Five Ten Karver - unsafe for muni?

I’ve sprained my ankle four times, two of them pretty bad. The last time was august 2013, and I still have some light pain i my ankle. I was wearing ankle braces and my Karvers. The Karvers feels great, but when you roll your ankle with such a high sole (3,5 cm), I think that the force on the ankle is higher than with lower soles, thus making the injury worse.

Muni season har started early in Norway, and this year I’ll be using Shimano AM41 (1 cm high sole) for muni. I would very much like to hear others view and experiences on this matter.

Red Barons

Wow, those really are high soles. I’ve been riding in FiveTen Red Barons which have a very flat sole and have no complaints about them at all.

The one advantage I can envision with a high soled shoe like the Karvers is the additional height when mounting a 36er. I find that even a slight hill, which makes the height of the cranks even a half inch lower, makes it that much easier to get up on the pedals.

I can see where coming off a unicycle in an ugly UPD on such high shoes would make the landing that much more risky. MUNI upds are much more frequent (for me anyway) than road riding and may increase the risk of ankle injuries.

The other disadvantage of high soled shoes… you’re going to need to have the seat that much higher, which may negate the advantage of the additional height at the free mount.

For now I using same Shimano shoes and here is one big minus - they are not protected on the sides and each hit of the rock is painfull.
Waiting my 510 impacts to arrive and test it.

I don’t have carvers, but purchased some impact high tops during the off season to try this year. I’ve been on a few rides with them, and will say this: They have been one of the single most beneficial things I’ve spent money on for my Muni.

FWIW, I like the high/thick soles. They’re stiffer, which allows me to use the smaller pedals on my 700c without foot pain.

Well, the soles aren’t nearly so high as the picture makes it look; that outsole comes up and makes a cup around your foot, which sits down inside it.

I can see how a taller sole would give the ground some extra leverage against your ankle, and make a rolled ankle easier, but I never felt like it was a problem with my Karvers, which I used for two years.

I like extra padding under my heel (to cushion heel impacts - I broke my heelbone a year ago on a bad muni landing) - I actually used an extra sorbothane heel cushion under my insoles to help absorb impacts, making the soles even taller.

I’m currently using the newer Freerider model (XVI? VXI?) with the heel cushion plus an entire extra insole, again for more padding at the cost of a higher sole.

I sprained my right ankle a long while back, accident from a separate non unicycle activity.

After it healed and I pretty much felt no more pain, for some weird reason a few times within the year or so, I’d have continuous incidents where my foot would slip and it would be the same area. It’s not a full on sprain where it swelled up, but it would be right at that spot.

Seems like even though a sprained ankle heals, it takes much longer after the pain is gone for your foot to truly be 100%. Even though you think it’s 100% healed, it’s not, least for me that’s how it was.

I’m saving up for a pair of five tens…one day :stuck_out_tongue:

Five Ten Impacts looks to have about the same sole as the Karvers, but maybe they support your ankles better. I completely understand why you like them. The stiff and sticy sole feels perfect for unicycling, and my Karvers are almost worn out.

I am on pretty rocky/rooty terrain, and I am sure I would have sprained my ankles anyway, but I think my injuries (especially the last one) were worse because of the high sole.

They are still pretty high. A bit difficult to meassure, but more than 3 cm.

I don’t know if it is easier or not to roll your ankle with Karvers, but when you catch a bad one, the high sole may cause a worse injury. I am not absolutely sure, but I suspect this is the case.

For me the ankles seems to be the weak point so I have been focusing on that. Maybe the Shimanos will exspose my heels to injury. Haven’t thought of that.

Still pondering my thought about the benefit of being slightly elevated to mount a 36. The problem is… the feet need to go the same amount higher to clear the pedals. The net gain of the additional height on the ground is negated at the pedals.

Soft tissue damage takes much longer to fully heal, if it ever does, than bone repair. Pain is useful in that it communicates to our brains to avoid the source of the pain. Sub-clinical symptoms, such as inflammation, tingling and loss of sensation due to neuropathy are more diabolical when they are below the conscious pain thresholds so we think it’s ok to go back to our old movement patterns. We’re still not right; but just don’t know it.

