A good option if you prefer a more supportive shoe
Ion offers a couple of flat pedal shoe options with the Ion Raid II flat shoe being the cheapest at a hair under eighty quid.
Ion has updated its latest flat pedal shoes with a new, stickier sole compound called ‘Pin Tonic’. The Raid Amp II is the brand’s £115 premium model and is firm and supportive compared to most flat shoes, with a slightly asymmetric design for extra crank-side ankle protection.
Ion especially focuses on sole stiffness, so the custom EVA midsole is tuned for rigidity in different directions to balance power transfer with comfort and control. Plenty lateral stiffness prevents twisting over platform edges and fatiguing feet, and helps precisely control the bike. There’s more lengthways flex for comfortable hiking, aided by deeper traction ridges at the toe and heel.
The Raid’s sit solidly, with good arch support and a sculpted, deep heel cup. They initially come up quite narrow and take a few rides to bed in, but the benefit of feet being locked in tightly in the stiffer, thicker fabric is better pedalling efficiency and security shrugging off stray rocks or obstacles.
True to the brand’s claims, there’s increased friction from the new sole rubber and it’s more grippy and locked down than previously, especially in the wet. Most riders will be totally happy with pedal traction, even if it’s still not as leech-like as Five Ten’s Stealth formula.
Ion’s stiffer shank is less damped than some though, so feet can get jiggled around easier on the roughest tracks. One local trail laced with high speed braking bumps, saw feet shuffled out of position a fraction, which didn’t happen with every other shoe on test.
This slightly increased wriggle-ability will suit some, however, and the sturdy Raid Amp II is a quality, supportive shoe that resists water and mud well, making it a solid UK choice.