If you think that mountain biking is still missing a touch of style, if synthetic materials alone won’t cut it for you, or if you simply can’t give up the comfort of a real leather shoe, the ION Raid Select might be the ultimate solution to all your shoe-problems. After testing the Raid Select for five months, we can tell you what it’s really capable of.
When we’re about to complete the painful transition from adolescence to adulthood and finally manage to escape mum’s control, we tend to move into stupidly overpriced flat-shares. To prove our point even further, we finally decide to bin our smelly sneakers and get our feet into a nice pair of leather loafers. Goodbye stinky winter-feet, adios smelly teenage-sneakers, au-revoir scruffy looks. ION’s Raid Select leather shoes put an end to immaturity and all the shabbiness that comes with it.
The dark tanned cowhide leather of the ION Raid Select looks classy and elegant. While the reinforced toe cap protects your feet from front impacts, a special padding in the inner-shoe shields your ankles from the cranks. The sole of the ION relies on a new rubber compound with dedicated pedal/walking zones and a softer midsole, which provides optimal pedal-grip. The rest of the sole is made of harder rubber, which makes the Raid Select extremely durable too. On the inside a special Ortholite sole provides support, not just in extreme riding situations, but also when hiking. The inside of the shoe is made of leather too.
ION Raid Select in test
As soon as you slip your foot into the Raid Select, you can tell it’s not your average, synthetic mtb-shoe. Straight away you feel nice and comfortable – and sweaty feet are a thing of the past. At first the leather feels a little stiff, but that’s absolutely normal for a high-quality leather shoe. After wearing the Raid Select for 2-3 weeks the leather softens up and adapts to the shape of your foot. On the trail, it feels reliable and controlled at all times whilst providing good grip on the pedal.
Compared to other shoes, the Raid Select definitely falls into the grippier category. As far as support goes however, it struggles to stand up against FiveTen’s Impact Pro. Having said that, the ION Raid Select stands clearly ahead in all other respects. Especially in wet conditions it keeps dry and warm for longer, and dries even quicker than its Five Ten antagonist — and this, despite the fact that both models take a while to dry. Since we tested the ION Raid Select only in the cold winter months, we can’t yet tell how the poor ventilation will affect its comfort and performance in the hot season. So far we can only say that the Raid Select served us incredibly well in the harsh German winter months — and felt incredibly comfortable too! We’re also very impressed with the durability of the ION Raid Select; After five months of strenuous trail and commute deployment our shoes show no big signs of weakness.
With the new Raid Select, ION provides a genuine alternative to conventional mtb shoes — one that we’re happy to keep for good! The ION Raid Select is the perfect choice for all those mountain bikers in search of a very comfortable, grippy and durable shoe but don’t want to renounce the great look of a proper leather shoe.
Price: € 180
Weight: 975 g
More Infos: ion-products.com
- Pleasantly warm and comfortable
- Keeps dry for a long time
- Takes ages to dry
Words & Photos: Valentin Rühl