Five Ten Freeriders – How to Choose

Five Ten mountain bike shoes are extremely popular with riders. There are few different types of Five Ten mountain bike shoes, but they are designed to provide support, protection, grip and comfort for riding. They also look pretty good.

In this post I am going to outline the types of Five Ten Freerider mountain bike shoes. This is to help you decide which ones are for you.

Before I discovered proper mountain bike shoes, I started off  with “hiking style” trainers. These were OK (but I didn’t know any different). They were reasonably grippy, but I didn’t have any feel on the pedals due to the chunkiness of them. I them moved on to using old skate shoes. These gave me lots of feel, but the soles were not very grippy and they just got chewed up by the pedals. But I noticed that lots of riders were wearing Five Ten Freeriders. They were almost as popular as Fox t-shirts, so I decided to look in to them in more detail.

I bought my first pair of Five Ten Freeriders a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. I actually have two pairs, one pair for riding and another for walking around in (as they are so comfortable). On the bike, I was blown away by the amount of grip they gave me compared to other shoes I tried. This is thanks to the Stealth rubber soles. They are so grippy, if you don’t put your foot straight on to the pedal, you can’t straighten it up without actually taking your foot off it.

Stealth Rubber Soles

five ten mountain bike shoes

There are a few different grades of Stealth rubber soles on Five Ten mountain bike shoes:

  • Stealth Mi6: 52a durometer, Five Ten’s grippiest rubber, superior cushioning
  • Stealth S1: 64a durometer, Five Ten’s most versatile rubber (grip, cushioning, durability)
  • Stealth Phantom: 65a durometer, essentially coloured version of S1
  • Stealth C4: 76-80a durometer, typical skate shoe-style grip
  • Marathon: n/a durometer, harder wearing less grippy rubber

Depending on which type of Five Ten Freerider you buy, you get either S1 or Mi6 stealth rubber soles. 

Five Ten Mountain Bike Shoes

There are many different types of Five Ten Freerider to choose from. But, don’t worry, I have put together a guide to help you pick the best ones for you. I thought it was worth doing, as a lot of them look the same and have similar names. But they do vary considerably with respect to their use and performance.

There are also women’s Five Ten mountain bike shoes. They are the same design and specification, but have a women’s suffix. The only difference between the mens and the women’s versions are the colour choices and the sizing. Therefore, the information in this post is relevant to both men and women.

Flat Pedal Trail Riding Shoes

As I said at the top of this post I wear Freeriders. They are designed for trail riding with flat pedals, but I mainly ride enduro and downhill, as I live in the French alps. I find them more than adequate for this type of riding. They are reasonably flexible and give good feel. The compromise is that the shock absorption isn’t as good as other mountain bike shoes, but they are still better than skate shoes.

There are a few different versions of the Five Ten Freeriders.

Five Ten Freerider

Notice that there is no suffix on the end of “Five Ten Freeriders”. These are the entry level Five Ten mountain bike shoes. They are made from suede and mesh and come in single or multicolour options. I find them flexible enough to walk around in and grippy enough for riding (thanks to the S1 stealth rubber soles). They are pretty versatile and very comfortable. The only thing you may not like about them is that they don’t really repel water. Therefore, you may want to put a waterproof coating or spray on them (as I have). Alternatively, you could wear Sealskinz waterproof socks.

Five Ten Freerider Canvas

five ten mountain bike shoes

The Five Ten Freerider Canvas are much simpler and lighter versions of the shoes above. They still have the S1 sole though. These are more suited to people that like their shoes to be more breathable when riding. These are ideal if you ride in hot climates a lot, or just have sweaty feet.

Five Ten Freerider Elements

five ten mountain bike shoes

The Five Ten Freerider Elements are more suited to people that ride in soggy conditions. This is because they treated with DWR (durable water repellant) and are quick drying. Therefore, these would be a better option than the standard version that I wear, for riding in the UK.

Five Ten Freerider Contact

five ten mountain bike shoes

The Five Ten Freerider Contact mountain bike shoes are light and extra grippy. The big difference with these ones is that they offer extra toe protection. This is pretty handy if you ride places with chunky gravel and regularly get a whack akin to stubbing your toe on a doorframe. The Mi6 sole is the grippiest rubber, and the pattern is slightly different, as it is smooth under the bar of your foot. The idea behind this, is to give you consistency of grip on the pedals. However, it isn’t as grippy when you are walking around. It is also quite snug in comparison to other freeride mountain bike shoes.

Five Ten Freerider Pro

five ten mountain bike shoes

The Five Ten Freerider Pro mountain bike shoes are designed to dry quicker than the basic freerider shoes. This is thanks to its synthetic upper. They also offer some protection in the form of a tougher toe box.

These are the main Five Ten Freerider mountain bike shoes currently available online. There are a few others, but they are more niche and since Adidas bought Five Ten, the range has been cut down considerably. However, I hope these are of interest to you and helped you make a decision on which ones to buy.

4 thoughts on “Five Ten Freeriders – How to Choose

  • 28/05/2019 at 12:50 am

    I have recently started going mountain bike riding with my 2 sons but I never thought about getting certain shoes for it.

    I suppose the rubber soles of the Five Ten Freeriders would be much better than wearing any old pair of trainers wouldn’t they

    I can’t count the number of times my feet have slipped off the pedals which has caused me to fall off and get my sons in fits of hysterics watching their dad tumble into a huge heap on the floor

    Maybe I should buy a pair for myself and not my sons and see who falls off the most lol

    I really like the look of the Five Ten Freerider Canvas as you say they are more breathable than the rest of them and I love the whole design of the mountain bike shoe

    Do they come in any other colours or is it just the Blue that they have?

    • 28/05/2019 at 8:39 am

      Hi Matthew,

      Thanks for your comment. The grip you get from these shoes will reduce the amount of times your feet slip off. The canvas versions come in blue, green purple and grey. They definitely last longer than skate trainers, as they are tougher and don’t get chewed up by your pedals. You may also want to check these out as alternatives.

  • 28/05/2019 at 2:10 am

    Hi Tom

    Great article. My sons probably need shoes like this for their riding; running sneakers are too slippery. I expect they’d be good for scooting and skateboarding, too?

    Do they offer arch supports? My boys do just as much running when out for a ride. 🙂

    Is there an issue, though, with toe protection? (Not for the toes themselves, but the shoe’s toe?) I would expect branches, twigs, etc. being particularly hard on them.

    However, what kind of lifetime should I expect, since it’s a softer, grippier rubber?

    Good prices, so perhaps a shorter life would be ok. Just want to get an idea. (BTW: A couple of the linked seem to be broken; all but the ChainReaction ones.)



    • 28/05/2019 at 8:26 am

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for your comment. These shoes are pretty flat, I wouldn’t recommend them for running in. They may be good for scooting, but I think they would be slightly too stiff for skating if they take it seriously.

      I will have a look at the links now, thanks for letting me know.



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