Tuesday, April 3, 2012

5 Ten Shoes for Mountain Bike

5 Ten is my only favorite brand of shoes for flat pedal all mountain bike riding. The "Stealth" capability suppose to provide protection for shock and hard landing. The soles stick like glue on your flat pedals. When I first got the 5 Ten Karver about a year ago, my first impression was it weigh like elephant and tough like iron. Karver is an excellent choice for downhill ride with rocky terrains. It saved my foot numerous times during crashes. However, the shoe does has its shortfall - the soles peeled off overtime. A recent discussion over Anvil Facebook photo substantiated my claim, as almost all the riders commented on the photo encountered the same problem with 5 Ten shoes - the sole peeled off overtime...

According to the 5 Ten distributor, the problem of peeled of soles is only unique to Singapore, as riders from all other countries do not face the problem. I seriously doubt so, but I think the main causes of the problems can be due to the followings:
1. Shoes were soaked in water for a long period of time. As a result, the glue bonding the soles to the shoes disintegrate over time. I am guilty of that!
2. The weather in Singapore is hot and humid, which accelerate the disintegration process.

I think the shortfall will happen in any makes of shoes under the same conditions and exposures. However, what 5 Ten should do better is to setup their product testing facilities in Singapore, as any shoes that pass the test in Singapore harsh weather conditions will most probably survive in anywhere. 5 Ten should also re-look at the sole design, perhaps to stitch the soles instead of glue.
I am a die hard fan of 5 Ten shoes. The advantages of comfort and stickiness far outweigh the problem, which I think can be minimized by not soaking the shoes in water during wash. In fact, I bought another 5 Ten shoe - Danny Macaskill to replace the Karver. Danny Macaskill is so much lighter, yet it stick like glue on the flat pedal. Although the construction is not as tough as Karver, the protection is good enough for trail ride in Singapore. One main advantage Danny Macaskill has over Karver is that the sole is stitched to the shoe, NOT glued. Did a few test rides at BT bike trail, and the Danny Macaskill 5 Ten passed with flying colors. It is so light that it took me lesser effort to climb compared to Karver. When going downhill, I feel equally confident with Danny Macaskill. In fact, it is easier to bunny hop with Danny Macaskill than Karver, as the more flexible nature of the sole enable me to 'hook-up' the flat pedal better. The ventilation vents on Danny Macaskill are definitely a plus for all year summer ride in Singapore, as compared to air-tight Karver. Well, let's see how long can my new Danny Macaskill last!

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