Five Ten make the most desirable flat MTB shoes of all. Based out in California, they specialize in performance gear covering sports niches like climbing, hiking and mountain biking. Their UPS is their R&D and creation of ‘high friction stealth soles’.
What are flat mountain bike (MTB) shoes?
Flat MTB shoes do not have clips to secure your feet to the pedals, instead they have high grip so your feet don’t slip off the pedals. 60% of MTBRs use flats or clipped in shoes as they offer more freedom and flexibility. They are not just a normal sneaker, as often have extra features for mountain bike riders like reinforced toe caps and padding to absorb impacts for shock absorption.
Our top Five Ten MTB Shoes for 2018
#1 Five Ten Impact VXI MTB Shoe
- Stealth Mi6 rubber is for flat-pedal riders who want the benefits of riding flats without giving up the performance of clips
- New upper has been slimmed down, shaving 25 percent off the original Impact while providing more protection and water repellency
- Designed with DH champs and flat-pedal specialists in mind
- Five Ten
- 9 M US
These are our favorite shoes from Five Ten, with over half our writers actually owning a pair (although our editor does have 8 different pairs collected over the years).
The soles have Five Ten’s stealth Mi16 rubber, which sounds cool, but what is it?
The Mi16 rubber was created to cushion bumps while providing maximum friction. Charles Cole, Five Ten Cofounder, explains the new technology they discovered in 2013 with a climbing shoe.
The shoe comes in 7 different colour options.
#2 Five Ten Freerider Contact MTB Shoes
- Innovative Contact Outsole with Stealth Mi6 rubber
- Lightest Freerider model
- Added toe cap protection
- Abrasion resistant textile & synthetic upper
- Stiff, compression-molded EVA midsole
This flat MTB shoes offers flexibility and has the Stealth Phantom sole. The Stealth phantom sole has grip bobbles on the sole to allow contact feel, but still offer high grip due to the rubber manufacturing technology.
Like most Five Ten shoes, they are made of synthetic material to allow for waterproofing and durability.
The Freerider Contact is prodcued in sizes 4-14 (US). Colors include: Black/link punch, grey/blue, black and split black.
Best for: Downhill MTB and general riding
#3 Five Ten Hellcat Bike Shoe
- DWR treated upper to repel water.
- Midflex plate allows for stiffness on the bike but designed to flex when hiking
- Vibration reduction from Stealth S1 outsole
- Lace/Velcro Brand strap closure
This MTB shoe is a ‘clipless’ shoe, also know as ‘clip-in’, with groves in the soles which can clip onto your pedals. Like the above Five Tens, this shoes has high protection and stealth soles and according to Five Ten, has been seen on many Downhill race podiums.
Why are Cipless MTB Shoes Good?
Clipless MTB shoes give you more control over your mountain bike. They also allow you to go faster when peddling as you can rotate the crank system by pulling the pedal up on the second half of the rotation. Check out this guide for a detailed guide into cleats.
#4 Five Ten Freerider EPS High Men’s MTB Shoes
- PrimaLoft insulation from the instep forward, including the tongue
- Single piece leather on forefoot to reduce seams and water intake, keeping feet warm and dry
- Fully gusseted tongue prevents water and mud intake
- Additional foam insulation in the sock liner and vamp plus and insulated, heat-reflective footboard
- Stealth S1 rubber outsole
We chose to inlude the ‘EPS high’ as an alternative to just a shoe. Along with giving ankle protection, it all gives ankle support. If you are hiking up a mountain with your MTB on your back, the last thing you want to do is twist your ankle (been there done that!). This boot also has the Stealth S1 sole and comes in three different colors.
Image source: Amazon.com, videos from of Five Ten on Youtube chanel