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Five Ten Freerider Pro Review

The benchmark for flat pedal shoes, a true all-arounder that looks as good as it performs
Five Ten Freerider Pro
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $150 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Excellent pedal grip, comfortable, true all-mountain performance
Cons:  On the expensive side of the spectrum, Stealth rubber wears more quickly
Manufacturer:   Five Ten
By Pat Donahue ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 6, 2021
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91
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 10
  • Grip - 30% 10
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 9
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer - 20% 9
  • Breathability - 10% 8
  • Durability - 10% 8
  • Weight - 5% 8

Our Verdict

The Five Ten Freerider Pro features a burly synthetic upper, ample protection for all conditions riding, and a tried and true Stealth S1 rubber sole. It's sure to please most riders, from casual weekend warriors to aggressive enduro racers and everyone in between. It is undeniable is how good looking and versatile this shoe is. Whether you're embarking on an all-day epic, ripping some shuttles, or spending the afternoon at the pump track, these shoes have you covered. Grippy soles, excellent power transfer, adequate foot protection, and impressive durability combine to make this one of the best shoes on the market. If you're looking for one shoe to do it all, check out the Freerider Pro.

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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
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$120 List
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$150.00 at BackcountryCheck Price at REI
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Pros Excellent pedal grip, comfortable, true all-mountain performanceGrippy soles, casual looks, reasonable price, versatility, lightweightGreat pedal grip, sturdy construction, protective features, comfortableImpressive grip, protective, reasonable priceSupremely versatile, excellent ventilation, tacky grip, easy to walk in
Cons On the expensive side of the spectrum, Stealth rubber wears more quicklySomewhat loose fit in the forefootHeavier weight, sizing runs a little smallHeavier weight, limited breathabilityNot a dedicated mountain bike shoe, less supportive sole
Bottom Line The benchmark for flat pedal shoes, a true all-arounder that looks as good as it performsA versatile new flat pedal shoe with great grip and a casual styleA comfortable, beefy shoe with loads of protection well suited to gravity ridingA reasonably priced, versatile flat pedal shoe that offers strong performance and even stronger valueA versatile shoe for those riders who value adventure over all-out singletrack shredding
Rating Categories Five Ten Freerider Pro Specialized 2FO Roo... Ride Concepts Power... Ride Concepts Livewire Five Ten TrailCross LT
Grip (30%)
10.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Fit And Comfort (25%)
9.0
9.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
Rigidity And Power Transfer (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Breathability (10%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
10.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Weight (5%)
8.0
9.0
4.0
5.0
8.0
Specs Five Ten Freerider Pro Specialized 2FO Roo... Ride Concepts Power... Ride Concepts Livewire Five Ten TrailCross LT
Rubber Type Stealth S1 SlipNot ST DST 4.0 MAX GRIP Kinetics DST6.0 High Grip Stealth Phantom
Tread Pattern Full Dot Full Hexagon Dot Hexagon dot Full Dot Full Dot
Weight per Shoe (ounces) 14.11 (size 11) 12.96 (size 43.5) 16.97 (size 11) 16.15 (size 11) 14.15 (size 10)
Weight per Shoe (grams) 399 (size 11) 367 (size 43.5) 467 (size 11) 458 (size 11) 400 (size 10)
Closure Laces Laces Laces Laces Laces
Lace Keeper Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Volume Medium Medium Medium Medium Low-Medium
Upper Materials Synthetic Leather Leather/textile Welded microfiber Synthetic/mesh Synthetic/textile
Midsole EVA Cushioned EVA EVA
Insole AM/MT insole Body Geometry

Our Analysis and Test Results

For 2021, Addidas/Five Ten now offer the Freerider Pro in a Primeblue version that is constructed with textile uppers that are 75% Primeblue yarn which is made from recycled ocean plastic. Otherwise, they have the same design and features as the regular version and retail for $150. March 2021

When you have a product that has dominated the bike industry for years, it can be tempting to start looking for a new, exciting product to dethrone the champion. While it may not be exciting to continuously read that the Freerider Pro is the best of the best year after year, it really is an outstanding flat pedal shoe. There is some new and exciting competition in the shoe game, but the fact of the matter is the Freerider Pro is still the gold standard thanks to its unrivaled level of grip and well-rounded performance.

