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Five Ten Kestrel Lace - Women's Review

A comfortable shoe with moderately stiff sole makes this shoe a good choice for rides under two hours
Five Ten Kestrel Lace - Women's
Photo: Competitive Cyclist
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Price:  $150 List | $149.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 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
By Tara Reddinger-Adams ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 14, 2020
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 10
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Walkability - 25% 9
  • Stability and Control - 20% 5
  • Protection - 15% 7
  • Weight - 15% 5

Our Verdict

We found the Five Ten Kestrel Lace to be best suited for rides which are 1) not overly technical in nature, and 2) under two hours in length. During our testing the Kestrel Lace performed very well on shorter less technical rides, but when the trail became technical and rocky we noticed a considerable decrease in the shoe's performance. The Stealth Rubber C4 sole clung to rocks increasing our confidence on hike-a-bikes, especially those over big boulders and up rock slabs, and we enjoyed the breathability of the shoes upper. Overall, we found the Kestrel to perform well, but we found others at it's price point to perform better.

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Price $149.95 at Backcountry
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Pros Comfortable, easy to hike in, good protectionComfortable fit, large cleat opening, good power transfer, excellent trail absorptionLightweight, good power transfer, easy to walk inComfortable, excellent protection, excellent power transfer, easy to clip in and out of, great for hike-a-bikeLightweight, very good power transfer, breathable
Cons Moderately stiff sole, trail vibration through foot, lack of reinforced lacing eyeletsLacks breathability, expensiveNot the best lateral stabilityHeavy, not waterproofLacking side protection on the mid-foot
Bottom Line A comfortable shoe with moderately stiff sole makes this shoe a good choice for rides under two hoursThis 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 alikeThis unassuming shoe combines on and off the bike performance with good power transfer and walking comfort at a relatively reasonable price tagA high-performing shoe that offers comfort paired with excellent stability, protection, and walkabilityA solid performing shoe packed with features typically reserved for shoes with a much higher price tag
Rating Categories Five Ten Kestrel Lace Mallet Boa - Unisex 2FO Roost Clip - Un... Traverse Scott MTB Elite Boa...
Comfort (25%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Walkability (25%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Stability And Control (20%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Protection (15%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
Weight (15%)
5.0
6.0
9.0
3.0
7.0
Specs Five Ten Kestrel Lace Mallet Boa - Unisex 2FO Roost Clip - Un... Traverse Scott MTB Elite Boa...
Measured Weight (g) 424g 379g 322g 450g 351g
Outsole Stealth C4 rubber Match MC1 SlipNot FG DST 8.0 MID GRIP Rubber Sticki rubber
Closure Laces/Velcro Boa, Velcro strap Laces Laces/Velcro Boa, Velcro strap
Upper Material PU-coated polyester mesh Synthetic synthetic leather Synthetic & D30 Microfiber, 3D nylon air mesh
Footbed EVA Foam not specified Body Geometry EVA Foam ErgoLogic
Sole Nylon shank EVA midsole Soft Lollipop Nylon Composite Plate D30 High Impact Insole Fiberglass-reinforced nylon
Size Tested EU 40 2/3 / US 8.5 US 7 EU 39.5 / US 8.5 EU 39.5 / US 8.5 EU 39

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.

Performance Comparison


Velcro helps to keep the laces in place, but we would prefer to also...
Velcro helps to keep the laces in place, but we would prefer to also have an elastic retainer on the tongue to really secure things.
Photo: Byron Adams

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 cleat opening measures 1 5/16" allowing for a fair amount of...
The cleat opening measures 1 5/16" allowing for a fair amount of fore/aft adjustability.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

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.

We felt quite a bit of trail chatter through the soles and insoles...
We felt quite a bit of trail chatter through the soles and insoles of these shoes on rocky terrain, which caused discomfort in our feet.
Photo: Byron Adams

Comfort


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.

Breathability earned high marks for these shoes, especially in 80...
Breathability earned high marks for these shoes, especially in 80 degree temps.
Photo: Byron Adams

Walkability


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.

Hiking is part of our riding and the sticky Stealth C4 rubber...
Hiking is part of our riding and the sticky Stealth C4 rubber gripped the rock like a climbing shoe on our hike-a-bikes.
Photo: Byron Adams

Protection


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.

Reinforced areas provide impact protection along most of the shoe.
Reinforced areas provide impact protection along most of the shoe.
Photo: Byron Adams

Weight


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 weighs in at 868 grams for a US 8.5 women's.
The Kestrel Lace weighs in at 868 grams for a US 8.5 women's.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Product testing at the Lunch Loops in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Product testing at the Lunch Loops in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Photo: Byron Adams

Tara Reddinger-Adams