Five Ten Kestrel Lace - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, easy to hike in, good protection
Cons: Moderately stiff sole, trail vibration through foot, lack of reinforced lacing eyelets
Manufacturer: Adidas Five Ten
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Five Ten Kestrel Lace - Women's
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|Pros||Comfortable, easy to hike in, good protection||Comfortable fit, large cleat opening, good power transfer, excellent trail absorption||Lightweight, good power transfer, easy to walk in||Protective, comfortable, supportive, well-constructed||Comfortable, excellent protection, excellent power transfer, easy to clip in and out of, great for hike-a-bike|
|Cons||Moderately stiff sole, trail vibration through foot, lack of reinforced lacing eyelets||Lacks breathability, expensive||Not the best lateral stability||Not very breathable, moderately heavy||Heavy, not waterproof|
|Bottom Line||A comfortable shoe with moderately stiff sole makes this shoe a good choice for rides under two hours||This comfortable shoe impressed our testers with its fit, trail absorption, and power transfer and is a great match for short trail rides and all-day epics alike||This unassuming shoe combines on and off the bike performance with good power transfer and walking comfort at a relatively reasonable price tag||A supportive and durable shoe made to withstand the rigors of technical trail, all-mountain, and bike park riding||A high-performing shoe that offers comfort paired with excellent stability, protection, and walkability|
|Rating Categories||Five Ten Kestrel Lace||Crankbrothers Malle...||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Helli...||Ride Concepts Traverse|
|Stability and Control (20%)|
|Specs||Five Ten Kestrel Lace||Crankbrothers Malle...||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Helli...||Ride Concepts Traverse|
|Measured Weight (g)||424g||379g||322g||413g||450g|
|Outsole||Stealth C4 rubber||Match MC1||SlipNot FG||Clip Grip||DST 8.0 MID GRIP Rubber|
|Closure||Laces/Velcro||Boa, Velcro strap||Laces||Laces, Velcro strap||Laces/Velcro|
|Upper Material||PU-coated polyester mesh||Synthetic||synthetic leather||Microfiber synthetic with TPU toe and heel protection||Synthetic & D30|
|Footbed||EVA Foam||not specified||Body Geometry||Dual-density EVA||EVA Foam|
|Sole||Nylon shank||EVA midsole||Soft Lollipop Nylon Composite Plate||RC PowerDrive nylon shank||D30 High Impact Insole|
|Size Tested||EU 40 2/3 / US 8.5||US 7||EU 39.5 / US 8.5||US 8.5||EU 39.5 / US 8.5|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Five Ten Kestrel Lace is an all-weather shoe designed around a carbon-infused nylon shaft and Five Ten's Stealth C4 rubber sole. This combination should make for a fairly stiff sole, especially with the carbon-infused shank, however, we found the shoe to be only moderately stiff and best suited for shorter, less technical rides. During our initial testing, the Kestrel's were quite comfortable, but when we took them out on longer rides with rocks, rocks, and more rocks, they began to begin to rub and we could feel too many trail vibrations through the shoe's sole. The shoe breathes quite well and provides sufficient impact protection, however, their performance on longer and more technical rides left us wanting a stiffer sole.
Stability and Control
The Kestrel Lace cleat opening offers 1 ¼" of fore/aft adjustability, making finding your ideal cleat placement a bit easier than other models with just 1" of adjustment. The wide rectangular shape of the cleat box makes getting in and out of your pedals easier than shoes with lugs that were closer to the cleat.
The Kestrel's Stealth C4 rubber outsole and carbon-infused nylon shank make for a moderately stiff shoe. We were able to easily push and pull on the pedals and felt the shoe's power transfer to be on par with more expensive shoes. However, we could feel quite a bit of trail vibrations on more technical trail. Over the course of our testing, we found the sole stiff enough for blue trails, but too soft for rocky black trails, especially when standing up on the pedals.
The Kestrel's comfort was initially very good, especially after testing shoes that were uncomfortable and too narrow in the toe box. The Kestrel's toe box is more akin to a hiking shoe or running shoe and wider than some other shoes we tested. Laces with a velcro closure at the ankle allowed us to comfortably snug down the shoe on our feet, but lacing the shoe is difficult due to non-reinforced eyelets. We also missed the elastic lace holder on the tongue found on other models we tested. The velcro kept our laces in place, but we prefer the added peace of mind that the lace retainer provides. Touted by Five Ten as an all-weather shoe, we found the Kestrel Lace to breathe very well and never experienced any issues with our feet being too hot.
Despite having a stiff, carbon-infused nylon shank, the Kestrel is very comfortable to walk in. The shoe does not flex much in hand but does flex while hiking making them quite comfortable to walk in. The Kestrel's sole is made of Five Ten's Stealth C4 rubber which clings to rocks, which gave us confidence when hiking and scrambling up over rocks and slabs. The shoes dotted sole surface does not cake with mud or dirt, but can be slippery when wet and lacks lugs for uphill traction.
We did note that some reviewers complained of heel lift while hiking, but we found tightening down the velcro across the ankle prevented any heel lift while hiking. Overall, the Kestrel's were some of the best performing shoes we tested in terms of walkability.
The Kestrel Lace provide a fair amount of impact protection with reinforced areas from the toebox running to the midfoot and in the heel area. The reinforced uppers protected our feet against stray rocks kicked up on the trail. The EVA foam footbed helps absorb impacts from drops and jumps, but in combination with the nylon shank allows too many trail vibrations to reach our feet for our liking.
Five Ten lists the Kestrel Lace as an all-weather shoe, and it does offer good breathability but falls short of being a truly all-weather since the uppers allow water to seep in. In inclement or wet conditions a true water-resistant shoe would be a better choice.
Weighing in at 424-grams per shoe for a size EU 40 ⅔ the Kestrel is heavier than similar shoes we tested. The substantial sole, midsole, and impact protection zones all add additional weight to the shoe.
The Kestrel Lace's price is in line with many of the other shoes we tested, however, other models at the same price point have better stiffness, impact protection, and lacing. With this in mind, we would recommend considering similar models which provide more features and performance for the price.
Comfort and impact protection make this shoe a good choice for rides on terrain which is not overly rocky or for beginner riders. They fall short when things get rowdy, and if your riding includes long descents and rocky terrain, we recommend considering other models that offer better stiffness, lacing, and protection.
— Tara Reddinger-Adams
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