The Impacts are not flat soled, they have a narrow arch area that is “cut out” and the “imprint of a puma or whatever animal they use” tends to wear off and provide less traction than the dots. The heel is made overly wide with thick rubber, so they get in the way/rub and for my life I cannot figure out why a riding shoe needs a thick rubber heel; I ride on my midfoot and forefoot. I wish they’d redesign the Impact sole so it is flat, narrower in the heel and forefoot, and has the small dot pattern lilke the Barons/Freerides.
The problem with Five Tens is that they are more about looks than performance, so they have the burly “I drive a big truck” thing going on, but they are poorly made with an insole that is not waterproof, tends to delam from the rubber sole which is only stiff as long as the insole is firmly glued to the sole; which is not too long if you sweat much. I also had sole issues with delaminating out soles peeling away from the uppers on the Freerides and Barons.
Simply put, the Five Tens are waaaaay overrated for what they are: expensive, heavy, absorb sweat/water, get hot, and are not long wearing. Granted, I’m hard on shoes, I sweat a lot which wears shoes out fast, and I ride mud and pins which wear out the soles quickly, but after having worn out a lot of shoes over the past few years (Shimano, Five Ten, skate shoes, boots), the only shoes that I would stand by are the Teva Links, over a year of constant use and still ticking!
Also, don’t limit yourself to riding shoes, there are some great boots out there that are fairly flat soled and would wear better than skate/riding shoes. I recently bought some Keens for hike and bike tours where I figure on hiking a fair amount and wanted a riding shoe that hikes well. The Keens are flat soled, waterproof, comfy, and durable.
If you want ankle protection get a mid height shoe, if you want ankle support wear a brace, if you are just worried about knocking your ankle bones get some ankle bone pads from some soccer shin guards.
Sorry to harsh on Five Ten, but it is what is, the King’s new clothes and all that…