Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing two sets of Five Ten freeride shoes; the Freerider Pro and the Diddie, both new for 2012! I must confess that I’ve been a BIG fan of Five Ten’s for a while, riding the Impact Low for years, so when the fine folks at Five Ten offered to send me a few pairs of newly launched shoes to review, how could I possibly say no.
If you ride flats, then you’ll love these shoes! I found the Freerider Pro to be a great cross country and all mountain shoe for those of us that prefer flats over clipless. The Stealth®S1™ soles, standard sole on all Five Tens, just plainly stick to the pedals. At times I found myself lifting my foot of the pedal to adjust my position, as this was the only way to loosen my grip. The Freerider Pros are a light shoe, which made this ideal for longer cross country rides, and one of the most styling. I actually find them very comfortable to wear as street shoes and often find myself slipping on my pair when heading out and about.
I’ve had these shoes for over a month now and have ridden them on all types of trails in varying conditions; including the trails of Canmore, Alberta, Rossland, Nelson, Golden and Whistler, British Columbia. Overall they performed really well on all types of trails, but I did find them to be a little too soft for me when it came to riding the resort or shuttling. I also found that the Freerider Pros loosened up and wore in real quick, something to think about if you like your shoes stiff. However, the sole remained solid and after 40 or so rides, still perform just like new (I ride every day).
The Freerider Pros have quickly become my number one choice for cross country and all mountain riding. They stuck and held my feet in place during rain, sleet and on dry terrain. I loved the light weight feel to them and the styling colours. The Freerider Pros are a serious performance shoe with bling.
The Diddies are a whole new concept shoe. Their main purpose is to provide the trail builder with a comfortable, strong and durable shoe; with added protection and a great fit. Designed by Diddie Schneider, one of the top bike terrain park builders in the world, this shoe offers great durability for trail building, downhill and freeriding. It’s a stiff shoe with added protection on the toe (steel toe); just in case you slip with the chainsaw in-hand. I took these puppies out for a number of local trail building days and found them to be super comfortable, durable, and protective. I dropped a rock on the toe and didn’t even blink. The Nubuck leather upper covered the laces and kept them from getting snagged on roots, all while keeping water and dirt from making their way into my shoes. The Stealth®S1™ soles actually helped my grip when working on steep inclines and the high ankle support stopped me from easily rolling my foot. The negative, it’s hard to find one. They are a heavy, burly shoe, but when compared to the alternative, a work boot, they are far more superior, comfortable and durable.
How did they do on the trail you ask? Awesome! I wouldn’t recommend pedalling (cross country riding) with them, not what they are designed for, but when taking them downhilling, I found the stiffness combined with the protective toe to be advantageous. If you’ve ever jabbed your toe while blasting down a run, you’ll love the toe protection; saving you from rolling your toes under the pedal and possibly snagging them on roots and rocks. It’s happened to me a few times, but with these shoes there is no way.
The Diddie’s are a great shoe for trail days and downhill riding, performing extremely well in both these disciplines. If you’re not a builder, these shoes are probably overkill for you. But, if you enjoy working on the trails as much as you love riding them, then seriously consider the Diddies, you won’t be disappointed if you do.