Is there such a thing as a clipless shoe that flat riders will love?
At first glance, the Five Ten Kestrel BOA has that potential. It’s an XC-focused shoe that screams crossover: Five Ten aimed for stiffness and power transfer while also including aggressive lugs for hike-a-biking.
On the power transfer side, the Kestrel BOA includes a full-length plate made partially from “repurposed materials” and glass fiber. And in a nod to the XC riders who like to go hard, Five Ten says the toebox is “impact resistant” while the upper is “abrasion resistant” and partially sourced from reused materials.
Anyone with rock climbing chops will note the Stealth rubber patch between the cleat and heel. I don’t know of any compound that will provide a better pedal grip for those moments when you shred so hard you pop your clips.
The chunky cylindrical lugs look purpose-built for soft conditions (they remind me of what you might see on a trail runner designed for maximum mud, like the inov8 Mudclaw 300). If the shoe is as stiff as Five Ten says it is, hike-a-biking won’t necessarily be comfortable, but at least you won’t be sliding around.
Meanwhile, the BOA Li2 system continues its run of showing up absolutely everywhere in outdoor gear. “It’s super easy to get in and out of,” pro freerider Darren Berrecloth says of the Kestrel BOA in the product video.
On a personal note, I think the styling is on point — it’s understated while still possessing flashes of pizazz.
The Five Ten Kestrel BOA is available now for MSRP $230 online and in bike shops around the world. Check it out over at the adidas Five Ten website.