The problem most other companies have is that they don't own the rubber nor the process. They buy/license the rubber... so essentially a rubber company (Vibram) who has invested in the very expensive factory, tooling and processes offers their partner (Giro) a choice of in-house, already created rubbers. Giro picks the one they think will work best for mtbing... (maybe they get to tweak it a bit?), the one they think offers the best combination of durability and sticky-ness. Obviously after Giro's previous shoe wore out too quickly, they switched to a different choice of rubber from Vibram that was more durable... but then the trade-off was less sticky-ness, and here is the shoe you get. I don't think there is much more they can do beyond investing in their own rubber tech. I really don't think anyone else is going to be able to touch five ten, who came from the rock climbing world and invested in their rubber tech years and years ago, (and probably patented the shit out their rubber) unless they themselves start from scratch or buy a rubber maker. Or are somehow able to work with some rubber third party out of china who can fully customize a rubber just for them. I have high hopes for Ride Concepts but we'll have to wait and see. They are using Rubber Kinetics' rubber... which again, is just another third party who also make Goodyear's mtb tires. Though it doesn't look like they are making much else so hopefully it's a true partnership vs just a choice of "off the shelf" rubbers and that they actually need Ride Concepts just as much as Ride Concepts needs them. For now... as much as I'd like to look elsewhere, when I'm racing enduros on flats, it has to be five ten, nothing else compares... yet. I know La Sportiva and Scarpa make rock climbing shoes that are as good or better than anything Five Ten make... it would be cool to see one of those companies jump into the mtb shoe scene. Mtb shoes really are pretty basic compared with the crazy tech involved in a lot of other sport shoes. I think if they just brought the rubber and made a copy of this Giro shoe, they'd sell pretty easily.
Please log in to leave a comment.