Five Ten claim that the Trailcross CL is their first shoe specifically designed for adventure, aimed at being adept both on and off the bike, namely, when it comes to shoving or carrying your bike up large mountains.
Beyond the marketing hype, the Trailcross CLs look more like a trainer than a riding shoe, but as a result are easily the most comfortable riding shoe I have had the pleasure of putting my feet in. While they might not be the most heavily armoured shoe out there, something like the Giro Chamber II would win that award, you can easily forget that they’re on your feet.
Add to that the fact that you can order your shoes in separate sizes between pairs and you can really fine tune your fit. With a UK 7 ordered for my narrow feet, there’s room enough to put a thicker sock inside but not much else. The lace strap does need to be tightened right, as overdoing it will make these not the comfiest shoes, with all the pressure going over the bridge of your foot.
Out on the bike, the shank certainly isn’t the stiffest but isn’t so far as being sloppy. I doubt you can have a super comfy shoe with a super stiff shank anyway, certainly I haven’t experienced a shoe that’s done both. That said, the balance is good, especially for big missions where the comfort is very welcome.
I ran these with a Crankbrothers Mallet E and had no issues whatsoever getting the cleat engaged and the outsole did a solid job of gripping the pins when I’d dangled a safety leg and couldn’t quite get my trotter back in before the next section.
The low weight certainly transfers to fast drying, with the Trailcross CLs changing the Five Ten reputation for holding onto water wholesale in this regard. That said, they do let water over the bow easier than other shoes so your feet will get wet faster than most.
While I didn’t do any massive hike-a-bikes in the Trailcross CLs, I didn’t find them wanting in anything but sole grip. The Five Ten rubber on these shoes aren’t a patch on the originals and there’s other shoes that don’t claim mythical levels of traction that are definitely offering more ground traction.
The outer and sole have held up well despite the conditions with no sign of scuffs or marks, or any joins coming unstuck.
What do we think?
The Five Ten Trailcross CLs are a wonderfully comfortable riding shoe that you can easily spend all day in without issue. They have a balance of flex and power transfer that’s errs on the comfort side without being sloppy, and will see you without sore feet after some serious quantities of pedaling.
My only gripe is that the Stealth Rubber just isn’t sticky enough.
All day comfort
Could do better:
Not the Stealth Rubber of old
Gets wet quickly
You can check out the Five Ten Trailcross CL over on their website here.