Ion is a brand most are familiar with for stylish riding apparel. When we saw Ion had released a line of shoes, we were curious and opted to give the flat pedal model a go. Out of the box the shoes were nice to look at, had an accurate fit, and were reasonable in weight. The design of the shoes is appealing and doesn’t stray very far from the looks of other flat pedal bike specific shoes. The Raid Amp undoubtedly reminded us of the Specialized 2FO Flat 2.0 shoes, but that being said, there’s only so much you can do in regard to creating a unique design, while still keeping the shoes looking ‘normal’.
Upper: 80% PU, 15% Mesh, 5% TPU Outsole: 30% rubber, 70% EVA
37 – 47 EU sizing
400 grams – per shoe (size 42)
SupTraction Rubber Soul FL: Newly developed flatpedal sole made from a supersticky rubber for enhanced pedal grip. Designated pedal area in the forefoot region, focus on traction while walking with the profile underneath the toes and the heel.
ToeTal Protection & Pre-Shaped Heel: Wrap around toe bumper and a shaped heel cup.
Ankle Pad: Extra padding towards the cranks to protect the ankles.
These shoes were one of those pairs that needed sufficient riding time to ‘break in’. Fit-wise, the sizing was accurate, but the level of comfort was low until at least 3-4 rides in. After the shoes loosened up a bit, the level of comfort rose, until now a month later, the shoes feel quite comfortable. We’ve been using these shoes exclusively during the test period, and so they’ve seen a good amount of use, from countless trail rides, to rough downhill riding in the harsh conditions of the Utah desert.
An immediately noticeable feature of the Raid Amp’s is the raised area to support the inner ankle, along with a small pad that may help for hits to crank arms. Additionally the rubber toe bumper felt and appeared to be quite sturdy and faith inspiring for those times you may clip a root or rock mid trail.
After coming from a quite soft paisr of flat pedal shoes, the Raid Amp’s felt both stiff and not overly sticky. The first few rides it took a bit to find the sweet spot to rest them on our pedals (Gamut Podium). The outsole pattern of what Ion claims to be a ‘Super Sticky’ Rubber sole worked well with pedal pins, but failed to live up to what we’d classify in the realm of super sticky rubber.
We grew fond of the level of stiffness, finding it was a welcome attribute to have, especially on rougher trails. With regard to construction, after a month on the bike, we haven’t found any unstitching, or any rubber coming un-glued. The finger loops to help pull on shoes have proved to be large enough to be a nice addition to the list of features. A small design detail that we found to be a small annoyance is the Ion logo. The branding on the side of the shoe is created by many small perforations in the material, at first glance one wouldn’t think much of it, but we found that while hiking in loose conditions, dust or sand, the soil actually falls into the small holes and fills the side of the shoe. We didn’t find the issue to be a huge deal, but felt it was worth noting.
At a $129.95 retail, and on sale direct from Ion at $115.95, we’d say for a flat pedal shoe featuring modern construction the price is reasonable. With well thought features, such as a good toe cup, lace catch, padded ankle, and decent weight, we’d add the Ion Raid Amp to the list of modern flat pedal shoes worth wearing.