A good option if you prefer a more supportive shoe
Ion offers a couple of flat pedal shoe options with the Ion Raid flat shoe being the cheapest at a hair under eighty quid.
It’s a firm and supportive package with an asymmetric design that provides extra ankle protection on the inner crank side. Ion especially focus on stiffness with its footwear and use an EVA midsole to tune rigidity, both to maximise power transfer pedalling and prevent the shoe from twisting when you’re controlling the bike through your feet.
The Raid’s solid, locked-in feel extends right around the foot with good arch support and a sculpted, deeper-than-most heel cup. The shoe is really stable and direct when pedalling hard, without ever being uncomfortable or pinching. One other benefit of the stiffness is less fatigue on long descents where bendier soles can let toes and heels claw round platforms.
The outer sole uses the brand’s take on sticky rubber laid out in different zones, with deeper ridges at the toe and heel to grip on slippery surfaces. A reinforced front toe box fits quite snuggly and is pretty solid to fend off stray rocks or accidentally bashing toes into obstacles.
The Raid’s levels of pedal traction are decent but less than the grippiest shoes here. Whether this is the rubber blend or the sole’s tread, on multiple pedal brands we didn’t feel totally locked on, both in terms of friction and resistance to bouncing or shuffling around. This ‘grippy enough, but not fixed in place’ character might suit some, but we’d prefer maximum hold for the hardest tracks.
A bit like a hiking boot, the stiff Raid needs breaking in at first, but is comfortable afterwards and a decent, durable option at a good price if you prefer a more supportive shoe.