Five Ten Freerider Shoe: A Product Review

Delving deeper into the world of mountain biking and reading about footwear that other riders prefer, you can easily become somewhat lost with limited options of shoes for women.
Last season Travis had me try the 2FO shoes from Specialized, which were designed with a similar sole as the ever popular Five Ten shoes. I've enjoyed those shoes, but sometimes I yearned for something a bit more "everyday wear" friendly.

I'm a classic "black shoe" woman. I also found the overall make of the 2FO shoe fine, but found it hard to keep my feet from getting too chilly when it was cooler outside.

This season we saw future availability of ordering Five Ten shoes through QBP.
(If you do not live locally, you can order Five Ten shoes on Dirty!)
A friend of mine wanted to try a pair, and I very much saw a shoe that I knew I'd be happy to wear on a regular basis. The Women's Five Ten Freerider in black/berry. Just a hint of color, but nothing so outrageous to clash with my work attire or non-work attire.

At this point I still ride flats on the Trek Carbon Lush 27.5 and on my commuter bike. (Clipless on the Trek Cali Carbon SLX)
I found that I still would have pedal grip issues with the 2FO shoes sometimes, like I just couldn't get the sole to "stick" as much as I liked. With all the positive reviews I heard about the Five Ten shoes, I felt it would be valuable product research.
My friend had gotten a pair of shoes before I did, and she loved them- so yeah, the decision was an easy one!
Then Travis got a pair, too, and found them to be very comfortable and amazingly grippy on flat pedals.

The day came and the Freerider shoes came to the shop, hooray! I took my first free moment to put them on and was very impressed with how comfortable they were out of the box. I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to wear them around during my workday to break them in a little, but in the end- I feel like they were ready to wear without issue.

I'm picky with shoes that I wear on a daily basis. I've stood many, many hours on my feet over almost 7 years, so I have looked far and wide for comfortable, durable shoes that are also purposeful. If you can find a shoe that would work for hiking or biking that is also able to withstand hours of standing/walking on hard surfaces- YES, I considered that a score.

These shoes felt great out of the box. No, they aren't hiking shoes by any means, but walking around the shop and home was fine. They were flexible enough for me to feel comfortable walking, the 2FO shoes did not feel like a muli-use shoe to me after wearing them for awhile.

I really like the color combo of the shoes. Mostly black with one pop of color- however the soles get dirty quickly, but what do you expect? I work at a bike shop AND I mountain bike, ha!

The first time I wore them on my bike, I was literally shocked with how grippy the shoes felt on my pedal pins. Like it sucked them up, it was impressive! First mountain bike ride with them was equally impressive. Not that I don't pop a foot off a pedal here or there, but it's a lot less than with other shoes I've worn.

I also feel that the shoes fit true to size. I wear an 8 1/2 for most shoes.
The toebox is comfortable, not too confining nor too big.
I like the fact they have normal shoelaces. (Not bungee style- which I loathe.) I do wish they had a feature to keep laces tied down, but I'm proficient at stuffing them under the crosses.
If you go with a men's style, go down a size and 1/2 and you'll have a good fit (this is what my friend did.)

It's legit, the Stealth rubber really is stealthy. The shoes are fab and definitely multi-purpose. Just the way I like 'em.

I am also super stoked because when Travis and I went to Ogden, UT for SaddleDrive we saw a new pair of Five Ten Contact shoes! Hooray
for a company that keeps increasing the option for women's footwear but doesn't make them in super-girly colors. We were told availability for us would be around October. You can bet I'll be item watching these on QBP!


  1. Thanks for this. I just started using flat pedals on my MTB bike and I've been looking for good shoes for it.

  2. I just ordered some 5.10 freeride elc in a 'uk' 4.5 size. I have my fingers crossed they will fit right. In the UK there is lots of rain and mud so I felt the women's specific shoes were all too summer weather focused for me. I really love the look of the freeriders that you have reviewed, I just worry that the suede will get wrecked straight away. Looks like 5.10 used to sell women's karvers which had lave cover etc but not since 2013 model :-( Thanks for posting your review.

  3. For wet weather riding I've found the Freerider Contact shoes to be the best. I still get wet feet, but not as bad! It is tough to walk when things are very slippery, I will admit to slipping out from under myself when trying to walk uphill on an off-road trail. Just depends on the terrain!

    They are coming out with a more high-top style shoe that I'm stoked about. I'll be using it more for fall, early winter, and spring seasons. Extra warm compared to the lower-rise form of them.

    I've used my Freeriders as my everyday commuter shoe and they have been thru a lot. The suede has worn off some from the toebox area, but it's not too bad. Overall the shoe is great, but for everyday use they wear out quickly (imo) but I haven't worn anything "skate shoe" style before until them, so I'm not sure if they wear quicker or slower than others.


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