This review featured as part of the Kit Essentials grouptest in issue 142 of Singletrack World.
Predictable winner that still has few real rivals
- Price: £130.00
- From: adidas.co.uk
- Tested By: Benji
The Pro version of the iconic Five Ten Freerider is a very different beast to the regular Freerider. The Pro is not just a canvas mesh skate shoe with fancy Stealth rubber for the sole – it has a much more sophisticated midsole as well as fancier upper material. The Pro version is quite a bit more expensive than the regular Freerider, but arguably it’s the latter that is expensive (£90) for what it is.
The Freerider Pro has been the gold standard for flat pedal shoes since it came out. It shows up how basic the basic Freerider is, and shows how beefy the Impact Pro is. The Freerider Pro looks like a bit of flyweight shoe, but in use it’s stiffer and more positive feeling than you might expect. And yet, it still offers excellent pedal feel and adhesion. That said, the Pro version doesn’t perhaps offer quite as much pedal feel as the standard (thinner sole) Freerider, so jibbers and jumpers should arguably stay with those. But for the vast majority of mountain bikers, the Freerider Pro is the way to go due to its shock-absorbing midsole and overall better durability.
The fancy uppers are made from a fabric that is impressively rufty-tufty and filth-resistant (even in the Parley Primeblue recycled ocean plastic option that Hannah has). The decent stitching and scuff panels really give the Pros added durability and lifespan compared to the regular Freerider. As well as helping to keep the aesthetics, this material also helps maintain the overall fit since they don’t develop creases or go baggy.
Despite not having much in the way of special heel cups or one-way ‘cat tongue’ fabric lining, the Freerider Pros do a great job of resisting heel lift. The top of the shoe is reassuringly close-fitting, which does a decent job of preventing debris getting inside the shoe itself.
The traction on the pedals from the sticky rubber Stealth sole is still the best out there. And talking of shock-absorbing, there is something extra special about the slow rebound nature of Stealth rubber that really helps you stay onboard over rough stuff as well as alleviating fatigue on longer rides.
|Tested:||by Benji for 12 months|