Stuff I Like: 5-10 Sticky Rubber Shoes

There few pieces of gear that changed my life as much as my 5-10’s did. I ride platform pedals all the time and while I love riding them I always had issues with keeping my feet on them.


For a while I was buying some $10 shoes from Payless that would work for about 2 months before the soles got ripped apart and then I would buy a new pair. I tried skate shoes as well but I still had issues, especially if they got wet.

I lived in Hawaii at the time and getting your feet wet and muddy as part of the ride was not uncommon. No shoe I tried would work worth a crap if they got wet or muddy and I had some pretty hairy situations thanks to that fact.

Enter the Intense Sticky Rubber shoe. I first saw them at Interbike and knew I had to try a pair. The soles looked durable and the dude at the booth said they were made of the same rubber they used in mountain climbing shoes. Sticky rubber sounded very promising to me…

I ordered a pair and when I got them I knew that my riding was about to change. I put them on and went for a pedal around the parking lot and found that I literally couldn’t get my feet to slide off the pedals. In fact, I had to pick my foot up just to twist it a little so I could adjust the position. It was pretty insane after experiencing all the other shoes and their pathetic attempts to keep me on my pedals.

Sure enough they also stood up well to wet and muddy conditions. I could cross a stream or step down in some mud and when I put my foot back on the pedals they stayed put. Maybe not as well as when they were dry but much better than anything else I had tried.

After Intense stopped making them I lost track of how to find them for a few years and even had to buy a pair of Etnies when my original sticky rubber shoes finally wore out.

One day my wife was on Zappos.com and found a pair of sticky rubber mountain biking shoes from this company named 5-10. Seems that this mountain climbing shoe company made the original shoes for Intense and they started to sell them on their own after Intense stopped carrying them. I was stoked and ordered 2 pairs, just to be safe.

I can not recommend these shoes enough. I think that every new rider should start out on platform and that every rider on platforms should use these shoes. They even let you get better power transfer when pedaling because of how well they stick to the pedals. All in all they are well worth the investment as they stand up to a lot of use and you’ll get at least 1+ years use out of a pair.

They now come in a variety of colors and styles so you won’t look like the black shoe drone army that was developing there for a while so you fashionistas out there can find something to match your bike. I have to admit that I have not tried the offerings from other shoe companies but I can not believe that they are better than 5-10’s. If you haven’t tried them give them a shot, especially if your still rocking the $10 Payless shoes…

-James Wilson-

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  1. Fabricio says:

    Yeap!.. I tried the clipless all my time in MTB, but after a hard crash in my DH bike which left me with a wrist fracture due the pedals, I said: “I had to go back to my roots of BMX riding” so my first try was this pair of shoes ( I use the Sam Hill model), They are amazing, and like you said, I had to lift my foot from the pedal to accommodate it again, It’s hard to believe it just from a rubber sole, but they virtually stick to my pedals (50/50 CB) and I don’t feel the need of use many nails to find more grip in mud, dusty or wet conditions.

    Reply • July 22 at 11:37 am
  2. If you like the 5-10 shoe, you might love the Scarpa Quest. It has very good rubber and will outlast the 5-10 by a lot. I use these type of shoes all the time for work (I’m a climbing guide-Colleen’s boyfriend) and really notice the durability (or lack thereof) and how sticky they are. Before I went with clips and just used cages (I’m an XC rider like Colleen) I used approach shoes all the time due to their gripping ability.
    Also, just about any shoe that you really like can be re-soled with stealth (5-10) or XSV (Vibram) from any rock shoe re-soler like The Rubber Room or Rock ‘n Resole. I’ve considered doing this to my Sidi’s since they suck for hike a bike on slick rock around here.

    Reply • July 22 at 12:57 pm
  3. rob says:

    I love my 5-10 shoes.

    They are sooooooo sticky and keep my feet on the right spot of my pedals.

    I would recommend them to everyone.

    I have had mine for 3 yrs now and they are wearing very well

    I really can not tell the difference between flats and clips.


    Reply • July 22 at 1:59 pm
  4. Lucas says:

    buy them, try them, love them and forget about any foot on flats issues you ever had!

    Reply • July 23 at 6:49 am
  5. The Real Rob says:

    …lowercase rob stole my identity, but this Rob also likes 5-10s for DH. Still clipped in for XC though…

    Reply • July 23 at 5:19 pm
  6. omanwurmi says:

    i read your review on the sticky-soled 5-10 shoe so i bought a pair. I thought you were exaggerating…you weren’t

    Reply • October 6 at 7:59 am
  7. Bog Chris says:

    Hey are the soles quite stiff on those 510’s?

    Reply • January 13 at 11:17 am
    • bikejames says:

      @ Bog Chris – their are stiffer than normal sneakers but not as stiff as clipless shoes. I think they hit a nice balance.

      Reply • January 13 at 9:33 pm
  8. omanwurmi says:

    If you want to keep peace in the family, DO NOT perform any of James’ exercises on your hardwood floor while wearing these shoes: they are so sticky they leave big black marks on the floor.

    Reply • March 22 at 5:57 pm

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