Lighter and better sealed from the elements, the new Five Ten Impact VXi is big step forward.
Five Ten’s latest sticky-soled flat pedal shoe is light enough for all-day trail riding duties, and sheds water far better than the previous model. This latest VXi model has a huge slab of Mi6 Stealth real rubber underneath, offering tons of grip, but also more damping and cushioning to reduce vibration and impacts when smashing through rough terrain or landing heavily.
Using a sealed tongue to keep splashes out, thinner internal padding and quick-drying materials, it’s easy to clean. It’s also way better at shedding the moisture that used to soak into the older Impacts and increase the already heavy weight. Although in really wet conditions it does have a tendency to fill with water and there is no way of getting this out.
Even with wide feet, the interior feels a tad flat and boxy. Behind the ball of the foot up to the heel, there’s less hold than some other flat pedal shoes, and the sole is stiff compared to the Shimano AM 41 or Five Ten Freerider, so you can’t feel the pedal shape through the sole easily.
I found some bedding-in time to adapt to the imprint of your feet, and the way the pedal compresses the sole vastly improves performance.
I replaced the stock insole to increase stability, and after a couple of weeks they felt great. The lower weight is noticeably positive, but the shoe is still very protective against rock strikes and scuffs, thanks to the rubber toecap and overlapping bumpers right round the lower edges.
The Impact VXi is more durable than any of my flat shoes. Once fully bedded in, the grip levels, protection and all-day comfort are fantastic. It’s clearly one of the best gravity shoes to date.