Ya know what’s better than warming your feet by a crackling fire after a long winter’s ride? Not having cold or wet feet in the first place! The Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex MTB Shoes were designed with the harder-core shredders in mind. For those who don’t hang up the tires when the puddles fill in, these shoes are worth a close look.
The lower two-thirds of this shoe is waterproof thanks to the Gore-Tex fabric, and paired with the neoprene ankle cuff there’s a good chance you’ll arrive home with dry socks. You do have to wear waterproof pants and slide the ankle opening over the top of the shoe to keep larger puddle splashes from draining down your leg and into the shoe. That neoprene cuff could be a little taller to make the material overlap easier, but likely its height is limited by flexibility and pedaling comfort factors. The Trailcross Gore-Tex is the first pair of sorta-hightops I’ve tried on the bike, and they feel great for all-day adventures. I didn’t have any issues with ankle chafing or mobility and was stoked to have that added water shield.
A good friend of mine tried these on and couldn’t get the ankle cuff to close. Folks with larger legs and ankles might want to try these on before buying, and potentially look to the Five Ten Trailcross LT model if the cuff is too snug. Unfortunately, the LT version isn’t waterproof, but it otherwise looks to be very similar. The rest of the shoe fits just as you would expect from a Five Ten design, with ample toe-box space and a heel cap that grips your foot while while hiking. I wear a size 43 and the sizing is spot on. I like my shoes somewhat tight, and could usually upsize to a 43.5, but with these, there was no need. They do come in half-sizes should your feet ask for them.
I won’t dig too far into the pedal feel and grip with these shoes, as those accolades have been shared countless times. This is some of the stickiest rubber on the shoe market, and it deserves those rave reviews. The Trailcross Gore-Tex shoes make swapping between flats and clipless shoes easy since they also velcro your foot to the bike in a way that you can stamp it and forget it. It’s so sticky, in fact, that you may want to lower the pedals’ pin heights if you like to move your foot around while riding. That “glued” sensation is no joke.
There is a little deeper lug to the toe and heel tread for hiking, but it’s not exactly mud-ride ready. The toe tread could use a little wider spacing and possibly taller lugs for added bike-on-shoulder grip when the earth is damp. Like most MTB gear, the tread is designed for most use cases, and that definitely doesn’t include steep alpine steps with one hand on the hillside and the other holding the bike.
Gore-Tex is some pretty cool stuff, allowing your skin to breathe better than some other waterproof technology. These shoes are warm and toasty down to the freezing point as long as my feet stay dry, and so far they have. I’ve ridden in the snow without freezing my toes and splashed in hub-high puddles without too much water getting in through the top of the cuff. I wouldn’t want to wear these in conditions warmer than 15.5°C (60°F) as they do become too hot. If you have a lighter set of summer tread these should last through several winters.
Despite the softness of the rubber, these shoes maintain a rigid enough sole so you can feel where the pedal is without it creating any painful spots on your foot throughout the day. The thicker sole offers a good amount of protection from rock strikes and larger drop-to-flat impacts on the pedals. The toes and heel are equally fortified and ready for whatever your front tire hucks up. That protection does drop off before the point where the toes become a unified foot, and if you frequently smack the front half of your foot on things this may be worth considering. I’ve been riding a number of unknown trails in these shoes, flinging all manner of crap at my feet without getting hurt, so it seems Five Ten put the protection where it belongs.
Given their intended habitat, the Trailcross Gore-Tex MTB Shoes are washed after almost every ride, and they dry quickly with a little ride on the boot dryer. All of their combined protection and elevated waterproofing weighs 438g per side (with some mud caked in), and that heft is well worth its warmth. They stick tenaciously to rocks and pedal pins, even with a good amount of mud caked into the soles. With these shoes, you can be the one tending the fire instead of merely huddled at its mercy.
- Fantastic pedal feel and grip
- Solidly warm for most winter riding
- Quick drying
Pros and cons of the Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex MTB Shoes.
- Lace manegement could be improved
- Ankle cuff to tight for some legs