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Mountain Bike Shoes 5.10

Updated: Jun 6, 2021

What's the Difference between a Five Ten shoes and a Five Ten shoes?

In June I HAD to change my favorite flat pedal shoe: the IMPACT VXI. They lasted me for about 2 years, which is not a lot of rides, considering I was riding clipless most of the time. They have very grippy soles and I was not aware of it until I change my shoes this year.

FIVE TEN offers different products, be aware of their respective characteristics!!

Don't be like me and buy the next shoes on sale, look out for these 3 key 5.10 shoe feature.

1. The sole compound

2. The sole design

3. The shoe stiffness

1. Sole compound

Five Ten offer different varieties of shoe's soles with different characteristics for different uses. Here are all sole compound names and compound Five Ten uses for their mtb shoes.


The MI6 soles are their most grippy sole, The Impact VXI I had didn't last me long, but they were extremely grippy!! The MI6 compound is a soft rubber, similar to Maxxis 3c tires.


The C4 shoe sole is unconventional for Mountain bike flat pedal shoes. Most of the C4 soles are used on clipless shoes.


The most common mountain bike shoes sole is the Stealth S1. You can find the Stealth S1 on every shoe model. I had one of those shoe soles and it grips very well on various surfaces, dry or wet but not as the MI6 sole. It has more of a solid nub compare to MI6 sole. It will feel more like a stiff rubber to the touch.


The PH soles stand for stealth Phantom soles. On Five Ten web site, they describe the soles as soundless, traceless bomber traction soles. Who cares about sound and trace when biking you ask? This sole originally designed for the Special-Opps where it got its characteristics. The sole compound of the Phantom is very similar to the S1 sole expect it will come in various colors.

2. Sole Design

Five Ten also have a different sole design. Some sole will give you more grip depending on the weather conditions. Three soles design are used on a mountain bike flat pedal shoes.


The micro dotty sole design is the most "skate shoes" sole design resemblant. On this sole design, you find small dots all over the sole. The Micro- Dotty sole is more suited for dry terrain. It is not the type of sole preferred in wet and muddy environment, it could be due to the small dot pattern filling up with mud.


On the contact soles, you will find an area under your feet that's completely flat, exactly where the pedal footprint would be on your sole. This sole conception has for effect to avoid having flat pedal spikes catching up on the soles dote. This allows the shoes to have better contact with pedals. The only downside is the slick surface under your feet can make you slide on wet terrain.

Dotty Bike Sole

This sole design is the most typical mountain bike shoe sole. This sole feature 1.4 cm dot all over the sole. This is definitely an all-rounder sole.

3. Sole Stiffness

Unfortunately, Five Ten doesn't have any chart regarding the stiffness of their shoes although on their website you can find a brief description for each shoe and sometimes they will mention if it's a stiff shoe or not. However, If you buy in your local shop, you can have a good feel for the stiffness.


If you're looking to buy the most grippy shoes that your pedal will stick to no matter the condition, the MI6 compound on a Dotty Bike sole with a relatively stiff shoe won't disappoint you. The impact VXI suite all those characteristics but be aware it will wear out faster.

For more information on Five Ten Shoes, consult their web site where they have all their footwear technology explained for Bike, Climbing, and approach shoes.

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1 Comment

Émile Gagnon
Émile Gagnon
Oct 28, 2019

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