Know your Freeriders from your Impacts
With more than twenty models, the range of Five Ten mountain bike shoes is baffling. Don’t worry, we’ve sorted them all out into this easy-to-follow guide.
Five Ten Stealth rubber types
- Stealth Mi6: 52a durometer, Five Ten’s grippiest rubber, superior cushioning
- Stealth S1: 64a durometer, Five Ten’s most versatile rubber (grip, cushioning, durability)
- Stealth Phantom: 65a durometer, essentially coloured version of S1
- Stealth C4: 76-80a durometer, typical skate shoe-style grip
- Marathon: n/a durometer, harder wearing less grippy rubber
There are a frankly ridiculous amount of different Five Ten mountain bike shoes to choose from (nine different Freeriders, four different Impacts, for a kick-off). And a lot of them all look the same as each other. But they aren’t. Even shoe models with similar model names can vary significantly in intent and performance.
There are five(!) different types of rubber that Five Ten bike shoe soles are made from, each have different pros and cons, which we’ve listed above for you to reference to.
Thankfully we’re here to guide you through this sea of shoes. We’ve grouped all the Five Ten mountain bike shoes models into distinct categories via pedal type and riding discipline. Within these categories we then discuss each model’s specific intent.
What about women?
Men’s and Women’s models are all called the same (albeit with a ‘Women’s’ suffix) and are the same design and spec. The size range and colourways are the only difference, thus the info and advice below is true for both the Men’s and the Women’s versions.
Flat pedals + trail riding
AKA the Five Ten Freeriders. The thinner soles (compared to Impacts) of the Freeriders give them a bit more feel and flexibility, at the expense of a bit of shock absorbing.
Five Ten Freerider
The Freerider. Full stop. No suffix. The entry level Five Ten. A single- or multi-coloured upper made from suede and mesh. Dotty tread pattern made from Stealth S1 (or Stealth Phantom if sole is coloured). Weight: 413g per shoe. SRP £85.00.
Five Ten Freerider Canvas
Single-coloured upper made from canvas. Lighter and more breathable than the basic Freerider above. Dotty sole of Stealth S1 (or Stealth Phantom if coloured). Weight: 394g per shoe. SRP £85.00.
Five Ten Freerider Elements
Five Ten have taken the basic (ie. non Canvas) Freerider and gone with a “quick drying” DWR (durable water repellent) treated upper to reduce the wet weather sogginess that regular Freeriders can suffer from. Stealth S1 dotty sole. Weight: 426g per shoe. SRP £90.00. Five Ten Freerider Elements shoes review.
Five Ten Freerider High
The high top version of the basic Freerider. Designed to offer increased protection and also support to your ankles. Suede and mesh upper. Stealth S1 dotty sole. Weight: unavailable (more than 413g per shoe though). SRP £95.00.
Five Ten Freerider ELC
Built-in lace cover helps keep water and filth out. Lace flap also acts as a lace tidy to keep laces from getting snarled up in your drivetrain. Significantly stiffer mid sole than the Freeriders above. Stealth Phantom dotty sole. Weight: 494g per shoe. SRP £100.00.
Five Ten Freerider EPS
The thermal Freerider. Insulated with Primaloft. Reduced seams in the uppers and a gusseted tongue to keep water ingress at bay. More foam around the heel. Heat-reflective footboard. Dotty Stealth S1 sole. Weight: 496g per shoe. SRP £105.00.
Five Ten Freerider Contact
Lighter, stiffer, stickier and with added toe protection. The sole is smooth under the ball of the foot for improved consistency of grip (at the expense of some off-bike traction). Snugger fit than other Freerider models. Super sticky Stealth Mi6 sole rubber. Weight: 387g per shoe. SRP £110.00. Five Ten Freerider Contact review.
Five Ten Freerider Pro
Quicker drying than the basic Freerider models. Toe protection box. Full dotty Stealth S1 sole. Weight: 338g per shoe. £110.00. Five Ten Freerider Pro shoe review.
Five Ten Freerider EPS High
See the Freeride EPS above? This is the high top version. Insulated, reduced seams and gusseted tongue. Five Ten’s version of a winter boot. Weight: 525g per shoe. SRP £115.00. Five Ten Freerider EPS High shoe review.
Flat pedals + enduro racing and downhill
The Impacts were the first Five Tens to hit the world of mountain biking back in the noughties. Chunky soles can reduce feel but offer increased bump absorption and protection for descending priorities.
Five Ten Impact Low
The original Five Ten. The chunkiest Five Ten of the lot. Burly and durable without sacrificing stickiness. Secure heel fit. Reinforced to cap. Wraparound dotty Stealth S1 sole. Weight: 552g per shoe. SRP £100.00.
