Five Ten Trailcross XT Flat Pedal Shoes Review
FROM BIKE SHOE TO YOUR EVERYDAY SHOE
Words by @Caitbean_ / @Caitographs
Photos by @Michaeljw94
Five Ten was started in 1985 by Charles Cole, a chemist who loved climbing, and since then they have firmly staked their claim as the go-to shoes for Flat Pedal-using mountain bikers seeking ultimate grip. Five Ten hooked me up with some Trailcross XT shoes to test, and I was skeptical at first, but oh boy was I wrong…This review will explain why the Five Ten Trailcross XT shoes have become my favorite shoes.
The Five Ten Trailcross XT shoes are adidas’ mission to create a blend between their most popular running trainer and a bike shoe which can take a beating. Made with a series of recycled materials, the upper features at least 50% recycled content. adidas says that having products made out of recycled content is their push to help end plastic waste. When I mentioned earlier about the blend of two shoe types, adidas uses an open mesh upper with synthetic overlay and a lace closure for the Trailcross XT, giving a similar overall appearance to their TERREX trail running shoes. To make this shoe bike-friendly, they included their popular EVA midsole to support your feet which has forefoot flex grooves to aid in comfort when walking, and added a molded toe cap for protection against the trail. They may look like ordinary active shoes, until you look underneath where you find the Stealth Phantom rubber outsole, delivering the notorious Five Ten pedal grip. The Five Ten Trailcross XT shoes come in two men’s and two women’s colors, and sell for £140/$160.
I’ll be honest, at first, I was skeptical of these shoes. I wasn’t sure if they’d be up for the ride with their minimalist streamlined appearance, but boy they proved me wrong. The first trail I rode with them I couldn’t help but notice how grippy the soles were: they were even better than my other Five Ten shoes, which really says something. My feet refused to slip off my pedals, giving incredible confidence for the descents. I noticed how breathable the shoes were too – my feet felt at a good temperature, even on hot days. And better yet, I trapped my foot between a granite rock and my e-bike (don’t ask me how I did it) and I was happily surprised by the protection the Trailcross XT offered, I literally didn’t feel a thing. Wonderful!
Some way along the test, I started wearing these daily. I would go to work in them, where they not only provided protection whilst at work – I work in an art school, where you’re never too far off standing on something – but looked super cute too. I wasn’t sure of the colorway at first, but slowly I noticed that it was a universal color and went with pretty much anything I threw together – yay.
Pushing back up the trails is a god send, as my other pair of Five Tens seem to just fall off my feet when the terrain goes upwards. These, however, stayed put amicably, and proved to me that their Stealth Phantom sole does something special – even in the rain! The only gripe that I had with the shoes was with the sizing, they come up pretty small. I chose my typical UK size 5, and I couldn’t help but notice the sheer pain in my toes when my foot was pointing down. Ultimately, I couldn’t tolerate walking down any kind of terrain in them, and sometimes I’d notice that they hurt my toes whilst on the bike too. I’d push you to order two sizes and try them out: walk down your staircase and see what you make of them, to ensure you get the right fit to support your adventures.
The soles of the shoes are similar to other Five Ten shoes, but I didn’t feel like I had planks of wood on the soles of my feet and so walking about in them was very comfortable, so long as my toes stayed off the front of the toe box. They are not waterproof, which I figured out whilst caught in a classic Scottish downpour and quickly saturated my socks. They wouldn’t be my suggestion for the wetter months, instead you’d be best to look towards the like of the GORE-TEX versions. Thankfully though, they do go in the washing machine and clean up nicely for those muddy days. The durability of the shoes was fantastic. I have bashed my feet up a lot with these and even taken them to a muddy festival, and they still look brand new three months onwards after a quick run in the washing machine. These shoes are excellent value for money if you want a do-it-all shoe, as you can truly use one pair of Five Ten Trailcross XT’s as your shoes for just about everything.
The Wolf’s Last Word
I would recommend the Five Ten Trailcross XT shoes for people who like to walk on loads of different terrain, like to hop on a gravel bike, e-bike, mountain bike and maybe hit the pub straight after. They are comfortable to wear, stylish and can put a pretty little staple into your lifstyle. I ended up loving these shoes and I totally didn’t expect it. Just be sure to try before you buy and likely size up to obtain the most comfortable fit.
Price: $160 /£140