The Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex is the only shoe to feature in our best winter MTB boots round-up designed for flat pedal users. It’s based on the company’s regular Trailcross XT high top, but with an extended neoprene cuff to keep the heat in and a fully waterproof Gore-Tex membrane to keep the wet out.
Design and specifications
The Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex uses an identical sole and the same last as the regular Trailcross XT, but has a slightly different cuff design. It extends a little bit higher on the ankle and has a wraparound flap secured with a patch of smart Velcro. This is more supportive and provides greater protection from the elements, but it’s a tighter fit and I found it harder to get a foot in. Five Ten adds pull tags to the front and rear of the cuff to help you ease it over your foot, but neither is particularly long and the gusseted tongue does make things a tight squeeze.
As the name suggests, this shoe gets a Gore-Tex liner but if you look in the top of the boot you can see it only extends to the edge of the neoprene cuff, which means to keep out the worst of the weather you’ll need to wear a full waterproof trouser and ensure there’s plenty of overlap between it and the boot.
The Gore-Tex membrane adds an extra layer too for greater warmth, but this isn’t that hot and if you ride regularly in sub-zero temperatures you may want to run another layer. And if you’re planning that you should consider going up a size because the Trailcross Gore-Tex does run half a size too small. There’s a bit more width in the last compared to the Trailcross XT, but it’s still quite a tapered shoe and feels very snug in the toe.
To stop scuff and abrasion, the Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex gets reinforced toe and heel bumpers. The lugs at the toe and heel are also shaped slightly for greater purchase when scrambling and with its Stealth rubber compound there’s not a shoe that can match it for grip on wet rock.
Like all Five Ten flat shoes, pedal traction is amazing. Not only is the Stealth rubber soft, it’s also low rebound, so your feet don’t get bounced around when rattling down a lumpy descent. Few flat shoes we’ve tested feel this locked in and the only reason your feet are going to come off the pedals is if you want them to. It also makes total sense in the winter when your pedals and shoes are wet and covered in mud and traction is at a premium.
Basing this shoe on the Trailcross XT is good in some ways but bad in others. It’s lightweight for a winter boot, and when you figure it’s only going to get heavier as it gets covered in clag as you ride, starting light makes sense. However, it’s not the warmest winter boot out there and cold air can get in via the mesh panel above the toe, which seems totally unnecessary. You can batten down the hatches with the fold over cuff but when I did a lot of puddle splashes and fully submerged the shoe, water soaked into the neoprene and eventually worked its way into the top of the shoe, and I was wearing a full waterproof trouser.
Where the Trailcross Gore-Tex really shines though is in the amount of pedal grip it provides in poor conditions. There are only two other shoe brands that come close to Five Ten in terms of grip and neither of those make a winter boot. If you want to carry the grip levels throughout the winter, you have two choices – the Trailcross Gore-Tex or a Trailcross XT with a waterproof sock. Adding a waterproof sock will cost $37-50 (£30-40) whereas the difference in price between the shoes is $25 (£20). That doesn’t necessarily make the Trailcross Gore-Tex the better value for money option, but it is around 10 to 20 percent cheaper than most winter boots on the market.
Not quite as waterproof or as toastie warm as brands such as Lake and 45Nrth but Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex is lighter, has a better ride feel and a ton more grip. You’ll need to try before you buy on the sizing, but this is a great value winter wellie for changeable conditions.
Tech specs: Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex MTB shoes
- Price: $220 / £160
- Weight: 708g (pair, size 42)
- Size: 5-14.5 (38-55 in half sizes)
- Rival products: Leatt 7.0 HydraDri Flat, Northwave Multicross Mid GTX