These new flat-pedal shoes from Five Ten do a good job of balancing sole flex with pedalling efficiency.
While they’re not quite as stiff as the more downhill-orientated Five Ten Impacts, you can spend hours pushing the pedals in the Freerider Contacts without any discomfort. The midsole is rigid enough to be efficient but not overly so, which becomes apparent when walking around off the bike.
Five Ten’s Stealth Mi6 rubber sole provides vice-like grip on the pedals. Off the bike, traction is good in the dry but the slick pedal contact patch – designed to make it easier to adjust your position on the pedals – does make pushing back up the hill in the wet pretty tricky.
On hotter days we never overheated in the Contacts, and when the inevitable happened and the rain started to fall, they managed to shrug off a couple of showers and puddle splashes before we started to feel the wet creeping in. They dry reasonably quickly too.