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Five Ten Shoe Review

Travis Gneiting Reviews

History of Five Ten

Charles Cole founded Five Ten in 1985 as a 30 year old rock climber. Cole earned an engineering degree from University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Cole grew up in Souther California learning to climb in Joshua Tree and lurking at the base of Yosemite.

Summer of 1985, Cole had a had a scary encounter while descending [Steck Salathe]. This is when the idea for Five Ten was formed in Cole’s mind. Cole worked with leading scientist in the field to formulate a better rubber that would increase grip and be resilient to the elements. The Stealth Rubber compound was born through this innovation. The S1 was groundbreaking in the climbing community, praised for it’s grip and durability.

The Stealth compound has grown into many different speciality uses, from climbing, hiking and biking shoes. Stealth allows the end user to pick the component that best suits their needs for the environment, from wet slick conditions, to dry dusty rocks.

In the 1990’s Five Ten shoes started to become a popular site in the mountain bike community. The grip that the Stealth sole provided mountain bikers against their pedals were a perfect match, and popularity of Five Ten mountain bike shoes skyrocketed. With names like Danny Hart and Danny MacAskill and many World Cup wins Five Ten has proven itself as a staple in the mountain bike community.

Five Ten headquarters is located in Redlands, California. with Charles Cole still the president of the company.

From Soloing to Canyoneering and bouldering to casual footwear Five Ten has a corner on the market with the time tried solution to slippery feet.

Stealth Technology

Five Ten is an industry leader when it comes to innovation and technology. There are not too many others out there that can compete with the legacy of Five Ten Stealth Technology and Innovation across multi-discipline sports. From innovations like the first technical approach shoe and the world’s first canyoneering specific shoe they have never been afraid to start something new.

Stealth high friction rubber was developed to help increase traction while keeping the weight and durability in check. Stealth was able to keep a much stronger bond to many different surfaces, not just rocks better than any other sole on the market. Years of research and development went into the development of Stealth and it’s rubber recipe is a highly guarded secret.

Stealth caught fire in the climbing scene, letting it’s grippiness do the talking. All climbers had to do was try a Stealth soled shoe and they were hooked. Other demands for Stealth rubber began to come pouring in. Cole developed many new formulas for many different sporting applications. Many years were spent with many professional athletes to bring about the many different lines of Stealth soles.

Stealth is unique in that the rubber conforms to a surface by molding and gripping to it better than other standard rubbers soles on the market. With the soft yet durable rubber, each step can mold and wrap around the smallest imperfections in a rock, pedal or other application. Stealth actually interlocks with the other surface that provides a high tear strength that will only break if the rubber actually breaks.

Cole and Five Ten have also innovated the first sling shot rand, down-turned last and heel wedge. Other notable innovations include pull tabs on shoes, baseball stitching on climbing shoes to reduce hot-spots and fishhook midsole providing stiff edging platform while remaining flexible underfoot for smearing and comfort. Five Ten has never been afraid to test the limits or do something differently. From bringing the first ankle to toe lacing system or self-draining water shoes, innovation is bread into the company.

Stealth high friction rubber was developed to help increase traction while keeping the weight and durability in check. Stealth was able to keep a much stronger bond to many different surfaces, not just rocks better than any other sole on the market. Years of research and development went into the development of Stealth and it’s rubber recipe is a highly guarded secret.

Stealth rubber caught fire in the climbing scene, letting it grippiness do the talking. All climbers had to do was try a Stealth soled shoe and they were hooked. Other demands for Stealth rubber began to come pouring in. Cole developed many new formulas for many different sporting applications. Many years were spent with many professional athletes to bring about the many different lines of Stealth soles.

There are currently six different rubbers that are produced by Five Ten. They are meant to meet the various applications of the user’s environment.

GearChase.com Mi6 Stealth Rubber Review

Charles Cole opened a question, could he design a shoe sole that could climb up a glass wall? With the C4 Stealth rubber and a determination to increase its capabilities the Mi6 was born. The Mi6 can provide grip from glass and metal to rock and everything in between, while maintaining durability. With amazing cushioning properties the rubber is a great all around use for grip and sure footedness. Rumor has it that this rubber was designed for use in the Mission Impossible movie Ghost Protocol hence the name MI.

