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Approach Shoes

Five Ten Five Tennie

The steeziest approach shoe around!

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MSRP: $125

BEST FOR: Scrambles and around town

The original Five Tennie—dreamed up by Five Ten founder Charles Cole back in the ‘80s—was the first real, modern approach shoe: a hybrid running-hiking-climbing shoe that could get you both to and up the technical rock. Five Ten has redesigned the classic Five Tennie and come up with a great mid-ground approach shoe for out on the trail or just around town. And they might just be the flyest looking approach shoes we’ve ever seen.

With Stealth dot rubber on the outsole, a leather upper, and a sock-like inner construction, these shoes will get you to rugged places while also fitting in at more posh local haunts. The Five Tennie is about 50 grams lighter than its cousin, the Guide Tennie. While lighter weight, they still perform well, particularly on fourth class terrain, and feel more responsive when scrambling around due to their more minimalist construction.

As most approach shoes do nowadays, the Five Tennie has a climbing zone under the toe to provide optimal performance. In our experience, the shoes smeared better than they edged—which the slightly stiffer Guide Tennies are probably better for.

They have a sturdy pull loop at the back of the heel that any size carabiner should work with if you want to tote the shoes up a multi-pitch. The toe box is fairly narrow, but this helps keep your foot from swimming around in the shoes when climbing—plus, the leather upper should form to the wearer’s foot after a short breaking-in process. 

The Five Tennies weren’t the most breathable approach shoes we’ve ever worn, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: they are tough enough to keep all those pesky brambles and briars from impaling your foot.

The shoes run slightly big: sizing them down a half-size seemed to be the best fit for us. 

And of course, once again: how sweet is that retro color scheme? And if you’re looking to blend in a bit more, don’t worry: the new Five Tennies also come in more neutral, less in-your-face colors.


Men’s Five Tennie

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Women’s Five Tennie

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Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.