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Five Ten Guide Tennie Review

   
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Approach Shoes - Men's

  • Currently 3.6/5
Overall avg rating 3.6 of 5 based on 20 reviews. Most recent review: April 18, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $90 - $130 | Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros:  Climb great, low-bulk
Cons:  Durability, not enough cushion for big approaches
Best Uses:  Big wall climbing, alpine rock, cragging
User Rating:     
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 (3.3 of 5) based on 19 reviews
Recommendations:  71% of reviewers (12/17) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Five Ten
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ April 11, 2012  
Overview
The Five Ten Guide Tennie is a great approach shoe for easy 5th class climbing. It is the favorite of many guides because you can confidently climb easy routes without needing to put on free climbing shoes. I have even climbed The Nose on El Capitan a few times in only these shoes – I only led the upper half of the route, which requires less free climbing than the bottom half. It is good for a few big walls but generally will not last more than five, about average for an approach shoe.

I have used them a ton on easy Sierra routes and walls. They are perfect for long Tuolumne 5.5 or 5.6 routes. If you are looking for a shoe to just get you to the crags or want a shoe for massive hikes, we would go with the Evolv Escapist, which is $20 less expensive and better on long approaches (but does not edge or climb nearly as well as the Guide Tennie or a climbing shoe). If you want a shoe that is more durable and works better on big walls, get the Five Ten Camp Four, La Sportiva Boulder X or the Scarpa Zen. If you want a shoe that is light for multi-pitch climbs with moderate descents, get the Five Ten DAescent Men's. For the ultimate climbing approach shoe, go with the La Sportiva Ganda. That said, the Ganda is twice the price and at $200, they are almost scary to climb in as you worry about babying them so much. In conclusion, for the price, the Five Ten Guide Tennie is probably the best climbing approach shoe out there for busting 5th class moves.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
This approach shoe climbs better than about any other for several reasons:
  • a thin sole for better sensitivity and edging (you feel the rock more).
  • dot sticky rubber (not big treads) so they smear well.
  • laces all the way down for a great fit at the toe (good for edging).
  • a full rand so you can jam them in cracks without having the toe blow apart.
  • sturdy midsole is great for standing around in aiders when big wall climbing.

They are great for multi-pitch climbs with a walk-off because they are relatively light weight and not too bulky. This makes them convenient to put in an extra pack or clip to the side of your harness. They weigh about 1.5 pounds for a pair (size 10) whereas most other shoes like the La Sportiva Boulder X weigh over 2 pounds. They also perform moderately well at parkour or free running stunts with the sticky, low profile, dot tread.

Dislikes
What makes these shoes climb so well also makes them not ideal for long approaches. Their thin soles leave your feet tired if you cross large talus fields and the absence of big tread makes them slippery on steep dirt. That is the tradeoff for having them climb so well. I would rate these middle of the road for durability. They probably won't fall apart after one big wall or giant approach, but probably will start coming apart after four big walls. This is about average for approach shoes but a shoe like the Five Ten Camp 4 is much more durable.

Best Application
These excel on long routes with lots of easy 5th class and not too big of an approach. I like them on big walls because they give you confidence to step out of your aiders and bust a few free moves. However, they are thin so if you are standing in aiders for leads of two-plus hours your feet will get tired. They are ideal in a place like Tuolumne Meadows with short approaches and descents and lots of easy but exposed slab climbing just below and above the climbs.

Pricing
This shoe is a good value if you will do lots of scrambling and generally take care of them. If you are doing a lot of big walls, which puts a ton of wear on shoes, they are expensive considering that you might trash them after only a few walls.

Other Versions
Check out the more lightweight and more breathable version the Five Ten Guide Tennie Canvas as well as this year's new version Five Ten Guide Tennie Canvas NEW.

Also check out the Five Ten Guide Tennie - Women's, $115.

