Ride Concepts Wildcat - Women's Review
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Ride Concepts Wildcat - Women's
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|Bottom Line||A grippy, durable shoe that provides lots of protection for your feet and is well suited for the gravity crowd||This shoe quickly rises to the top thanks to its grip, trail absorption, comfort, and weight||A great choice for beginner through advanced riders looking for a protective shoe that balances grip, power transfer, flex, comfort, and durability||An affordable do-it-all shoe that balances grip, power transfer, comfort, and durability||A high-quality, versatile flat pedal shoe at a reasonable price|
|Rating Categories||Ride Concepts Wildcat||Giro Latch - Women's||Five Ten Freerider Pro||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Livewire|
|Comfort and Protection (25%)|
|Rigidity and Power Transfer (20%)|
|Specs||Ride Concepts Wildcat||Giro Latch - Women's||Five Ten Freerider Pro||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Livewire|
|Outsole||Max Grip||Tack Rubber||Stealth S1||SlipNot™ ST||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 (per pair)||715 g||593 g||616 g||669 g||754 g|
|Upper Material||Microfiber synthetic||Microfiber synthetic||Synthetic||Leather, Suede||Synthetic, mesh|
|Footbed||Dual-density EVA||3D molded||Ortholite||Body Geometry||D30 High Impact Zone|
|Midsole||EVA||Mute Foam 3D||EVA||EVA||EVA|
|Sizes Offered||US 5-10||EU 36-43||US 5-11||EU 36-49||US 5-1 0|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ride Concepts Wildcat is a mid-height, trail, and freeride shoe. It features excellent grip, protection, and stability. If you're looking for a shoe to take you from the bike park to high country hike-a-bikes and enduro laps we highly recommend looking at this favorite.
Ride Concepts uses MAX GRIP rubber with a uniform hexagonal dot pattern on the sole of the Wildcat that extends from the toe to the heel. MAX GRIP is Ride Concepts' softest and most sticky rubber. The hexagonal dot pattern works well in tandem with the MAX GRIP rubber. Throughout testing, our shoes stayed confidently connected to the pedals.
The dot pattern has an eighth of an inch of space between the hexagons and is somewhat shallow but provides enough space for pedal pins to sink in. We used four different flat pedals while testing the Wildcat and the shoes remained well connected to them all.
Repositioning the foot is easy with the Wildcat with a slight unweighting of the foot. However, if you like to slide your foot around on the pedals, the MAX GRIP rubber might be a little too grippy for you.
This shoe strikes a great balance between grip and stiffness. The EVA Midsole has enough give to it to allow your feet to conform slightly to the pedal, helping the sole connect and not get bounced around.
Comfort and Protection
The Wildcat has a low-volume fit. Its toe box is not overly generous, and those with a wide forefoot may feel cramped. Throughout our testing, we noticed the shoe stretches out and breaks in, but not so much to change the overall fit of the forefoot. Through the midfoot, the fit is wider, and there is a nicely padded heel cup that helps keep your heel in place, especially while standing up and climbing.
It offers great protection thanks to its mid-top design with padded ankle and internal toe protection. The ankle is thickly padded, which is great for protection. However, over extended periods of riding, it feels a bit bulky for general trail riding and creates odd pressure points around the ankle. We're fans of protective shoes, especially for park riding and enduro, and feel this shoe is best suited for these two areas versus general trail riding.
A velcro closure over the laces helps keep the foot in place while riding. However, this is perhaps our least favorite feature of this shoe since it gets in the way when lacing the shoe. The velcro is fairly rigid and holds its shape, meaning we have to hold it out of the way while tying the laces, which can be annoying. The velcro does cinch up the ankle area and keeps our feet snugly in place, but we would prefer a more user-friendly design.
