All flat pedal shoe manufacturers have their own proprietary rubber formulation, and O’Neal’s is called Honey Rubber (Honey, Stinger – see where it’s going there?). It’s good, and when moulded into a simple dimpled sole pattern underneath the Stinger, delivers prodigious grip on the pedals.
It’s another in the large group of ‘not quite as grippy as FiveTen shoes, but for many riders that’s not such a bad thing. A whisker less grip makes moving your feet easier, yet still if you slip a pedal in these it’s not the fault of the shoe. The levels of grip are aided by the finely judged sole flexibility – not so soft that you clothesline your feet on the pedals, but not so hard that they skate around.
Up top it’s all robust synthetic leather, perforated in places, with eyeletted lace holes – no amount of ham-fisted lace heaving is going to worry these. It’s cut quite low around the heel but there’s a tall heel cup to keep your feet solidly located.
The toe box is tall and roomy too, and properly solid to ward off any stray rocks that might head your way.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.