One of our bugbears with Ride Concepts shoes was that the rubber just wasn’t soft enough, but things are different with the new Ride Concepts Hellion Elite.
With this new Ride Concepts Hellion Elite shoes the brand has reduced the weight over their regular Hellion, which has created a bit more flex in the sole. It’s plenty stiff enough for efficient pedalling, but that extra give allowed us to really curl our foot round the pedal, creating a bit more bite.
The Ride Concept Hellion Elite shoe uses a new DST 4.0 Max Grip rubber that measured the softest in our best mountain bike shoes buyer’s guide. It doesn’t have the slow-rebound properties of the Five Ten Phantom compound, but the grip is superb.
Since it’s an Elite version, the company has added some boutique features, like an antibacterial mesh lining and a foot bed with D3O High Impact Zone Insole Technology. You get the usual anti-abrasion toe and heel protection, and the microfibre upper seems harder wearing – only time will tell on that one, as our shoe is still too new to comment. The shoe is also roomier in the forefoot and is now much easier to get on – we’d always collapse and bunch up the heel on previous Ride Concepts shoes.
Softness-wise, the sole is on a par with Five Ten’s compound, which means we have no qualms about recommending this shoe. The latter is not as stiff as a Five Ten Freerider Pro (review), but some testers prefer a little extra flex, and that extra ankle movement can be a good thing.
In wet conditions or rough terrain this shoe isn’t quite as surefooted as the Five Ten Trailcross XT, but it’s not as restrictive, it’s more supportive and is a better overall package for the money, making the Ride Concepts Hellion Elite one of the best flat pedal shoes currently available.