Not quite as grippy as the Five Ten Freerider Pro but it’s close
The new Ride Concepts Hellion shoe is part of a three-tier range of flat pedal footwear with different rubber densities and uppers.
It’s pretty universally agreed that Five Ten makes the best flat pedal shoes on the market but new kid on the block Ride Concepts is looking to change that. The Hellion is the middle shoe in the range and to give you a good idea of how holds up I’m going to directly compare it to the Five Ten Freerider Pro, which sits at a similar price point and has almost identical features.
Flat pedal shoes are all judged on the density of the rubber compound and the Hellion uses a DST 6.0 High Grip rubber outsole, which is the mid density in the company’s Rubber Kinetics |range. I’ve tested Specialized, Bontrager and Giro shoes recently and High Grip rubber is one of the tackier rubbers I’ve used but during back-to-back test I found it’s not quite as locked in as Five Ten Stealth. This is really subtle though and I only really noticed the extra movement when pushing hard on a technical section or clawing my way up a steep climb.
Durability of the Hellion has been excellent – it has anti-abrasion toe and heel protection, a two-panel synthetic upper with an anti-peel coating. Compared to the Freerider Pro, which tends to chafe and crack way too easily, the surface of the Hellion still intact.
Internally the Hellion gets a fully gusseted tongue to stop dirt and debris getting inside. There’s also a D3O High Impact Zone insole, which means there are some sections of the self-hardening D30 material over the heel and ball of the foot area. Compared to the wafer-thin insoles you get in most flat shoes, this provides extra cushioning and really adds to the overall solidity. I also really like the lace quality on the Hellion and they’re not too long either, so you don’t have to double them up.
I ride exclusively on flat pedals and, since the shoe is half the story, I’m always looking for a shoe that offers a high grip level. The Hellion is not quite as grippy as the Five Ten Freerider Pro but it’s the closest I’ve tried.
I have a couple of criticisms – the shoe is on stiff side. I’ve got used to it but some testers I’ve spoken to say they haven’t been able to flex their feet around the pedals wearing this shoe, which helps with grip. The padding in the heel cup also sits a little bit too low, which causes it to bunch up when you put the shoe on and I often had to take it off again to get to sort this out.