For a newish brand, Californian shoemakers Ride Concepts already has an extensive range of flat and clipless offerings, plus an impressive line-up of pros on its rider roster. The Wildcat is a flat-pedal shoe with mid-top ankle padding for protection and stability. Although the styling and branding doesn’t scream ‘high end’, the shoe is actually packed with technology.
Ride Concepts has partnered with Rubber Kinetics to develop three proprietary rubber compounds for its soles. The Wildcat uses the second-grippiest DST 6.0 option, moulded into a pattern of deep hexagonal lugs, similar to that found on Specialized’s 2FO shoes.
Underneath this is a shock-absorbing D3O insole (although I couldn’t feel this making much difference). Unlike some overly-chunky shoes, the Wildcats give good pedal feel right out of the box and their wide footprint makes for a great stance on the pedals.
Unfortunately, when I got into the really rough stuff, the DST 6.0 rubber just wasn’t soft enough to stop my trailing foot pattering forwards.
Fit and support is good though, thanks to a Velcro strap that locks your foot in place and the raised cuff, which stops your ankle twisting.
The metal lace eyelet on the cuff chafed my ankles slightly, but overall these are a comfy set of kicks, even if they don’t quite offer Five Ten levels of grip.