Five Ten Freerider Pro - Women's Review
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Five Ten Freerider Pro - Women's
|Price||$127.74 at Amazon|
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|$149.95 at Backcountry|
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$139.95 at Backcountry
|$70.00 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Lightweight, fantastic grip, great power transfer, durable||Lightweight, awesome grip, absorbs trail chatter||Excellent grip, comfortable, lightweight, breathable, reasonable price||Protective, excellent grip, durable||Inexpensive, offers a lot of protection, balanced grip|
|Cons||Breathability is not the best in hot conditions||Minimal foot protection||Long laces, minimal foot protection||Warm on the feet, velcro strap is cumbersome||Not the grippiest, moderate weight|
|Bottom Line||A great performing all-round shoe with great power transfer and the right mix of stiffness, flex, and comfort||A lightweight, well-balanced shoe with incredible grip, all-day comfort, and great trail absorption make this shoe stand out in the crowd||An excellent performing shoe for all types of flat pedal riders that has outstanding grip, comfort, and value||This beefy shoe has a great grip, absorbs the trail, is highly durable, and has tons of protection making it a great choice for the gravity crowd||This is an exceptional flat pedal shoe for someone just starting their mountain bike adventures, especially for the price|
|Rating Categories||Five Ten Freerider Pro||Giro Latch Women's||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Wildcat||Ride Concepts Livewire|
|Comfort and Protection (25%)|
|Rigidity and Power Transfer (20%)|
|Specs||Five Ten Freerider Pro||Giro Latch Women's||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Wildcat||Ride Concepts Livewire|
|Outsole||Stealth S1||Tack Rubber||SlipNot™ ST||Max Grip||Rubber Kinetics DST6.0 High Grip|
|Tread Pattern||Full Hexagon Dot||Gamma tread design||Full Hexagon Dot||Full Hexagon Dot||Full Hexagon Dot|
|Measured Weight Grams (pair)||616 g||593g||669 g||715g||754 g|
|Upper Material||Synthetic||Microfiber synthetic||Leather, Suede||Microfiber synthetic||Synthetic, mesh|
|Footbed||Ortholite||3D molded||Body Geometry||Dual-density EVA||D30 High Impact Zone|
|Midsole||EVA||Mute Foam 3D||EVA||EVA||EVA|
|Size Tested||8||EU 40||EU 40||8.5||9|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Five Ten has long been considered the standard by which all-mountain bike shoes are judged. However, the acquisition of Five Ten by Adidas Outdoor and the rise of new products from Specialized and Ride Concepts, has brought new scrutiny to Five Ten shoes. Despite this, the Five Ten Freerider Pro continues to be the most balanced and overall best-performing shoe we tested.
A refined fit with a decreased volume allowed our testers to not only have better power transfer, but also allowed us better control over the pedals. The Stealth® Dotty rubber outsole provides excellent grip on the pins of the pedal, while still having enough give to allow for micro-adjustments of the foot. This combined with the EVA midsole, allows the rider to really push into the pedals, without fear of losing traction. Small features such as a padded tongue, flat laces, an elastic lace retainer, and reinforced eyelets help to add to the shoe's comfort and durability, making the Freerider Pro a great choice for the rider looking for an all-round shoe.
Five Ten uses their Stealth® Dotty rubber on the outsole of the Freerider Pro. This rubber is one of the most popular on Five Ten bike shoes and for good reason, it combines the stickiness of the Stealth rubber with a dot pattern that provides a secure grip between the pedal and shoe. Our testers found this surface combination to provide the right amount of grip, without feeling like velcro, and allowed us to make micro-adjustments on the pedal without having to lift up our foot. However, some riders may find the surface of the Stealth® Dotty rubber to be a bit too grippy for their individual liking, in which case we recommend looking at other models that utilize a less grippy compound.
Throughout testing we never lost a pedal while wearing the Freerider Pros. The grippy rubber outsole provided ample grip between our shoe's outsole and our pedal pins, giving us increased confidence as we weighted our pedals through corners and descended rocky terrain which tested the soles grip. We also noticed while climbing steep slopes that our feet stayed positioned on the pedal and did not slip due to the interface between the shoe's outsole and our pedal.
The dot pattern on the outsole of the Freerider Pro is shallow enough to hold pedal pins that are worn or broken off. While this may seem trivial, we did find that not all shoes tested were able to interface so well with worn or broken pins because the depth of the tread pattern was deeper. We were also impressed with the durability of the shoe's outsole. Unlike other models of shoes we have worn over the years, the outsole of the Freerider Pro held up incredibly well throughout product testing and had no visible marking from our pedal pins after two months of use helping it to earn high marks in this metric.
Comfort and Protection
To begin with we, we want to acknowledge that the sizing on the Freerider Pro is different from past Five Ten shoes, something that many consumers have noticed since the Adidas Outdoor acquisition. Our lead tester has worn Five Ten's for years in a US8.5 women's, however, when she received the Freerider Pro she found it to be much too long and exchanged for a US8 women's and found the sizing perfect. We recommend trying on the shoe when possible for fit, and keeping in mind that you will likely need to size down one-half size.