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: April 18, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (3.3)

71% of 17 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
18 Total Ratings
5 star: 28%  (5)
4 star: 22%  (4)
3 star: 11%  (2)
2 star: 39%  (7)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 19 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Apr 18, 2014 - 10:47am
WML · Climber · Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
I have had these since October to replace a pair of Scarpa Gecko Guides, probably the best approach shoes evar, and they have done an admirable job. My biggest complaint with them is that they are quite soft and on the rather rocky and uneven Red Rock approaches that can lead to some foot pain.

As far as the pros, these have the awesome sticky Five Ten rubber and climb quite well, have climbed up to 10- in them, so there's that. The version that I have are the canvas ones, which have been quite durable thus far after having put them through the ringer here this past season in Red Rock.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 8, 2013 - 01:33am
Lynne Leichtfuss · Climber · Will know soon
Two years later and still wearing my original pair and loving them. Getting ready to finally send them in for a resole, but other than that they are great. I do admit the inner sole is a bit thin but I put in a super feet liner as I do in most of my shoes and that fixed that.

Since I fit shoes in an outdoor shop I've noticed that not only are each individuals feet different, but how they use and take care of their shoes along with their unique foot pattern play a huge role in how long a shoe will last for them.

I have expanded my use of this shoe and done more Joshua Tree approaches in them as well as hiking, and 3rd and 4th classing in them in the upper and lower Yosemite area for months at a time. Oh yeah, even wear them to work to let clients know they are comfortable for many uses. Like!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Mar 3, 2013 - 11:39pm
C Blank · Climber · San Francisco, CA
I'm on my second pair in 2+ years. First one wore out at the inside of the heel after +1.5 years of a being my daily driver and cragging (2 resoles)

Not the most vented thing out there (but 5.10 makes other shoes that are), but they make up for that by being WAY bomber.

I find it hysterical that people are saying that it wears too quick. You are walking around with climbing rubber, not sure what you are expecting. Think about how many times your foot actually plants down when climbing/ versus walking around. It's kind of like if you were to complain about racing tires wearing down too fast.

Interesting to read people have delam issues, both of mine never had that issue and none of the other people I've talked to have had that issue either.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Mar 1, 2013 - 02:51am
Gustav Nilsson · Climber · Umeε
Good: Soft and comfortable on the feet walking around in dry conditions on rock. Very sticky grip on dry rock.

Bad: The sticky sole wears out quickly, very slippery on grass/mud/sand/moss – most surfaces part from rock even when they were new.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 17, 2013 - 07:10pm
kili · Climber · West of the Mississippi
I have owned two pairs of these and I love how they feel and how they climb. They are light and give very good feel on the rock and are very sticky.

But there is a very good reason they only got two stars. Both pair split right behind the top cap on the sides of the shoes and it happened in about 4 months. I tried to get them warrantied, but they refused to replace them.

So if they start making them a little more durable, I will start buying them again.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 10, 2012 - 01:46am
redpoint · Climber · Vancouver, BC
Very light and very grippy - awesome for technical approaches or 3,4 or low 5th class climbing. BUT I've spent more time gluing the sole back on these than wearing them. Of course, the soft, grippy rubber wears fast as well. I understand that the rubber is going to wear-out quickly, but having to constantly re-glue is a good indicator that Five Ten needs to consider another adhesive.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 27, 2011 - 04:12pm
Daniel Eubank · Climber · Woodbridge, VA
Have used the 5.10 Guide tennies as an approach shoe for years.
Light enough to binner to your harness for a technical multi-pitch, and then don them to walk-off, i.e. Tahquitz. Midsole is plenty sturdy in aiders for bigwalls; did Moonlight Butress, Space Shot and Prodigal Sun wearing Guide tennies. They edge and smear well enough to climb up to about 5.8. Warmer than regular climbing shoes since you are wearing socks. I used them when I climbed the East Butress of Mt. Whitney 5.8 for a spring ascent (was really winter conditions). A+ for that climb.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 20, 2011 - 09:25pm
Lynne Leichtfuss · Climber · Will know soon
They are super. Love the womens' color …. medium grey/blue with orange/red stiching and laces. Light enough I can even jog in them if limited on number of shoes I can pack.

