Outdoor shoe manufacturer Five Ten is probably best known for its impressive line of climbing and mountain biking shoes, two areas where it has earned a reputation for creating some of the best footwear on the market today. But, it turns out the company makes fantastic options for other outdoor activities as well, most notably in the hiking space. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to try two different pairs of shoes from the Five Ten outdoor line-up, and as with its other footwear, I came away very impressed.
Five Ten Camp Four Mid
Staying comfortable on the trail during the summer months can be just as challenging as during the winter. Part of that challenge starts with keeping your feet comfortable, as big, bulky, and warm boots are not meant for use in hot weather. Five Ten’s Camp Four Mid is a good option for those conditions, thanks in part because they are relatively lightweight, offer good breathability, and are downright comfortable on your feet. They also offer fantastic traction on a variety of surfaces as well.
Made from a DWR-coated Nubuck leather, the Camp Four Mid has an upper that provides solid protection from water, while still managing to remain fairly breathable in steamy conditions. While my feet did get warm on an intense summer hike, they never got so heated up that perspiration caused blisters or hot spots. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, I felt the boots performed very well in this regard, particularly considering the excessive heat and humidity that comes with where I live. This leads me to believe that these shoes will make an excellent option for all but the most extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.
Five Ten has given the Camp Four Mid an aggressive sole that sports the company’s proprietary Stealth S1 rubber. This is a derivative of the same rubber that is used in its climbing shoes, and while it’s not put to the same use here, it does provide plenty of grip, even on wet surfaces. I’ve worn these boots scrambling over rocks and mud, as well as through small streams and rivers, and have been very happy with how well they performed. To say the sole is very “grippy” would be an understatement, as it essentially clings to a surface in a surprisingly strong manner. Oversized lugs also lend a bit of assistance in this area too, and while I haven’t had a chance to try them in snow, I’m guessing they’ll perform admirably on winter hikes as well.
The Camp Four Mid comes with a durable toe-cap to provide extra protection on the trail, and the ankle support is a welcome addition to this model too. Inside, an Ortholite foam sock liner brings an extra level of comfort, and there is plenty of padding underfoot to help cushion the blow during those long days on the trail. A synthetic, weather-resistant, toe box helps to keep feet dry when splashing through puddles and streams, as does a design that cuts down on the number of seams, giving water fewer places to seep inside. All of this adds up to a boot that fits nicely, looks great, and can shield the foot from a number of external threats that could make your hiking trip much less enjoyable.
This boot is an excellent option for not just day hikers though. It makes a great approach or backpacking shoe, and could even work for peak bagging and light mountaineering duties. Its versatility is one of the things I like most about it, as it is an all-around great performer in a number of different areas. I also appreciate that its size and weight allowed me to still feel nimble on the trail. That isn’t always the case with hiking footwear, which can sometimes feel overly bulky.
I also happen to really like the price. The Five Ten Camp Four Mid runs just $165, which is a great pice for a shoe that performs this well and can be used in a number of different environments. If you’re in the market for a new pair of light hiking boots, you’ll want to have these on your list. They are not only top tier in terms of durability and dependability, but they are very affordable too.
Five Ten Approach Pro
The other shoe from Five Ten that I’ve been testing lately is the Approach Pro. As its name suggests, it is an excellent option for technical approaches, but the company also recommends it for descents and route setting too. I’ll throw in another category as well: urban exploration. In fact, this is another versatile shoe that I could wear mountain biking or commuter cycling as well, making it a very attractive choice for a number of other light outdoor activities too.
The Approach Pro is made from a canvas upper that is surprisingly durable and easy to clean. It is also equipped with a rubber exoskeleton that helps to give it a rigid and supportive shape, without adding much in the way of weight and bulk. A pair of offset pull tabs give climbers the choice of hanging the shoes from a pack as well, making them very easy to take with them just about anywhere.
Unlike the Camp Four Mid – which uses the S1 rubber, the Approach Pro has a sole made from Five Ten’s C4 rubber instead. This option comes directly from the company’s climbing shoe line and is lighter weight. It also doesn’t have the aggressive lugs of the Camp Four Mid, which are better at tromping through mud and snow. That said however, the Approach Pro still offers outstanding traction and grip both on and off the rock. This nod to the company’s climbing heritage will probably allow you to pull off some impressive climbs in these shoes alone, without ever having to switch to a dedicated climbing shoe.
Relatively lightweight (9.7 ounces), the Approach Pro is very comfortable to wear, while still providing a high level of protection to the foot. So much so, that I’ve taken to wearing them around town while running errands or connecting with friends. Their subtle good looks have even earned me a compliment or two on my choice of footwear, which look like something you might find in the cool kids wearing in trendy part of town, without giving a single hint at their outdoor origins.
Priced at $120 (currently on sale for $84), this is another competitively priced shoe from Five Ten that outdoor enthusiasts will love. They are comfortable, durable, and versatile, all of which are good qualities to have in your footwear. I personally have come to love how many different things I can do in these shoes, and I think you’ll find them to be just as fun to wear as I have.
Find out more at FiveTen.com.