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Ride Concepts Powerline Review

These shoes are sturdy and excel when the trail gets tough
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $150 List | $149.95 at Backcountry
Pros:  Great pedal grip, sturdy construction
Cons:  Expensive, heavy
Manufacturer:   Ride Concepts
By Jason Cronk ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 23, 2020
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 12
  • Grip - 30% 9
  • Comfort and arch support - 25% 8
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer - 20% 6
  • Breathability - 10% 6
  • Durability - 10% 8
  • Weight - 5% 3

Our Verdict

The Ride Concepts Powerline is a beefy shoe that delivers excellent pedal grip and power transfer along with all-day comfort. These shoes are intended for all-day, hard-charging efforts, and they lived up to our expectations. They aren't necessarily the best in any one metric, but they score highly in every metric; a true jack of all trades, from riding around town to cross country trails or high-speed technical downhill riding, these shoes deliver. We enjoy the overall functionality and performance of these shoes, and although they're geared more for enduro and downhill riders, we feel they perform well for cross country and all-around riding. With that in mind, these are our Top Pick for an aggressive shoe for all-mountain riding.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

We put these shoes through the paces in every condition we could; from cold, wet, and snowy to hot, dry, and dusty. With durable synthetic materials and construction, including a proprietary rubber compound, these shoes stand out as a strong choice for every type of rider. They were designed with aggressive riders who like to crank out the miles, and they deliver to their intended audience, but that shouldn't discourage anyone from taking a look at these comfortable shoes. We found they pedaled and climbed with the best of 'em. They're an all-mountain shoe with a little extra substance for that super chunk downhill after the long climb. They're even available in three different color combinations.

Performance Comparison


The Powerline is a favorite whether on two wheels or just one!
The Powerline is a favorite whether on two wheels or just one!

The Powerlines are even available in landscape matching colors!
The Powerlines are even available in landscape matching colors!

Grip


Ride Concepts has been in the mountain bike shoe game for a couple years now, using their own proprietary rubber compounds (developed in conjunction with DST). The soles of these shoes are made with their DST Max Grip 4.0, which is the stickiest of their compounds. The tread pattern is a uniform deep hexagonal dot throughout the entire sole which is intended to grip not just pedal pins but also offer better traction on the trail.

Check out the positive connection between pedal pins and the Rubber Kinetics DST 4.0 Max Grip outsole!
Check out the positive connection between pedal pins and the Rubber Kinetics DST 4.0 Max Grip outsole!

After lacing up our new bright red kicks and starting to pedal, we immediately felt locked in on our pedals. We were able to pivot the balls of our feet on the pedal slightly without a ton of effort, but the Max Grip 4.0 really sticks to the pedal pins. We compared to the other test shoes in our lineup, and found that the soles of the Powerline provided grip in the same league as our other highest performers. These shoes created a positive connection between rider and bike no matter where we rode, rolling buffed out singletrack, super chunk downhill, and even flat pavement. While we were pedaling on the flats and uphill, that solid connection made a natural pedal stroke, well, natural.


The sole provides solid grip for getting out of the bike on the downhill.
The sole provides solid grip for getting out of the bike on the downhill.

Comfort and Arch Support


With good out of the box comfort, the Powerline has a beefy skate shoe feel that encourages that "I can ride all day" feeling. The major portion of the upper is a synthetic material that dries quickly after stream crossings and other water hazards. To aid in ventilation and quicker drying, the uppers have been perforated with several holes throughout the sides. The remainder of the upper, a mesh panel over the toebox does a nice job in creating extra wiggle room for the toes as well as creating extra ventilation and aiding in quick drying.

Underfoot, Ride Concepts has paired up with D30 for their super supportive insoles that even include additional shock-absorbing inserts under the ball of the foot and heel for impacts and pedal pressure. There is also an EVA midsole for further shock dissipation and additional stiffness. And speaking of comfort and protection, there is also a protective reinforced rubber toe cap. We also appreciated the fully gusseted tongue, which helps wrap the foot as well as keeping debris out.


James about to enjoy the impact zones of the D30 insoles.
James about to enjoy the impact zones of the D30 insoles.

Weight


Coming in at 15.34 ounces for a men's size medium, the Powerline comes in as the heaviest shoe in our flat shoe lineup. By heaviest, we mean a total difference of 4.34 ounces between the lightest shoes and these. For a lot of us, it's not really a factor, but for those of you who count ounces or grams, it may be something to consider.


The Powerline weighing in.
The Powerline weighing in.

Rigidity and Power Transfer


As we were cranking out the miles we found the rigidity of the Powerline was on the upper end of the spectrum when it came to rigidity and power transfer to the pedals. The shoes are stiff enough to ride all day without adding foot fatigue to the picture, yet they're flexible enough for easy hiking with a pretty natural gait. We noticed a bit of flex on a few steep trail sections, especially if we were up out of the saddle. With that said, it was really pretty insignificant, but for riders who want their shoes on the stiffer side, we want to make you're aware.


The Powerline isn't just a downhill shoe  it's a capable pedal pusher as well.
The Powerline isn't just a downhill shoe, it's a capable pedal pusher as well.

Breathability


Between the synthetic uppers with the mesh toebox inserts, and D30 insoles, we found the Powerline offers plenty of breathability. In comparison to other shoes tested, these shoes fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to ventilation. We rode these shoes in a temperature range between 25 degrees F and 85 degrees F and found they kept us pretty comfortable no matter how warm or cold. The only variable here was in sock choices, lightweight for hotter days and heavier weight wool for cooler days. So even though these shoes are a little heavier than some, it doesn't impact the temperature and breathability on our feet.


A solid choice for all conditions.
A solid choice for all conditions.

Durability


The Powerline seems like a sturdy shoe that is made from tough materials from top to bottom. From the DST Max Grip sole to the tough synthetic uppers, these shoes are built to last, especially with welded construction throughout.

After testing wrapped up, we noticed just a few tiny cosmetic dings and wear marks, but nothing that would impact the shoe's performance or appearance.


The Powerline's beefy construction is in for the long haul no matter where your rides take you.
The Powerline's beefy construction is in for the long haul no matter where your rides take you.

Value


These shoes are on the high side of the price range, these shoes are equipped with quality materials, durable construction, and high performance. For riders seeking this winning combination, the price tag may be worth it.

Conclusion


The Ride Concepts Powerline is a high-quality shoe with all the features you'd expect to find in a high-performance enduro shoe.

Jason Cronk