Ride Concepts Powerline Review
Well after a ton of abuse thrown at them it’s come time to wrap up my first pair of Ride Concepts. This Ride Concepts Powerline Review will highlight both what I loved about these flat shoes as well as what changes I may make on my second pair.
Since my first review I’ve really beat on these shoes. Obviously, I ride in them, but I also tend to wear them on photography days as well as doing chores around the house. Well, these shoes found the chores more along the lines of construction and remodeling so they got extra abused.
Ride Concepts Fit
Ride Concepts tend to require riders to go to a slightly larger size, but, for me I stayed in the same size as FiveTen shoes. Since the Ride Concepts have a wider toe box and I have Flintstone feet I really liked the fit without having to upsize.
If you have more taper between the length of your big toe and your little toe you probably want to upsize just a bit.
Riders like me, who fit shoes to our small toes, won’t have to stretch very far. The open toe box is really comfortable for anyone who’s had issues with broken toes or whatever that might make fitting shoes a bit of a challenge.
When the Ride Concepts shoes came in the D3O was what I first noticed. I was really intrigued with the D3O insoles. Anything that helps absorb a bit of impact before it gets into my lower back is appreciated. D3O is a unique material which allows shock absorption by dissipating motion into heat in a compact amount of material.
That’s to say we could all have giant air pillows under our feet but the squirm would be so bad there would be no advantage.
The D3O provides shock absorption without creating a sloppy feel.
If you watch the video review you’ll see how the new D3O compresses then returns to shape when I press on it. You’ll also see how the used soles aren’t as effective (to be expected based on the amount and types of use they saw!)
Ride Concepts D3O insole was one of the factors that really made this shoe stand out to me.
Another unique feature for the Ride Concepts shoes is the D3O inclusion on the shoe’s uppers. Taking advantage of the asymmetrical shape Ride Concepts inserts D3O to protect your inner ankle bone / bump (technically the medial malleolus google tells me).
The Powerline’s shape and layup notably minimize the amount of crank arm strikes you’ll feel in your ankles.
Like I mentioned in the video, the D3O stayed put throughout the shoe’s life which was great. I have a few motorcycle light / casual boots that I have to continually push the D3O back into place. The Powerlines never suffered from this.
The second aspect that really stood out to me was the confident, comfortable support from the Powerline’s uppers.
I had tested a few shoes with a more “casual” type upper and was unimpressed. With less robust uppers your foot and ankle feel like they have to do a lot more work to stay in place even if the shoe’s sole is super tacky and not moving.
Reviewing the Ride Concepts Powerlines I definitely noted and appreciated the confident level of upper support particularly driving through corners.
Rubber Kinetics DST 4.0 Rubber
The Powerline features the 4.0 Max Grip Rubber Kinetics sole for the best traction and damping.
Some of the other Ride Concepts flat shoes offer different rubber – but if you’re looking for performance you’re looking for the 4.0 Max Grip.
The rubber’s personality didn’t have a dramatic shift through it’s lifespan which is great. Some rubber starts very tacky and kind of gives up midway through its service life. Not the 4.0 Max Grip. It has traction even when I wore the hex lugs flat.
I found the shoe not to be “hot” but not cold either. Being that I’m SoCal based, meaning not a lot of mud/muck whatever but a lot of heat, I think I’m going to modify my next pair.
The tongue is retained with a full length liner. While great for my bad habit of not tying my shoes I think this kept it from breathing as well as it could have. I think I will try to trim out some of the liner on my next pair to improve the ventilation.
I might slightly expand the pin hole vents on the shoe’s sides as well.
You might want to think about your riding conditions before you make it easier for water ingress… But like they say in the car world “its not custom till you cut it”.
“Outside the Box” Testing
I tend to do my household chores in my MTB shoes. This is typically because they have a bit more “squish” which helps my back stay fresh without being too pillowy.
These shoes saw more than their share of abuse. Probably 80’ of trench digging, some of full water submersion dealing with drainage during one of the few storms we get a year, a lot of demo, building my new office, concrete, welding and painting. And I guess I’m an aggressive painter when I look at how much is on my shoes and clothes.
Point is – the Powerlines’ stood up to anything I threw at them. I have a couple scuffs through on the outside of the uppers, maybe a couple spots where the adhesive is coming up a bit – but all and all these shoes took a beating that probably should have been done with work boots.
Ride Concepts Longevity
Since I don’t just ride in my MTB shoes it’s a little harder for me to calculate expected “mileage”. However, the Ride Concepts held up at least as well as shoes that have been put through similar paces for me.
As you can see in the video the location of wear is located under the ball of my foot, not really somewhere that sees a lot of “wear” during riding. I suspect that my extracurricular remodel, hiking, photo shoots, etc are what put most of the wear into the Powerlines.
One thing I did note, the heel didn’t wear like some of my previous shoes. I wonder if this is from the D3O sole giving just a little more cushion and support thus keeping the shoe’s sole from being stressed as hard.
Ride Concepts Powerline Review Conclusion
To wrap this up: I would recommend the Powerlines to a wide range of flat pedal riders.
This is a shoe that’s fairly lightweight without sacrificing the “feel” of a supportive MTB flat shoe.