At the heart and sole (no pun intended) of each Five Ten shoe is the rubber on the bottom which makes contact with the ground and pedals, anyone with a bit of R&D money can put together a competent mountain biking shoe but what makes Five Ten unique and by far the industry leading brand for flat mountain biking shoes is their priority STEALTH rubber compounds – in fact, the intellectual property which makes up these compounds is supposedly the reason adidas bought the company nearly ten years ago.
STEALTH was developed for their rock climbing ranges there are a number of key differences which might sway your decision to buy one or another Five Ten model depending on your needs, in this blog post we will try and explain in short what each of these compounds are and what do we mean by "Outsole Print" in our product descriptions.
Five Ten essentially now use just four versions of STEALTH in their cycling shoes, a couple of them are very similar to one another but there are a few differences across the range.
S1™ is by far the most common outsole compound in the range, it offers fantastic traction and is reasonably hard wearing – it also exhibits vibration dementing properties which make the compound perfect for the rock and roll world of mountain biking. Combined with the updated dotty outsole design the compound is a certifiable winner.
Phantom™, or PH, is essentially a colourised version of S1™ - it offers all the same benefits as described above but with one slight difference – it’s a non-marking compound so it won’t leave marks over the flooring if you should accidently drag your feet a little. For this reason, you’ll see it being used on some specific coloured Freeriders (look for coloured soles) and other more rounded performance models such as the Sleuth DLX.
Marathon™, or MN, is a great balance between durability and grip – it’s a little harder than both S1™ and PH but is in return more durable, as with PH, it’s a non-marking compound so perfect for kids and dirt models such as the Freerider VCS - the Freerider PrimeBlue ranges use this compound too.
C4™ is a much harder than all the other compounds but in return is much more durable, because of this step up in hardness it offers less grip, so it’s mostly found in clipless models such as the Kestrel as absolute on pedal traction isn’t so necessary, being hard wearing its more resilient to the forces applied whilst engaging and disengaging cleats. In recent years the use of C4™ has diminished from the range in favour of Marathon.
Durometer Shore: 80A
Popular Models: None currently stocked :'(
What is Durometer Shore?
Durometer Shore is a scale on which the 'hardness' of a martial is measured, a Shore of 00 is pretty much a firm jelly where as a Shore of 60A is a tyre rubber, anything above this get progressively harder thus less 'grippy' but significantly more durable - a 80D is basically a rigid plastic. You can read more on Wikipedia if that's your thing.
STEALTH Outsole Prints
Along with their compounds, Five Ten also feature unique outsole print designs - each with their own merits so when you see the Outsole Print in the specification this is what we're referring to.
This outsole print is the OG of the range and has been a feature of the Classic Freerider for longer than we have been Five Ten dealers (so, well over a decade). It offers fantastic grip on platform pedals and the narrow gaps between the tread blocks inhibit the build up of mud and other debris.
Based on the Classic Dotty, the Updated Dotty outsole design appeared first on the Freerider Pro, it features the same benefits as its predecessor but with variable sized gaps between the tread blocks to strategically place them to ensure maximum contact with the pins on platform pedals.
Impact Dotty as we're calling it, takes what was learned from the Updated Dotty and takes it up a notch with the introduction of both smaller tread blocks to add further pads and subtly different tread spacing between shoe sizes.
A relatively new design to the range, the Trailcross Dotty is designed for both the demands of riding and hiking, it takes inspiration from other designs in the range but with a unique highly durable heel layout to ensure the shoes are durable off bike as they are on the bike.
This outsole design only features on the new Hellcat and Hellcat Pro range and because those models are clipless the outsole has less demands on it to provide grip so uses a similar tread pattern to the Updated Dotty in conjunction with a higher wearing compound.
Bonus entry! This outsole design doesn't actually appear on any models at the time of writing, if you are familiar with Five Ten's more dirt jump or skare oriated models such as the Dirtbag or Spitfire you might recognise the print design.
We think that's enough for now, if you have any questions please just ask below – we'll be more than happy to help.