With a month in France on the schedule, I needed cycling shoes that weren’t for racing or clipping in. Something casual, stylish on and off the bike and comfortable to walk around once I stopped at the next picturesque French town for coffee and a pain au chocolate.
After some google research and reviews on several different brands, I settled on Five Ten’s Sleuth DLX Canvas Mountain Bike shoe. I’m happy to say, I scored on almost every front.
As you can see from the images, the Sleuth DLX has a simple, laid-back style that goes well with casual bike shorts or a pair of jeans. It’s a shoe that does double duty and the understated black canvas is a versatile classic that will age well. It’s fashionable in the lack of flash.
I’ve been riding and wearing these shoes ever since France and they’re sturdy, well-constructed and easy to clean. No doubt joining forces with Adidas reinforced the build quality, amterials and expertise.
The soles try to strike that balance between stiffness for pedaling yet not so stiff that walking quickly becomes uncomfortable. The dot pattern rubber has plenty of grip for a flat pedal — there have been only a few moments when a trail rock or street pothole caused a slight and momentary slip.
In terms of fit, the Sleuth DLX does run a tad long so if you’re between sizes I’d recommend the smaller one. In my opinion, they also run on the narrow side, which is perfect for me. I swap out the insoles for a more robust SuperFeet model that helps take up some space. Cycling shoes in this category — especially in the larger sizes — tend to look big and chunky. The Sleuth DLX keeps appearances sleek and streamlined — which is another reason you win style points on and off the bike.
In particular, I appreciate the reinforced toe box that will keep the Sleuth from getting too beat up off road. I’m throwing in bonus points for manufacturing the canvas upper with a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic. Adidas gives you the details on that — it’s basically material created from upcycled plastic waste taken from beaches and coastlines.
All in all, I’ve been happy enough with the Sleuth DLX that I now own two pairs. They’re a great option for my gravel and mountain biking and I’ll slip them on for a walk to the coffee shop, too.
If there was one tweak I’d make in terms of improvements, it would be a fraction less stiffness in the sole. A trade off I’d take to improve the off-bike walking comfort. That’s just a personal pref.
The Five Ten Sleuth DLX comes in black, olive or gray. Prices run from $119 to $107 from Adidas or Amazon.
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