Five Ten Freerider Contact shoe review (updated)

Issues with delaminating soles addressed, replacements available

Shoes Women's
After a summer of abuse, the soles on my Five Ten Freeride Contact shoes have begun to delaminate. This is not a problem I’ve experienced with the base level Freerider which uses the old S1 Stealth Rubber.

After a summer of abuse, the soles of these Five Ten Freeride Contact shoes have begun to delaminate. This is not a problem we experienced with the base level Freerider, which use the older S1 Stealth Rubber.

Editor’s note: Below is an update to the Mtbr review of the Five Ten Freerider Contact shoe. See the original review, which was published on June 17, 2016 on page 2.

Update: Five Ten Freerider Contact Shoe Review

One of the challenges we face when reviewing products is determining when we’ve spent enough time using an item to offer an educated opinion. Wait too long, and the item may get discontinued or updated. Speak too soon and you may miss an important flaw.

I logged nearly four months of use before writing a review of the Five Ten Freerider Contact shoes. I was reviewing other shoes concurrently, but I probably put 20-30 miles on them each week. Over that period, they grew to be my favorites.

The first place my shoes started to delaminate was the point where my feet naturally flexes when I walk.

The first place my shoes started to delaminate was the point where my feet naturally flexes when I walk.

Compared to the burlier Five Ten Impacts, they breathe significantly better, yet offer similar levels of protection. My only gripe is that the new Mi6 soles wore out faster than the old Stealth stuff. Other than that, I was pumped.

Despite my positive experience, many of our readers wrote to complain about issues with delaminating. I’d heard of the problem from the guys at the local shop, but hadn’t experienced it myself until a month after I posted my initial review when both soles started to delaminate on our test pair.

According to Five Ten, the soles delaminated because of an issue with a manufacturing partner. The end result was rubber that stretched more than intended, which caused the soles to delaminate and increased wear.

According to Five Ten, the soles delaminated because of an issue with a manufacturing partner. The end result was rubber that stretched more than intended, which caused the soles to delaminate.

To find out why I stopped by the Five Ten booth at Interbike where I spoke with sales director Rick Reed. “Stealth Mi6 is softest and stickiest rubber Five Ten offers,” he explained. “We had a recent issue with a rubber supplier that caused this particular rubber compound to stretch more than specified. We have since changed rubber suppliers and corrected the issue. We fully stand by the product and will replace any shoe with the delamination problem. Just contact Five Ten customer service.”

So there it is. If you’ve had issues with your Five Ten’s delaminating after seemingly light use, give Five Ten a call. The Stealth Mi6 rubber does wear at a faster rate than the S1 Stealth rubber, so keep that in mind. A pair of shoes you beat on aren’t going to last forever, but for a $150 they should last at least a season.

Continue to page 2 to read our original Five Ten Freerider Contact shoe review »


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  • geephlow says:

    The new contacts are complete lemons. Both soles on my pair de-laminated after just a few short months of use as my backup shoe. Most folks I know who’ve used these in the PacNW have had a similar experience. And no help whatsoever from 5.10. Very disappointing.

    Really a shame, because they’re comfortable and the uppers are great. Dry quick as well. But do yourself a favor and stay away.

  • waileepai says:

    Same experience here with the soles – the rubber does not last. It delaminates, but even worse just gets eaten away into big holes where your pedal pins hit it. I am on my second pair (replaced under warranty), and about to ship this 2nd pair back for another, different model, under warranty replacement.

    If they could just fix the sole issue they would be awesome shoes.

  • KG says:

    Had the same delamination problem. Put it down to the hot humid tropical conditions where we live and ride (have had the same delamination in other non-5.10 shoes). Interestingly I also have 5.10 climbing shoes for longer in the same hot humid conditions, with no delamination at all. Seems to point to a bonding issue between the EVA foam and Stealth Rubber. Used a generic shoe glue to put them back together and that seems to be holding well.
    Also had the same issue with pins punching holes. Though I guess that is the price of soft sticky rubber.
    Shimano’s weren’t much better. Vibram rubber was brittle and worn away by pedal pins.

  • Vik says:

    I have several pairs of 5.10′s with the older Stealth rubber sole and no issues with them. They wear out, but pretty evenly across the whole shoe and last long enough to feel like I got my money’s worth out of them.

    I had a pair of the Freerider VXi’s back in 2013 when the contact sole was new. They delaminated on ride 5 or 6. I took them back and got my cash back.

    You can use shoe goo to glue a delaminating sole back on, but it’s ugly and you shouldn’t have to do that for a purpose built bike shoe.

  • Bryan says:

    I had a pair of Freerider VXi’s that delaminated within the first few rides. Ended up using shoe goo until the soles delaminated next. They held up for a couple seasons so still a good shoe just not constructed great. Bought a pair Specialized F20s. Way better shoe from a build point and they feel more compact and rugged. Just not as sticky.

  • Alex says:

    My pair of Freeriders experienced the delamination problem above described, after some time the upper side of the shoes was still in perfect condition, but soles almost destroyed.
    Just when I lost all faith in Five Ten quality and was looking for other brands, I bumped into this article.
    I contacted Five Ten customer service and I’m happy to say that they (Spencer Forbes in this case) were great; as advertised, they replaced the shoes. Now I’m again enjoying the sturdy good fit and incredible grip of these shoes.
    It´s a pleasure to find brands that stand by what they claim and are truly committed to their clients.
    Thanks for publishing this and thanks to Five Ten for their great customer support.

  • Glenn says:

    Same problem for me, the soles started to delaminate after the first season of very light use, glued them a couple of times but shouldn’t have to do that with shoes at this price point.Not much chance of a fix for me, bought in the US but I live in Australia.

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