Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
When it comes to finding good flat pedal mountain bike shoes there are a lot of choices out there. Although there are some very comfortable riding shoes, there are only a few that mix comfort with performance while doing both on and off the bike. Our friend Benjamin shares his experience with the Five Ten Trailcross LT flat pedal shoes. Check it out!
Flat Pedal Riders want it all when it comes to shoes...grip, protection, and breath-ability. These retain the stealth rubber soles, and the grip is still there. Let's dig into that and the other aspects of this shoe that differentiate it from the market. I had a pair of Five Ten Contact Pros that needed replacing. They fit like a glove and I love the Stealth Rubber. I debated for a while about getting another pair of the traditionally skate style offerings from Five Ten but decided to take a chance and try out their new product, the Trail Cross LT. I live and ride in the South East and thought the changes offered in the updated Trail Cross LT, which is less soft padding and more athletic shoe in nature, might be an improvement for the riding environment here.
These shoes are still 100% Five Tens and they are the top offering when it comes to grip. I'm not sure how to prove that but I think that's a pretty widely agreed upon opinion. I don't notice any meaningful difference between the sole and pedal interface. They feel supportive and stiff enough but I can still feel the pedal. That said, the uppers of these Trailcross LTs couldn't be more different than the Freerider collection from Five Ten. First off, it wraps your foot and needs to be laced up. It's not like sticking your foot in a shoe pillow that doesn't need to be laced. With this comes one of the largest improvements; it dries out and it dries out fast. It is amazing to have a shoe that dries out after a ride before the next day, that doesn't feel like a brick after a creek crossing and shoving wet feet back in the shoe, and that doesn't turn into a wet, squishy pillow when caught out in a storm.
There's a couple other differences. They're better when you've got to hike a bike. I still worry that the outer toe protection level isn't the same...I usually catch those puppies the wrong way once or twice a year and a good flat pedal shoe saves the day. These seem fine based on kicking some logs when I got them but I haven't slammed em awkward on the trail yet. They also run cooler from an air flow perspective out on the trail which is great when the temps are over 45-50 for me and worth the trade off when it's not.
I've had these things for more than 2 months now and can say for sure I'm glad I deviated from my go to. They look a little different and a lot better with some dirt on them. I get the same grip and a shoe that works better for a humid, hot environment, riding multiple days in a row, crossing creeks, and hiking the bike when you've got to. Just for fun I took both the Trail Cross LT and my old Freerider Pro Contacts, submerged them until they were soaked, dumped the water out and weighed them. The Trailcross LTs were over a half pound lighter and dried out in less than a third of the time...