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The Five Ten “Five Tennies” Approach Shoes Get a Solid 10 Rating

I bought these shoes last winter for a planned trip to the Utah desert this spring. Figured on doing a bit of scrambling, some ridge walking, some smearing of my toes, fingers, and entire body to steep and slick rock walls to make it from one canyon ledge to the next. Was already a huge fan of Five Ten bike shoes and their grippy Stealth Rubber sole, so figured I’d try a semi-approach shoe/bike shoe/all-around rock walking shoe.

Plus, they looked cool.

Six months later, after COVID-19 canceled the trip, these are at the top of my footwear quiver. I wear them flat pedaling a mountain bike, and on some off-trail hikes in rocky sections of Marin County, California, which might mean anything from granite to glass-slick serpentine. I’m not a climber, but I do like to get my hands involved when hiking rough terrain, and these are excellent scramblers.

The tongue is stretchy and gusseted, which keeps debris out and makes them super easy to take on and off without untying the laces, while lending a molded to your foot feel. They aren’t nearly as rigid as traditional approach shoes which, depending on your needs, makes them wholly unsuitable or a far more practical shoe. I hike with friends often who wear approach shoes when things get rocky when a low-cut hiker would probably be more comfortable—the Five Tennises split that difference perfectly.

They’re ideal shoes to wear adventure riding too. They’re stiff enough to avoid foot fatigue, have endless grip on the pedals, and if you put the bike down to scramble over a ridge to see what’s around the corner, they’re surefooted as goat hooves.

– Justin Housman, online editor

• BUY: Adidas ($63; some colors and sizes only); Backcountry ($125);

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