This is an 18 month review of my Five Ten Freerider Elements mountain bike shoes. Read my 6 month review here to get my initial thoughts as I won’t repeat them in this post.
Since getting these shoes I haven’t worn my previous 5.10 Impact Low shoes one time. Having said that on my last bikepacking trip my feet were getting sore and I felt like I just wasn’t getting the support I was used to from the Elements. I had bought a replacement pair on sale so I pulled them out and they were noticeably stiffer and more comfortable. So I put them into service and put the older pair in the closest as back up.
My Impact Lows withstood years of hard use and are still as good as they were on Day 1. So the Elements are definitely not as robust. I guess that’s reasonable from a much lighter more compact shoe. I ride year round and I bikepacked in these shoes so 18 months of use isn’t nothing. My old Elements are still in fine shape for light duty use. They are soft and very comfortable for wearing socially or cruising around town. Although they look a little rough! Where they start to let me down is 4-5hrs into a ride.
A couple other downsides to the Elements are:
- not quite as grippy as the Impact Lows
- not as much foot protection either
I tagged a rock at speed recently wearing the Elements and thought I had broken my toe. The Impact Lows would have shrugged that hit off with far less damage to my foot.
I’m really enjoying the stiffer feel of the new pair of Elements and I expect to get another 18 months of use from them before I need to think about new shoes. The trade off in service life and protection is reasonable in exchange for a lighter more versatile shoe.
If you are wondering the Elements are just a more weatherproof version of the straight up Freeriders. They do repel moisture well, but a low shoe can only keep you so dry in the wet. They dry faster than the Impact Lows and they are not particularly hot in the summer so I wear the Elements year round. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the normal Freeriders if I got a good deal on a pair. I don’t think the weatherproofness of the Elements is a big deal.
I’m not sure I’ll buy a 3rd pair. I might, but 3yrs is also enough time to spend wearing one shoe that I will probably be ready to see what’s new or go back to the Impact Lows for a while and feel all retro.
If you want a lighter mountain bike flats shoe that bikepacks well and can go out to a club dancing without looking too weird the Elements or there Freerider cousins are worth a look.