As well as the obvious main event at Fort William, there were plenty of manufacturers and retailers showing their wares. The Five Ten stand was one of the busiest, but the most interesting products were hidden from public sight. Fortunately we were able to speak to Stefan, their marketing man, and he grabbed a box from the back of the van to show us some product highlights from their new range. It featured updates to favourites a few totally new shoes from the purveyors of sticky rubber.
First up, we have the Hellcat and the Hellcat Pro. Both are SPD-compatible shoes, with the Hellcat in the current line up and the Pro a new offering.
The Hellcat has had some substantial revisions to the current model. Cosmetically, the uppers remain similar, but the mid-sole, and sole have been completely redesigned. The mid-sole is now EVA, and a foam toe bumper has been added at the toe box. Longevity of the ‘S1 rubber’ sole has been improved by adding a protector around the cleat area, to help prevent pedals shredding the rubber while riders fumble to clip in. Additionally, a groove runs around the entire footprint, which allows the edges of the shoe to flex more naturally, and should keep the sole looking fresh for much longer. All these changes also bring the weight of the shoe down. The shoe will cost £110.
The Hellcat Pro takes the DNA of the Hellcat and makes a slightly racier package. It’s stiffer and lighter to start with and features a larger velcro strap to keep the rider’s foot in place while stomping out pedal strokes, power screaming down the trail. It also adds an EVA toe protector to the outer. As mentioned, the Hellcat Pro is a new model, but it will be replacing the current Impact VXi CL. It will cost a little more than the Hellcat; £140 to be precise.
For those of you who just want their feet to be free, dude, the Freerider Pro is another all new model. The Freerider is one of Five Ten’s most popular models. The Pro adds a fully synthetic upper, moulded EVA mid-sole and improved toe protection. It will retail at £110.
Finally, the Five Ten Access is already available. It is intended to be a hike-a-bike shoe, or one for people who want a riding shoe that will double up as a light walking/general outdoors shoe. Apparently they are popular with bike-shop workers as they can wear the same shoe on the ride to work, then on the shop floor. It is available in mesh or leather versions and will cost you £90 for the mesh, £95 for leather.
All new shoes are due for release in January 2017, and will be available in both men’s and women’s models.