The dual-density EVA insole is comfortable and has High Impact Insole Technology designed to disperse impact and cushion the foot while coming off of drops, jumps, and riding chattery trails. The Wildcat has a gusseted tongue that helps to keep dirt and small rocks out of the shoe. We like the ankle protection for lift-accessed trails or country enduro runs, but its overall comfort is decreased by thick padding around the ankle. As a result, it scores high for protection but below average for comfort.
Rigidity and Power Transfer
We love the power transfer of this shoe. The EVA midsole flexes in the toebox right where your small toe is and then stiffens back to the midfoot. This rigidity, in combination with the MAX GRIP sole, is a great combination to transfer power easily to the pedals.
The shoe flexes slightly on the pedals without feeling soft underfoot and without losing the sense of where the pedal is. While standing up and climbing, there is never any slipping on the pedals, and our energy goes straight into the cranks. Our feet remain planted on the pedals, and the shoe absorbs the trail forces well on descents. On hike-a-bikes, the Wildcat remained comfortable, even while hiking up steep slabs, thanks to the flex in the forefoot.
The Wildcat is constructed from a highly perforated microfiber upper. During our testing, we noted on every ride that the shoe was warm and lacked breathability. Our test rides ranged from the low 60s to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. The shoes were hot when the temps reached the upper 70s, and we were riding in full Sun at 5,300 feet.
The mid-top design of the Wildcat does not circulate air well. The padding around the ankle and the tongue trap the heat, while the toebox offers some relief from the heat. The sides of the shoe also do not breathe well.
Ride Concepts says the Wildcat is designed for all types of trail riding and freeriding and offers substantial protection. For those using the Wildcat for park, enduro, or cold or wet weather riding, the lack of breathability may not be of concern. However, if everyday trail riding is your jam, this shoe will likely feel too warm.
Reinforced eyelets, TPU reinforcement for abrasion resistance, and microfiber upper contribute to Wildcat's durability. The TPU reinforcement at the toe and heel keep the shoes scuff-free, and aside from some wrinkles in the microfiber at flex points, the uppers look nearly new after months of testing.
The microfiber uppers are sewn, show no signs of coming unstitched, and are very abrasion-resistant. The Wildcat's gusseted tongue helps keep dirt and debris out of the shoe, something we appreciate living in a rocky and sandy environment.
Sadly, the rounded laces used in this shoe do not stay tied as tightly as flat laces. Additionally, the laces on the US 8.5 women's shoes were fairly long and required double knotting. If the laces were 4 inches to 6 inches, they would be easier to manage.
The sole of the Wildcat is made of Ride Concepts MAX GRIP rubber. The sole shows no wear and tear but has become discolored where our pedal pins contact the sole. This has not affected the shoe's performance and is only cosmetic.
The Wildcat weighs 715 grams for a US 8.5 women's, which makes it a midweight shoe.
The Wildcat's weight will certainly be appreciated by those who wear the shoe for enduro or park riding or those who spend time on long hike-a-bikes where foot fatigue is a factor. The Wildcat provides significantly more protection than shoes of similar weight, making it a great choice for those looking for a highly protective shoe.
Should You Buy the Ride Concepts Wildcat Women's?
If you want added protection for enduro or gravity riding or additional ankle support, the Ride Concepts Wildcat Women's should be on your shortlist. The Wildcat boasts Ride Concepts Max Grip outsole for outstanding grip and provides impact protection in the EVA foam insole and footbed. The highly padded ankle collar helps protect the ankle and provides additional support and stability. The Wildcat fills a unique niche and weighs significantly less than other gravity-orientated shoes in our review, making it a smart choice for those looking for more support than a low-top shoe provides.
What Other Women's Flat Pedal Mountain Bike Shoes Should You Consider?
We recommend the Five Ten Impact Pro for those seeking a different gravity-orientated shoe. This shoe blends Poron Foam in the toebox for added protection and has Five Ten's Signature Stealth S1 rubber on the outsole to give you confidence and a great grip. The Impact Pro is heavier than the Wildcat, so there is a weight penalty for the additional foot protection.