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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.

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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.

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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.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDHutch View Post
    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!
    Answering my own question now that I have 4 rides in. Five Tens are a night and day difference over Nikeís. The stiff sole makes pedal strokes so much more powerful. The upgraded flat pedals are amazing. Shoes stick to pedals. Either one individually would have made a huge difference and the combination together is a game changer.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDHutch View Post
    Answering my own question now that I have 4 rides in. Five Tens are a night and day difference over Nikeís. The stiff sole makes pedal strokes so much more powerful. The upgraded flat pedals are amazing. Shoes stick to pedals. Either one individually would have made a huge difference and the combination together is a game changer.
    Damn you!! This is (and isn't) what I wanted to hear!! Looks like I need to snag some five tens!

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  25. #25
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    Adidas superstars have always been my favorite riding shoe. Grippy and tough as hell.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by quite.right View Post
    Try trailrunning shoes with a rock plate. They are hard enough and have a grippy sole.
    I like that idea. I am also sporting some running shoes, and was thinking of picking up some 5.10 freeriders or contacts, but I like that my running shoes can be used for tons of other things. Do the 5.10 freeriders or contacts have a stiff enough sole that walking around feels clunky? Does the stealth (?) rubber mark surfaces you walk on?

  27. #27
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    Itís not solely (see what I did there) the rubber coumpound that helps shoes stick to pedals, the lack of any real tread depth is also key. With deep lugs some or all the pins will be in between lugs and not really gripping. Thatís why most trail running shoes suck for riding plus being too flexible in general.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeggs1993 View Post
    I like that idea. I am also sporting some running shoes, and was thinking of picking up some 5.10 freeriders or contacts, but I like that my running shoes can be used for tons of other things. Do the 5.10 freeriders or contacts have a stiff enough sole that walking around feels clunky? Does the stealth (?) rubber mark surfaces you walk on?
    No they do OK with everyday wear. I know quite a few people that use them for that purpose. I can say I got a new DJ and have been playing around around the house on it in running shoes. The difference in those and 5.10s on the bike is marked.

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  29. #29
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    I find plastic pinned bmx pedals to be grippier though I don't think they are enough for intense mountain biking.

  30. #30
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    Aside from grip, 5.10s are built like tanks. I really doubt running shoes would survive anything close to what 5.10s can.

  31. #31
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    I have not had issues with 5-10s. before I had that, I used running shoes which were also great. but they got torn up real quick, less than a year of use.

    issue might be not putting heals down when coasting (puts more weight on pedals) or, the pins in your pedals are no good. or it just might be a break in period. I know some people who lose footing on the upstroke as well.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDHutch View Post
    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!
    Just got the same pedals and a pair of five tens also. Need to exchange the five tens for a size bigger before I get to try the combo out though.

  33. #33
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    Vans stick real good, but the soles might be too soft and flex too much for some, and cause foot pain

    i love them tho. thats what i ride in

  34. #34
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    Tell me how your foot feels after bashing it into a hidden rock or stump on the trail, my 5.10's have saved me a broken toe or foot for how stiff the box of the shoe is, no running shoe is going to help with that.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by sml-2727 View Post
    Tell me how your foot feels after bashing it into a hidden rock or stump on the trail, my 5.10's have saved me a broken toe or foot for how stiff the box of the shoe is, no running shoe is going to help with that.
    Yup, have done this multiple times and only ended up getting my foot kicked off the pedal vs. stopping to assess a damaged foot. Buddy that I have been riding with more rides in Vans and I am just waiting for him to clip a rock or stump with his toes before he upgrades.

  36. #36
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    If you ride where you need protection like knee and elbow pads and shin guards or more, yea 5.10s belong there. My trails have rocks/roots but I don't need that.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    If you ride where you need protection like knee and elbow pads and shin guards or more, yea 5.10s belong there. My trails have rocks/roots but I don't need that.
    You do understand that running shoes and 5.10s are designed for completely different use cases yes? As such they are inherently bad at some things, for instance just as you wouldn't run in a pair of 5.10s because they are too stiff you should not cycle in running shoes due to the inverse. Or is this just more of your patently poor advice in a similar vein to your quest to get everyone on a plus bike regardless of need or desire?

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    You do understand that running shoes and 5.10s are designed for completely different use cases yes? As such they are inherently bad at some things, for instance just as you wouldn't run in a pair of 5.10s because they are too stiff you should not cycle in running shoes due to the inverse. Or is this just more of your patently poor advice in a similar vein to your quest to get everyone on a plus bike regardless of need or desire?

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    There's nothing wrong with shoes that aren't "stiff" enough. I know TONS of people that ride in standard skater shoes, I do. Sometimes if I forget my riding shoes I end up riding in my under armour trail runners that are me day to day shoes.

    Now yes stiffer soles are better, but far from required nor is bad advise to tell a new rider just use what they've got. Shoes like 5 10s are good (though I can't own a pair because like most cycling brands, they are too narrow minded to realize not everyone has skinny feet) but until doing serious riding, not NEEDED.

    There is way too much of this "you have to use this set up, this gear or your going to hate riding and suck at it" in this sport. Really needs to stop cause it's rediculous.

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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    There's nothing wrong with shoes that aren't "stiff" enough. I know TONS of people that ride in standard skater shoes, I do. Sometimes if I forget my riding shoes I end up riding in my under armour trail runners that are me day to day shoes.

    Now yes stiffer soles are better, but far from required nor is bad advise to tell a new rider just use what they've got. Shoes like 5 10s are good (though I can't own a pair because like most cycling brands, they are too narrow minded to realize not everyone has skinny feet) but until doing serious riding, not NEEDED.

    There is way too much of this "you have to use this set up, this gear or your going to hate riding and suck at it" in this sport. Really needs to stop cause it's rediculous.

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    Those would be great counter points except every single one of your points was either a strawman or an argumentum ad populam...


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  40. #40
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    If you need to get all the watts out of stiff soles you aren't using 5.10s at all. You're on clipless with super stiff shoes for that last 5%. Each shoe has it's place. I ride runners and 5.10s would be a bad choice. I value the isolation and padding to keep my feet from becoming numb from rocky sections more than a small amount of efficiency. Terrain dictates the choice.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    If you need to get all the watts out of stiff soles you aren't using 5.10s at all. You're on clipless with super stiff shoes for that last 5%. Each shoe has it's place. I ride runners and 5.10s would be a bad choice. I value the isolation and padding to keep my feet from becoming numb from rocky sections more than a small amount of efficiency. Terrain dictates the choice.
    Herein lies the issue. First, the stiffness of soles is not solely a power efficiency issue. It is a side effect but is not the main reason. Second, 5.10s, as you point out, are not as stiff or minimalistic as clipless shoes, this is a trade off for use case and comfort. The shoes flex and are well padded. Third, it is not terrain dependant as you could continually assert. It is riding ability and technique dependant. Just because something works for you does not mean the continued avocation of it as a superior, or even acceptable, solution is valid. The argument shouldn't be 5.10s vs running shoes it should be riding shoes vs running shoes. There is a reason that genre of shoe has become a thing and is spreading.

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  42. #42
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    Whichever shoe you want Adidas is having a 1 day 20% off sale for some of both kinds. 5/10 only.
    Impact
    https://www.adidasoutdoor.com/FT83.h...shoes#start=17
    Terrex Boost trailrunner
    https://www.adidasoutdoor.com/BEK47....-shoes#start=9
    Terrex Gortex Boost
    https://www.adidasoutdoor.com/BEK46....-shoes#start=1

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