The use of sticky Stealth formula rubber outsoles has made the FiveTen Impact the go-to choice of riders who shun the clipped-in feeling, making them mega popular for gravity riders and trail hounds who like that loose feeling only flat pedals provide.
The thick foam mid-sole shields the foot from impact damage and the sticky circles on the outside find rude amounts of traction even on poor quality flat pedals. The uppers have chunky, rounded looks that blend well with baggies and not so well with slimline attire.
The thickly padded wrapover tongue adds protection and makes them comfortable. Laces alone provide a secure enough it for long and intensive pedalling sessions. We know of riders who live in these. We've got one test pair that's three years old, without a thread out of place.
The downsides are that they're bulky and not particularly lightweight, which is kind of connected to our second issue. Once they’re wet, they stay wet and get heavier. The move from suede has helped but they’re still prone to drinking moisture. If FiveTen could only make an Impact that's sleek, waterproof and light, twice as many riders would consider the move to flats.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.