Five Ten Cyclone MTB Shoe Review

For those of you who are familiar with extreme sports such as rock climbing, skateboarding, X-games stuff, and of course, mountain biking, you may have heard about 5.10. Come on… of course you have!

If you haven’t, and you’re looking for shoes that can take a sh*% kicking, then look no further. Having tested the Karver myself, and mtbgreg1 having tested the Maltese Falcon, we have had plenty of experience with 5.10 shoes–and high expectations based on that experience.

I’ve had a few bad crashes over the last two years involving torn and sprained ankles so I decided that I need more ankle support when I ride. Enter the Five Ten Cyclone, featuring a full-on high-top with support and an added twist. An SPD twist, to be exact.

Take the Line King as a basic design, add a new super-tacky SPD sole, and an extra support velcro strap around the cuff of the shoe and you have the Cyclone. Unlike other SPD shoes, these soles are almost as soft and grippy as the other Stealth rubber soles from Five Ten. So if you decide to run the shoe as-is without SPD (as I did for a while) or with the SPD, you’ll still have very little noise or other issues when walking around.

The opening on the sole is intelligently cut with a diagonal edge to encourage clip engagement and clearance. Up top there are tough leather uppers, and extra padding around the ankle for higher levels of comfort. The opening on the shoe seems curiously small. At first glance you would probably think (as I did) that your foot couldn’t possibly fit in or that you ordered the wrong size. That’s simply not the case: you just have to pull the sides of the shoe open and unbuckle the top strap to get your foot in.

Installing the cleats took some work, as I needed a fresh cutter blade and a ” chisel. Even though the relief was in place, the “cut here” marks were still an issue. The glue underneath was the second obstacle to overcome. Five Ten really want to make sure things stay in place! Using the chisel allows you to pry the cutout easier and safer than a screwdriver (which could possible slip).

Out on the Trail

How does the Cyclone feel? Well at first they felt a bit on the tight side (getting in), and of course required a bit of fudging around with the laces until I got them just right. Once your foot is in (these shoes run a hair small on the scale), the added support around the ankle is very pronounced, and the toe box is surprisingly roomy. Unlike the Shimano shoes I just reviewed, these are more of a “Git-R-Done” kinda shoe, not really a wear-all-day shoe as they can get hot. There is a lot of material for strength, with little room for breathing.

If you’re looking for a shoe to hit the gnar while doing some serious thrashing, this is it! The Cyclones were my weapon of choice for Mountain Creek Bike Park. Lets face it: at the Creek, you have a good chance of getting thrown in the air. You need extra protection around the ankles and foot in that situation.

Thankfully, I didn’t fall off the bike (other than that one time missing the bridge). While riding, small fist sized rocks flung off the tires and hit my feet and ankles, but the padding and extra-thick materials on the Cyclones kept me free from injury. The shoes themselves held up well without a stitch out of place. The soles did show signs of normal wear from the mix of sharp pins on my flat pedals and rock blast.

If you’re looking to pick up a set of these be prepared for an MSRP of $135. I would strongly suggest getting fitted to these shoes rather than just mail ordering them. As mentioned before, they are slightly on the tight side for any given size. If you’re into wearing thin riding socks, like those from Sock Guy, then you should be fine.

A big thanks to the folks at Five Ten for sending up these shoes for review!