Ride Concepts (RC) is a relatively new company that exclusively makes mountain biking shoes, and we love what they have created. RC's Livewire has a great price point and extremely high quality. This shoe features RC's D6.0 rubber, which is a mid grip rubber perfect for someone who is breaking into more technical downhill or all-mountain riding. The Hexagon plugs are deep enough to glue your foot to the pedal, but the pattern allows you to make small adjustments if needed. The toe and heel feature anti-abrasion material, making this shoe the only one at this price point offering this kind of protection. This shoe is practical enough to keep you safe on the mountain and stylishly sufficient to go to the pub after. We are crazy about this shoe. It makes our feet happy and takes home our Best Buy award.
Ride Concepts Livewire - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Inexpensive, offers a lot of protection, balanced grip
Cons: Not enough grip for very technical riding
Manufacturer: Ride Concepts
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Ride Concepts Livewire won our Best Buy award because it is a tremendous all-around flat pedal shoe and it's inexpensive. After miles of riding, there were only a few moments when we wanted more grip. We concluded that this is a great shoe for someone looking to start their flat-pedal mountain bike shoe journey.
Seeing how the Ride Concepts Livewire stacked up against the competition, it is clear to see why this product won our Best Buy award.
The Livewire has a patented hexagon pattern on the bottom of their shoes, similar to the pattern on the lackluster Giro Riddance. Regardless, we were excited to see how this sole would affect the performance of the shoe, and we were not disappointed. The hexagon pattern allows you to move your foot easily, but the angles in the pattern catch on the pedal pegs. This means you won't accidentally move your foot too much and slip. RC features a 12mm deep hexagon lug (compared to Giro's 9mm depth) making the contact between the pedal and your foot like velcro. The depth of the pattern makes it so that your foot sticks to that pedal and stays when doing risky maneuvers.
What makes the RC Livewire stand out more than the Riddance is the high-quality, unique ultra-grippy rubber on the bottom. They have developed their own rubber compounds with Rubber Kinetics (bike rubber experts). The Livewire features their DST (Dynamic Surface Technology) 6.0 rubber. RC developed a brand-specific scale to rate the grippiness of their rubber, and this 6.0 rubber falls directly in the middle of that scale. We found that the grip was not compromised by water or heavy dirt, making us feel safe on varied terrain.
We think this is the perfect shoe if you are starting to dip your toe into more technical downhill riding. Once we started getting into difficult technical riding, we found that a shoe with a little more grip was preferable. If you are an experienced downhill rider and want something with an unmatched grip for sending to your fullest; we recommend checking out the Five Ten Impact Pro or Five Ten Freeride Pro.
Comfort and Protection
RC recognizes that men and women differ in the way their feet are shaped and have developed their women's line to cater to those differences. We love the feel of this shoe and found it comfortable for riding and wearing out all day. The other shoe that had a comparable amount of padding was the Five Ten Impact Pro. Both provide an ample amount of stability when riding.
The footbed features RC's custom D30 technology with a layer made explicitly for absorbing shock when you land on your feet. Not only is this technology safer for your foot if you are trying new risky things in biking. We also found it very comfortable.
On the toe and heel, there is a molded anti-abrasion material that works well. Compared to the other shoes we tested, the Livewire had the most protection on the heel, which we found necessary if your foot slips off and hits the pedal.
The Livewire runs a little small compared to other brands, so if you are ordering this shoe online, we suggest ordering a half size up.
Rigidity and Power Transfer
While this shoe is a little more rigid than the Five Ten Freeride Pro it is much less rigid than the Giro Riddance, Bontranger Flatline, and Shimano GR7. We like being able to feel our feet on the pedal, especially when trying to make micro-adjustments and found this shoe did a great job balancing rigidity and sensitivity.
This shoe weighed in at 754 grams landing right in the middle of all the shoes in our line-up. Weight is an important factor for all-mountain type riding. You want your shoe to be light enough that you don't notice it while climbing, but beefy enough for stability. Ride Concepts does a great job of finding a happy medium.
The Livewires are made up of synthetic material (like most flat pedal shoes), which is great for protection, but sometimes not the best for breathability. Above the synthetic material is mesh with plenty of holes to provide more air to your feet.
However, because this shoe is on the heavier that comes with sacrificing some breathability if it is a hot day (above 75 degrees), we recommend wearing a light sock with this shoe.
After miles and miles of riding through all kinds of terrain in the Sierras along with grabbing the occasional beer afterward, these shoes passed our durability test with flying colors.
Ride Concepts makes a high-quality, durable shoe. Most of the material is welded together (except for some of the material on the side). This method held up through our testing. The soles and side of the shoe suffered some marks from the pins, but not as much as the Giro Riddance and the Freeride Contacts. The Livewire also features an elastic strap across the tongue to easily store your shoelaces.
The Five Ten Freerider, Giro Riddance, Bontrager Flatline, and Shimano GR7 are all a similar or higher price point, and we think that Ride Concepts made an overall better shoe. That is why it has won our Best Buy award! There is a possibility that your ability may outgrow this shoe if you start to send it down some technical rock waterfalls, but if you are the type that likes taking it easy, they will last you a lifetime.
Looking to buy your first pair of flat pedal shoes, but unsure of what you'll be riding in the next year? These are the shoe for you. This is a great all-mountain shoe for anyone looking to step into some technical riding, and it is a great price. We love this shoe and think you will too!
— Bo Outland