The Ride Concepts Livewire is designed to be a bit of a do everything riding shoe. To be ridden all day, and then not look out of place having post ride beers.
The Livewire is definitely more skate style in looks, rather than out and out performance, but there’s plenty going on if you look past the casual appearances.
- Brand: Ride Concepts
- Product: Livewire
- From: Silverfish UK
- Price: £109.95
- Tested: by Ross for 3 months
The upper is made from a durable synthetic material that has a suede like finish, with perforations down the side and in-step. The toe and heel areas are made from an abrasion resistant mesh to further aid breathability.
The Livewire’s fasten with a traditional lace system allowing you to easily adjust the fit and tightness, and there’s an elasticated lace tuck on the tongue to keep them out of the way. The tongue is also fully gusseted to help keep out mud and dirt when out on the trails.
The midsole features EVA for added support and efficiency when pedalling, but also has D30 HIgh Impact Zone Insole Technology. This basically uses D30 – an impact protection material – in key areas to absorb energy from big hits and help stave off fatigue and reduce trail feedback. The toe and heel areas also feature custom moulded protectors to further enhance the protection and durability.
The sole on the Livewires, arguably the most important part of a flat pedal shoe, features Ride Concepts Fuzion outsole. The Fuzion outsole is made from Rubber Kinetics DST 6.0 HIGH Grip rubber and is moulded in a repeated hexagonal blocky pattern for increased pedal pin interaction.
On the foot
I ride a size 45 shoe in pretty much all brands and that’s what I got with the Live Wires. Slipping them on for the first time, the sizing felt good, with the length being just right, but they felt a little boxy, rather having a snug fitted feel.
Over the course of the first few rides, as the shoes got a bit more worn and ‘shaped’, and they started to ‘give’ a bit, they did feel less boxy and more fitted. I can;t claim to have particularly ‘fat’ feet and the initial rides were during good weather and while wearing thin, summer weight socks, but as the warm Indian summer moved to Autumn and winter and I moved to thicker, and waterproof socks, the fit has been spot on.
On the trail
While the shoes initially may have felt a little roomy, they were certainly comfortable from the very first ride. They’ve been ridden on practically a daily basis, from lunchtime power hours, to multi hour pedals and have remained comfortable through it all, with no aches, pains or hot spots.
The sole is stiff enough for long stints of pedalling, but not overly stiff so you can still ‘feel’ the pedals under them rather than feeling like a plank of wood. They do a good job of muting trail / pedal feedback without feeling disconnected from what’s going on, but also take big, harsh impacts well with harshness on bottom outs and big hits.
Walking in them is comfortable enough when you’re off the bike and pushing, and once they’re worn in there isn’t too much heel lift from pushing up steep inclines. The soles aren’t the best on steep muddy pitches though, but then this seems pretty elusive in any flat pedal.
I’ve mainly used the Livewire’s with DMR Vault and Burgtec Penthouse MK5 pedals, and a couple of rides on Nukeproof Horizons. Grip is good on all the different platforms, not as outright grippy as FiveTen Stealth rubber, but I’ve had no issues with slipping.
The combination of hexagonal tread pattern and grippy rubber do a good job of keeping your feet on the pedals on proper fast and rough tracks, and actually, that slightly less outright grip makes it easier to adjust your foot position when needed – just release a bit of pressure and shuffle your foot. Out of the three pedals I used them on, I’d say the shoes felt grippiest on the Nukeproof’s, then the DMR’s, then the Burgtec’s. Although it wasn’t a huge difference between them
So far they’re also not showing any undue signs of wear, and after a good few months of being ridden between 3 – 6 times per week, the soles are only showing minimal signs of wear. The chunky reinforced toe area has taken a few knocks and helped shrug of the odd rock strike, and there are no loose threads or any signs of layers coming unbonded.
Given that a high percentage of rides has been in damp weather, I’ve also been impressed with the drying performance of the Livewires. They don’t seem to retain water as much as some other shoes and put them somewhere warm overnight and they’re generally pretty dry the day after.
I like the Ride Concept Livewires. While they may not been been the perfect shape for my feet to start with, now every ride involves thick / waterproof socks they are my go to shoes. They offer a good level of grip, are comfortable, and (most) importantly dry well.
As with anything wearable, it’s always best to try first, and if the Livewires fit then they’re well worth a try. Especially since they can be had for some bargain prices online at the minute.
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|by Ross for 3 months