Five Ten Freerider Shoe

Five Ten shoes are pretty ubiquitous when it comes to the downhill and freeride scene. You see everyone from World Cup professionals to weekend warriors rocking 5.10 Stealth rubber. The Impact and its various relative models have made quite a name for themselves in the industry. Like most products if they don’t perform well they often get kicked to the curb for the something better.

Five Ten Freerider (click to enlarge)

Five Ten has branched out over the years to offer more models to bike riders. One of the models that Five Ten offers riders looking for something a bit more casual / dirt jumper worthy is their Freerider model. Five Ten has made the Freerider in a varying amount of styles and colors. The model we have to review here is the Black/White Scribble version. This model features an extended rubber toe that we first saw as a prototype a while back at Interbike. We’ve always liked the design, giving more protection and abrasion resistance to the shoe.

Freerider Scribble Features:

  • Thick padded, tongue, collar and footbed for long-wear comfort.
  • Breathable mesh lining.
  • Stealth® Phantom (PH) outsole is a high friction, durable rubber that absorbs shock.

How Well do they work?

In short, the shoes grip very well. The sole pattern is an inversion of the classic Impact Stealth rubber design. Some may argue they don’t grip as good as the original Stealth S1 rubber but we felt they still gripped heads and tails above any other offerings on the market if you’re after a sticky soled shoe. The traction we got from the shoes was very reliable and gives confidence in rough and technical sections of trail. When you start blasting through rough chunder or take an off camber section of trail you don’t have to focus on your feet because they’re well planted. You can focus your attention down the trail because your feet are steady and connected to the pedals.

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We tried the Freeriders on a couple different pedal styles ranging from some very grippy Straitline platforms to more a standard Wellgo MG’s. In all situations these shoes have tons of traction and really stick well to the pedals. We were able to use a bit more body english during our riding in technical sections because our feet feel more planted and connected to the bike.

The connected feeling these shoes give with your pedals can be a bit intimidating at first if you’re used to being able to change foot positions easily with your current shoe/pedals combo. Once you get used to the grip (and how to unweight your foot to change positions) you grow accustomed to the secure feeling and ride with a bit more confidence.

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The sole itself is comfortable enough to walk or hike in but still has a bit of stiffness for riding. We felt that we were able to transfer good power to the pedals with these shoes without any harsh stiffness for casual riding or street wear. The shoes aren’t quite as stiff as the more robust Impact series shoes. Often on the trail you may find yourself having to push up a section of trail. Hiking in the Freeriders is nice as well because the Stealth rubber works well at gripping all surfaces, be it wet, rooty, or rugged.

The Freeriders aren’t a heavy weight shoe but they do have solid construction with good stitching reinforcement. While some riders may feel some of the aggressive Five Ten models like the Impact can feel a bit clunky, the Freeriders are a bit more slim and lower profile. They don’t offer a lot of ankle protection or support, however. They still have a nice thick padded tongue and structured heel area for solid rear foot support.

The toe box on the Freeriders is wide and roomy. This gives your foot a little bit of wiggle room which can help a bit if you need to angle your foot while riding. The toe area is reinforced for impacts from rocks and other trail obstacles. We really like the extra rubber material around the toe to protect against abrasion.

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Where can they improve?

We really felt the Freeriders performed well in a lot of key areas riders are looking for. We only found a couple of areas we might see some improvement in. First we’d like to see a bit more padded and supportive insole. While riding you don’t notice the cushioning of the shoe much and during crashes the Stealth rubber does assist in distributing loads well across the sole. After a full day of wear, however, the shoes they can become a bit tiring. These shoes aren’t meant to be cushioned running shoes but could be easily improved with some better insoles for our feet.

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Second we’d like to see an included lace retention of some form. Five Ten does have a shoe, the Karver, which has a cover to keep out water and secure the laces but there is no option for this with the Freerider yet. Something as simple as using an elastic band on the tongue could help assist in keeping the laces in place.

Another thing to keep in mind if you decide to get the Freerider is that the soles have different compounds based on the color you choose. Currently the Scribble (white/black) and Blue Zebra come with the 5.10 PH sole. This sole is not quite as sticky as their S1 rubber that is used on their Impact series and the Freerider Burgundy or Gray/Black but offers non-marking properties without sacrificing on durability or high friction. The sole on these PH rubber soled shoe is holding up well and seems to be designed and executed a bit better. The sole and side panels are one piece whereas the Burgundy and Black/Gray Freerider shoe with the S1 rubber sole have the sole glued to the side panels. Depending on what you’re after out of a shoe, you may want to consider the S1 Freerider models for a stickier sole or the Impact Series if you’re after a stickier and more rugged shoe.

Pricing: $94.95 USD

Colors: Black / Grey (S1 Sole), Blue Zebra (PH Sole), Burgundy / White (S1 Sole), White / Black (PH Sole – pictured)

Sizing: U.S. 6-12, 13

Conclusion:

For those looking for a great casual looking shoe that can still rip dirt jumps and downhill the Freerider might be the shoe for you. We only had some minor quibbles with the shoes but all are easily fixable with some aftermarket additions. The Freerider’s have most of the grip and support of their more aggressive Impact lineup but come in a nice casual style. We found that the grip is very good and they help give confidence on the trail when it matters most.

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If you’d like to purchase a pair of your own online, check RideSFO, or visit Five Ten’s website for a dealer near you.

[Five Ten Freerider Gallery] [Five Ten Website]