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Five Ten Kestral Lace Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe ReviewBest Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe Review

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 90% 90%
  • Comfort and Fit 60% 60%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Best Application: Enduro/All-Mountain  

Closure: Lace-Up with Hook and Loop Ankle Strap

Sole: Nylon

Outsole: C4 Stealth

Weight: 484g (size 43)

Upper Material: Polyurethane-coated synthetic

What We Like: Patented Five Ten Grip and Durability

What We Don’t: Heavy, Comfort Issues

Price: $105.00-$150.00

No brand is more known in the world of flat mountain bike shoes than Five Ten. Of course, Five Ten makes fine clipless mountain bike shoes as well, and Kestral Lace is an example of that. Unfortunately, comfort issues hold back the Kestral Lace, which would otherwise be a strong contender for our top pick as the best enduro/all-mountain clipless shoe on the market.

The Kestral is also available as the Kestral Pro, which uses an even stiffer shank and trades the traditional laces of the Kestral Lace for a single Boa adjustment. We prefer the Kestral lace over the Kestral pro due to difficulty getting a precise fit with the Boa dial and durability issues with the Kestral Pro’s Mi6 rubber toe.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our Best Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe Review!

Shimano ME7

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 100% 100%
  • Comfort and Fit 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Comfortable

Versatile

Great Power Transfer

Great Off the Bike Traction

Cons

Not the Cheapest Nor the Lightest Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe

Best Application: Enduro/All-Mountain

Closure: Speed Lace System and Upper Ratchet Strap, Large Velcro Panel Over Laces

Sole: Carbon Fiber Composite

Outsole: Michelin Rubber

Weight: 425g (size 44)

Upper Material: Synthetic

Giro Empire VR90

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 100% 100%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 60% 60%
  • Comfort and Fit 70% 70%
  • Durability 60% 60%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Ultra-Lightweight

Amazing Power Transfer

Cons

Too Narrow for Many

Questionable Durability

Best Applicaton: XC

Closure: Laces

Sole: Easton EC90 Carbon Fiber

Outsole: Vibram Mont Molded Rubber High Traction Lugged Outsole

Weight: 338g (size 43.5)

Upper Material: Microfiber

Shimano S-Phyre XC9

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 100% 100%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 40% 40%
  • Comfort and Fit 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Dual Boa Closure

Amazing Power Transfer

Cons

Expensive

Lack of Durability

Poor Off Bike Performance

Best Application: Cross Country Racing

Closure: Dual Boa IP1

Sole: Dynalast Carbon Fiber

Outsole: Dual-density Michelin Rubber

Weight: 390g (size 45)

Upper Material: Teijin Synthetic Leather

Giro Terraduro

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 100% 100%
  • Comfort and Fit 70% 70%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Well Rounded

Great On and Off the Bike

Great Value

Cons

Fairly Heavy

Best Application: Enduro/All-Mountain

Closure: Replaceable N1 Ratcheting Buckle Closure at Ankle, Two D-ring Velcro Straps at Midfoot

Sole: Nylon

Outsole: Vibram High-Traction Lugged Outsole

Weight: 458g (size 43.5)

Upper Material: Microfiber

Giro Privateer R

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 80% 80%
  • Comfort and Fit 70% 70%
  • Durability 70% 70%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Durable for XC Shoes

Lightweight

Good Power Transfer

Great Value

Cons

Narrow Fit

Less Durable Than Terraduros

Best Application: XC, Trail

Closure: Replaceable N1 Ratcheting Buckle Closure at Ankle, Two D-ring Velcro Straps at Midfoot

Sole: Nylon

Outsole: Co-molded Nylon and High Traction Rubber

Weight: 386g (size 43.5)

Upper Material: Microfiber

Giro Chamber 2

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 80% 80%
  • Comfort and Fit 80% 80%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Weight 50% 50%

Pros

Well Protected

Durable

Wide Range of Cleat Adjustment

Cons

Heavy

Narrow for Riders with Wide Feet

Best Application: Enduro, Downhill, All-mountain

Closure: Laces Plus Power Strap

Sole: Tri-molded SPD Compatible

Outsole: Vibram Megagrip

Weight: 525g (size 44)

Upper Material: Water Resistant Microfiber

Shimano XC7

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 70% 70%
  • Comfort and Fit 80% 80%
  • Durability 70% 70%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Top of the Line XC Performance at Half the Price

Cons

Still a Pricy Shoe for Marginal Gains Over the Giro Privateer R

Best Application: XC

Closure: Boa IP1

Sole: Carbon-Reinforced Nylon

Outsole: Dual-Density Michelin Rubber

Weight: 365g (size 45)

Upper Material: Perforated Upper

Five Ten Kestral Lace

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 90% 90%
  • Comfort and Fit 60% 60%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Patented Five Ten Grip and Durability

Cons

Heavy

Comfort Issues

Best Application: Enduro/All-Mountain  

Closure: Lace-Up with Hook and Loop Ankle Strap

Sole: Nylon

Outsole: C4 Stealth

Weight: 484g (size 43)

Upper Material: Polyurethane-coated synthetic

Pearl Izumi X-Project P.R.O.