The first thougt in my head when I got that last injury was “Damn! muni season is over”. And now I am back for more…

Seems like you are not comparing those shoes correctly, you are comparing the outside of the 5ten to the inside of the shimano. The arch of a shoe is always much higher than the outside. Also like others have said the actual sole on the 5ten isn’t nearly as high as the outsole makes it look. I would say they are both fairly similar, although they have a very different shoe design that may impact :wink: stability…

I think the big clunky/sticky sole of the Karver is more responsible for rolling an ankle than the height of the sole. It tends to stick to uneven ground, a smaller more slippery sole will slide to stable ground then stop.

I have a bad ankle, and have been using the 5ten free riders, also have a pair of the impact lows. The freeriders seem to feel a bit more stable than the impacts, they have a normal shoe outsole, instead of the big clunky sole/outsole on the impact (and karver), but it’s not a big difference.

Recently I’ve been looking for some new shoes. I was wondering about the impact highs, and if they actually offer any real ankle support, versus just padding protection. There is also a high version of the freerider (has a different name of course) that I was looking at too.

I really like the stickiness of the 5ten sole, its perfect and I don’t think there is anything that compares to it. I wish they would do a bit better job on constructing a user friendly shoe with it. I have big feet and their sizing sucks for my feet.

It is actually the other way around. The Shimano sole look only slightly higher on the inside. When i put the Karver on one foot and the Shimano on the other I feel a big difference.

Good point.

Me too.

Ugh, yeah, I mean the other way around :stuck_out_tongue: Doh!

Seems like the Karver/impact has a tall heel. that might be the source of the instability.

I’ve been using Five Ten Karvers now for a couple of years and haven’t noticed any ankle rolling issues. I love these shoes for MUni and Fat-biking. Where I live there is always plenty of hike-a-uni or hike-a-bike and I’ve never experienced an ankle roll in these shoes. Then again I’ve been an avid trail runner for over 23 years so I’ve got pretty strong ankles. Who knows? For me I’d rather have more cushioning under foot when I do UPD at the risk of possibly rolling an ankle than have a thin soled shoe where I can really hurt the bottom of my feet. I went through a couple pair of 661 riding shoes and while they were okay they were fairly thin underfoot and a UPD in rocks would tend to hurt my feet which is why I eventually bought the Karvers. Don’t regret them at all. They are big and clunky but after breaking my heel bone while unicycling in Moab in thin riding shoes I’m convinced bigger is better. However, your mileage may vary!

At the risk of going slightly off-topic, my understanding is that once an ankle is sprained, it will sprain more easily ever after. I recently had a friend get a really bad sprain just a few feet in front of me on a trail. That has convinced my to wear ankle supports every time I ride off-road. I looked at the reviews and bought ASOs, with plastic inserts. (Here:
) I don’t know what kind of ankle braces you are using, but you might want to consider these. I can’t imagine getting a sprain while wearing these, no matter what kind of shoe I might be wearing. They are really supportive.

There have been a number of good arguments in this thread on both sides of the issue, which I have not seen previously explored. Thank you for raising it.

Thanks for posting this, are they comfortable to wear? I’m kind of in denial about my weak ankle, while I like the idea of not having it bother me, part of me thinks wearing something like that will make my ankle weaker in the long run… Is that nonsense or a valid point?

I use McDavid 195 which looks very similar to the ones you point to.

They probably helped a lot on impact, and the 3 km walk back was much better with braces than without.

Definitely can attest to the fact that once you’ve rolled or tweaked your ankle you are definitely more susceptible to re-injuring that ankle in the future. This holds regardless of what shoe you decide to wear. I’m coming at this from a trail runner’s stand point so I’m not familiar with using ankle braces while running. Typically I’ll just avoid running on rough terrain for a while after a bad ankle sprain. At the same time it’s running on that type of terrain that helps build up ankle strength. So it’s sort of a double edges sword that way. You want to build ankle strength but if you’ve been injured you need the support. Just don’t let the support become the norm as, over the longer term, you’ll end up weakening your ankle even more if you limit it’s movement and natural function.

I think they’re pretty comfortable. My ankles got sore on the surface the first time I wore them, not being used to the new pressure points. But I get that a lot of times from new shoes, too. They feel fine once you get used to them.
Yes, I think they would work against you if you wore them all the time. I just wear them when riding off-road, so there’s no chance of muscle atrophy.

“I use McDavid 195 which looks very similar to the ones you point to.”

You’re right, they are very similar. The only difference is, I opted for the plastic insert model, that have these two plastic splints that go in alongside the ankle on each side. I don’t know how much difference they make, but I figured I would go for the max, as long as I was going to wear them.