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…