  • Advantages: Excellent interlock, low-force friction, vibration damping
  • Shore A (Hardness): 48-63
  • Resilience (Rebound): 8%
  • DIN Abrasion: * Abrasion testing not possible
GearChase.com OyXX Stealth Rubber ReviewUnbeatable hardness for precision edging, stickiness for friction, and exceptional durability. providing a rubber that is twice as durable as any other climbing shoe rubber with an added bonus of 25 percent more friction. Knows as a firmer rubber with great edge hold.
GearChase.com Aq Stealth Rubber ReviewDesigned to be a unique canyoneering and other water application rubber. Performs exceptionally well in wet conditions. The Aqua Stealth also credited for preventing the parasite that has caused catastrophic trout and salmon loss called whirling disease.

 

  • Advantages: Edging, Vibration damping, good interlock, non marking
  • Shore A (Hardness): 67-71
  • Resilience (Rebound): 11%
  • DIN Abrasion: 302
GearChase.com S1 Stealth Rubber ReviewThe original S1 rubber is perfect for all climbing applications. Great for speed ascents and various terrains. A great balance between friction and durability with comfort cushioning.

 

  • Advantages: Edging, Vibration damping, good interlock
  • Shore A (Hardness): 67-71
  • Resilience (Rebound): 11%
  • DIN Abrasion: 302
GearChase.com Hf Stealth Rubber ReviewThe Stealth High Friction rubber is great for bouldering problems that involve multi use foot position. Traction on even the smallest edges can be obtained and feet can be used in new ways never thought possible with the unsurpassed grip of the Hf Stealth.

  • Advantages: Edging,Excellent interlock, Low-force friction, Sensitive
  • Shore A (Hardness): 66-70
  • Resilience (Rebound): 11%
  • DIN Abrasion: 286
GearChase.com C4 Stealth Rubber ReviewA great edging rubber that performs well on smears. There are microscopic nubs that grab and lock in with a stiffer and sticky rubber.

  • Advantages: Edging, Vibration damping, Hard friction, Excellent interlock
  • Shore A (Hardness): 76-80
  • Resilience (Rebound): 13%
  • DIN Abrasion: 290

Five Ten – Camp Four Hiking Shoes Review – Women’s

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The new Camp Four by Five Ten® is mean and burly all terrain shoe with a feminine design worthy of the streets. An external heel cage ensures stable and secure footing, and unparalleled flexibility for a hiking boot. The Camp Four is rugged yet light weight. A hiking shoe with an identity crisis – the trails meet streets with the high performance and streamlined design. Ditch the heavy, bulky, clumsy hiking shoes for the new generation of mountain footwear.

Hiking will never be the same. The best all-terrain hiking shoe out there, bar none.  Hiking up trails, walking up boulders – the Five Ten Camp Four hiking shoes have just as much grip as rock climbing shoes. With comfort and awesome ankle support to keep you going on the rockiest trails. The outstanding construction and and study structure would make you think they had steel toes. Yet with all this burly support and performance, the camp four have style you can actually wear on the street (without looking like an eye sore as most hiking shoes). The patented rubber compound Stealth S1 rubber – creates grip as good as rock climbing shoes. The Camp Four hiking shoes compete with the comfortability of a running shoe, with the sturdy performance of a serious hiking shoe.

With traction strong as duct tape, they are sturdy. The strong ankle support to keeps strong footing even on the rockiest trails. If you have never bought real hiking shoes before, get a pair Five Ten Camp Four you’ll want to head up to the mountains every weekend.

Not every hiking boot has to feel like dredging up the mountain in rubber-bottom buckets. The flex of a running shoe and the protection and sturdiness you demand from a true hiking shoe. The sole of the Camp Four offers stellar performance. The shoe bends easily, yet the heel cage and ball of the foot have solid build and padded insole for ultimate comfort.

Very light weight, and traction is an understatement. With a typical lacing system for a high quality hiking boot, it is easy to tighten. Yet having a very high arch – you may want to try them on before you buy to decide fi you need a half size larger. The interior of the lining an padding is superior to any hiking shoes, they fit like a running shoe. No bulging seams, no hard backing. Soft, padded and a synthetic breathable sole with breathable support that felt like memory foam. Take our word for it, we wore them without socks up a trail to test it.

The synthetic sole and stealth S1 rubber is a seriously epic. You can literally walk down hill at a 45 degree angle, with the confidence that your shoes practically glued to the ground (until you decide to take another step). The tread on the bottom of the shoes is better than a mountain bike tire. The deep lug height creates more traction on dirt trails and other soft surfaces. The “wide tooth” tread enables mud to fall off the bottom of the shoes, instead of getting stuck between the narrow tread.

