The Jackets are the flat-pedal version of Giro’s Chamber clipless shoe, and as such they’ve got a decently stiff sole for pedalling efficiency.
One school of thought on flat-pedal shoes, as followed by Five Ten, is that you should be firmly stuck to your pedal; the other acknowledges that many riders like to shift foot position while riding. The Jackets fall in the latter camp, with a Vibram outer sole that offers good grip. We didn’t have issues with feet coming off on rougher sections, but they required more repositioning than sticky rivals.
Off the bike, the relatively low profile and densely packed tread suffers in mud and while not lethal on wet rock, they can’t manage the 'walking up walls' feel of the Five Ten Impact VXi. These shoes do however drain water much more quickly.
The midsection gives really good arch support though they’re prone to a bit of heel lift. There’s not much in the way of protection for your heel on the crank either.
The sole itself tapers down towards the middle, which means pedal contact area is slightly limited if you prefer to shift backwards when descending. The overall shape suits narrower feet, though the lace eyelets lack metal rings and are also closely packed, which makes even tightening a bit of a faff. The laces are good quality however and there’s an elasticated band to keep them out of the way.
The reinforced toe box offers good protection and weatherproofing is okay, if not superb. The suede finish on our test pair didn’t stay looking smart for long either.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.