's 2023 Color Added:
Oxblood
Clay
Black

Women's 2023 Color Added:
Black/Gold
White/Aqua

Discontinued Colors for Men: Khaki/Black, Charcoal/Black
Discontinued Colors for Women: Black/White
Weight
Men’s size 10: 0 lb 15.6 oz (442 g)
Women’s size 8: 0 lb 12.9 oz (365 g)
Miscellaneous
- Microfiber synthetic upper is abrasion- and weather-resistant
- Anti-bacterial mesh lining controls odor
- D3O High Impact Zone Insole Technology
- EVA midsole provides support and shock absorption
- Fully gusseted tongue prohibits the intake of dirt and debris
- Elastic lace tuck to keep laces secure
- Available in Men's and Women's specific fits
Price
$150.00
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Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
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