While on a recent testing trip to the Peak District earlier this week we rocked up to the distributors (Big Stone) of Five Ten and borrowed us a pair of the new Hellcat SPD shoes.
The company has its roots in climbing but it’s made an impressive transition to mountain biking in the past few years, with notables such as Sam Hill riding in a pair to much success.
The Hellcat’s take everything that has come before and adds SPD compatibility for the first time, which is great news for all us SPD users who have been unable to give the popular Five Ten shoes a whirl.
They’re based on the new Greg Minnaar signature shoes but in a less bold colourway. The simple black might not be the most exciting but after a day of thrashing around the mud and grit of the Peak District; they get a big nod for practicality.
There’s the same sole made from a super sticky Stealth S1 rubber but with a stiffer midsole, cleat cutaway and tough and sturdy leather upper with reinforced stitching. A Velcro strap tidies the laces out of the way and secures the shoe snugly onto the foot.
We bolted some cleats in and rode them for a day, and we came back impressed. The sole is stiff enough for decent pedalling, important on some of the long steep climbs around the Peaks, and the grippy sole gives a bit of boosted confidence on descents and those half clipped in sketchy moments when you’re riding on the edge of control.
For all mountain riding the Hellcats are impressive. A full review soon once we’ve put some more miles into them and bashed them up a little more.