When Five Ten launched the TrailCross Gore-Tex Mountain Bike Shoe earlier this year, they promised the holy grail of winter riding kit; waterproof flat pedal shoes. I absolutely had to get my feet in a pair. Where better to test waterproof kit than the midst of a Scottish winter? In addition to the countless puddles ploughed through, and myriad of muddy ruts roosted, I also took a more direct approach with the hose pipe. Here’s how the Five Ten TrailCross GTX MTB shoes fared.

Review: Five Ten TrailCross Gore-Tex Winter MTB Flats

fiveten trailcorss gore-tex mtb shoes great winter mountain biking kit

We tested the Five Ten TrailCross GTX Shoes in UK Size 4.5 – they weighed in at 692g for the pair

It’s rather refreshing to see that Five Ten has done away with the 90s skater look with the new TrailCross GTX Flats, prioritizing function over the casual cool dude aesthetic rocked by almost all their other flat pedal shoe models. For winter riding I couldn’t really care less what my shoes look like, so long as they are keeping my feet warm and dry. And, in the case of flats, that rubber outsole needs to lock into the pedal pins to the point where I can pilot the bike well no matter what slippery conditions may lie underneath the tires.

So, have Five Ten ticked all those boxes with the TrailCross Gore-Tex MTB Flats? The binary answer: Yes. For a little more insight, read on.

fiveten trailcross gore-tex mtb flat pedal shoes review

Credit: Blair Kemp

Let’s start with the rubber. Despite a very respectable challenger in the form of Specialized’s SlipNot 3rd Gen rubber seen on the 2FO DH Flats, 2FO Roost and RIME Shoes, Five Ten rubber is still the Gold Standard for grippy rubber. And, the dual-compound Stealth rubber on the TrailCross GTX Flats is no different.

fiveten trailcross gtx stealth rubber sole tread pattern

The tread pattern takes on a more squared-off and deeper form at the heel and toe regions to allow for off-bike grip in soft conditions

It gives me a locked-in feel on the pedals (tested with Pinnd Pedals and OneUp Pedals), to the point where changing foot position mid-descent isn’t really a viable option. I may not have been such a big fan of this feature as a beginner mountain biker many years ago. Now? It gives me complete confidence in the shoe pedal connection so I can focus all my attention on the trail ahead.

fiveten trailcross gtx stealth rubber shoe pedal connection

The Stealth rubber worked very well with both the Pinnd CS2 pedal and the OneUp pedal. If you were to push me on which combination is best, I’d have to say the OneUp pedal wins, likely thanks to the smaller, spikier pins and the smaller platform – I wear a UK Size 4.5. Credit: Blair Kemp.

The fact that the EVA midsole isn’t too stiff is an important factor contributing to that solid connection, too. I find that overly stiff flat pedal shoes can often lead to feet bouncing off pedals no matter how grippy the rubber is. Being lightweight (58 kg) I’m fairly sensitive on this point.

fiveten trailcross gore-tex mtb shoe review waterproof winter riding kit

Credit: Blair Kemp

But are they waterproof? Yes, but it really depends on how well you’re able to dress yourself (face palm). Throughout the test period my feet got wet just the once. On a particularly dreich (Scots for bleak) day, I got drenched to the point where the shoes had unfortunately taken on the form of wetsuit boots – you know, when they lock in a personal puddle of water. That morning, I had made the mistake of closing the ankle gaiters over the cuff of my MTB Pants. As you might imagine, as the pants got wet, as did my socks, which proceeded to carry water downwards into the shoe.

fiveten trailcross gore-tex mtb shoes waterproof

Credit: Blair Kemp

Needless to say, I have not made the same mistake since. With the ankle gaiters firmly closed underneath the tight ankle cuff of my Specialized Trail-Series Pants, my feet have remained warm and dry on every single ride since despite the hundreds of puddles I have ploughed through. Not yet satisfied, after hosing my bike down post-ride, I pointed the hose to the Five Ten TrailCross shoes. I’m pleased to say my feet remained dry, even after several minutes of hosing. The hose isn’t a jet wash, but it still puts out a decent pressure. Beyond the testing, this is awesome on another count; it means you can clean all the muck off your shoes outside without soaking the inner liner.

So, to no one’s real surprise, we determined the Gore-Tex membrane inside the Five Ten TrailCross GTX shoes really is waterproof. 

I also found my feet remained toasty warm on rides, even on days where the mercury barely went above 2°C. The Gore-Tex membrane must also have decent breathability properties too, as I didn’t find my feet ever got too sweaty in there. 

fiveten trailcross gtx winter mtb shoes

That bit of flex in the mid-sole also helps make the shoe comfortable for walking in, especially when you’re pushing back up the trail to session a feature. Credit: Blair Kemp.

There’s no doubt about it, the Five Ten TrailCross GTX shoes are a game changer for winter riding here in the UK. I’ve recommended them to all of my riding pals, and now I’m recommending them to you. Pick up a pair for $200 USD at REI.

A final note on durability: This pair of shoes has seen regular use over the last two months, and so far there are no signs of any significant wear. We’ll update this review as and when signs of wear do appear.

fiveten trailcross gtx review are they actually waterproof

Credit: Blair Kemp

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Martin Jaht
Martin Jaht
6 months ago

I live in Norway. Have the other two versions of trailcross. Are they warmer than the non-waterproof version? I need mine to be at least OK IN -5celsius. Can my feet be friends with these? The step up to 45nrth wolfhammer (-18) is a little long..

rob
rob
6 months ago

I had the earlier version, they lasted less than 1 year before they fell apart completely esp on the inside foot which rubs against the crank arms, the soles also delaminated, please keep us updated.

Tiziano Stimpfl
Tiziano Stimpfl
6 months ago

Put a hand into a shoe a leave it under the water of your washbasin. I returned, and got refunded, 7 pairs of mountain shoes with gore tex, some of them still unworn

luddite
luddite
6 months ago

And SPD version of this would be great for winter gravel

Steven Jones
Steven Jones
6 months ago

Spot on review. Been using these here in the UK for the past 5 months. Plenty of wet weather rides and feet still staying toastie and dry. Super grippy on my DMR Vault pedals. Uppers have survived 2 spectacular offs in Dalby Forest showing little damage, and so far little or no wear.

BubbRubb
BubbRubb
6 months ago

there are dozens of existing options for SPD users. It would make for sense for your to ride flats.

Nick Hill
6 months ago

I have a pair of LTs as have a few mates we all love the style and grip but they are so narrow which is odd considering my Freerider are a wide fit, perhaps now Adidas are in charge that’s how they’ll be from now on.

Rufino Ramos
Rufino Ramos
6 months ago

they are the best my feet have never ben as warm and dry .my front tyer sprays water .in a matter of minutes your feet would be soaked ,NOT with theses .MUST HAVE IN OLYMPIA WA .

Def Defy
Def Defy
6 months ago

@Nick Hill adidas have owned Five Ten since 2011…