Five Ten is well known in two markets: climbing and riding. Both need solid, tacky rubber and Five Ten has come close to perfecting it on a myriad of shoe models. And now the company has two more—one is all new and one is an update. Oh, and the company is owned by Adidas, which has put its logo on both new models. They will also be available with Troy Lee Designs collaborations for a 10-percent upcharge.
You are probably familiar with the Adidas Samba shoe. You might have even owned a pair … or two, or three. Pretty much everyone has. And there is a reason for that—it’s a low-profile, comfortable and durable shoe that works great for walking around town and taking part in more athletic activities. And they’re inexpensive. Since Adidas owns Five Ten, the company decided to make a Samba-inspired flat-pedal shoe. And it doesn’t cost a lot either. They’re $100, but you can probably get by just owning one pair.
The new Sleauth DLX is essentially a toned-down version of the Freerider. Five Ten claims it fits within the “new school” of flat-pedal shoes. This means it’s a shoe you can walk around in, but also performs on a pedal. Riding-specific features include a protected toe (would this make them Adidas shell toes?), a reflective heel and a non-marking Phantom sole—all while built to meet a $100 price point.
The Kestrel isn’t new to Five Ten, but it offered room for improvement. So Five Ten improved. Across the bottom of the throat (where laces cross atop the shoe at the tongue’s base) is a velcro closure. Farther up is covered by laces and just north of the middle is a BOA to snug down the entirety of the shell. The tongue—which fills the throat—is said to be better ventilated as well.
And now we are getting to the cool stuff. At the back of the heel, where your foot slides into the shoe, is a material that slides in one direction and catches in the other. If you backcountry ski, think climbing skins. If you don’t backcountry ski, think velvet furniture—run your hand across it and it either turns lighter or darker. Now image in the darker direction, it catches your hand from sliding. OK, enough with imagining. The new heel is supposed to lock your heel into place, and Five Ten claims it’s just as durable as any other part of the shoe, which judging by first impressions, is pretty durable. Rather impressive for $160.
Troy Lee Collab Shoes
And if the Sleuth DLX and Kestrel aren’t cool enough on their own, Five Ten partnered with Troy Lee to kick these kicks up a notch. They’re the same shoes we just described, but with unique colorways and, of course, the Troy lee branding.
The Troy Lee edition Sleuth DLX and Kestrel come in at about a 10-percent premium over their off-the-shelf counterparts, but it suits them. They are indeed premium.