July 20, 2010
Bright, sticky and high topped flat pedal riding shoes
FiveTen Line Kings
From: Big Stone
Time Tested: Two months
The Line Kings are the latest and rather punningly titled sticky rubber soled shoe to come from FiveTen. The love-it-or-hate-it Sunset Yellow colourway seems to divide opinion roughly across age lines, with the yoof liking the bright yellow finish and in vogue hi-top style but the older generation being less keen. As well as being designed for all forms of flat pedalled bikery, the Line King is also made with slacklining in mind (if you’ve no idea what slacklining is, try clicking HERE). This has led to them having a much thinner sole than FiveTen’s other biking specific shoes, the chunky and robust Impact and the more casual, skate styled Freerider.
The sole of the Line King is made from FiveTen’s trademark sticky Stealth rubber, moulded in one piece rather than the two piece side and sole of the Freerider, giving excellent durability without being as bulky as the similarly designed Impact. There is equally tenacious grip but greater feel, although the tradeoff is reduced pedalling performance through the more flexible sole.
The toe piece and some side details are made from a perforated grey material, which works well to keep temperatures down and also drains quickly if you get them soaked. The high-top design offers plenty of ankle protection and the padding is supportive without being bulky. The rub point on the ankle is made from a tougher and dark coloured material to prevent scruffy scuffing ruining the looks. Indeed, looks will probably be of major importance to anyone buying this shoe, but despite being pitched more at the urban BMX and freeride set they don’t disappoint if you do get them dirty, the thinner sole really letting you work the grip on the pedal rather than blindly trusting the sticky rubber to hold. While the hype of sticky rubber soled shoes being SPD killers is just that, they do provide excellent grip whether dry, wet or covered in mud and mean that the advantages of using flat pedals for downhill or play biking are even more accessible.
Overall: With brilliant feel and low bulk, the Line Kings sit happily as a shoe that can be worn casually (if the looks are your thing) or for biking, with plenty of grip in all conditions. They stay cool and drain water quickly and although they aren’t quite as efficient at putting power through the pedals as other FiveTen bike specific shoes. Regardless, they’re a very capable piece of footwear for flat pedal pinning and general playing.