Does it stick to pedals like a limpet mine, or explode off at the first sign of a bump?
The Ride Concepts TNT is a downhill boot even though most downhill racers these days are clipped in and the TNT is designed for flats.
Even though Ride Concepts is the new kid on the block in the mountain bike shoe world, it has a comprehensive range of footwear for every discipline and pedal platform. Ride Concepts makes plenty of clip-in shoes for downhillers.
The reason I’m testing a downhill boot is because I disagree with the company and think the TNT is actually a perfect a trail riding boot for winter use and here’s why…
Ride Concepts uses three different rubber compounds throughout its shoe range and the TNT features the DST 4.0 MAX GRIP rubber, which is the softest the company offers. I didn’t need to measure the density to know it’s pretty close the Five Ten’s Stealth rubber and offers excellent traction and grip. It’s soft and tacky but slow rebound, so not matter how hard I’d ride or the trail conditions, my feet would rarely bounce off or move on the pedal. This rubber is the best Ride Concepts rubber I’ve tested, which begs the question why isn’t it on all its shoes? Apparently, it might be by the end of the year.
The obvious compromise with any soft rubber sole is accelerated wear but the sole on the TNT is still intact after several months of hard riding. The shoe also gets a hard wearing, custom-moulded rubber toe cap and heel protection and a TPP medial midsole protector, which is just an extra bit of EVA reinforcing in the instep. To improve comfort there is a D3O insole and heel reinforcement.
I never used to be a fan of a heavy boot for riding but the extra ankle protection and heft of the TNT makes it feel really solid and stable on the bike. It also offers good winter protection – there’s no nesh in the upper, and you can get those big straps super tight so it feels solid and secure. It does take a bit of effort to squeeze into these boots but they’re snug and I’ve not had any issues with the heal crumpling, a problem on the Hellion I tested a few months back.
The TNT may have a DH tag but ignore that this is a great winter trail shoe – it has a ton of grip and protection, there’s no mesh, so it’s pretty water resistant and it’s really comfy. The icing on the cake? The rubber compound: of all the rivals to Five Ten’s Stealth rubber this is the best I’ve tested.