So since switching to flat pedals on all my bikes this past year I am noticing a complete lack of any proper winter shoes for this application…. I found these from Five Ten (Guide Tennie GTX mid) that are actually waterproof approach shoes with what looks like a decent sole for mtb… ordered a pair to give them a try on the not too crazy cold days here in the Koots this winter. For really cold days I am going to have to make due with a more traditional winter style boot…
Just a quick review after one ride on these…. initial impressions:
OUT OF THE BOX: These things are crazy light…. 530grams per shoe for a size 12 is impressive… for comparison my Five Ten Freerider VXi's are 460g per shoe. This is a plus for the weight weenies out there.
FIT: fairly true to size… I am a 12US/46EU in other Five Ten shoes and these fit quite well. Maybe a touch bit narrower than their bike shoe line as they are meant for hiking but all in all they fit my wide feet nicely even with a winter weight sock. These are Goretex lined but they don't have a dedicated winter liner.
ON THE BIKE: Tested with HT AE01 pedals on my fat bike… conditions were -5 Celsius with dry compact snow, ice, and a few shallow stream crossings. For the most part the ride was completely normal.. grip with the Stealth C4 rubber is slightly reduced over the Mi6 (or whatever its called) on some of the MTB shoes, but as these are meant for hiking I can understand that. Re-positioning my feet on the pedals was relatively straightforward but the grip was still excellent. My feet stayed completely dry and relatively warm… I probably wouldn't go much below -5 Celsius however due to the lack of a liner.
OFF THE BIKE: On rock/dirt, traction is excellent. On snow/ice you can fahgettaboutitt…better off strapping banana peels to your loafers… once again these are not meant for interior winter riding conditions per se. If you have any off the bike snow/ice scrambling to do as I did you will be frustrated with the lack of traction. For fat bikers a dedicated low cut winter sport boot would probably be more effective.
OVERALL: For the right conditions, such as wet transition season rides in the interior these could be the ticket. I would think though that on the coast these would make a perfect all-winter riding shoe as long as you are not walking on snow and ice…