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Apparel

FIVETEN FREERIDER EPS

FiveTen shoes have been a runaway success especially in the world of flat pedals. The Stealth rubber compound has almost untouchable grip and is a benchmark sole to which most brands are compared against.

With many years of mountainbike shoes designs behind them, we’ve found some FiveTen styles to be a winner and others that have been a touch compromised. Their Freerider range has had a makeover recently and we’ve been won over by this EPS model.

Essentially these are shoes for autumn, winter and spring use. The EPS name means ‘Elements Primaloft System’, and this shoe design is insulated with an upper design that will shrug off water and filth.

FiveTen have stuck with their classic Freerider style and not messed with the Stealth S1 rubber multi-dot sole design. It works in wet or dry conditions – essential for a shoe like the EPS. Although it’s pretty much impossible to keep all the water out of a shoe, FiveTen’s aim was to make a shoe that gives all-day comfort and warmth regardless of the conditions. Starting with an upper with a single piece of leather on the forefoot to reduce the number of seams and keep water out. Next up is a fully gusseted tongue to again reduce water intake. You’ll eventually have moisture seep in through the ankle area but until then the worst of the water from the trails will stay out.

‘We were sceptical at first as to whether these new FiveTens were really necessary, but after few rides we were sold’

Insulation is the key to staying warm – even when wet. Here, FiveTen turn to synthetic fibre masters Primaloft for added warmth. Primaloft insulation is used in the upper from the instep forward, including the tongue; it doesn’t add much bulk but it does add comfort and plenty of it. After a full day of photoshoots and riding in the slop and wet we were noticeably more comfortable in these EPS shoes than our usual ‘year round’ options. Additional foam insulation in the liner and an insulated, heat-reflective footboard also adds to the warmth, keeping you riding for longer.

At a shade under 1KG for an average pair of these low tops, the weight isn’t low but it is realistic for the extra protection and comfort on offer. We were sceptical at first as to whether these new FiveTens were really necessary, but after few rides we were sold. This EPS model is also available in a mid top option for more ankle protection.

PRICE: £105 (Low top)

fiveten.com

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