Ion Seek

Ion Seek shoes: Suave, but are they sticky?

by 8

The Ion Seek is Ion’s take on a casual-looking shoe that can still perform off-road. They feature a simple lace closure, plain styling, and distinct absence of any fancy design features.

For flat pedal users, it’s easy to forget that we’re living in a minor Golden Age. Rewind 15 years or so, and if you rode flats and needed new shoes you’d likely be scouring the sale shelves at your local skate shop, before buying something was never designed to be used for mountain biking and whose soles would be eaten through in a matter of weeks by your DMR V8s with Terror Pins.

Now there are dozens of brands making shoes specially for off-road cycling. Ion may not be the go-to brand name for mountain bike shoes, but they produce lots of well-received riding wear, so I was interested to find out how their shoes would stack up.

The shoes I’m reviewing here have Ion’s Pin Tonic sole, which has an interesting inverted design, and they’re also competitively priced. Flat pedal shoes increasingly seem to be north of £100 these days, which doesn’t help make an expensive sport any more accessible, so options for more budgets are definitely a good thing.

Pulling the shoes on for the first time, I was struck by how neat and narrow they are. The feel more like something you’d wear to an office than a skatepark. This could be a bonus if you suffer from contact between your heels and your bike’s frame, as they take up a lot less real estate than the bulky skate style flat pedal shoes that most of us ride. The down side of this is that if your plates of meat are more Sasquatch than ballerina, they’re probably going to feel a bit restrictive. They run true to size, but there’s not a lot of width to spare.

If your feet are the right shape, riding all day in the Seek shoes is comfortable. The woven fabric uppers aren’t too thick and hot, but nor do they have lots of annoying tiny holes to let cold wind and water in. The material isn’t as waterproof as some but they don’t soak much up and dry out quickly. The heel cups are snug, there’s some impact protection built into the sole, and they’re supportive and relatively stiff for a flat pedal shoe.

But what about the grip? The soles of the Seek shoes feature little Y-shaped pockets for your pedal pins to engage with. It’s very secure on the trail, giving benchmark levels of stickiness, even with the relatively stiff soles. Another bonus is that your pedal pins won’t end up chewing little holes in your shoes, as there are already some there. The down side is that there’s less walking grip on offer for when you want to push back up the trail and have another go at something.

After a few months of wear, the Ion Seek shoes are holding up ok, although the upper material on the front edges has gone a bit fluffy. My test pair had bit of an odd manufacturing issue in the form of a slight lump in one footbed, under the insole. At first it felt a bit like I had something in my shoe, but as the shoes have broken in the sensation has disappeared. 


“Flat pedal shoes you can wear to the pub” is a mountain bike review cliché, but it definitely applies here, and I’ve even worn them to smarter functions. The fact that the Ion Seek shoes don’t look like a mountain bike shoe will put some people off, but might attract others. The performance is there and the price is less ouchy than some. As long as you get on with the looks, and don’t mind a fairly stiff sole, these are a decent addition to a nicely diverse market segment.

While you’re here…

Review Info

Brand: Ion
Product: Seek
Price: £84.99
Tested: by Antony for Three months
Join Singletrack From Only £12.501/2 Price Singletrack Offer

Use code HELLO54 when you join us as a print or digital member and your membership will be half price for the first year.

The Print+ membership where Singletrack magazine drops through your door, plus full digital access, is normally £45, now only £22.50 with the code. And a digital membership where you can read all the digital magazines is normally £25, and now £12.50 with the code.

Simply use code HELLO54 at checkout.

(New annually renewing membership only. Excludes Gift Memberships, Discount applies to first year. Cannot be used in conjunction with other offers, or when switching memberships)

Antony was a latecomer to the joys of riding off-road, and he’s continued to be a late adopter of many of his favourite things, including full suspension, dropper posts, 29ers, and adult responsibility. At some point he decided to compensate for his lack of natural riding talent by organising maintenance days on his local trails. This led, inadvertently, to writing for Singletrack, after one of his online rants about lazy, spoilt mountain bikers who never fix trails was spotted and reprinted on this website during a particularly slow news week. Now based just up the road from the magazine in West Yorkshire, he’s expanded his remit to include reviews and features as well as rants. He’s also moved on from filling holes in the woods to campaigning for changes to the UK’s antiquated land access laws, and probing the relationship between mountain biking and the places we ride. He’s a firm believer in bringing mountain biking to the people, whether that’s through affordable bikes, accessible trails, enabling technology, or supportive networks. He’s also studied sustainable transport, and will happily explain to anyone who’ll listen why the UK is a terrible place for everyday utility cycling, even though it shouldn’t be. If that all sounds a bit worthy, he’s also happy to share tales of rides gone awry, or delicate bike parts burst asunder by ham-fisted maintenance. Because ultimately, there are enough talented professionals in mountain bike journalism, and it needs more rank amateurs.

More posts from Antony

Search the forum using the power of Google

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Ion Seek shoes: Suave, but are they sticky?
  • bikesandboots
    Full Member

    I have the same(ish) sole on my Scrub AMPs. Can confirm off-bike grip is poor, to the point of being dangerous if you’r pushing/carrying your bike over something tricky, or dabbing. Also wears out quickly when walking up rocky mountain paths.

    Wow Grade A crap.

    Thanks for the elimination process.

    Free Member

    Wot are those!

    Full Member

    That’s where Flasheart has been hiding

    Full Member

    On first looks I’d wear them, they’re acceptable for trashing on a bike, but toe box looks a bit squashy so nope.

    Free Member

    @sirromj The toe protection is pretty decent.

    Full Member

    I was meaning they look on the narrower side not accommodating for wider feet.

    Free Member

    I’ve got ION shoes, Raid, same as these – Bloody excellent they are. Really comfortable and plenty wide enough for my fat feet.
    I believe the man Jedi has recommended Ion shoes on here in the past. He knows (or is sponsored, one or t’other!)

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Search the forum using the power of Google