A premium breathable waterproof membrane elevate these shoes to new levels for anyone who doesn't let wet weather get in the way of a ride
Five Ten has come a long way since the original Impact shoe that mopped up liquid like a roll of industrial kitchen towel and resisted drying for weeks on end. Basically you’d get them wet at the start of winter and suffer trench foot until spring. What I would have given for a pair of these Trailcross Gore-Tex shoes back in 2004…
The starting point for these flat pedal winter boots is the distinctive Trailcross shoe, footwear that seems to combine elements of a hiking boot, a trail-running shoe and a SWAT tactical boot. As a result, the aesthetics are divisive, but then Five Ten has never gone in for mainstream styling.
Starting at the base, there’s a dual compound Stealth rubber sole with the classic dotty pattern enhanced by traction ridges at the toe and heel. To improve durability without sacrificing pedal grip, the rubber is noticeably harder in these ridged areas.
Rubber bumpers protect the whole perimeter of the sole where it meets the upper, and further reinforcements feature across high-wear and impact areas.
To resist the worst of winter weather there’s a neoprene sock lining the inside of the shoe and extending up to the ankle. To allow your foot to get in and out there’s a hook and loop flap at the top that fastens to the side, but the aperture it creates is on the small side, and that means the Trailcross Gore-Tex is difficult to get on and off. Which is not ideal when it’s cold and wet, your hands/gloves and shoes are covered in mud and you’re wearing thick winter socks. Having said that, the velcro closure is broad and secure, and there are pull tabs front and back to help get extra purchase.
As you’d expect from Five Ten, on-bike shoe-to-pedal grip is first rate, and the Trailcross Gore-Tex absolutely welds itself to flat pedals even when conditions are completely bogging. There’s plenty of stability from the upper, too, which has been a complaint with the low-cut versions of the Trailcross. It does have a relatively narrow toe box though, so the fit might not suit everyone.
Five Ten makes a big fanfare about the Gore-Tex membrane incorporated into the Trailcross – part of the reason for the high price – however, we found the weatherproof performance to be good rather than brilliant. While water was kept out of the shoe for an hour or so, I found that by the end of a wet 2-3 hour ride that moisture had worked its way into the show (either through the mesh toe area or the top of the neoprene cuff) and made my socks damp and muddy. They weren’t soaking, but they definitely weren’t dry either. And once wet, the neoprene took a long time to dry out.
Which begs the question, why fork out £160 on a pair of winter boots that you may only use for a few months of the year, when you could get waterproof socks for a fraction of the price that are just as, or even more effective?
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While the Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex is a nice luxury to have in your wardrobe, we wouldn’t rush out and buy a pair when you can be just as comfortable through the winter months with some cheap and cheerful socks.