The Ride Concepts Women’s Vice shoes are my current favourite flat pedal shoe, so I wanted to give the Mid version, with raised ankle, a go. The Mids only come in a unisex version, but the difference in fit is pretty subtle. The Mids feel to me to be very slightly wider around the toe – which is actually a plus in my book, but I’ll come to that.
Like the men’s and women’s shoe version of the Ride Concepts Vice, these have a suede upper and ‘RC Fuzion’ outsole with High Grip rubber. There’s toe protection built in, as well as D30 in the sole for keeping the vibrations or heel strikes at bay – especially useful on hard surfaces like skate parks and groomed jumps. With this Hi Top model, you also get some extra padding around the ankles – handy for protecting that sensitive ankle bone. Why does it hurt so much when you whack your ankles?
The hex pattern on the sole varies in depth from 9mm at the heel and toe to 7mm where your foot meets the pedal. That extra depth at either end is designed to give you extra grip. In squelchy mud, it’s of little use, but the flexibility in the sole goes a long way towards helping you walk more naturally and confidently when you do need to get off and push.
That’s about it for features. I wish there was a lace keep. But why do I love the Vice and these Mid siblings so much? For me, they offer the right balance of stiffness and flexibility, combined with that all important grip on the pedals. If a shoes is too soft, your feet get tired as you pedal along and start to ache. Too stiff, and I find I can’t feel the bike comfortably – plus they’re a nuisance to walk in. These strike that sweet spot between the two – on the right pedals I can ride for ages in these without any difficulties with foot pain, and they’re so comfortable I can happily walk around in them too.
Importantly, I find these to be sticky and work well with a whole variety of pedal shapes and pedal pins. Smaller platforms are less grippy and can lead to a bit of fatigue on the feet if it’s an especially rough ride, since that flex lets your feet curve round the pedals somewhat. But I’ve not yet found a pedal with which I feel like I just can’t stay in contact with the bike – something that’s not the case with every shoe. If I’ve had a problem, it’s more that they’re so sticky that once your foot is on the pedal it’s hard to make adjustments.
I wanted to try the Mid because I thought it might offer a bit of extra cosiness for winter. Really, I think you’re meant to choose these because you’re pulling such steezy tricks that you want to protect your ankles from the cranks. But cosiness is an important selling point too. Especially for me, as I find most mountain bike trousers are too short, and leave my ankles feeling chilled.
The high bit around the ankle is not a whole lot higher than shoes, but I do appreciate that little bit of extra coverage. They’ve never rubbed or felt like they restrict my ankle. And I’ve found that the slightly wider fit of this unisex last is handy for accommodating waterproof socks even more comfortably. There’s still no lace keep – I really wish there was – and of course I’d love to see an actual waterproof pair, because what flat pedal rider isn’t still hoping for that? But otherwise, I’m just as happy with these as I was the (lo-fi?) Women’s Vice.
Even after the filthiest of rides, these clean up well with a hosepipe or jetwash, and will dry overnight on a radiator. They’re comfortable across a wide variety of riding styles, and easily comfortable enough to walk around in too. Recommended.
|Tested:||by Hannah for 5 months|
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