Ride Concepts Hellion Shoes
Words by Chili Dog; Photos by Drew Rohde
We tend to get a lot of packages here at the Wolf Den. Last year we received a box from an address we didn’t recognize. We opened it up and inside sat a pair of riding shoes from a company we’d never heard of, which was pretty damn exciting. Why was it exciting? Well to put it simply, the riding shoe market has been in dire need of some competition. While there are a million carbon wheel companies, tire brands, and even new bike start-ups, the shoe market has been stagnant at best. The biggest shake up was when Teva pulled their beloved MTB shoe line a few years back. Just like they taught back in high school Econ class, the more competition, the more consumers benefit with better products. Needless to say it’s nice to see a new player elevating the game.
While Ride Concepts may be a new name, the brand seems to be pretty well versed in product development and design. Wanting to design a shoe that does more than grip pedals well, Ride Concepts put impact technology in every one of their shoes, including the Hellion shoes they sent us. D30 insoles help cushion the foot from impacts while also offering reduced vibration transfer on long descents.
Ride Concepts also teamed up with Rubber Kinetics to craft proprietary rubber compounds for their soles. Ride Concept’s rubber compounds fall into three groups: 4.0, 6.0 and 8.0. The 4.0 has the highest grip, but the lowest stiffness. The 8.0 has the highest stiffness, but the lowest grip and the 6.0 falls right in the middle. All have a hexagonal tread pattern that has proven successful from the experience of countless other brands. The Hellions we tested here have the 6.0 compound.
The Hellion is a Ride Concept’s race shoe that offers a stiff feel for improved power transfer and intended for enduro, trail and all mountain terrain. Designed for the best possible pedal control, the Hellion has the DST 6.0 rubber compound, an EVA midsole, 1.5mm perforations for breathability and abrasion coated toes and heels. Another neat feature are the built-in lace keepers that prevent your laces and chainring from engaging in mating rituals.