At A Glance
Adidas have been in the shoe game for a long time, those three stripes have adorned sports stars the world over and made them a household name. While they might be a household name among the football kickers and Sunday morning runners they have never quite broken into the outdoor market. This is despite the fact they have been producing exceedingly high-quality outdoor gear for years!Buy Shoes on
When Adidas bought up Five Ten, it was clear that we would see a new direction in their footwear, but how would they market their new shoes with Stealth rubber against the company they now own. To prevent direct competition Adidas have brought out the Trail Cross range with the Terrex branding, which never was pushed as a full MTB shoe, rather a hiking and biking combo shoe. The new Protect version builds on that concept with some fresh additions.
The main feature of the new model is the high-top style, which gives an ankle protection in the form of D3O pads, which harden on impact. These pads are built into a neoprene collar, which wraps around with Velcro to give support. As with all the Terrex range, we get a Stealth sole, which guarantees excellent grip but also has toe and heel grip for hiking off the bike. The rest of the uppers are ripstop, water repellent and pretty low on padding, this reduces areas for the water to be absorbed.
On The Trail
Having used the Trail Cross shoe previously, I knew these shoes had a strong pedigree, and the additions seemed to make sense on paper. I get on well with the fit, and they come in exactly right for me, no sizing up or down. Initial feel is supportive and snug, with good arch support compared to most flat pedal bike shoes, and it's clear you could walk into the mountains with these no problem. Lacing and the Velcro wrap work well, and the lace bungee is a neat touch to keep them out of harm's way.
On the pedals, there is no doubt that the Stealth rubber is the same as always and provides phenomenal grip. The addition of the triangle texture on the sole only helps enhance grip, allowing pins to locate between them and lock in. The midsole is thick enough and supportive enough to give excellent power transfer and protect the bottom of your feet. If you like to feel every pin through your shoes, then these will be too much for you. I personally love the extra support and feel these are pretty much perfect in the balance between support and feel.
The build quality is excellent, and although the sole is glued, there has been no sign of any separation, which has been a problem on so many other bike shoes. The lightweight upper is a great addition, as they dry so fast, but insulation needs to be added in the form of bigger socks if it gets cold! The major flaw with the water repellant material is the lack of a sewn in tongue, which results in easy ingress of water, which is a real shame.
Off the bike, they are super comfy, as a pair of Adidas trainers should be, but if you like to add in a bit of adventure with your biking, they will serve you well. Any pushing or hike-a-biking is made all the more easy with the support and grip from a proper sole unit. If the mood takes you to just head out for a walk, then these are a great shoe for all round mountain exploring.
In my opinion, these are the best flat pedal mountain bike shoes currently available. The combined forces of Stealth rubber and the exceptional build quality of Adidas create an almost faultless shoe.
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.