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Five Ten Freerider Contact Flat Mountain Bike Shoe ReviewBest Flat Mountain Bike Shoe Review

Best Grip Flat Mountain Bike Shoe

  • Grip 100% 100%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Protection 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Durability 30% 30%
  • Wet Weather Performance 50% 50%

Rubber Type: Stealth Mi6

Rubber Pattern: Half Dot

Weight: 389.8g

Upper Material: Textile/Synthetic Leather

Price: $149.95

What We Like: Unbeatable grip, easy to adjust feat, comfortable

What We Don’t: Worst in review durability

With one Five Ten Freerider already on our list and more to come, the Freerider range is varied and well represented. So, where does the Five Ten Freerider Contact fit in? It offers the best grip of any shoe in our review, but it is also the least durable. Read on to find out if the tradeoff is worth it for you.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our Best Flat Mountain Bike Shoe Review!

Shimano GR9

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Protection 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Wet Weather Performance 100% 100%

Pros

Comfortable

Amazing Grip

Great in Wet Weather

Cons

Difficult to readjust on the pedals

Rubber Type: Michelin

Rubber Pattern: Full Tread

Weight: 365g

Upper Material: Synthetic Leather

Five Ten Freerider Pro

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Protection 80% 80%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Breathability 50% 50%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Wet Weather Performance 90% 90%

Pros

Amazing grip without making it difficult to readjust foot position

Cons

Sole is too stiff for some riders

Rubber Type: Stealth S1

Rubber Pattern: Full Dot

Weight: 396.89g

Upper Material: Synthetic Leather

Shimano GR7

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Protection 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Breathability 90% 90%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Wet Weather Performance 90% 90%

Pros

Comfortable

Amazing Grip

Great in Wet Weather

Very Breathable

Cons

Difficult to readjust on the pedals

Rubber Type: Michelin

Rubber Pattern: Full Tread

Weight: 396.9g

Upper Material: Perforated Synthetic with Mesh

Five Ten Freerider Contact

  • Grip 100% 100%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Protection 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Durability 30% 30%
  • Wet Weather Performance 50% 50%

Pros

Unbeatable Grip

Easy to adjust feat

Comfortable

Cons

Worst in review durability

Rubber Type: Stealth Mi6

Rubber Pattern: Half Dot

Weight: 389.8g

Upper Material: Textile/Synthetic Leather

Five Ten Freerider

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 50% 50%
  • Protection 50% 50%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Durability 70% 70%
  • Wet Weather Performance 80% 80%

Pros

Amazing grip without making it difficult to readjust foot position

Cons

Not as durable as Freerider Pro

Sole lacks rigidity for maximum power transfer

Rubber Type: Stealth S1

Rubber Pattern: Full Dot

Weight: 418.15g

Upper Material: Suede/Mesh

Afton Keegan

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 60% 60%
  • Protection 70% 70%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Breathability 50% 50%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Wet Weather Performance 80% 80%

Pros

Mono-directional shank makes for unbeatable rigidity on the bike and comfort off of it

Cons

Less grippy than top picks

Rubber Type: Intact Rubber

Rubber Pattern: Skate Style

Weight: 396.89g

Upper Material: Synthetic Leather

Five Ten Impact Pro

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 100% 100%
  • Protection 90% 90%
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Breathability 30% 30%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Wet Weather Performance 90% 90%

Pros

Unbeatable power transfer and foot protection

Great grip on and off the bike

Cons

Sole is too stiff for some riders

Rubber Type: Stealth S1

Rubber Pattern: Multi Dot

Weight: 550g

Upper Material: Synthetic

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch

  • Grip 40% 40%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Protection 80% 80%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Wet Weather Performance 30% 30%

Pros

Durable, Stiff

Great Foot Protection

Cons

Vibram rubber lacks grip

Rubber Type: Vibram Megagrip

Rubber Pattern: Full Dot

Weight: 406g

Upper Material: Bonded, Seamless

Giro Riddance

  • Grip 50% 50%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Protection 80% 80%
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Wet Weather Performance 30% 30%

Pros

Durable and Breathable

Cons

Vibram sole lacks grip

Rubber Type: Megagrip ISR

Rubber Pattern: Full Dot

Weight: 430g

Upper Material: Microfiber

Grip

Five Ten is well known in the climbing world for making some of the grippiest soles available for rock climbing, and that same Mi6 compound is found on the Five Ten Freerider Contact. This makes the Contact the only shoe in the Freerider lineup to not use Five Ten’s Stealth rubber.

