Five Ten make the best flat shoe we’ve yet tested — the Impact VXI. Unparalleled levels of pedal grip, weather resistant uppers and solid foot protection make them the shoe to beat. So how does this rival measure up?
The Freerider Contact’s sole uses the same top of the line, super-sticky Mi6 Stealth rubber compound as the Impacts, but unlike their stablemates, which have lugs covering the sole, the Contacts have a lug-free section around the pedalling area. The result is grip that while not quite as locked in as the Impacts, is easier to make minor positional adjustments.
The shoes do an excellent job of treading the line between stiffness and flexibility, providing decent pedalling support and reasonably sensitive ride feedback. The feel is virtually indistinguishable from the Impacts and definitely the best in recent testing.
The Contact’s skate shoe style gives an excellent fit and the shoes are more comfortable than the comparatively boat-like Impacts. They are also narrower, have increased arch support and are slightly (8g) lighter.
A stiff toe cap gives rock strike protection, and the shoes do a good job of keeping the elements away while staying fairly well ventilated. They’re vegan-friendly too.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.