Subtle, black and pretty much the antithesis of your typical MTB specific shoe – the District doesn’t have any fancy mesh panels, crazy geometric shapes or wacky colors. Listed as an urban commuter shoe, we initially snagged the District as an ideal candidate for the slope/dirt jump bike, but it didn’t take long before we were running it on our all mountain rides and even in the bike park. Hell, we even wore them on the two and a half hour drive home. Interested in a simple and comfortable shoe that looks like a casual shoe? The District may be the ticket.
A non-marking Marathon rubber sole forms the backbone of these shoes. The upper is made of synthetic and PU coated leather. Five Ten offers the Districts in both clipless and flat versions. The lining is made from a polyester textile with a one-piece molded cup sole. If you want to branch out from the sleeper black colorway, the District is available in a dark teal blue, and a grey and gum. Five Ten also thought to put a nifty little lace holding band half way down the shoe upper, as well as a reflective band on the heel. After all, it is a commuter inspired shoe.
Riding shoes are seemingly simple, but subtle changes in sole stiffness, rubber compound and breathability can make a big difference. Though they weren’t intended to be a full blown mountain shoe, we’ve actually grown pretty fond of them as a solid all-arounder. Pedal grip on flats struck a nice balance that allowed us to reposition our foot with relative ease, but didn’t leave us creeping forward on the pedals.
The sole is pliable enough to be incredibly comfortable walking around or even driving for long periods, yet has ample support to still function beautifully on the trails. In fact, instead of bringing a change of shoes to wear while driving to our favorite spots, we found ourselves just wearing the District all day long with zero complaints. The true to size fit and padded tongue only add to the comfort.
Admittedly, these shoes lack the stick of a true DH shoe, so we probably wouldn’t chose these over our Freeriders or Impacts for days in the bike park, but for an out and back that lands you at a burrito joint with friends, the District strikes the perfect balance. One complaint we have is the lack of ventilation. Riding in the full sun on an 80-degree day does feel a tad toasty, but again, we’re taking these shoes well outside their intended purpose. While they may be hot in the summer however, the lack of perforated holes comes in handy when there is a creek crossing or puddle on your ride. We even got brazen enough to hose off the toe and sides of the shoes after extra dirty rides. As long as we didn’t aim for the laces, our feet stayed nice and dry. For a shoe that was primarily created to get people to the office in style, the District handles the dirt bag life with surprising confidence.