Ride Concepts TNT Shoe Review
Words & Photos by Ryan Schuppert
Ride Concepts are no longer the new kids on the block and they’re regularly making waves in the scene with their diverse and stylish line of riding shoes that seems to never end. We have been riding their high-performance DH shoe, the TNT, for the last few months and are excited to share our feedback on them so far
The Ride Concepts TNT mountain bike shoe uses Rubber Kinetics DST 4.0 Max Grip Rubber with a 14mm hexagonal pattern on the sole. This is the stickiest rubber compound that RC uses and is designed for maximum grip on your pedals.
A medial high-rise EVA midsole and a D3O high impact insole are used to offer protection and comfort to the rider. D3O is a polyurethane mixture that many companies use in protective padding. D3O is unique because it is soft and flexible but hardens up on impact. Ride Concepts incorporates D3O under the ball of the foot and heel of the insole on all their shoes. This pairing is meant to absorb vibration and protect your foot from harsh impacts in the event of a hard case or if you stab a foot down hard in a corner.
The synthetic uppers feature an asymmetrical shape, which is basically a mullet for your ankle. Cut lower on the outside for improved mobility but higher on the inside with a D3O patch for protection against smacking your ankle on the cranks or frame. Really stout molded rubber toe and heel caps for front and rear impact protection are highlights for us as we spend a good amount of time riding in the rocks.
Working our way up the shoe, we get to the fully gusseted tongue. The design helps to keep debris out of your socks. Ride Concepts also uses a large 40mm Velcro Power Strap that not only keeps your laces in place, but also helps secure the foot and aid in transferring direct energy from the foot to the pedal. No loss of energy because of foot floatation inside Ride Concepts flat pedal shoes, that’s for sure.
If there is one thing I am good at, it is destroying the inner ankle portion of my riding shoes from crank rub. The TNT has a few things that I spotted right away that should help them last longer than the Ride Concepts Wildcat shoes I had been previously riding in. With the higher side cut and the D3O patch on the inside of the ankle, paired with a slightly higher and more tucked in placement of the clasp loop for the power strap, I was excited to see how these things would last.
The sizing is spot on and they were very comfortable right out of the box. The D3O insole and EVA midsole made for some nice cushion under foot while descending chunky, rocky trails. In comparison to my old Fiveten Freeriders, Vans and other soft-soled shoes that I used to wear, these feel very stiff.
Depending on your preference for pedal feel, that could be a good or a bad thing. On long days or real rough trails, I like a stiffer shoe for a little extra support. It also greatly helps with reducing foot fatigue. However, if I am hitting the dirt jumps, pumptrack or the skate park, I prefer a shoe that is softer and more flexible to get a better feel on the pedals. This type of riding is where the Ride Concepts TNT would not be my first choice.
As for the DST 4.0 Max Grip Rubber sole, it sticks well to the pedal pins but if I am going to nit pick anything, I think they would feel better with an even stickier rubber compound to perfectly match the stiffness of the shoe. The large 40mm power strap does a good job of keeping your foot snug in the shoe. I even did a bit of hike-a-biking with them on and you don’t get any heel lift while hiking up steep sections.
Ride Concepts TNT mountain bike shoes offer plenty of protection from front to back thanks to the molded rubber toe and heel caps as well as the D3O placement in the heel, ball of the foot and the inside ankle. While the synthetic material on the uppers is durable, they are not the most breathable. The warmest temps I have worn these in were the low 70s and they were fine, but I could see them getting toasty during the summer months.
The Wolf’s Last Word
After a few months and a few riders testing different pairs along the West Coast, the Ride Concepts TNT shoes have left an impressive mark. Coming off the Ride Concepts Wildcats previously, I like the added support and durability that the TNT offers. The TNT’s I purchased at the register rang out at $160, putting them a bit on the expensive side for a flat pedal shoe, but you get what you pay for. All in all, I have yet to wear a Ride Concepts shoe that I didn’t like. Do yourself a favor and put some on your feet and see for yourself. The hype is real!
No Foot Fatigue
Too Stiff for Some
Power Strap Could be Longer
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