They finally came today! I ordered them a couple of weeks ago from http://www.adidasoutdoor.com, the new home of Five-Ten products, if you hadn’t heard. Anyway, these Five-Ten Free Riders are some really snazzy shoes! I got them after one of the climbing gym owners recommended them for comfort (not as an approach shoe, but just as a kick-around-in-it shoe), and he told me it was a bike shoe that he’d picked up quite a few years ago. I went online and found that, although they’re now sold in different colors, Five-Ten still makes the Free Rider bike shoe, and I’m loving mine right now! They have the Stealth rubber dot sole and the outsole is stitched all the way around the shoe, which is nice. That, to me, is a real sign of quality. When I see that, I think “made to last” and “made to play hard in”. I make sure all of my work boots are stitched all the way around like that, because when they are, they’re “made to work hard in” and “made to last” – and they DO. So I already have a good deal of confidence in these shoes, even though I’ve only been wearing them for a half an hour at most.
I took the smashed, ripped-open boxes that FedEx dropped them off in out to the trash already (FedEx, this is a hint that you should treat my stuff better because you have one job). If I had needed to return these shoes, they wouldn’t have been able to sell them in the Five-Ten box that was squished inside the even-more-squished and ripped-open shipping box that was delivered to my door unless they had someone really believing that these shoes had not been used to prop up someone’s shipping palette with…which I’m not sure isn’t what happened. Anyway, hopefully FedEx got my point.
My shoes are fine and are comfortably on my feet. I wore them up the stairs, outside on the wet sidewalk and driveway to the alley trash can, and back down the stairs and inside to my basement apartment to see how they felt. I was pleasantly surprised at how they handled the wet sidewalk and alley gravel. I don’t think I have to worry about them slipping off of the pedals of my new Co-op ADV 3.1 Adventure Touring Bike when I get it, which is a great thing! The even better thing is that I bought these before I had decided to go ahead with ordering my bike this soon, so I was actually ordering them for comfort and versatility, which I’m reasonably sure I’ve got at this early point in time. I’ll update you if that changes… I doubt it will. I love that the laces are long enough to actually tie!!! So many shoes that I order have these short little laces that are impossible to get tied at all, much less so they’ll stay tied, and there’s no way you could double-knot them, but that’s not the case with these shoes. These shoes have nice long laces that are easy to tie and that stay tied. The toes are made out of a breathable canvas fabric and I love the look! I’m not a real fashionable person, but these are stylin’ shoes that are going to get noticed – not for their color (I ordered black with slim “Green Slime” logo outline lettering), nor for their outrageousness (because they’re not outrageous or obnoxious in any way), but because they’re a good-looking shoe that looks, and IS, comfortable. It’s the kind of shoe that I would’ve been proud to own at any time during my life, whether I was in grade school, junior high, high school, college, the military on my off-duty time, or now. They’re timeless in a very real way. You don’t find many products out there that are timeless that way, but these shoes are. I’d encourage you to at least look them up. They’re good shoes. So far, so good. And I’ve got it on good authority that they last!