Andi tests the latest incarnation of the Five Ten Impact Pro. Do these stealthy, sticky shoes still sit on the flat shoe throne?
Five Ten shoes were once the one and only sticky flat sole shoe to run on your mountain bike, but the past few years have seen other shoemakers challenge the Adidas owned company, so does Stealth rubber still reign supreme?
These Five Ten Impact Pro shoes arrived just in time for winter, a great time to test the grip of the new shoe, but also to see if the ‘faster drying’ claims that Five Ten made were actually true.
The Impact Pro is designed to be a durable mountain biking shoe that provides an excellent grip via the Stealth S1 outsoles. The updated shoe has water-resistant, but not waterproof, characteristics and there is toe protection in the form of a large rubber toe box to save you from rock strikes.
Five Ten’s famous Stealth rubber outsole is formulated to offer ample grip on and off the pedal, and new for this shoe is the stepped toe and heel tread areas. These points of the sole have a slightly deeper tread than previous Five Ten shoes so that you can dig into loose, muddy conditions when pushing your bike back to the top of a steep trail.
The sole has a stiff midsole to deliver all of your flat pedal power right into the drivetrain of your bike. While the midsole is stiff, it’s not overly so and walking in the Five Ten Impact Pro is still comfortable and natural, not Herman Munster clumpy.
For the new Impact Pro, Five Ten has used a synthetic weather-resistant micro-perforated upper. It’s a clever one-piece design meaning there are no seams to seal, but those micro perfections mean water will get in if there’s enough of it.
Attached to the synthetic upper is the above-mentioned toe box. It’s a very sturdy construction and is made from an impact resistant material called Poron®. Poron® is generally found in gaskets and seals and is designed to resist compression and aid cushioning. Not only does this mean your toes are protected from rock strikes, but you also have a pretty hefty tool at your disposal for ‘trail tickling’ and ‘jump preparation’, AKA kicking stuff.
A simple, and traditional set of laces keep the Five Ten Impact Pro on your feet. There’s a simple piece of elastic that keeps the tongue of the shoe in place that can also be used to tuck your laces in out of the way while riding, not that I’ve needed to as I’ve not managed to tangle them in the chainset.
Five Ten lists the Impact Pro as a ‘Regular Fit’ shoe so I opted for a size 43, I’m usually a 43-44, but with a slim ‘summer’ sock I do find that the heal moves when climbing up trails. There’s no movement on the bike, nor when walking on flat ground, but they do feel big when digging my toes into the trail.
They also feel very roomy around the toe area which I really like. I have a pair of Shimano GR5 shoes on test too, and I find the toe area so tight that it has actually worn holes into my waterproof socks… The Five Ten have ample toe room above, even if I were to size down they would be roomy and comfortable.
Those fast drying claims seem to be true too. The new Five Ten Impact Pro certainly dries faster than any of my previous Five Ten shoes, and the fact that they have a one-piece upper, a lot less water gets in the first place, at least during light rain and puddly jaunts.
As for grip? Well, what can I say that hasn’t already been said before. The Stealth rubber is tacky and the deep tread gives you a little float to move your foot about on the pedals. For your information, I’ve tested the Impact Pro with Crank Bros Stamp 7, Shimano Saint and Burgtec pedals, and grip is excellent with each combo.
Are they still the undisputed king of grip? Well, I would have to say no, but that’s not necessarily all that bad for all riders. I’m currently testing a pair of flat shoes with Michelin tread and I feel like Spiderman with them on, in comparison the Five Ten offer a lot more movement but not to the point you could ever slip off them.
As for durability, the Stealth sole is starting to wear and that deeper toe tread is pretty much indistinguishable from the rest of the sole now. There are a few chunks missing here and there, but there’s still plenty of life left in the Impact Pro.
Three Things I Like
- Faster drying than previous Five Ten shoes.
- Roomy toe section.
- Great balance of grip and control.
Three Things That Could Be Improved
- I’m not a huge fan of the current Five Ten designs. I remember them looking way better a few years ago.
- Weather-resistant seems a stretch, splash-proof would be a better description.
- Sizing seems to be slightly larger than other brands.
The latest version of the Five Ten Impact Pro is another good Five Ten flat shoe. It does everything well, it’s durable and there are some neat added features to these shoes not seen on Five Ten before. However, the rest of the flat shoe industry has caught up to Five Ten, and in some areas, they’ve been surpassed.
Buy the Five Ten Impact Pro if you just want reliable, good grip, and comfort. If you’re after ultimate grip and a few more features there are other options to look at.
Five Ten Impact Pro Features
- Fit: Regular fit
- Fastening: Lace closure
- Midsole: Stiff polyurethane midsole; Enjoy the comfort and performance of OrthoLite® sockliner
- Protection: Impact-resistant Poron® toe box
- Upper: Synthetic weather-resistant micro-perforated upper
- Sole: Textile lining; Stealth® rubber outsole for unbeatable grip
- From: Adidas
- Price: £129.95
|Tested:||by Andi for 4 months|