FIVETEN FREERIDER CANVAS
LONG TERM TEST REVIEW
Many of you should know this brand by now, for those who don’t, FIVETEN have earned a place in the journals of mankind for producing the ultimate in flat pedal kicks.
This is due in main part to the Rubber they use on the soles, stickier than a psycho ex girl/boyfriend and the nemesis of moonwalking.
The soles are only part of the equation, the entire construction of all their shoes are built for riding your bike and taking a beating. The FIVETEN Freerider Canvas are no exception with their Stealth™ Rubber.
When you break the shoes out of their box like a feral honeybadger after, well, honey, the first thing you notice is the street smart design. These seemingly laid back sneakers look good enough to adorn at social gatherings.
It’s when you pick up the shoe that you come to realise what these bad ass kicks are made for.
The thick canvas texture feels almost like kevlar and the stitched soles give you the sense that only the mighty hammer of Thor might be able to pry them from the base. Coupled with a thick rubber band around the front, these shoes feel built to last. The subtle touches of colour work well, especially when matched with the different coloured sole. Yet all these niceties are carefully considered for functionality.
ON THE TRAIL
The shoes fitted true to size and were comfortabe from the get go. The first thing you notice after your first few pedal strokes is the flexible sole. For those of you coming from a XC/Marathon background, you might shudder in horror, the stiffer the better, right? Well actually, not really.
The shoe seems to have a great balance between the flex and the marginal stiffness. This feeling of looseness quickly translates to your riding as the more you ride the more it feels like the shoes are wrapping around your pedals. With the combination of the Stealth Rubber, you quickly feel at one with your bike, and those mini tailwhips you were previously nervous about are an issue no more. The shoes grip, but the rubber has enough give so you can adjust your foot positioning on the pedal.
We hurled a lot of abuse at the shoes, from scrambling through rivers, to walking up vertical mud paths and the always inevitable rock strike while riding. Although not as protective as it’s downhill brethren, the Impact, the shoes held up well and only once did I hit a rock hard enough to break into an asian musical. After a closer inspection, the toes were fine and the shoes did their job.
Only after a few hundred km’s of riding did we see some wear and tear. A few knicks on the canvas, but nothing serious considering what it had been through. The soles themselves did eventually show signs of wear, a few gouges from the never friendly pins of the pedals. Yet they remained sticky.
These shoes have double thumbs up from us. Great construction, sticky icky soles and a visual treat.
Ideal for Trail/Bike Parks and shorter singletrack missions. When you start going over the 40km mark you do tend to feel a bit of foot fatigue due to the more flexible soles. 6 months in and they are going strong and ready for trails, rock hopping and baboon crap kicking.
Next up we will be testing the FIVETEN Kestrel Lace and 2015 Contact freeriders. Watch this space for more.