Review by Alice Burwell. This is the women's version of the Hellion Elite that scored a perfect 10 in the mbr flat pedal shoe test earlier this year.
Review by Alice Burwell.
This is the women’s version of the Hellion Elite that scored a perfect 10 in our best mountain bike shoes test earlier this year. It uses the company’s new Rubber Kinetics DST 4.0 Max Grip Rubber Outsole, which we’ve been told will be used across the entire Ride Concepts range for 2022. The difference between the men’s and women’s Hellion (apart from the colour) is the latter comes in smaller sizes, has a women’s-specific fit and the sole flex has also been tailored for added performance and comfort. To be honest, when I tried on the men’s shoe, I couldn’t feel any difference in terms of resilience, but it is roomier in the toe and wider across the front. I have long thin feet for my size, but switching between both genders (my dad has the men’s Hellion Elites and he’s my size) the women’s version felt more tapered and restrictive. My toes felt slightly more bunched at the front of this shoe and would also rub on the upper when riding.
That said, the grip is just as good as the men’s shoe. There’s some real tackiness to the sole and I never felt like my feet were going to slip off accidentally. It feels stable and secure – what you want when starting out with flat pedals.
It also has a ton of features like a quick-drying microfibre upper, a D3O High Impact Zone insole to help absorb vibration, reinforced bumpers front and rear and a padded tongue which is also gusseted – this simply means it’s anchored in place and doesn’t pull to one side while riding. The tongue could be longer however, and that handy lace lock on the front could also be bigger. Ride Concepts also uses round laces, which I find are less secure than flat ones. So, while the women’s shoe doesn’t fit me that well, if you ignore the gender-specific feature and just think about it as a shoe with a different shape/width, it’s actually a great addition to the range. The good news is Ride Concepts hasn’t fallen into the trap of making the women’s shoe a daft colour, like pink or lilac, so if you’re a bloke that wants plain black, the company has got you covered.
I’m only rating these shoes a 9 out of 10 because I actually prefer the Five Ten Trailcross – it’s a similar price but has a grippier sole, more feel and comes in a bigger range of sizes.
Review by Alice Burwell.