Designed specifically for hard-chargers who are looking for day-long comfort, the Ride Concepts Powerline shoes marry protection with grip in a super comfortable package. Although performance is top-notch, you’ll have to pay for it.
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Justifying a rather high price of £140, the Ride Concepts Powerline shoe comes built with an impressive array of features in order to make them comfortable over long days, grippy and protective.
Providing the grip is the brand’s Rubber Kinetics DST 4.0 MAX GRIP rubber outsole. There’s a recessed heel and toe box to make walking easy in those hike-a-bike situations.
The upper is made with welded microfiber that’s abrasion and weather-resistant, and there’s an asymmetrical medial collar with D3O impact protection built in to keep those ankles safe from knocking against bike cranks.
D3O is dotted all over the shoe, so not only is it found in the collar, but it's built into the insole with the aim of providing impact absorption with the hopes of reducing fatigue. Finally, there's a gusseted tongue to keep debris out, and there's a handy elastic lace tuck.
All of that makes a single shoe weigh in at 435g, which isn't light, but considering the protection that's built-in, it's understandable. The shoe does feel a little weighty on foot, but it's not a noticeable flaw once you're in the thick of it.
My time with the Ride Concepts Powerline spanned three months of riding dust, right through to some early autumn slop. It was also put through a weekend's worth of hike-a-bike, so it's safe to say the Powerline has seen some things.
On the foot, the Powerline is clearly a pretty roomy shoe, so it's worth trying before you buy if you're particular about your shoe's fit. But even with the extra wiggle room, the mid-rise collar kept the shoe perfectly secure at all times.
Even when box-fresh, I never experienced any rubbing or discomfort at any point during testing.
As for the shoe’s grip, if you’re someone who appreciates the ability to shift position over a pedal but, of course, is also after reliable grip, the Powerline offers exactly that. When things really get going, I couldn’t have asked for more in terms of grip, but if a foot were to get knocked out of position, the sole isn’t so grippy that it’s hard to shift back into place.
However, if you’re looking for Five Ten Stealth levels of unmovable grip, the Powerline won’t be for you.
It’s definitely handy to have a protective shoe; after all, your feet are what’s closest to the ground and most susceptible to flying rocks, tight gulleys, and all manners of potentially foot crunching business. The fact that I’ve not felt anything after knocking my feet about within my three months of testing hopefully says that the protection has served me incredibly well. Either that or I’m not riding how I think I am…
Off of the bike, the grip has remained rather impressive. I’ve had myself hike-a-biking up some pretty steep and wet hillsides with tonnes of confidence. I’ve been perfectly happy walking in them so far, though I reckon they’ll get a little less sure-footed in seriously sopping stuff.
The Powerline comes with a level of weather protection built-in, but nowhere on the Ride Concepts website does it say what conditions the shoe is built for. Having experienced life in them through a range of conditions, they’re perfectly middle of the road in terms of weather protection and breathability.
On hotter days, they do get a little toasty, so you’ll have to consider your sock choice. On wetter days, the weather protection can get overwhelmed, but if you’re happy with wet feet in the worst of it and warm feet in the driest, you won’t find an issue.
The stand-out quality I’ve come away with after riding in the Powerlines is that’s they’re incredibly durable. I’ve ridden in these shoes on basically every ride for the past three months. Apart from a gathering of trail dust and some scuffs where the protection has done its job, the shoe looks brand new. There are no peeling sections around the sole, and the upper is looking as good as new.
As I've said before, £140 is quite the wad of cash to throw at some shoes. Especially when there are shoes like the Leatt DBX 2.0 Flat Pedal shoes to contend with. They don't get anywhere near the protection of the Powerline, and they've been quick to look tatty, but they offer comparable grip for just £80.
I'm quite a fan of the Crankbrothers Stamp Lace shoes too, which cost £115. On pedal grip is great, and they're super comfortable, but like the Leatts, they don't offer the protection of the Powerlines, nor the off-bike grip.
If you're a rider who values protection, comfort, and a shoe that's grippy enough to remain confident on the pedals but not so grippy that it's totally locked in, the Ride Concepts Powerline is the shoe for you. Of course, it's fairly expensive, but the shoe's clear durability will keep you lacing them up time and time again.