Featuring a quick Lace system, the locking eye stays offer easy in-and-out yet are also adjustable. The camp four also have leather loops to ensure your lacing stays intact (one of the first things to go on typical hiking boots). TPU heel cup reduces the foot print of the heel but retains the torsional stiffness and support. Light weight, durability, cushioned interior fit for a Diva. The materials are quick drying,and breathable. The perfect performance with a design that is feminine yet durable.

Five Ten – Freerider Contact Review

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We tested and reviewed the Five Ten Freerider Contact shoe after spending nearly 2 years on the previous version the Freerider XVI. The XVI was a bulletproof shoe that stood up to laps in the bike park, downhill rallies, and up hill pedal pounding. So with the new version of the Contact and a wide variety of changes hold up?

There are some noticeable changes right out of the box with the Five Ten Contact. First thing you might notice is the synthetic uppers in place of the leather (action leather). The new contacts are made from polyester and a synthetic/polyester mix. Additionally, you will see some changed placement for toe protection.

The contact is wrapped in the legendary Mi6 Stealth rubber and has one of the grippiest soles on the market. It has been heard on the trail, “once you put the sole to the pins, it’s not moving”. Five Ten has managed to create another great looking shoe that is highly performant. The shoe weighs in at about 385g or 0.85lb.

At first feel, the shoe feels pretty stiff, but seems to break in a bit faster than the Freerider VXI. Additionally, the Freerider Contact mid sole, shank, and out sole seemed to be just a bit more flexible than the VXI. In our opinion they got the stiffness “Just Right” with the contact. The VXI was always a bit stiff for our liking. The eyelets were moved towards the outsole more providing better flexibility, and securing the foot in the shoe. The show also feels a little less bulky and lighter on foot. When wet, the shoe definitely weighs less, and sheds water much quicker than the VXI Freerider.

Aside from an awesome looking shoe that can be worn on and off the trail, the other reason to pick the Freerider Contact is for the grip. It’s really like nothing you have experienced before. We rode with a variety of flat pinned pedals and found the same traction with varying pin lengths and wear. Once you set your foot on the pedal there is no re-adjusting your placement without lifting your foot up and replacing it on the flat. Short from riding clipless, these shoes paired with a good pair of flat pinned pedals with offer simply the best experience of grip and pedal secureness on the market.

After about 30 rides, there are some pins marks showing up on the soles of the shoes. I’m sure the sole would still out live the shoe, but is was some concern.

As with the VXi, the Contact continues with a great looking style that is both fashionable and functional. The wide array of synthetics took some getting use to, and the durability will be left up to the test. The VXi leather was bombproof, and the Contact we notices a slightly softer feel. These are a sure bet, and a investment that will pay off for years.

  • Amazing grip with the stealth Mi6 sole
  • Look great both on trail and on street
  • Very cumfortable for a flat, stiff shank riding shoe
  • The freerider is not the most breathable shoe. Infact moisture can be seen building up on the inside of the synthetic material on the sides of the shoe.
  • Doesn’t drain water or dry quickly

Camp Four Mid GTX Review

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The Camp Four Mid GTX got an upgrade, and they look awesome. The earlier version of the Camp Four have been touted as one of the best hiking shoes for support, grip and balance. They performed well on a multiple array of surfaces, both wet and dry. They climb and and descend equally well.

The new Camp Four Mid GTX got the upgraded look we had always hoped for. Now with more breathable uppers coated in GORE-TEX to protect your feet while remaining highly breathable.

These are a great looking boot both on and off the trail. Personally we like the look of the GTX over the solid grey or marine color. Additionally, the polyester version of the Camp Four with GORE-TEX coating offers a more breathable option than the nubuck leather options.  First putting these boots on you notice the grip and traction of the sole.  They are slightly stiff and need some breaking in before any long accents.

The Ortholite impression insole offers a high tech comfort and a custom shaping footbed. The Collar offers a slim tight seal agains the ankle to prevent rocks and debris from getting into the boot. The tongue is well padded and articulates well around the front of the ankle. It also attaches to the shoe very high to keep water and pebbles out of the shoe. The lacing eyelets and eye stays making lacing simple and secure. The vamp of the boot and toe cap round well together and are perfect for small bouldering problems and rolling off rocks on technical hikes. The out sole, mid-sole, and shank all bear the Stealth S1 rubber for providing a perfect mix of durability, grip, and shock absorption.