Comfort is highly subjective when it comes to shoes, as the length, width, volume, and arch of our feet vary so much. Our testers found the Freerider Pro to be very comfortable thanks to a fit that was neither too wide nor too voluminous. The Freerider Pro features a shallower volume and narrower toebox than other Five Ten models, enveloping the foot and giving it a more supportive fit. Our testers found better power transfer and pedal control thanks to the fit, as our foot was secure and not moving around inside the shoe.
Adding to the shoe's comfort is the EVA foam midsole. This layer helps to dissipate trail impacts before they reach the rider's foot, preventing sore feet and helping prevent foot fatigue. During testing, we never felt soreness or fatigue in our feet from trail chatter or impacts. The footbed of the Freerider Pro is made of Ortholite foam and fits our tester's flat feet quite well, however, we do know many people have higher arches and may need more arch support. Luckily, the footbed is easily removable, allowing for custom footbeds to be put in. However, given the overall volume of the shoe, those with a high-volume foot or high arch may find the fit to be too snug, as we would describe its volume and width to be medium.
Surprisingly, the Freerider Pro offers quite a bit of protection despite its sleek design. It has a highly padded tongue that serves two purposes; first, it prevents pressure points or hot spots that could be caused by laces on the top of the foot, and second, it gives the top of the foot added protection in case of impact. As previously mentioned, the Freerider Pro has a double layer of protection at the midfoot, which wraps around the heel, protecting the rider's foot and heel. At the front of the tox box, you will find a layer of Poron, a material that is impact resistant, and strategically placed in the area most prone to rock strikes. Lastly, the uppers are made from a thick synthetic material. This material has a rigidity to it that allows rocks and other small debris to bounce off instead of impacting the rider's foot.
Rigidity and Power Transfer
The Freerider Pro features a medium-flex molded EVA midsole, which we found to be rigid enough to be able to push into the pedals, while still being able to know where the pedal is underfoot, without feeling the pedal through the sole of the shoe. While not the stiffest shoe we tested, we think the Freerider Pro strikes a great balance between the two earning it high marks in this metric.
During testing, we were able to push hard into the pedals on fast cross-country laps and found the power transfer to be very good. While climbing steep or technical terrain, we could comfortably push into the pedals to power up and over roots and logs.
In addition to helping with power transfer, the EVA midsole does a fantastic job absorbing trail impacts from rock gardens, jumps, and drops. Overall, the Freerider Pro performs very well in this metric.
The Freerider Pro earned slightly above average marks for their breathability in part due to the reinforced uppers and materials used to repel moisture and dirt. Our testers found that the upper on the Freerider Pro repealed moisture very well, unlike other models that leave one with a soggy foot after riding through a puddle.
The perforations in the toe box allow some airflow into the forefoot, but the mid-foot lacks any perforations to aid air circulation. In temps in the mid-70's and below, this was not much of an issue, but hot and humid Midwest riding in the summer frequently means temps in the upper 80's and 90's with high dew points, making for some steamy days on the bike. It was in these warmer temps we noticed the lack of airflow through the mid-foot and that our socks were continually damp from moisture no matter what type or weight of sock we wore.
In our testers' minds, there are inevitable trade-offs when it comes to shoes, one of which is typically breathability, as durability and protection frequently mean reinforced materials and thicker materials for the shoe's upper. With the Freerider Pro we feel we are trading breathability for the added protection and water repellency. Overall, the Freerider Pro is not unbearably hot, but other shoes tested are much more breathable.
The Freerider Pros are made for long term durability. After two months of product testing and using the shoes with brand new and worn pins alike, the Stealth® Dot rubber showed no signs of scarring or use. Our testers are happy to say the same for the shoes' ultra-durable synthetic upper, which despite being dirty, also shows no signs of wear after extensive testing. We have noticed zero issues with stitching or seams and feel that the Freerider Pro will withstand a few seasons of heavy use, earning it top marks in this metric. The box and heel are both covered in a layer of textured rubber, again adding extra wear protection to these high wear areas.
The Freerider Pro uses flat laces, something our testers prefer as they seem to stay laced better than round laces. An elastic lace retainer on the tongue ensures your laces stay out of your chainring and chain, and the laces are appropriately sized for the shoe. You'll also find the shoe's midsole to extend higher up onto the upper on the inside of the shoe, something which also helps with durability and wear. Overall, our testers were impressed with the Freerider Pro's durability and look forward to wearing them for seasons to come.
Weighing only 616-grams for a US 8 women's, the Freerider Pro was one of the lightest shoes we tested, which is impressive given the amount of protection, durability, and power transfer found in the shoe. Typically, protection, durability, and stiffness come with a significant weight penalty, but not so with this shoe. The low weight also makes it easier to spin the pedals, something we noticed on longer rides.
Our testers feel the Freerider Pro is a great value for the money, given its exceptional performance and features, including a super grippy sole, very good power transfer, low weight, and durable upper and outsole. While not the most affordable shoe we reviewed, we feel the construction is quality, meaning you'll be spending less money long-term on shoes.
The Freerider Pro is a great choice for the rider looking for a flat pedal shoe with a great balance of grip, power transfer, durability, and weight. While not quite beefy enough for downhill, it packs enough protection for the rider to feel comfortable and confident on almost every other type of riding from cross-country to trail and enduro.
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