If Adventurous Riding Is Your Jam, These Are Your Shoes

Where I live, fire roads that lead to hidden trail stashes can be punishingly, unrideably steep or rocky or both. There are also lots of footpaths and game trails snaking to incredible overlooks that I like to hike to for a lunchtime view. One of the most fun days around these parts is to ride my gravel bike with a small fly rod strapped on, park the bike at the base of a redwood tree, then hike down to a river and cast flies to aggressive smallmouth bass sheltering next to the trunks of long-sunken pines and oaks.

I’m off and on the bike a lot, banging my feet and pedals into rocks on narrow trails, or simply hiking. The best shoe for me would be something of a flat mountain bike shoe mixed with a hiking boot—which is basically the Five Ten Trail Cross Pro Mids. They’ve become my go-to for any riding I deem remotely “adventurous.”

The neoprene cuff might look a little Futurama, but I dig it. I dig that it keeps dirt and pebbles out of the shoes, something that I can’t say about the low-cut shoes I’ve worn in the past. It also adds a nice layer of ankle protection when traipsing through brush, and the D30 armor, which is squishy under normal use and stiffens under impact, is amazing.

Five Ten’s Stealth rubber compound is still the best-performing flat pedal sole I’ve used, and that doesn’t change with the Trail Cross Kids. These puppies grip and grip and grip. Bonus—they’re great on rock, too. You could use them as dedicated scramblers and they’d be just fine. Note, if you ride with aggressive pins on your pedals, they will eat into the soft rubber outsole. But that’s not new to these shoes, all Five Tens with the Stealth soles suffer from wear and tear from sharp pins.

I’ve had the Trail Cross mids for at least six months, I ride in them three to five times a week, and aside from being dirty, the only sign of use is where I ripped one of the pull tabs on the tongue.

The shoes are also super comfy and supportive. Usually, I kick my bike shoes off and slide right into something more comfortable for a post-ride beer, but the Trail Crosses feel great on pavement, too. Bikepacking? And how.

They also make a low-top version and a clipless low-top version. The clipless I’ve also tried and they have many of the same attributes in terms of comfort as the mids, but I’m fazing out clipless riding in general so I haven’t put the time in those.

BUY • Black only on sale here for $119

BUY • Both colors, here for $126



Four issues, free shipping, evergreen content…