Hands-on Gear Review

Zoic Prophet Review

Skate-inspired shoe for multi-use mountain biking and street wear.
Zoic Prophet
By: Jason Cronk ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 19, 2016
Price:  $85 List
Pros:  Stylish, good rigidity and power transfer
Cons:  Poor breathability, heavy
Manufacturer:   Zoic

Our Verdict

The Prophet from Zoic is a skate and BMX-inspired shoe that has crossed over into mountain bike territory. Other shoes like the Giro Jacket and Five Ten Freerider have blazed the trail for the Prophet to follow. The Prophet is intended for park, pump, and BMX riding, but is fully capable of moderate mountain riding and casual use. This contender is a well-rounded new kid in town, but the more experienced Five Ten Freerider may have more to offer a bigger population of riders.


Our Analysis and Test Results

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Grip


Zoic utilizes a proprietary rubber compound made in conjunction with Osiris of skate and BMX fame. Their creation is their exclusive HookUP compound. We found the HookUp rubber to provide a good basic pedal grip, though substantially less so than Five Ten's Stealth rubber compounds. The tread pattern is more of a fine file tread which seemed to make the shoes more suited to pedals with smaller pins that were able to slide into the sole grooves a bit easier. Like the similarly designed shoes in our test, the Giro Jacket and Five Ten Freerider, these shoes provided ample traction off the bike and were easier on the feet when used for casual, non-bike use. The HookUp rubber also seemed to suffer a decrease in performance when our pedals became wet or snowy.

Traction off the bike isn't necessarily the Prophet's strong suit and is prone to slipping before other shoes
Traction off the bike isn't necessarily the Prophet's strong suit and is prone to slipping before other shoes

Comfort


The Prophet's comfort was good overall, but nothing really stood out as exceptional. An EVA midsole and softer EVA insole, along with a Texon board last, provide good protection from pedal pressure with some loss of pedal sensitivity. Fit was true to size for us, but we did notice the shoe was narrower than all of our other test shoes, which did cause some foot rub at the ball of the foot. With more extended use perhaps this will soften. Comfort level decreased on hot sunny days, likely due to the solid black synthetic leather upper, and our feet did tend to sweat more than in other shoes. This was especially noticeable when compared side-by-side with the Five Ten Freerider.

Rigidity and Power Transfer


The Zoic's rigidity was surprisingly higher than the Five Ten Freerider or the Giro Jacket, scoring an above-average 6 out of 10. With the higher level of rigidity and power transfer, the Prophets allowed for more efficient climbing than the other BMX/skate-inspired shoes in our test. This increased rigidity was overall a positive, but contributed to loss of pedal sensitivity.

Although more flexible than other shoes in our lineup  the Prophet is rigid enough for out of the saddle efforts
Although more flexible than other shoes in our lineup, the Prophet is rigid enough for out of the saddle efforts

Weight


This contender tipped our scales as the heaviest shoe out of the six tested, at 16 oz each in a men's size 9. Again, this difference isn't all that significant, but when worn side-by-side with the lightest shoe in our test, the Five Ten Freerider Contact, the weight was noticeable. For the casual rider or air-catching park rider, the extra couple of ounces will likely be a non-issue.

Breathability


The Prophet scored second to last in this category, 4 out of 10, just ahead of the Five Ten Impact. The solid synthetic leather wasn't the most breathable upper material in our testing. On cooler days the shoes weren't too hot, but once the sun came out and the dark color absorbed that extra radiant heat, the Prophets got quite warm. For park, BMX, cool weather casual XC riding or lift-served riding, the lack of breathability isn't significant.

The Prophet provides adequate grip on the pedal studs but was not the grippiest
The Prophet provides adequate grip on the pedal studs but was not the grippiest

Durability


Where the lesser breathability of the upper may be a negative, it's turns into a positive here. We scuffed and scraped the shoes on a ton of sharp granite and the shoes took it all in strike, showing almost no sign of the abuse.The Prophets outperformed the Five Ten Freerider in this arena with no doubt in our minds. Sole durability also seemed solid, showing minimal wear after mashing our feet around on sharp pedal pins. We're thinking this is where the influence from Osiris's skate and BMX history comes into play in a great way.

The Prophet can hold its own in the park
The Prophet can hold its own in the park

Best Uses


Riders who want a burly skate-inspired shoe for park, lift-served, and skills riding should definitely check out the Zoic Prophet. While Zoic is bridging the gap between BMX and skate shoes to mountain biking, there are other options that perform better overall, including the Five Ten Freerider.

The Prophet in its element  riding the dirt and the chairlift at places like the Mammoth Bike Park
The Prophet in its element, riding the dirt and the chairlift at places like the Mammoth Bike Park

Summary


The Zoic is a protective skate-style shoe that can handle short XC rides, especially during cooler weather, but seems more at home riding in the park, riding the lifts, or shuttling moderate downhill rides. After riding, these are arguably the most fashionable choice of our lineup, blending in with any other skate shoe.

Jason Cronk

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Most recent review: December 19, 2016
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