5.10 Impact 2 Bike Shoes

7 03 2009
5.10 Impact Low

5.10 Impact 2 Low

I’ve slowly been moving away from SPD type pedals on my bikes in favour of BMX platforms and street shoes.  This has worked well for most of the riding I do which is generally urban transport, utility/cargo cycling and touring.  I wasn’t 100% sure I’d be happy with this setup for mountain biking as it’s a much more aggressive style of riding. I also harbored a fear of flying off the pedals at an inopportune moment.

When packing for Moab/Sedona I included some SPD type pedals and shoes just in case I couldn’t stand platform pedals off road.  Kurt only brought SPDs and so I started to worry I was making a bad choice.  However, I had the platforms on my Nomad and was too lazy to swap them out so the experiment was set in motion!

Kurt's 5.10 shoes & Kona BMX pedals

Kurt's 5.10 shoes & Kona BMX pedals

After a couple rides in Moab it was pretty clear that platforms were an excellent choice.  So much so that Kurt ditched his SPD pedals/shoes and bought some BMX pedals.  He also bought some 5.10 bike shoes.  With climbing rubber and a flat sole these shoes stuck to his pedals like glue.  I was a bit dissatisfied with my trail runners on BMX pedals as the sole did not grip the shoes as well as I would have liked – not their fault – trail runners are not designed for bike riding.

I pulled the trigger on some 5.10 Impact 2 low shoes [Kurt got the Impact 2 mid version with a slightly higher ankle   section].  The difference was impressive…climbing rubber is understandably sticky and a flat sole engages all the pins on my NRG BMX pedals.  The result is loads of control and the ability to put a foot down instantly.  I felt much more comfortable tackling technical sections since I could take a foot off the pedals easily or jump right off the bike if needed.  I also never had any issues with coming off the pedals on fast downhill sections or jumps.  In fact it pretty much feels like your feet are glued to the pedals until you want them off.

Shoes you can walk in - what a concept!

Shoes you can walk in - what a concept!

Interestingly of the local riders we’ve seen in Moab and Sedona the ratio of platforms to SPD pedals is about 4:1.  These 5.10 bike shoes have been one of the most popular choices of footwear for the platform pedal crowd.  I’m not surprised since they are well made and quite comfortable as day to day shoes off the bike.

Of course there is a downside to not being clipped in to your bike.  You can’t pull up on the pedals to generate extra power or bunny hop an obstacle.  I haven’t noticed the lack of power as a problem and with 6″ of travel at the back as long as I get my front wheel over the obstacle I’m home free.  I’ve also watch loads of riders with BMX pedals bunny hopping so it’s doable I just have to learn some new skills.

I find this change back to normal footwear a bit funny as I used to think cycling without SPD pedals was crazy talk…=-)



9 responses

10 03 2009

Are the soles rigid? I was looking at the fiveten.com website and they sound like they intend the bike shoes to be multipurpose enough that I was wondering how stiff they would be.

10 03 2009

The soles are stiffer than a running shoe, but not stiff by bike standards since they are used with wide BMX pedals. They are similar to a skateboarding shoe.

I like them for walking off the bike and have taken them out dancing to a warehouse party and they were good for that as well.

11 03 2009

Indeed, they are wonderful shoes! They do look very plain-Jane though, in fact my boss calls them my ‘Prince Charles’ shoes, as they are very boring and sensible looking. But …

They stick like glue – so much so that a misplaced foot has to be lifted and re-placed. No way you can slide your foot around on the pedal in these (that’s with Shimano pedals with studs though). The tongue (not mine) is a great design, and doesn’t move around.

Worn them in 43C and -10C, and they are never too hot or cold.

One of these days I ought to wash them though …

2 04 2009

I love these shoes. I bought mine roughly 1.5 years ago and I use them on all my bikes. The soles are so sticky that I don’t use the clipless pedals.
I love the cushiony feel of these shoes as well.

5 04 2009

How do these shoes work with MKS touring pedals and toe clips? Are they too stickey?


5 04 2009


I don’t have those pedals nor do I use toe clips so this is a guess, but I suspect the shape and the uber sticky sole would not play well with that setup.

18 04 2009

>How do these shoes work with MKS touring pedals
> and toe clips? Are they too stickey?

I have the 5.10s with MKS Touring pedals. I run them *without* toe clips and they work fine. The shoes are more suited to platform pedals with pins (which I have on my other bikes) but so far so good with the MKS Touring pedals.

Thanks to these shoes I’m done with clipless pedals for good.

20 07 2010
Restraining myself… « The Lazy Randonneur

[…] the time being I’ve found a pretty effective solution.  My 5.10 Impact Low mountain bike shoes feature a very very grippy climbing rubber sole. I tried them with the MKS pedals on my Bike Friday […]

19 08 2013
vikapproved | Five Ten Freerider VXi Review

[…] My main MTB shoes for the last 5 years have been a pair of Five Ten Impact Lows. They have been superb in comfort, performance and durability. But, I was ready for a change and liked the lower profile and better looks of the Freerider. I also have found it a bit tough to reposition my feet on the pedals with the Impact Lows because the grip so well and they have a tread over the whole sole. I figured the Freeriders would be a positive change in this area. […]

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