The Five Ten Trailcross GTX shoes are the brand’s and industry’s first waterproof winter cycling shoes for flat pedals witha Gore-Tex membrane.
They’ve been built on the lightweight Trailcross platform aimed at blending flat pedal performance and grip, and all-day comfort on and off the bike.
Five Ten Trailcross GTX mountain bike shoes details and specifications
Headlining the shoe’s features and differentiating it from the rest of Five Ten’s range is the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane. The membrane provides total waterproofing across the shoe’s upper, tongue and neoprene section up to a stitching track that traces a horizontal line halfway up the neoprene upper.
In theory, this means the shoe is fully sealed from water ingress and can be totally submerged up to the stitching line on the neoprene collar. The neoprene upper has an adjustable hook and loop cuff that’s designed to reduce mud ingress and provide a more stable ankle support.
The sole is made from Five Ten’s famous Stealth Phantom rubber that’s been designed to provide flat pedal grip and on-foot hiking traction. The toe and sides have a protective rubber reinforcement to provide foot protection.
Its midsole (the bit between the sole and foot) has flex points to improve comfort when walking, but is claimed to be stiff enough for flat pedal performance.
My pair of size UK 8 (42 EUR) shoes weighed 850g.
Five Ten Trailcross GTX mountain bike shoes performance
Thanks to the Gore-Tex membrane, the Trailcross GTX can be comfortably submerged in water up to the membrane’s limit for prolonged periods (I submerged them for 20 minutes) without any ingress.
They are truly waterproof, then, especially given on-trail wettings will be splash-based or, at the worst, brief submersions in deeper puddles or water crossings – much less demanding than a 20-minute bath.
Riding in atrociously wet conditions didn’t highlight any shortcomings, and my feet remained dry for the entire duration of each ride. No water entered through the shoe’s body, and while my feet were dry, they also remained warm even in some of the harshest conditions I ventured out in.
However, when the water depth exceeded the height of the membrane’s cut-off, it soaked down the internal layers of the shoe, wetting the inside. This was only a significant problem in full-submersion scenarios such as bottom-bracket deep river crossings and puddles, where water levels exceeded the mid-ankle membrane limit. In these situations, even calf-height waterproof socks would be pushed to their limits.
Their performance was also directly related to how dialled in the rest of my setup was.
To guarantee dry feet, I had to wear waterproof trousers with ankle openings that were tight – to stop water splashing upwards onto my legs and socks, then wicking down them into the shoes – and long enough to cover the part of the neoprene ankle cuff that doesn’t have a Gore-Tex membrane.
While that sounds complicated, most of the best waterproof mountain bike trousers are long and tight enough to do this job.
If there was a gap between the waterproof trousers and shoes, water did make its way onto my socks, legs or the shoe’s neoprene cuff and would wick down into the shoes and puddle, as it was unable to drain out.
They also took a long time to dry out, caused by the impermeability of the Gore-Tex membrane holding the moisture in.
This minor frustration is the same with all waterproof socks and shoes, and is a slight inconvenience to the aim of keeping your feet dry, if your setup is fully dialled in.
Fit was on the sportier, narrower side compared to Five Ten’s Impact Pro shoes, but was slightly more generous than the non-waterproof Trailcross XT. I didn’t need to size up to be comfortable, however, and appreciated the well-supported feel.
If you like wearing thicker socks or want to double protect yourself with waterproof socks, I would recommend investigating a slightly bigger size than usual, but try before you buy.
Grip was impressive, blending the outright stuck-to-your pedals feeling of the Impact Pro and slightly lower traction levels of the Trailcross XT. This meant it was possible to move and adjust my feet on the pedals, but they didn’t slip when I wanted them to remain still.
Sole stability was also good. It wasn’t so rigid that they felt wooden on the pedals, but didn’t flex so much that my feet were clawing at the pedals. This compromise meant fatigue was reduced compared to more flexible or stiffer shoes.
The high-top hook and loop cuff and lacing height makes it easy to adjust fit around the ankle, where additional tension can be wound on to improve support. This creates confidence and control, and my ankles never felt as if they were going to roll over.
Plenty of protection was also on offer, thanks to the slightly bulkier and better padded (than the Trailcross XT) upper. For riders who use the sides of their feet against the bike’s frame to control and move it around, the added padding was welcome to reduce any potential discomfort.
Five Ten Trailcross GTX mountain bike shoes bottom line
The Trailcross GTX is a milestone product, bringing waterproofing to the famous Five Ten flat pedal grip. Its performance matched my expectations too, and my feet remained dry and warm in even the wettest of conditions, while grip was spot on.
Care needed to be taken to make sure the rest of my setup was worthy of the shoe’s waterproofing, however, and it was only as good as my ability to close the gap between trouser leg and shoe cuff. Maybe gaiters will be the next must-have product.
|Price||EUR €170.00GBP £150.00USD $200.00|
|Weight||850g (UK 8) – Size UK 8|
|What we tested||Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex Mountain Bike Shoes|
|Shoe closure||Laces and velcro|
|Sole||Five Ten Stealth Phantom|