Ladies, and those men who are trying to get their girlfriends or wives into the sport of mountain biking, buy these shoes – now.
The Karver is a freeride mountain bike shoe designed for flat pedals. But regardless of what type of riding you do, you will love this shoe. It has mid height padding around the ankle, lower than a traditional high top, which offers considerable protection from spinning pedals and cranks. I did notice that the first couple of times I wore the shoes, I experienced a small amount of rubbing around my ankle bones and heels; however, the padding quickly formed to my feet and from there on it was pure comfort. I have also found that using a shoe horn to put them on helps to keep the shoe from creasing around the ankle padding.
The Stealth®S1™ soles are magic for keeping your feet in constant contact with your pedals, very important for preventing your legs from looking like a scratching post all summer long. I have even worn them as a hiking shoe in a pinch and they were comfortable enough to wear all day, offering extra traction while climbing and descending rocks/boulders. The leather uppers and one piece tongue/lace cover keep your feet dry and protected from the elements, even after unsuccessful stream crossings.
An important note about sizing; I have found that Five Ten shoes fit a little big and most women I know have gone down a ½ size to achieve a snug fit.
And finally, let’s face it ladies, these shoes are pretty darn cute. They have a sleek look to them and this year’s ash color scheme will match all of your biking outfits. The only downside, Five Ten only makes one style of female specific shoes; the women’s Karver being it. It would be nice if we have more choices when it comes to colour and model. After all, looking good is almost as important as riding hard.
Overall I give the Five Ten Women’s Karver a 5 out of 5, this is the must have shoe for all women mountain bikers riding flats.
More information on the Karver