If you’ve been riding bikes for a while you’ll have undoubtedly bought yourself some MTB specific shoes, if you haven’t then you need to look at buying some FiveTens (or similar)! My previous review of the FiveTen Freeriders gave them a 4/5 as their performance is amazing but they soak up more water than a very thirsty elephant.
Introducing the FiveTen Freerider Elements – the same unparalleled performance but with the added bonus of not taking on water! Do they work? Read on to find out…
FiveTen Freerider Elements Review
My first impression of the FiveTen Freerider Elements was… well these look a bit shit.
Let’s face it, these aren’t shoes that will win any awards for styling. In fact, if you wore these to my school when I was a kid you were likely to get picked on for them.
They really don’t carry the same cool style that works on or off the bike as the regular Freeriders, but that’s because these are anything but regular.
Looks aside, the first thing you notice is the lack of padding. There’s a lot less to these shoes than the normal Freerider, your foot isn’t held as tightly or protected as much but once you hit the wet stuff you’ll be immensely grateful for this.
Honestly, I was a bit of a sceptic when approaching my first puddle, but I splashed straight through it and had a very strange sensation… my foot was still dry! The puddle didn’t leap off the ground and take a ride in my shoe, it stayed right where it was.
This carried on throughout that ride, the next one and the next one. In fact, I’ve yet to finish a ride where I feel as though I could drain a small lake out of my shoe at the end of it. Pair these with waterproof socks and you’re onto a real winner here.
Wear and tear
One of the critiques I’ve heard of the Elements is that they don’t last very long. Well, I have well and truly abused these shoes over the last 4 months and they’ve taken everything in their stride. The best thing I’ve found about these shoes is their drying time – literally, pop them under the radiator for 4 hours and it’s like they’ve never been outside and covered in all manner of filth.
The sole has the usual chew marks you get from pedal pins, but nothing that would worry me in the long run. All the stitching is absolutely sound, so no problems there either. Even the little plastic bits on the ends of the laces are in good condition, which isn’t something I care about but I’m sure someone somewhere will!
Overall opinion on the FiveTen Freeride Elements
These shoes are absolutely stunning, they fix the only flaw that the normal Freerider has while keeping all of the same performance criteria that make this an award-winning shoe. There is a certain measure of comfort that is given up here, which would make me favour the normal Freeriders in good conditions, but it isn’t so noticeable that you couldn’t use them as an all-year-round shoe (especially in the UK!)
They do come up a little pricier than the regular Freeriders, generally looking at around the £90 mark from Chain Reaction Cycles but if you can get them in the sale then you could save yourself 30-40 quid. It’s well worth the extra bit of cash though, as it makes riding in wet weather far more enjoyable than lugging around shoes that weigh a metric tonne thanks to being full of water and mud!