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  1. #1
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    5 10s vs running shoes

    I just switched to flats after 10 years of clipless and love the change. I started out in running shoes before my 5 10s (freeriders) arrived and was excited because I heard a lot about how much 5 10s stick. But after riding on them today the soles seem quite hard and the pins don't stick as well as soft sole tennis shoes. Not a huge deal and I didn't think much of it after hitting some jumps. I'll stick with them, but wondering if they take a little while to break in. I can't imagine there's anything to do with them other than lace them up, but wondering how to get more stick with them. I'm running Wah Wah pedals which feel great

  2. #2
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    Running shoe soles are usually soft enough for the pins to pierce the outer layer and go into the midsole, so theyíll often grip a bit too well, but only for a short time before they break down. In my experience, the five ten (and other bike specific shoes) soles will take a bit to break in before gripping like mad. One thing I donít like about the five ten dot pattern is that pins will sometimes get hung up on the edges. Anyway, just give me time.


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  3. #3
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    Flats require a change in technique, and I personally found that pedal choice becomes very important. You may feel more 'grip' from your running shoes but they'll start falling apart soon and the 'grip' comes from too much deflection in the sole. Flat pedal mtb shoes are supposed to be stiff so that you don't lose too much power transfer. You can try longer pins on your pedals or you can try a pedal with a bigger footprint. Also, if the shoes doesn't fit well (e.g. loose, too big) then you may not feel like you have much grip since you're sliding around inside the shoe.

  4. #4
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    Running shoes also are usually not stiff enough to provide the right type of support.

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  5. #5
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    My favorite choice is simple vans canvas. Stick perfectly especially when using good composite pedals (ditched aluminum and fixed a lot of comfort issues)

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by inonjoey View Post
    Running shoe soles are usually soft enough for the pins to pierce the outer layer and go into the midsole, so theyíll often grip a bit too well, but only for a short time before they break down. In my experience, the five ten (and other bike specific shoes) soles will take a bit to break in before gripping like mad. One thing I donít like about the five ten dot pattern is that pins will sometimes get hung up on the edges. Anyway, just give me time.


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    Cool, was thinking and hoping this would be the case.

  7. #7
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    Stiffness is key for me. I tried running shoes once and found that the power transfer just wasn't the same. It was harder to hop the bike and move it around because every time I would try to load the bike the shoes would absorb the weight transfer rather than transfer it.

    510s get better and better as they break in, takes me a good month to gt them where I like them.

  8. #8
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    My wife is very happy using Vans as riding shoes.

  9. #9
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    Try trailrunning shoes with a rock plate. They are hard enough and have a grippy sole.

  10. #10
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    You must have bought one of 5.10's harder compounds. I've lost track of how many "stealth" compounds they offer now. S1 and vxi are their stickiest compounds. Their other compounds were designed to have less traction allowing for easy repositioning.

  11. #11
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    I've never had a problem with 5.10 Freerider's gripping well on a decent pedal. Check your pedal pins. If they are dull/worn then that's your problem. Just spend a few bucks and replace them.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fdes View Post
    Stiffness is key for me. I tried running shoes once and found that the power transfer just wasn't the same. It was harder to hop the bike and move it around because every time I would try to load the bike the shoes would absorb the weight transfer rather than transfer it.

    510s get better and better as they break in, takes me a good month to gt them where I like them.
    ^^This they will feel better soon. My wife bought a pair just like what she had but diffrent coulors, she had to have the colours lol. The sole didn't stick, she wanted to break them in fast since we were on vacation and she wanted the matching colors in all the photos. We went to the hardware store and got heavy grit Sandpaper and hit the spot where the peddle sits. They griped much better after that