Performance Comparison


Whatever the situation, the Five Ten Freerider Pro offers unrivaled...
Whatever the situation, the Five Ten Freerider Pro offers unrivaled grip.
Photo: Laura Casner

Grip


For years now, Five Ten has set the standard by which all other shoe's soles are measured. Many folks will be familiar with Five Ten's experience in the world of ultra-sticky climbing shoes. In case you haven't heard, their mountain bike shoes carry that same reputation of supreme tackiness. The Freerider Pro is equipped with a Stealth S1 rubber outsole. The S1 compound aims to balance stickiness with durability. It isn't quite as tacky as the Mi6 compound found on Five Ten's gravity shoes, but it's not far off.


Examining the sole of the shoe, it is completely covered with raised, circular traction dots. These dots are evenly spaced and have a diameter of approximately 9mm and stand approximately 2mm off of the main outsole body. There is no additional texture to the traction dots or the outsole. When placing the foot, the edges of these dots grab the pedal pins effectively.

The Stealth S1 rubber offers absurd levels of grip and a nice supple...
The Stealth S1 rubber offers absurd levels of grip and a nice supple feel on the pedals.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

The pedal pins engage the Stealth S1 rubber extremely well. When you are perched on the pedals, you can really feel the pins engage the rubber and dig slightly into the sole. This delivers a locked-in feel that is confidence-inpiring, almost like riding with clipless pedals/shoes. These shoes really stood out when climbing up technical features where you really need to rely on the grip to get up and over an obstacle. Riders who value mobility on the pedals might find these shoes to be a little too grippy. When paired with pedals with pins that are sharp, it can be a little difficult to shuffle your foot into a new position. For riders seeking more flexibility in the ability to adjust foot positions while still feeling locked on, other models may prove a better choice for you.

Off the bike, hiking traction was fine. As you might expect, the Stealth rubber hooks up extremely well on rock. The tread pattern isn't particularly aggressive so pushing up steep and loose terrain or in wet/muddy conditions isn't necessarily a strong suit.

The Freerider Pro should work for a lot of riders with a variety of...
The Freerider Pro should work for a lot of riders with a variety of foot shapes. They are snug through the midfoot and offer a spacious toe box.
Photo: Laura Casner

Fit and Comfort


Out of the box, the Freerider Pro has an easy-going and familiar feel. This shoe is true to size for length and has a medium volume fit from the heel through the mid-section. We found that fit increases to a roomier toe box from the ball of the foot forward. The toe box is roomy but isn't sloppy. Riders with low-volume feet may find the forefoot to be too spacious.


A quick glance at this shoe and it appears a little more sleek and streamlined than some of the other skate-inspired shoes in our review. While it appears minimal to the naked eye, the Freerider Pro is padded in all the right places, although not the most padded or protective shoe we tested. The toebox and heel are reinforced, plus it also features a Poron foam lining of the toe for extra protection from impacts. Poron foam is the same type found in other protective gear, like elbow and knee pads, that hardens on impact. The tongue is comfortable on top of the foot and is quite wide, with a medium amount of padding.

The Freerider Pro fits true to size.
The Freerider Pro fits true to size.
Photo: Laura Casner

The synthetic upper has a tough and durable feel. The material is stiff and structured but feels a little thinner than some of the beefier shoes we tested. After a few rides, it begins to break in and conform nicely to the feet. This material effectively repels water and mud. We rode this shoe on fat bike rides, trail rides, and some freeride endeavors. Our feet stayed mostly dry and happy throughout.

It should be noted that this shoe offers a very comfortable feel on the pedals. The Stealth S1 rubber seems to have some damping properties that some of the harder compounds lack. When combined with the EVA midsole, these shoes effectively helped mute some trail feedback and vibration, keeping our feet feeling fresh on long, rough descents.

This shoe is among the stiffest in the review. Power transfer is...
This shoe is among the stiffest in the review. Power transfer is excellent when hammering the pedals.
Photo: Laura Casner

Rigidity and Power Transfer


The Freerider Pro is one of the stiffer soled shoes in our review. This rigidity has several performance benefits including supreme power transfer. When you are putting the power down on the pedals, almost all of that energy reaches the pedal stroke. Other, softer shoes tend to flex under pedal loads which zaps energy. Stiffer soles are more efficient on long rides.


