New materials result in improved comfort and drying speed.
Aussie DH champ Sam Hill has helped update the classic Five Ten Impact Low into this signature model, which, by using several new materials gets improved comfort and drying speed.
The same Stealth S1 rubber and dotty tread pattern as the original shoe is used, so grip levels and foot stability are among the best available. Inside, there’s a sturdier, waterproof midsole that dries quicker and should maintain its shape and stiffness longer.
It’s definitely a downhill-specific product, as the overall size is pretty chunky with a reinforced, double-stitched toe box and massive bumpers at the front and rear to absorb impacts.
The shoe is a fair chunk heavier than the Impact VXi and this is definitely noticeable while pedalling on longer days out. The trade-off is extra toughness and protection — especially in terms of damping and comfort — when ploughing down rocky trails or long Alpine downhills.
I’ve just done around 40,000m of Alpine descending in a relatively short time wearing the Impact 3, and it still looks pretty new underneath the dirt, which means it’s proving much longer lasting than the Five Ten shoes mentioned above.
The fit is very comfortable too, with a good grip on the instep and ankle and a less boxy interior compared to the Impact VXi.
Lighter shoes are more suitable for the mellower side of trail riding, since you’ll get a better feel off the bike, and sit lower onto the pedal for more precise control, but if you’re regularly smashing through rocks or braking bumps on an Alpine holiday (or ride DH) the extra cushioning and support of the thick sole is superb.
As long as pedalling isn’t your top priority, this Sam Hill Impact 3 is pretty much all you could ask for from a gravity-focused flat pedal shoe.