  13. #13
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    My first pair of 5.10s were a couple years old (new old stock) and had a white stealth sole. They were terrible, and I returned them as defective. Five ten sent a slightly newer but still discounted pair of freeriders with a black sole, and I finally understood the five ten magic. Since then, Ive purchased about 6 more pairs, and have not run into another sole as slippery as the first. Anyway, its not unheard of to get a bad batch, especially if its been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years. The rubber hardens with time. Additionally, much like tires, any color other than black will lessen the tackiness.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitsBoy View Post
    My first pair of 5.10s were a couple years old (new old stock) and had a white stealth sole. They were terrible, and I returned them as defective. Five ten sent a slightly newer but still discounted pair of freeriders with a black sole, and I finally understood the five ten magic. Since then, Ive purchased about 6 more pairs, and have not run into another sole as slippery as the first. Anyway, its not unheard of to get a bad batch, especially if its been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years. The rubber hardens with time. Additionally, much like tires, any color other than black will lessen the tackiness.
    They weren't defective, and they didn't lose traction because they sat for a long time. You bought their less sticky compound designed specifically to have much less grip than their famous sticky compounds. The white stealth was a non marking compound made for casual use and dirt jumpers that wanted skate shoe level traction for no footers. Stealth rubber doesn't mean sticky. The only sticky compounds they make are S1 and vxi. Back in the day they only offered one compound, S1 stealth. Now they have so many "stealth"rubber compounds you better know what you're buying or you'll be disappointed.

    I'm surprised they warrantied your shoes. I've got a pair of 10 year old high top impacts I only use in the winter. They have s1 rubber and are as sticky as my 2017 free rider pro shoes that also have s1 rubber.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    They weren't defective, and they didn't lose traction because they sat for a long time. You bought their less sticky compound designed specifically to have much less grip than their famous sticky compounds.
    Yes, I understand what you're saying, but believe me, there was something wrong with those shoes. I do have a pair of VXis that have noticeably stickier rubber than the stealth shoes. However the first pair (2013 spitfire, IIRC) had about as much traction as a plastic cutting board. I'm not just making a wild assumption that the rubber was a bad batch or had weathered/oxidized from sitting, that was straight from the horse's mouth, direct from 5.10 support. All of my more recent Stealth shoes are orders of magnitude grippier than those first shoes were. I had even tried cleaning them with detergent (perhaps an old wives tail) but to no avail. My VXi's, however, are still as tacky as the day I took them out of the box, aside from the shoe goo repairs, of course...

  16. #16
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    Like anything there's a Yin & Yang...

    Good tyres perform better w/ good wheels.

    Good handle bars need good grips...
    & good shoes need good pedals ^^

    Sounds like a pedal issue for mind.

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
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  17. #17
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    When I first started playing with flats that a friend loaned me, I just used a set of running shoes that I didn't like to run in (I'm also an ultra runner). They worked fine.

    Then I got a pair of 510's. The difference for me between "fine" and "awesome" are pretty big. I'm also taking above average drops/jumps, etc and the extra traction is needed. Before I was doing that big of stuff, it was only an occasional problem.

  18. #18
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    I wore "sneakers" once because I forgot to pack my 5-10s. Needless to say I almost killed myself as every bump dislodged my feet. Never, ever, ever again will I wear the wrong footwear on a bona fide mtb ride.

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  19. #19
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    I like the bottom of the shoe soft enough that I can feel the pedal through it. The flat pedal shoes I tried are generally soft enough for this. I tried some shoes that had the option of removing a section of sole and installing a cleat. These were too stiff. Running or skate shoes may be too soft.

    I rode exclusively clipless for over 15 years. Switching to flats was a steep and long learning curve, way more difficult than going the other way. Basically, I had to learn how to keep my feet on the pedals in all situations, and not gouge my lower legs on the pedals when they did come off.
    Do the math.

  20. #20
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    I rode my Nikes and cheap pedals all summer. Got Five Tens and Race Face Chesterís for Christmas and dying to try them. Honestly if it wasnít for this forum telling me Iím doing it wrong Iíd be happy with my Nikeís!

  21. #21
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    My 5:10ís stock like glue on my Spank Spikes and Chesterís

  22. #22
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    I am going to get some 5:10's to try with my Raceface Atlas pedals. I currently use a pair of Adidas Samba Millenniums and they grip fine. But I would like something a little bit stiffer as I find they tend to allow my feet to roll towards the outside of the pedal.

    Curious to see what the 5:10 magic is all about.

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