The Five Ten Hellcat Pro clip-in shoe is a slightly sleeker version of the regular Hellcat shoe, with more mesh material in the bonded upper.
The Five Ten Hellcat Pro retains its Stealth Marathon rubber sole whilst a lot of this year’s other Five Ten shoes are using recycled materials, and some of the flat shoes also get slightly different rubber compounds. The Five Ten Hellcat Pro gets a slimmer strap, compared to the regular Hellcat, to help secure the laces and also provide some tension under hard efforts.
The aforementioned Stealth Marathon rubber on the Hellcat Pro isn’t quite as soft as the very best mountain bike shoes but it feels just as stable on our caged clipless test pedal. However, clipping in wasn’t as smooth. The Hellcat does come with two steel plates that lower the cleat, and also stop them biting too hard into the sole, so you can replace the cleats without mangling the surface material, but we definitely needed two of them due to the depth of the cleat box. With one shim, we struggled with engagement, and a few times couldn’t actually unclip, which didn’t end well.
It is a much slimmer shoe compared to the Bontrager Rally and Specialized 2FO DH Clip, and has a little bit more of a spring in its step – it feels tighter and more responsive.
To protect the shoe from abrasion, the Hellcat Pro has big bumpers on the toe and heel, and also a durable aramid-style surface treatment. At the same time, it’s also pretty flexible in the toe, so it doesn’t feel too wooden when walking. Five Ten shoes traditionally come with some pretty flimsy footbeds though, and that’s no different here.
The Hellcat Pro is not as slim as the Five Ten Trailcross XT, but our size 42 test sample didn’t feel that roomy, so depending on the height of your instep and shape of your foot, you may struggle with the fit. The good news is Five Ten offers half sizes. It also sells a non-Pro version of this shoe, which is what we’d recommend – the extra features are not worth the £30 premium in our view.