On long or rowdy descents, the stiff sole, paired with a quality rubber compound, provides an excellent feel on the pedals. The rigidity deadens the trail forces that reach the pedals and offer enough support to keep your feet, ankles, and legs feeling fresh. Even in the gut of the fastest and most chattery of rock gardens, our feet felt great in these shoes.

One thing to keep in mind is that a stiff sole often leads to a less-than-ideal walking experience. The stiffness of the sole feels a little more unnatural off the bike compared to a shoe with a more natural flex through the toe. If you find yourself off the bike a fair bit either bushwhacking, removing trail hazards, or hiking steep lines, the Freerider Pro doesn't offer the best walking feel.

These shoes offer decent airflow. We would have no problem wearing...
These shoes offer decent airflow. We would have no problem wearing these on rides where you are baking in the sun for hours. The absurd levels of traction are well worth it.
Photo: Laura Casner

Breathability


The Freerider Pro shoes offer decent levels of breathability, although these aren't the most airy shoes in our review by any stretch. The synthetic upper material seems to place an emphasis on durability over airflow. The top of the toe box has a generous amount of small perforations above the forefoot, but that's about all the ventilating features these shoes have. While they are far from breezy, they aren't oppressively hot either, and the synthetic material used in their construction seem dry quickly after getting splashed with water or soaked with sweat..


We've ridden the Freerider Pro in a huge range of temperatures, from 20-degree fat bike rides to 85-degree rides in the Nevada high desert, and they have served us well in most situations. If you frequently ride in truly hot temperatures and ventilation is high on your priority list, this might not be your shoe. That said, we feel this shoe's many positive attributes outweigh its average breathability and it's a tradeoff we'd typically be willing to make.

The tough synthetic upper features an armored toe box with exterior...
The tough synthetic upper features an armored toe box with exterior reinforcement to resist abrasion in high-wear areas.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Durability


The Freerider Pro is a bit of a double-edged sword in terms of durability. On one hand, the quality of the materials and craftsmanship is apparent. The synthetic uppers are barely even scuffed, the stitching is still intact, and there is no separation between the uppers and the sole of the shoe. They certainly don't look like they've been ridden hard for several weeks.


On the other hand, given the soft and tacky Stealth rubber compound, we have observed slightly more wear on the tread of the sole compared to most of the competition. To be clear, we are talking about very small amounts of wear, but the tread is showing more wear than other shoes with firmer rubber soles. We have no doubt these shoes can last a few seasons, but there is a tread-wear tradeoff to be made for their excellent grip.

399-grams per shoe puts the Freerider Pro towards the lighter end of...
399-grams per shoe puts the Freerider Pro towards the lighter end of the spectrum.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Weight


Our size 11 Freerider Pro shoes hit the scales and came in at an average of 399-grams, or 14.1-ounces, per shoe. That puts them on the lighter end of the weight spectrum in our test class. They feel light on the feet, which is particularly noticeable a couple of hours into a long ride.

We don't view weight as the most important metric in this review. We value grip, comfort, and rigidity as more important characteristics than a few grams here and there. That being said, the fact that the Freerider Pro has excellent levels of grip, power transfer, and it's light…well, that's just an added bonus.

Value


The Freerider Pro is among the most expensive shoes in our review, and we feel they are worth every penny. With this shoe, we believe you get what you pay for, and in this case, it's an incredibly versatile shoe with excellent grip, power transfer, and comfort. Sure, some of the less expensive shoes offer stellar performance, but the Freerider Pro's are the best-of-the-best and can justify a slightly higher price tag.

Conclusion


The Five Ten Freerider Pro took home top honors in our flat pedal mountain bike shoe test. These versatile shoes should work wonderfully for a huge number of riders and most disciplines. What really makes the Freerider Pro stand out from the competition is the dialed Stealth S1 rubber that delivers unrivaled levels of pedal grip and traction. Additionally, these shoes provide excellent power transfer thanks to the stiff sole along with a comfortable fit.

This shoe is so fantastic that you will always want to hike up for...
This shoe is so fantastic that you will always want to hike up for another lap.
Photo: Laura Casner

Pat Donahue