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 90% 90%
  • Comfort and Fit 80% 80%
  • Durability 40% 40%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Great Pedaling Efficiency

Comfortable and Grippy off the Bike

Cons

Expensive

Least Durable Shoe in Review

Best Application: XC, All-Mountain

Closure: Two BOA IP1 dials

Sole: Carbon Composite

Outsole: Molded Carbon Rubber Tips on TPU Lugs

Weight: 419g (size 44)

Upper Material: Advanced 3-Layer Seamless Composite

Rigidity and Power Transfer

The rigidity of the Kestral Lace’s sole lags a bit behind XC shoes and the Shimano ME7 enduro clipless mountain bike shoe. However, this is not terribly surprising. Five Ten is a company whose reputation is built on the grippy rubber that adorns its shoes, and the slightly more flexible nature of the Kestral Lace allows it to bite into clipless pedals adorned with larger platforms and traction pins, like the Shimano Saint M820 or Crank Brothers Mallet E. Even still, the Kestral Lace offers good power transfer, and will likely suite anyone not planning to use them with platformless pedals.

Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability”

While some might see the extra bit of flex in the Kestral Lace as a negative when it comes to power transfer, it is a boon when it comes time to throw your bike over your shoulder and climb over a sketchy rock. In addition to its ability to flex with your foot, the C4 rubber compound is softer and stickier than most on our list and holds on for dear life to just about any surface that it touches.

However, the dot pattern of the Kestral Lace does not offer the same grip on wet terrain or in mud as the lugged pattern of our top all-mountain/enduro pick, the Shimano ME7.

If comfortable and sticky shoes for hike-a-bikes are your thing, then the Kestral Lace is about as good as it gets for a clipless mountain bike shoe.

Comfort and Fit

Comfort and fit is where we expect a lace-up shoe to shine, but the Kestral Lace is decidedly mediocre in this category. Five Ten’s tend to have a toe box that sits on the wide side of average, and the Kestral Lace’s toe box seems to be a bit wider than other offerings from Five-Ten. Normally, that would be fine, since the laces allow you to dial in the fit over your entire foot. However, the laces on the Five Ten Kestral Lace don’t go very far down over the toe, meaning that if it is a bit loose in the toe, it is tough to cinch it down much tighter.

The main issue that the Five Ten Kestral Lace has is its ankle strap. The Kestral Lace uses a fairly thin tongue, and the ankle strap manages to dig into many riders’ ankles through the tongue. Not everyone may experience this issue, and it does seem to improve as the shoes break in, but it is something that you will want to pay attention to when trying on the Kestral Lace.

Durability

Five Ten is known for durable uppers and even more durable rubber, and the Kestral Lace is no exception. The C4 rubber compound found on the Kestral Lace’s sole is one of Five Ten’s harder rubbers, and it holds up extremely well. There is also very little of the nylon midsole exposed, meaning that the tough C4 rubber takes almost all of the abuse.

The toe and heel areas are reinforced, and the upper as a whole seems to be extremely well made, and built to stand the test of time. You should get your money’s worth and then some out of the Five Ten Kestral Lace, before they go on to ride that great trail in the sky.

Weight

Riders who wear Five Tens are not exactly known for being weight weenies, and that is a good thing for the Kestral Lace. At 484g for a size 43, the Kestral Lace is not a light shoe. However, it is not really made for disciplines that prioritize this feature.

The Bottom Line

The Kestral Lace is an extremely high-quality enduro and all-mountain focused clipless mountain bike shoe in almost every way. While it is not for the gram counters among us, those who want a bombproof shoe for bombing hills and shredding gnar will love the Kestral Lace just like they do other Five Ten mountain bike shoes, and for a fairly reasonable price, with an MSRP of $150.

However, comfort and fit issues hold the Kestral Lace back from realizing its full potential. Some people’s feet and ankles will no doubt agree with the Kestral lace more than others’. We would recommend having a good trying on period with these shoes, before passing the literal point of no returns.

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