The Five Ten Hellcat has evolved quite a bit since its initial introduction. Known for being the signature model of Greg Minnarr, the Hellcat has always been a shoe intended for aggressive riding.
Looking to update my previous Hellcats, I was thrilled to see a women’s specific version is now offered and available in 2 models. Living in the Pacific Northwest, cold and wet riding conditions are a way of life; the Pro model features a DWR synthetic upper which keeps your feet dry and warm in the wet stuff. It’s also a lot easier to keep clean and maintains its look longer.
The regular women’s Hellcats are a bit lighter, and better suited for dryer climates.
- Clipless & SPD compatible C4™ durable outsole
- DWR synthetic upper
- Lace closure with protective Velcro strap
- Breathable mesh tongue & side panel
- 3/4 dual-density, vibration-dampening TPU shank
- Supportive, compression-molded EVA midsole
- Added TPU toe box with impact resistant foam
- Weight: 15.8 oz (449 gm)
On the Trail
The Hellcats are not the lightest clipless shoe; especially compared with my XC or road shoes. They’re built to be durable and offer stability. That being said, these shoes are stiff enough to provide me with a solid pedal platform while climbing. They’re also incredibly comfortable and didn’t require time to break in.
In comparison to the previous Hellcat model, these feel lighter and stiffer. Also, the women’s fit is a better fit for me offering a narrower heel. The tread provides good traction on and off the bike, which also makes it easier to clip in. I run my cleat far back in the shoe, which is a bit different than how my XC shoes are set up. The more rearward position provides additional stability over a traditional ball of the foot placement on hard hits and replicates my foot position in my Five Ten Freerider platform pedal shoes, facilitating the switch back and forth between clip-in and platform pedals. This position sacrifices a small bit of power on the pedals, but is better suited towards our favorite trail experiences — like the berm and jump filled trails at Sandy Ridge.
On technical trails, I prefer an aggressive clipless shoe over a light weight trail riding shoe. As a rider that runs both platform and SPD pedals these have proven over and over again to be the preferred shoe for me. As I run the Five Ten Freeriders, my feet are accustomed to the feel and fit of the Five Ten line. It makes for an easy transition, offering the familiarity I seek.
In my 2014 review of the Hellcats, I mentioned that I wished there was a black and magenta version, so – thank you, Five Ten!
Purchased US women’s 8.5 – my usual size, these are definitely true to size.