The Maltese Falcons are Five Ten’s first proper trail shoes designed for SPD-type pedals*. The sole is fairly stiff and surprisingly comfortable to walk in. Taking advantage of the company’s Stealth sticky rubber, the simple tread design handles most conditions well when out on the trail too.
The upper features tough toe and heel boxes, and there’s a lace-up closure with a strap for security and for tucking the laces out the way. The heel cup is cut quite high, but doesn’t hinder movement on or off the bike and feels very secure. The synthetic leather uppers keep muck at bay and clean up well. The only place where water can really get in is a small vent at the base of the tongue.
We tried both Shimano and CrankBrothers pedals with the Maltese Falcons, and found that the CrankBros cleat actually protrudes from the cleat recess on the sole. This isn’t a big deal but did cause us to skate across the office a few times.
With smaller pedals, the sole is stiff enough to be comfortable but the shoe does move around as the material in the cleat recess moves on the pedal. With a bigger platformed pedal like the CrankBrothers Mallet though, this isn’t an issue, and overall, the shoes feel excellent.
* Five Ten’s other clipless offerings, the Minnaar and Hellcat, are aimed more at downhill racers and freeriders.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.