Before I bought a new pair of clipless riding shoes I knew they would need to be good for everything. I decided on the Five Ten Hellcat clipless shoes because I wanted something a little more fortified, that could hold up to all the types of riding. For the last two years, I had been riding in the 5.10 Maltese Falcon, which was a pretty good clipless shoe, and since I had a good experience with those it helped me in my decision to stick with Five Ten. I coupled the Hellcats with some new cleats from Crankbrothers to go with my old Mallet Enduro pedals.
First thing you notice on the Hellcat when you’re giving them a look over is that the cleat mounting area looks and feels much more durable than the Maltese Falcon, as does the whole shoe. When I installed the new Crankbrothers cleats it was necessary to use the shim to create a little more space, after that they coupled perfectly with the new kicks. On the very first ride, I was able to clip in and out confidently without having any “oh crap” moments. Since I’ve been riding in them they’ve been noticeably stiffer than other clipless shoes I’ve owned, but there was a break in period in which the shoe became more comfortable the more rides I put on them, which seems normal. Another thing I liked was the shape of the upper tongue of the shoe, that small difference made the shoes more comfortable to wear than my previous Maltese Falcons, and Giro Carbide R’s.
Once you hop off the bike you’ll notice that they’re a breeze to walk in for those hike-a-bike sections that most of us mortals typically come across. The last time I was trail riding my right foot got blasted by a kicked up rock the size of a softball and while it hurt, I knew it wasn’t as bad as if I was wearing other trail/xc shoes. The Hellcats were supposed to be a couple of ounces heavier than the Maltese Falcons, probably due to the better material and construction of the shoe, but the weight difference wasn’t noticeable while holding one in each hand. The only thing I don’t care for is that the velcro strap is about 1.25”’ longer than it needs to be. It hasn’t hindered me in any way, just extra material that doesn’t need to be there.
With both park days and trail rides put on these, I’m confident that they’ll perform just as well in some of the upcoming enduro races I plan to enter. All in all, I’m pretty happy about going for the hellcats over a second pair of Maltese falcons.
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