We wore these shoes on our favorite backyard trails, at the bike park, through long rocky XC runs, and on casual rides around the neighborhood and they were comfortable and capable in all situations. The Five Ten Freeriders grip the pedals through technical sections and provide solid traction when hiking through whatever off-the-bike sections you encounter.
The Freerider offers a great value for an all-around flat pedal shoe, making it our Best Buy award.
Power Transfer and Grip
Five Ten's classic Stealth rubber delivers yet again, providing unbeatable grip. The Freerider features the company's traditional Stealth Rubber, which is firmer than the Mi6 Stealth rubber used in the Freerider Contact. We found that it didn't grip the pedals quite as well as the Mi6, but it was also less resistant to wear from the pedal pins. That's not to say these shoes don't grip incredibly well, they do. These shoes provide the confidence and solidarity to get through most technical pedaling sections with ease, so don't let its lower score in this metric fool you.
The Freerider is also less stiff than the Freerider Contact. Some power transfer is lost in each pedal stroke. While we didn't notice the difference on short rides and laps on the backyard trails, we found ourselves wishing for a little more rigidity on longer and more demanding rides.
Comfortable and grippy these straightforward shoes will get you right out on the trail and riding.
Comfort and Breathablity
Inspired by the comfort and style of a BMX shoe, and reminiscent of your favorite skate shoes, the Freerider was one of the most comfortable shoes we tested.
They have a roomy fit and feature thick padding throughout the upper, which provides substantial protection from rocks and branches on the trail. The mesh uppers were well ventilated and kept our feet cool on hot days. On the flip side, they are not water resistant nor are they quick to dry on rainy rides.
The Freerider is less rigid than other flat shoes we tested. While we got a more comfortable fit out of the box, the more flexible sole had our feet feeling fatigued after a long and demanding day in the saddle. They were plenty of shoe for shorter rides though.
The raised dot pattern tread gives you walking traction on dirt, rocks, and mud without catching debris in rubber cracks.
Traction and Walkability
These shoes are on par with a pair of everyday sneakers when it comes to walkability. They're comfortable, flexible, and have excellent traction. The tread is a raised dot pattern which a solid bite in dust or mud without picking up any excess debris. The Freerider grips well on rocks or logs, which came in handy during some wet creek crossings.
Five Ten calls the Freerider an "anywhere, anything, anytime shoe" and we agree that it could easily be our favorite daily footwear for bike commuting to and from work and play.
The suede and mesh uppers of the Freeriders are more durable than we expected. We guessed that the Freerider would wear out faster than the abrasion resistant uppers on the Freerider Contact. But, they showed no signs of wear or scuffing after many miles in the saddle. We were impressed with the quality for the price.
Likewise, the Stealth rubber soles showed no signs of wear and held up better than the softer Mi6 rubber on the pricier Freerider Contact.
At 337 grams for a size 38, these were the heaviest pair of women's flat shoes we tested. We weren't bothered by the weight on most casual rides, but weight saving warriors will likely look for something lighter, like the Freerider Contact.
The Freerider is a great all-mountain shoe for the recreational rider. We recommend this shoe for most styles of riding from XC laps to days in the bike park. The Freerider is plenty of shoe for most riding applications. More aggressive riders will likely look for a stiffer shoe such as the Freerider Contact for better power transfer and weight savings.
Five Ten also touts the Freerider as an everyday shoe, and we agree that they are both comfortable and durable enough to live up to the hype. If a classic skate-shoe aesthetic is part of your style, then these shoes are a great addition to your wardrobe with the bonus of being a great all-around bike shoe as well.
The Freerider really is an anywhere, anything, anytime shoe, and we agree.
At $100 these are the least expensive flat shoes we tested. We were impressed with the versatility and quality of these shoes in such a budget-friendly package. Those looking for a bit more protection, a more durable upper, or a shoe with more features will want to look at the Freerider Contact but for those looking to save a few bucks, this is a great pick.
The Freerider is a comfortable, durable, grippy shoe that can transition from a competent trail shoe to your everyday sneaker with ease. We love the versatility of this shoe on a variety of trails from XC grinders to laps in the bike park. While this shoe is not quite as aggressive as the Freerider Contact we think it is a great choice for most casual riders who are looking for something comfortable and grippy.
Other Versions and Accessories
is available in a full canvas version for $120.
The Freerider Contact
features a stiffer sole, Stealth Mi6 rubber, and an abrasion resistant upper for $150.