Ride Concepts is back with another new pair of kicks. Shortly after the launch of the more casual looking Vice Mid, the new RC Hellion Elite is here to cover your all-mountain flat pedal needs.
Citing consumer demand, the Hellion Elite is RC’s first lowtop shoe to use their DST 4.0 Max Grip rubber outsole. This is their stickiest, grippiest rubber to keep you glued to the pedals. Combined with their hexagon tread design, the Hellion Elite is intended for pedal grip and feel in any condition.
Between that outsole and your foot is a layer of EVA foam midsole for comfort and shock absorption.
Further shock absorption is provided by their D30 equipped insoles with the viscoelastic material placed in high impact locations.
Up top, a new two-panel microfiber synthetic upper is used to create a shoe that is light, abrasion resistant, and water repellent. Antimicrobial mesh lining helps on the inside to keep out the funk.
At the front, a TPU toe protection cap is meant to keep abrasion to a minimum. This looks like it could be directly related to the toe cap wear that Jessie-May experienced with the original Hellion.
Weight wise, the shoe checks in at 382g per shoe for a 41.5.
Available in three versions, including a women’s specific version with its own last, the Hellion Elite is offered in US sizes 7-13 (with 14 and 15 available in black/charcoal)
and UK 6-12 (with 13 and 14 available in black/charcoal) and women’s US sizes 5-10 (UK 4-9). Pricing is set at $140.
The early season has meant limited chances to get out and try the Hellion Elite, so I took the chance to do some back to back testing with these and the Vice Mid at our asphalt pump tracks. The increase in grip the 4.0 Max rubber provides is instantly noticeable. You have to consciously want to move your foot around the pedal, otherwise, they’re firmly locked in place.
Compared to the Vice Mid, the Hellion Elite also offers a much firmer feel at the pedals. This should make the shoe much better for longer trail rides, but on the pump track, I preferred the feel of the Vice Mid.
Along those lines, the Hellion Elite seems like it will take quite a bit longer to break in compared to the Vice Mid (which really needed no break-in at all). The thicker material around the toe caused some uncomfortable creasing right out of the box, but after a few laps it had already started to loosen up. I suspect that with a few more rides, the Hellion Elites would become much more comfortable.
For my needs, there’s no question that I’d reach for the Vice Mid over this shoe, but that’s really no surprise since I don’t do longer trail and enduro rides in flats. For those that do, and that want the maximum grip out of their outsole, the Hellion Elite fits the bill.