One of Five Ten’s staple downhill shoe got an upgrade, the Hellcat Pro is a clipless, bombproof shoe that caters to the gravity riders. The Hellcat Pro and Freerider Pro are a couple new “Pro” shoes that were announced in 2016 and released in 2017. The Pro model of the Hellcat takes protection, style and functionality to the next level. Don’t think of the Hellcat Pro as just an upgraded Hellcat, this is an entirely new shoe. Weighing in at 577 grams (Size 10.5) these shoes are meant for some serious trail pounding as you can dish out.
The uppers on the Hellcat are a DWR (Durable Weather Resistant) synthetic that wicks off water makes it a little harder for your foot to breath. Not to be worried though, the perforated tongue provides ample breathing. There are also 3 breathable hole in the top of the toe for some additional breathing room. The upper is really slick to the touch but and heavily resit abrasion from high impact rock strikes.
The tongue is really soft and highly breathable foam. It’s wear points are wrapped in synthetic for longer wear. There is also an internal tongue retainer to keep it from washing side to side. From out test rides, there are no hot spots, even when the shoe is cranked down for premium stability.
The laces are standard flat laces with a tongue loop to hold it in place. The eyelets are close together which allows for really good control over tightening the shoe down. If you have ridden Five Ten shoes before you know that their toe boxes are a little large, except for the Five Ten Access . The tighter lace loops and Velcro strap is really nice to be able to dial the shoe into your foot shape. Another though was keeping the laces away from the Velcro. As you can see in the photo above, there is an internal lacing eyelets for the laces under the strap. This keeps the laces away from the sticky lace eating Velcro that is only a small spot on the closure loop.
The Hellcat has a EVA Midsole that is compression molded. It’s surprisingly soft, and provides some padding to a stiff shoe. It’s going to be the first part of the shoe to see damage. It’s almost too soft, feels like a rock could slice through it pretty easy. Although Five Ten did a good job of protecting it with the sole wrapping around the high impact areas. Unlike the Impact VXI that is more exposed.
Standard adjustments and fit for the cleat. There is some wiggle room for micro adjustments. The attachment may look like it fits close to the inside of the shoe, however, this is just because of the oversize footprint of the Hellcat. It’s about 5mm wider that a shoe like the Kestrel. This 5mm shows up on the outside of the sole, so the cleat still attaches well to the pedal without crank rub.
The collar is different than most Five Ten gravity shoes. Most of the gravity shoes like the Impact, have a soft mesh material. The new Hellcat Pro is a slick polyester material. We were a little worried that this might get a little slick with some sweat on it, but the heel was held well in place despite the different materiel.
You might be pleasantly surprised with the insoles in the Five Ten Hellcat Pro. Most insoles that come with Five Ten Mountain are simple toss around flimsy insoles. The Hellcat Pro comes with a very nice orthodontic. It’s has a hard shell foot-bed with ample arch support. The underside is also slip-free coating. I hope to see this trickle down to other mountain bike shoes offered from Five Ten.
You can see the nice heel cup that offers a stable platform and the breathable holes in the insole.
The classic dot pattern and stealth C4 is the right pick for the Hellcat. It’s ultra grippy, offers great protection, and fairly durable. It also provids a noticeable amount of vibration reduction. On firecracker downhill runs and heavy teeth chattering rock gardens, feet stay put, and locked into the rubber. C4 has microscopic nubs that grab and lock in with a stiffer and sticky rubber.
- Advantages: Edging, Vibration damping, Hard friction, Excellent interlock
- Shore A (Hardness): 76-80
- Resilience (Rebound): 13%
- DIN Abrasion: 290
Another stand-out feature of the heavy duty toe cap. For protection, it offers more than any other Five Ten shoe. Based lightly off the Impact VXI, the Hellcat Pro took it to the next level. A 4 layer TPU toe box with 2mm of impact resistant foam. Short of a steel toe boot, your toes will be protected. The toe is also thicker in the front, and as it spans out to the side, it becomes more flexible.
As previously mentioned, the toe box of the Hellcat Pro is on the larger size. The sole width is about 5mm wider than a trail shoe. The stitched toe also adds the durability that your not going to delam the sole of the shoe.
I wouldn’t consider myself a downhill rider, however I love to jump and bomb trails according to my own ability. My current bike is the new 2017 Pivot Firebird to give you an idea of my riding style. I pedal up only to have fun coming down. I was worried the Hellcat Pro might be too big of a shoe with too much bulk that was unnecessary for my riding style. We are lucky and get to try out a lot of Five Ten shoes, these are quickly moving up as our new favorites. They are comfortable for a larger shoe, great recess for the clips, classic sticky stealth sole, it’s hard to complain much about these shoes. Even the Velcro closure is nicer than the classic Hellcat. It improves the issue with Velcro always eating away at the shoe laces.
If you are considering a pair of Five Ten shoes, and wondering if the new Hellcat Pro is the right shoe for you, ask your self a few questions. Are you looking for top notch protection, proven winning power from Greg Minnarr at Fort Williams World Cup Downhill, no expense spared to make the best downhill shoe possible, that also look great, these shoes are right for you.Five Ten Shoes