This product was selected for our Editors’ Choice Awards 2022, as published in Singletrack Magazine Issue 146
In the Editors’ Choice Awards we highlight our standout bikes and products from the past year. These are the bikes that we’d like to have in our sheds. These are the components and clothing that we still use long after the nominal test period has expired. Only 15 products and six bikes made the grade this year. This is the good stuff.
To make the cut, each thing must have proven itself out on the trails. They’ve got to have been reliable and ride-enhancing. We don’t do technology for technology’s sake. Nor are we overly swayed by showy, high price tags and bling materials. That said, we don’t prioritise anything solely because it’s cheaper than its rivals. Nor do we penalise a genuinely great product if it is conspicuously expensive. Performance is what matters in Editor’s Choice.
These are the 20 star performers of The Class of 2022.
Ride Concepts Women’s Vice
- Price: £99.95
Someone told me they looked cool when I was out on a ride. Do I need more of a reason to recommend these? I do think they look pretty good – like a skateboard shoe perhaps – but they’re solid performers on the technical side of things too. The suede finish does a surprisingly good job of shrugging off splashes and isn’t bad at cleaning up after a muddy ride. The lack of seams and edges for mud to collect in seems particularly good. They are – for me – on the sweet spot of stiff and flexible. Stiff enough I can pedal without fatigue, soft enough that I can feel the pedals. The soles mate well with a variety of pedals, and have stood up well in use, with no peeling or ripping.
This review featured as part of the Kit Essentials grouptest in issue 142 of Singletrack World.
Pleasantly surprising and stylish performer
- Price: £89.95
- From: silverfish-uk.com
- Tested By: Hannah
I was a little sceptical that these casual looking shoes with suede uppers would work well on the trail, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. The Ride Concepts Vice Shoe were instantly comfortable, fitting snugly at the ankle but giving space for toes. There’s room to squeeze a waterproof sock in if desired, but the laces will also tighten them up enough to ride – or hang out – in just your usual socks too.
As well as the D30 and EVA sole protection, the toe box is reinforced, making them sturdier than their street style suggests. Importantly, the sole is just-so sticky; attached to the bike enough to give confidence, but with scope to adjust foot placement on the fly if needed. They’re also at a Goldilocks spot for stiffness – there’s enough flex to feel the pedal as you’re moving the bike around, but they’re stiff enough to pedal in without tiring your feet out. Off the bike they’re pretty comfortable to walk in on hard packed or urban surfaces, but not so great in the mud.
They’re more weatherproof than I expected, and have easily dried overnight above a radiator when they’ve got soaked through. They’ve been very, very muddy, but have cleaned up nicely and are yet to show any significant signs of wear. I’d certainly like to have their mid-height option for colder and damper days for the extra ankle height.
Somewhat to my surprise, these have become a good shoe option for all but the coldest of rides. They’re protective, just the right amount of sticky and stiff, and they make me feel confident enough to forget about what my feet are doing and just get on with riding whatever is in front of me. I even find myself choosing these over my Freerider Pros – high praise indeed.
The excellent grip means you don’t have to think about where you’re putting your feet, and there’s enough flex to feel where you are on the pedals. Whether you’re riding a new trail blind or sessioning a tricky section or jump, the shoes are confidence inspiring and let you get on with thinking about what the rest of your body is doing.
|Product:||Women's Vice Shoe|
|Tested:||by Hannah for 12 months|