Five Ten Sam Hill 3
This is not just an Impact Low with a yellow ‘5’ on the sides. It really is a different model. The differences are a waterproof insole board (that won’t disintegrate after a few soggy rides) and the uppers are faster-drying synthetic material. Same chunky, wraparound dotty Stealth S1 sole. Weight: unavailable. SRP £110.00.
Five Ten Impact High
Yep, you guessed it, the Impact High is the high top version of the Impact Low described above. Chunky, burly, wraparound dotty Stealth S1 sole. Weight: 588g per shoe. SRP £110.00.
Five Ten Impact VXi
These look like they’re about to be discontinued but they’ll still be available for a while yet. Quicker-drying and lighter synthetic upper. Reinforced toe cap. Biomechanical shape to support foot anatomy, reduce vibration and allow forefoot swelling. Lightest DH race shoe out there. Weight: 363g per shoe. SRP £115.00. Five Ten Impact VXi shoe review.
Clipless pedals + trail riding and enduro racing
The differences between Maltese Falcons and the Kestrels aren’t obvious from looking them, nor from reading the specification. The basic difference is that the Kestrels are just bit more sophisticated in construction and ergonomics.
Five Ten Maltese Falcon
Designed as much for comfort as well as pedal performance. A rather modest-sized cleat area positioned under ball of foot. Perforated uppers for breathability. Laces with Velcro top strap. Stealth S1 sole. Weight: 423g per shoe. SRP £95.00.
Five Ten Kestrel Lace
The key things of the Kestrel are all in the sole. The cleat box is much bigger than the Maltese Falcon, allowing more greater pedal compatibility as cleat positioning. The sole in stiffened up by a nylon shank. The heel cup is non-slip. The sole is Stealth C4 rubber. Laces plus Velcro top strap closure. Weight: 463g per shoe. SRP £110.00.
Five Ten Kestrel
These are being phased out currently. The Kestrel is like the Kestrel Lace but even stiffer and has a Stealth C4/Mi6 dual-compound rubber sol. Its closure is a Boa design rather than laces and the uppers were made from hydrophobic materials. Weight: 463g per shoe. SRP £140.00.
Clipless pedals + enduro racing and downhill
Most enduro riders and racers who clip in will opt for the Kestrel or Kestrel Lace models above but if you’re looking for a burlier shoe that absorbs vibration and impacts decently, the Five Ten Hellcats are well worth looking at.
Five Ten Hellcat
Essentially a clipless pedal version of the Five Ten Impact XVi, the new Hellcat is lighter and lower-profile than ever. 3/4 length shank is designed to be stiff when pedalling but offer some flex when hiking. Dotty Stealth C4 rubber sole. Laces and Velcro top strap closure. Weight: unavailable. SRP £110.00.
Five Ten Hellcat Pro
Take the Hellcat above and add a DWR (durable water repellent) treated upper and an impact resistant foam-infused toe box. Weight: unavailable. SRP £140.00.
Flat pedals + dirt jumping and urban
Be warned: these are the cheapest Five Tens – so are tempting – but they are NOT really designed for mountain biking. Although labelled as shoes for dirt jumping and street riding the reality is that these Five Tens are mostly worn casually off-the-bike and/or used for commuting duties.
Five Ten Sleuth
Another model that’s appears to be being discontinued. Five Ten’s lowest profile shoe. Light, breathable canvas upper. Micro-dotty Marathon rubber sole. Vegan friendly. Weight: unavailable. SRP £65.00.
Five Ten Spitfire
Higher cut and with more padded upper than the Sleuth. The Freerider-lookalike that can do some dirt jumps but is best kept for the pub really. Weight: 370g per shoe. SRP £65.00.
Five Ten Dirtbag
Higher cut yet lighter than the above Spitfire, the Dirtbag is a minimalist chukka style boot for those that like that sort of thing. Not for riding in. Weight: 340g per shoe. SRP £65.00.
Five Ten 5.10 District
Five Tens for commuting in. Reflective tab on the rear. Easy to clean, splash proof uppers. Weight: 416g per shoe. SRP £70.00. Also available as a Five Ten 5.10 District Clip clipless pedal version for SRP £75.00.
Five Ten Danny MacAskill
A real oddball shoe. Casual looking upper with short lace bed combined with a full-on Stealth S1 dotty sole. What is this shoe for? It’s hard to say really! Chances are if you know, you know. It’s lost on us. Weight: 536g per shoe. SRP £100.00.