The Camp Four Mid GTX comes in US Sizes 6 to 15 and half sizes. The boot weighs in at 17.3 oz which is a bit a heavier for an approach shoe, but offers a stronger platform and substantial grip and traction of other approach shoes that weigh in lighter. Also, for heavier weight hikes with a loaded pack offers great stability in the Camp Four.

The Fit is very true to size, the toe box is comfortably sized with a great blend of flexibility and stability. The width is standard for most approach shoes. You’ll also notice a slightly stiffer shank with the Camp Four.

We used the Camp Four Mid GTX on a dozen different hikes from short day hikes to multi-mile hikes. It offers great support for any hike, and sure footing. The high rubber around the heel and covering the toe offers additional protection for the shoe and your foot. We were impressed with the overall performance of the Camp Four Mid GTX. From dirt trails to small bouldering the boots exceeded all of our expectations. The heel cage offers a solid stable footing on rough terrain. The main stand out on the trail is the grip the Stealth rubber offers on the shoe.

The shoe is very well built, with seams minimized to reduce hot spots and break points. The rubber is glued to the well on the shoes. The high flex points of the shoe held up well. The Stealth sole of the Camp Four seems to show signs of wearing after only a few hikes. We are not sure the overall longevity of the sole, but it was a concern.

  • Amazing Grip on a variety of surfaces
  • Perfect use as an approach shoe
  • GORE-TEX
  • High sealed tongue and cuff
  • Stable with heavy loads
  • Ortholite insoles
  • Very heavy when wet, and don’t drain water well
  • articulation around ankle not perfect

Five Ten Guide Tennie Review – Women’s

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The poster child shoe for Five Ten, the Five Tennie were the first approach shoes to the market. Versatile and fashionable, the Five Tennie are specifically designed for high performance from hiking to rock climbing. Available for men and women, in a variety of fresh colors – the Five Tennie also comes in a mid-top and standard low-cut design.

The rounded Stealth toe is wrapped with patented Stealth rubber. Get the precision footing and grip of climbing shoes with the sturdiness and support of a hiking shoe. The Stealth® C4™ outsoles keep your feed glued to the ground, vertical or otherwise. The canvas construction is breathable and quick-drying, an awesome alternative to bulky leather hiking shoes.

The sole of the shoe notably thicker and stiffer than other approach shoes. The Five Tennie lend themselves to performing better and more comfortably on longer hike route than extensive climbing. A genius balance between hiking and climbing that other approach shoes don’t even come close.

Rock climbers rejoice. You don’t need to trade out and switch to your climbing shoes. The same shoes you hiked up the trail, will perform just as well vertical. From bouldering to easy alpine rock climbing, the Five Tennie has Stealth rubber to compete with any pointy toed climbing shoes (yet a bit too bulky for crack climbing and climbing routes with tiny pockets). Yet on the flip side, the stiff shoe holds better on an edge then there’s enough surface area. Not quite as precise as a climbing shoe, yet the unparalelled grip compensates. Your calves will thank you, the grip will keep you securely footed, enabling higher performance.

Yet next time you go camping, don’t pack two pairs of shoes. You don’t need one for the trails and another for the streets. Not necessarily a feminine design, yet a modern design that definitely outshines bulky leather clunker boots.

The breathability and ventilation offered from the canvas material is ideal for warmer weather climates – but a no go for snow. Lighter weight than competing approach shoes, the streamlined design makes the Five Tennie great for throwing in your backpack without taking up all the space.

One key distinction noted from the Five Tennie, the sole has only minimal flex. Compared to the Camp Four with a heel cage, the Five Tennie have a solid bottom sole out of the box. While some flex might come with wear, they do feel less agile than the Camp Four hiking shoe. You would never want to go running in these, or anything close to it.

Five Ten know feet. So when it comes to comfort, support and performance you won’t find anything else like it. The perfect balance for hiking and climbing – the stiff sole isn’t quite comfortable enough for wearing on a daily basis as a true hiking shoe. Yet when it comes to meeting the performance needs of hiking and climbing -the Five Tennie have found the perfect balance.

The Five Ten approach shoe fits true to size. If you wear and 8 ½ high heels or flats – order in a size 8 ½. Yet note the arch support is a bit understated for those with high arches.

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