Just how grippy is the Mi6 rubber found on the Freerider Contact? It is pretty universally agreed that the Freerider Contact has the grippiest sole of any flat mountain bike shoe on the market.

What is the catch? As anyone with climbing experience already knows, climbing shoes wear out at an astonishing rate. And the same is true for mountain bike shoes with climbing shoe soles. The ultra tacky Mi6 rubber compound that makes the Freerider Contact’s sole the grippiest sole on the market also makes it the least durable.

The Freerider Pro and Shimano GR9 both use their tread pattern to bolster their grip. Because the Freerider contact is so grippy to begin with, it does not do this. Its half dot tread pattern  has no tread in the pedal zone, which allows you to readjust your feet more easily than you could in the Freerider Pro or Shimano GR9, without sacrificing any grip.

The only other on the bike negative that we found with the Freerider contact is that its supreme gripping ability falls off drastically in wet conditions

Off of the bike, the Freerider Contact’s grip is a mixed bag. Its sticky, climbing shoe sole does great if you are walking on dry rocks, as you might expect. However, that is about the only area where it excels. The Freerider Contact uses a half dot tread pattern, rather than the Full Dot found on other Freeriders. This means that it falls behind when walking in dirt, and falls even further behind if things are wet.

Rigidity and Protection

The Five Ten Freerider Contact features a fairly stiff insole that is similar to the Freerider Pro. However, maybe it is the lack of some of the extra shock absorbing material found in the Freerider Pro, but the Freerider Contact feels a tiny bit less stiff in practice. It still puts the power down like the Freerider Pro, but it doesn’t seem to dull the feedback of the pedals quite like the Freerider Pro or Five Ten Impact Pro.

As for protection, the Freerider Contact is more in line with the standard Five Ten Freerider. It lacks the extra toe box padding found on the Freerider Pro, which makes it a slightly lighter and less substantial feeling shoe.

Comfort and Breathability

Stiff soles make for a great pedaling experience, especially when the hours and miles start to pile up. However, they tend to be less comfortable while off of the bike and earlier in rides. We felt that the Five Ten Freerider Contact struck a great balance in this aspect. While it is a bit stiffer than we would prefer an out and about shoe to be, your feet will not be too upset with you for walking around in these shoes for a bit after your ride. And as with all Freerider shoes, you’ll look good while you’re doing it.

The Five Ten Freerider Pro features a mesh upper that is quite breathable, making it an excellent choice for summer riding. This goes hand in hand with its sole, which is also best suited for dry conditions.

Durability

The black eye on the Five Ten Freerider Contact is its durability. While it offers the grip of a climbing shoe, it also offers the lifespan of one. Where the Stealth rubber of other Freeriders, and Shimano’s Michelin soles held up so well to sharp traction pins, the Mi6 sole of the Freerider Pro is shredded by them. Furthermore, the soft rubber compound makes it difficult for the sole to bond well with the shoes, making delamination a frequent problem for the Five Ten Freerider Contact.

Meanwhile, the Freerider Contact features the same upper found on other Freeriders and is just about guaranteed to outlast its tacky but fragile Mi6 sole.

Additional Features

There is not too much in the way of bells and whistles for the Five Ten Freerider Contact. Its main feature is that it brings most of what people love from the Freerider lineup with an even grippier sole.

The Bottom Line

If you want the grippiest flat mountain bike shoe on the market, at least in good weather, and the ability to more easily adjust your foot, then the Five Ten Freerider Contact is the shoe to beat. It is good for long rides, short rides, bombing gnarly descents and hucking gaps in the bike park.

However, at around $150 per pair, it is not a cheap shoe to replace, and its durability issues mean that hardcore riders could easily run through two or three pair of Freerider Contacts in a season. If that is a problem for you, then we would recommend the Freerider Pro or Shimano GR9. But if money is no object and you want the tackiest dry weather shoe around, then the Five Ten Freerider Contact might be the perfect flat mountain bike shoe for you.

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