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Launched earlier this year, Ride Concepts' Tallac shoes are designed for flat pedal MTB riders, but there's also a clip-in version of the Tallac and a very similar model designed for women, dubbed the Flume.
With excellent flat shoes from the likes of Five Ten and Specialized already dominating the best MTB flat shoe world, does the Tallac have what it takes to compete with them?
Design and specifications
Built around a dual layer sole, the Tallac is shod with Ride Concepts' Max Grip rubber outsole that partially wraps around the toe and heel, so the lugs can add extra off the bike traction, while a hefty EVA midsole adds comfort and shock absorption.
Unlike the Stealth rubber soles used on Five Ten's Freerider shoes, which have a consistent dotted pattern across the base of the shoe, the hexagonal shapes in the traction pattern are smaller in the pedal area, then increase in size towards the heel.
Up top, the Tallac uses a breathable Cordura mesh for most of the body, while sturdy toe and heel boxes give almost steel toecap-like levels of protection. A thick tongue, padded heel and a raised arch are designed for maximum comfort and the high quality laces can be tucked into the tongue's elastic lace retainer.
With higher-top (rather than full high-top) uppers and forward facing lugs on the toe and heel, shape-wise, the Tallacs lean a towards a boot rather than the skate shoe type profile found on many rival flat pedal shoes.
Flat pedal shoes live or die by the level of grip they provide and, happily for the Tallacs, they stick your feet to your pedals just as well the established leading models. The hexagonal lugs on the sole are slightly more raised than Five Ten's dotted tread, but not as much as Specialized's 2FO more pronounced rhomboid shapes. The combination of lug design and rubber compound does a great job of really locking shoe to pedal, while still remaining just about loose enough to allow for foot adjustments as required.
The Tallac's deep EVA midsole aids comfort and damps vibration over jarring sections, but it also means that the shoes lack the terrain feedback and pedal feel you get from thinner soled rivals. The Tallacs are slightly stiffer than Five Ten and Specialized flat shoes too, which helps give them a more efficient pedaling platform.
The uppers are comfortable and supportive, though this means, even with the mesh finish, they still run pretty warm. Despite the woven construction, the uppers keep water at bay and a secure fit around the ankles helps keep splashes and debris from entering here too.
Ride Concepts Tallacs are very good riding shoes that perform well both on and off the bike. Pedal grip is as good as you'll find anywhere and these sturdy shoes can handle serious abuse. Despite being much heavier than leading rivals, I never noticed the additional weight when riding.
Are they better than the best flat pedal shoes from Five Ten and Specialized? Well that depends on your preferences. If you like plenty of pedal feel and feedback, then go for Freeriders or Roost 2FOs. But if you prefer a damped feel and more efficient pedaling, and don't mind carrying the extra grams, then the Tallacs are great option for you.
Tech specs: Ride Concepts Tallac
- Price: $160 / £149.95
- Weight: 854g (per pair, size 10 US)
- Sizes: US 7 to 13
- Half sizes: Yes
- Colors: Charcoal/Oxblood, Black/Charcoal, Olive/Lime