ION Scrub Amp Flat Pedal Shoe – First Ride Review

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Ion has been making shoes for four years now, and flat pedal shoes since 2018. The new range is launched today, and we have had the new ION Scrub Amp shoes in for a quick pre-launch test.

The flat pedal shoes for 2020 use a new ‘Pin_Tonic 2.0 Sole Concept’ sole. This has a new tread pattern, with positive areas on the heel and toe for grip while walking or off the bike, as well as being made with a new stickier rubber compound.

ION Scrub Amp Shoe Specification

  • Claimed Weight: 440g per shoe (Size 42), Actual Weight: 422g (size 41)
  • Colours: Black, Rusty Leaves, Deeper Ocean, Mulitcolour
  • Sizes: 36 – 47 (EU)
  • RRP: £124.99, 149.95EUR

Also between the ground – or pedal – and your foot, is an EVA midsole for cushioning, plus an inner sole. Wrapping round the top of your foot, you get a textile and synthetic woven upper, which gets a layer of rubbery protective coating in many areas.

Getting muddy

Laces can be held in place by a neat elastic retainer, which has a tab on it so it’s easy to get hold of. We’ve got the rather ’90s rave scene multicolour ones in to test, but there are plainer options if you want something a little less attention seeking.

For when you need your shoes to match your tyres AND your shorts?

On The Trail

It pained me to take these out for a ride. I really liked them as they were, brand new, in all their rave glory. I would totally wear these to go out dancing – except they’re a little too stiff for that. Not so stiff as my Five Ten Freerider Pros, but more stiff than my Giro Jackets. I wore them round the house for a bit while they were still pristine, and there was no sign of any pinching or rubbing. I have super sensitive feet, and I’ve found to my cost that I can’t break shoes in – they just break me. So, no discomfort at all was a good start.

Heading out the house and down the hill, the first thing that I noticed about the Ion Scrub Amp shoes was that the fabric uppers are very venty. A cool breeze whipped round the tops of my feet. These are perhaps not shoes for the depths of winter, though there’s enough rubbery wrapping on the shoes that they’re not totally freezing. I soon warmed up once pedalling, and on a subsequent ride with waterproof socks on, my feet were comfortable enough.

On the pedals – some DMR Versas I’ve been testing – they proved to be pleasingly sticky. Stuck, but not too stuck – I’m not overly keen on when you get really glued to your flats so that foot adjustment is tricky. My feet seemed to slot naturally onto the pedals each time, with no catching of my foot on the wrong place, or bumping up against the cranks. Sometimes I find the profile of a new pair of shoes takes a bit of getting used to, but not with these. Even on a long ride on the Stooge MK4 rigid single speed, with plenty of hauling an the bars, heaving on the pedals, and battering down rocky tracks, I still found my feet felt firmly in place. No slips or shifts at all.

The inner heel protection is actually tall enough to protect my ankle bone from bashing the cranks, but didn’t cause me any discomfort on my rides. Protective but not restrictive is good. The laces stayed neatly tucked in the elastic retainer – I really like this feature, I haven’t had one like this on shoes before.

Handy tab and lace retainer.

Pushing up a steep loamy banking, the shoes were grippier than my Five Tens, but not actually that grippy. The tread is deeper by means of the indents going into the sole, rather than there being any extra tread actually sticking out, so limited traction is to be expected. Grippi-er but not a real sole for walking in like you get on some cleated shoes. On gravel or hardpack tracks rather than mud, I found them very comfortable – I admit, on my single speed, there is the occasional bit of pushing on the odd stiff hill.

And, of course, I had to go and get them deliberately muddy. I really didn’t want to.

On my first ride, I had to put a bit of effort into getting them really filthy, as I wanted to make sure I got them wet. The instructions that came with them said not to use heat to dry them – just stuff them with newspaper, leave them at room temperature, and they’d be dry in a day. I was sceptical. These are the instructions of the sort of people that live in dry climates, where you can pair your socks while they’re wet and they’ll still dry. (I recently found out that this is a thing, and my damp British mind is blown). I didn’t get them super soaking, and a day later they were damp. Not dry, but still pretty good drying time. At room temperature anything under 3 days seems good to me! My second ride was a proper wet and cold affair, and the shoes have come back thoroughly soaked. But, that was this morning, and this is tonight, so they’re still drying.

Obviously I can’t say anything about longevity, given the short period of time I’ve had them. I was thinking that I was a bit sad they didn’t clean up better after the first ride – the knitted area seemed to hold on to the mud a bit – but when I met my ride partner comment was passed on my very bright new shoes, so maybe they weren’t so bad.


In this short test I’ve been really impressed with the Ion Scrub Amp shoes. They’re sticky, they feel totally natural on my feet, and they seem to dry out pretty quickly. I like the level of stiffness and stickiness, and the only thing that will stop me reaching for them on every ride is the desire to keep them looking quite so good as they do now. Bring on the dry dust of summer so I can wear them every day without fear of dulling their rave glory!

Review Info

Brand: Ion
Product: Scrub Amp Flat Pedal Shoe
Price: £124.99
Tested: by Hannah for
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Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Comments (4)

    Rugby boots, football boots and SPD disco slippers all have proper tough fabric that doesn’t hold too much water and dries out ok… why can’t we have a flat pedal shoe like this?

    I’ve got the Ion Rascal SPD shoes, by far the best set of kicks i’ve ridden in in 30+years riding

    How do they compare to the Raid Amp 2 in regards to arch support and overall stiffness? Also, is the heel cup and over fit the same?

    The OWN fr01 were and still are the best flat pedal going. Lightweight, modular design where you take the inner booty out, and they dry in a few hours tops. I really like the look of the show but they don’t look too hardy.

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