The choice of good flat pedal shoes is pretty limited, so when we spotted the Trail Crosses with their Stealth soles (the same rubber used by Five Ten, which Adidas now owns) we were intrigued to see how they’d fare in the dirt.
The tread is deeper than on Five Ten’s shoes – and flat pedal footwear in general – which helps if you’re pushing back up slippery slopes. The toe section uses a wedged pattern that works really well to dig in through slop when off the bike.
The upper might look like it’s from a running shoe but it’s surprisingly tough, standing up well to the elements and offering a bit of toe protection when things don’t quite go to plan. It keeps the wet at bay reasonably well too, and when the Trail Crosses do get a soaking they don’t take long to dry, which is handy if you’re on a multi-day riding trip.
The cut of the shoe will definitely suit those with narrower feet and there’s good support from the arch and little heel lift. The speed lacing system also makes it easy to get a nice even tension all along the shoe, something those with traditional eyelets can sometimes suffer with.
These are easily some of the most comfortable, best fitting flat shoes we’ve tried too. That comfort, which is partly down to the flexible upper, does mean they don’t feel quite as supportive as some of their rivals, especially around the heel. On the pedals there’s some flex in the sole but they’re stiff enough to remain comfy on long rides. Grip is plentiful too, and we’ve yet to slip a pedal.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.