I must confess that my first thought upon seeing these mountain biking shoes was that they looked heavy and hot. But we all know that looks can be deceiving. It turned out they weighed only an ounce more than my previous “cross-country” kicks and breathed just as well. I attribute that to the mesh tongue and side panels and perforated toe vamp. The latter, by the way, did a much better job at keeping water out than the mesh toe panel of my old shoes. Another big one-up: The Stealth S1 outsole proved way more grippy and functional than the toothy lugs I’d been using. I never missed my old ratchet strap (which broke and needed replacement every so often) and will gladly stick with the Velcro closure and laces of the Maltese Falcon. Comfort, durability, grip and good looks. What more could you want when scouting new lines or racing an enduro? $130. adidasoutdoor.com/fiveten

Author: Brad Kovach is the editor/publisher of Terrain Magazine.