Killing it with the Karver

Five Ten Karver with Stealth S1 rubberThe Five Ten Karver shoes share some common characteristics with the Five Ten Impact 2 Low top shoes, so this review is somewhat of a follow up. I have a dozen rides on these Karvers. There are a few similarities, like the fit and feel but some of the new features deserve a closer look.

Let’s get to it…

The Karver looks like something straight out of the film Mad Max Beyond Thunder Dome. It has a beefy posture and topped off with lace shield protectors. They look like they’re about to crash through a brick wall. There’s no question these shoes were made to do battle on your favorite trail, jump track or gravity line. They are also equipped with the ultra-tech Stealth S1 rubber that will help you stick to your pedals like pine sap to your hands.

Built on the Impact 2 type design and constructed with almost the same panels, they fit about the same. If you love your Impact 2s, these will be your huckleberry friend in no time. Your feet will have the same wrapped feeling with overall improved support.

Riding with Five Ten Karver.

Riding with Five Ten Karver. Photo Brian Roark.

I won’t go into how these shoes work (See Impact 2 review), but what’s different about these shoes are the new bells and whistles that make them even more desirable. Although I must admit at first, I wasn’t too thrilled about the Pollock paint swirls, but they grew on me when I got them out on a ride. The Karvers are better than I expected.

For those who like the high top shoes for their support and protection, the Karver’s inside mid-height ankle protectors also do the same thing. The beauty of this design is that you retain the flexibility of a low top but also gain the added protection for those occasional ankle clacks to your crank arms.

The lace shields are removable so you can wear the shoes without them, although what would be the point? The shields protect your laces from snagging on shrubs and branches as well as help keep dirt and debris out. This is really noticeable on dry and sandy trails. At the end of my rides, I take off my shoes and the laces are completely clean. This should help to prolong the life of the shoes as laces are the first thing to fail.

You can see the entire collection of mountain bike shoes on their site at
GOOD: I didn’t think Five Ten could take one of their tried and true product and make it better, but I’m glad they did.

BAD: Weight is still possibly an issue but seldom do you find light weight shoes that will last as long. The Velcro on the shield may eventually wear out from repeated on and off.

Reviewed by Qwan Pham

One Response to “Killing it with the Karver”

  1. […] Pham of OnDirtReview had plenty of good things to say about the Impacts and the Karvers. Be sure to click on the name of the shoe to read its full […]