Five Ten Hellcat

Five Ten have always been the kings of cool, and the Hellcat is no exception, blending stylish looks with an effortless trail-to-bar comfort. Donning the Hellcats the free-ride feeling continues, the soft padding and well chosen stiffness give the shoes a more flat pedal shoe feeling. It was quickly evident the Hellcats are the most comfortable shoe off the bike and the ¾ shank provided plenty of flex for hiking. The standard laces and over-long velcro strap cannot match the firm closure of the best in this test, but the comfortable and sensitive flex gives the Hellcats a more ‘having fun with the lads’ feel than ‘racing is life’. The cleat box is niceley designed with graduated markings to help cleat setup. However be warned, if you like running your cleats in a far back position, we found the tall sole material at the bottom of the cleat box would interfere with the tail pins of some pedals, namely the Crank Brother’s Mallet E and DH’s making engagement tricky.

The leather and synthetic upper did a great job of keeping our feet toasty in the cooler days, without being stuffy on the hot ones, and the 468 g weight is very respectable for such a comfortable shoe. After a season of riding we can conclude the build quality is excellent, all stitching and glues have stood up well to repeated washing and drying, a problem for Five Ten in the past, and the Stealth C4 rubber sole is holding up well with minimal wear, providing good grip on rocks and roots. However, we did experience one issue. While it is quite impressive when your friend can quickly down a pint of beer, it’s a less desirable quality we want from our riding shoes, and it’s the dubious honour of the Five Ten Hellcat to be the only shoes in this test that can absorb far more than a pint per pair, over 676 ml in fact! This is over 6 x the amount of the leading shoes and they take an absolute age to dry. For those who live and ride in wet conditions we would struggle to recommend these shoes.

For riders looking for a more comfortable shoe that blends cool looks with a relaxed and padded fit, the Five Ten Hellcats were favourites with our more gravity focussed testers. However the very poor water absorption and pedal compatibility issues make them hard to recommend as an all-weather shoe.

  • Superbly comfortable
  • Great for gravity riding
  • Terrible water absorption
  • Pedal compatibility issues

Weight: 468 g
Price: €139.95
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About the author

Trev Worsey

Trevor loves adventure. Whisky, riding his bike and everything in between. Though he was born in England, he believes he should have been Scottish. Besides being accustomed to bad weather he's a specialist when it comes to steep and demanding trails. Once, he was in love with competition and raced in the early years of the EWS, but now, at 41-years-old, he no longer has anything to prove. Nonetheless, demonstrating that you can teach an old dog new tricks, he continues to hold his own against the wild and fearless youth. As a reminder of his new role as a father, the words “Think about Brook." (his son) are inscribed on his top tube as a gentle warning against unruly riding. Together with his young family and two crazy dogs, you will almost always find him outdoors. Whether it's teaching Brook to ride trails, hammering out gravel loops, surfing, skiing or canoeing, he’ll be there no matter the weather, like a true Scotsman.