Laid-back style without laid-back performance, the Ride Concepts Livewire MTB shoe offers good flat-pedal performance
We’ve previously tested Ride Concepts’s Hellion with the DST 6.0 High Grip rubber sole and rated it highly. The Livewire is a £10 cheaper sibling that has been upgraded with the same tacky rubber.
To clear up any confusion, Ride Concepts is now just calling this Max Grip. It’s pretty tacky and splits the difference between the Shimano Ultread and rubber used on both the Five Ten Freerider Pro and Specialized 2FO Roost Canvas. As we’ve said previously, it doesn’t have the rebound characteristics or hold of the Stealth rubber, but we only really noticed a loss of grip when our weight was forward on a steep section.
The hex-shaped knobs are not as tightly spaced as those on the Shimano GR-9, so it can feel a little looser, but there seems to be a bit more meat on the pedal with this one.
Compared to the Hellion, the upper is more flexible. It uses a combination of mesh and synthetic leather with minimal abrasion-resistant areas on the heel and toe. Padding in the ankle is not quite at the same level of plushness as the Crankbrothers Mallet E, but it’s better than most. The tongue is also heavily cushioned, and also gusseted to keep out dirt. The laces are good quality (we know they don’t wear through) and, while there’s no D3O smart tech on this cheaper shoe, the insole is supportive.
The Livewire definitely has a bit more of a trainer vibe compared to the Hellion. It doesn’t feel as efficient on the pedals, but there is a lot more room in the toe and heel compared to the previous Livewire. We’d go up half a size before, but there is no need to do that now.
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What sets the Livewire apart from the other cheap shoes is the quality – it’s way better than the similarly priced Giro Deed and Specialized 2FO Roost Canvas. It’s also more supportive in the ankle and it fits better if you have wider feet.