Simply not sticky or damped enough
Scott’s latest high-end flat pedal shoe, the Scott MTB AR Lace Flat, uses a special ‘Sticki’ rubber outsole welded to a sculpted, splash-resistant upper.
It laces up with a secure fit that’s closer to an SPD shoe, than a softer, flimsier skate shoe. A deep heel cup cradles the ankle securely and the tongue and lace eyelets extend right up the foot to ensure locked-on hold. Inside, Scott’s ‘Ergo Logic’ insoles aren’t as sculpted as an aftermarket footbed, but still have a raised arch and offer more support than a standard foam insole.
The toe cap uses a chunky rubber bumper to brush off impacts and the thicker EVA midsole provides good isolation from the pummelling feet get on longer descents in choppy terrain. The upper fabric sheds splashes and mud pretty well, but doesn’t run too hot and sweaty either, thanks to its small mesh inserts.
Pedal interaction with the Sticki sole happens in a smoother portion of sole (like a Five Ten Freerider Contact), which allows the platform to be precisely positioned while riding and feet wriggled if needed. Unfortunately, it’s this area where Scott’s ARs go awry. The sole simply isn’t sticky or damped enough for this smoother zone to work, and unlike others that aren’t as grippy as Five Ten mountain bike shoes, it doesn’t benefit from a tread pattern designed to mesh with pins and keep feet planted.
In the dry, and especially in the wet, feet skate around too much even on the grippiest flat pedals, and the AR feels sketchy. On top of the lack of bite on the bike, traction is poor climbing up steep push ups in damp UK conditions, and the shank feels stiff walking so the edges rubbed my toes and heel and gave me blisters.
As you might have guessed, I really didn’t get on with this AR, and reckon there’s a good reason you don’t see Scott’s sponsored athletes rocking it on the trails much. I really rate some of the brand’s other kit, but I’ll definitely be sticking with my Five Ten Freerider Pro, as it’s a similar kind of shoe done exactly right.