Concerned at first about sizing. I am a standard 7 1/2. When I got them they seemed snug. But after wearing them around the house a few hours I went for a hike/jog the next day. Perfect.

Only prob. The laces are a bit short and it's difficult to do a double knot. I love the soles as far as gripping rock and sandy dirt, tho I haven't tried on strong angles yet. Toe rubber great for sticking in boulder cracks on Todd Gordon approaches. :D

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Oct 22, 2010 - 12:41am
Technogeekery · Climber · Tokyo, Japan
I've had mine about 6 months now, quite light use. Comfortable walking shoes, although when walking downhill I find the seam where the rubber rand meets the fabric on top of my toes rubs a bit. Quite stiff shoes (compared to trainers) which is great for walking, but less comfortable when say driving for long distances. Getting more comfortable as they stretch to fit my feet.

Friction is quite simply amazing - if you are doing lots of scrambling on your approach, or plan to climb easy angled slabs, these are perfect. I'm a scaredy-cat when it comes to unroped 4-th / easy 5th-class in my trainers, and these have made all the difference for me.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Oct 20, 2010 - 02:00am
Ed Hartouni · Climber · Livermore, CA
Here are pictures of my Guide Tennies after a little more than a year of 500 miles of walking and not much climbing (recovering from a hurt back) but some…

note that the soles are pretty well worn down, the shoe laces replaced with something a bit more stout than the original, the insert is also worn and there are holes in both sides where the rand ends and the leather begins just at the the little toe… in more detail:


these are about to be retired to around-the-house work shoes while I find another pair…

At ~$100 per shoe they don't wear very well…
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   Sep 27, 2010 - 06:56am
Alpinist63 · Climber · Schleck-Country
a good shoe for long easy routes…for approach not recommended, even dangerous on steep terrain where you encouter mud, grassy slopes or a little snowfield.
overall a good shoe for tuolumne or similar places.
a good alternativ are the garmont approach shoes: durable, climb pretty good, less good on friction than the 5 10 but on steeper stuff at least as good and excellent for big walls (aid), the front part is very solid, no sign of wear after 3 walls.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 9, 2010 - 05:42am
bearbreeder · Climber
climbs better than any approach shoes i know … handles 5.7-5.9 with ease especially hand cracks and slabs

have lead up to low 10s with them

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 23, 2010 - 02:23pm
Prod · Climber
Mine delaminated 3 days after I bought them humping loads to the base of El Cap. And were trashed after 4 days on a wall. I gave them 2 stars as I think they look cool. 5.10, in my experience, has always been a little junky compared to the rest of the field.

Prod.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   May 22, 2010 - 01:14am
karodrinker · Climber · San Jose, CA
Awesome for running around castle rock and bouldering. No need for changing shoes, these work good up to V3. Not too much edging there, these smear great on the sandstone.

Also like the stiff midsole, feel good in the aiders.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Apr 7, 2010 - 03:23am
White Lightning · Climber · Seattle, WA
They're not the most durable but they're GEAR! Gear wears out!
My only problem with them is the traction in mud. The grip on granite more than makes up for it though.

I bought mine a little big, left the factory insole in there and jammed my superfeet on top. That extra cushion and support makes them great for longer approaches….and they still climb 5.9 fine.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 14, 2010 - 09:16pm
msiddens · Climber
These shoes climb well and are comfy. They stop at that though. After two pairs delaminating prematurely they went the way of the dodo bird and I moved on. I'd not recommend them since they fall about too easily.

So far I'm very happy with my Five Ten C-4's.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 11, 2010 - 11:08pm
Ed Hartouni · Climber · Livermore, CA
I use these after trying a bunch… an approach shoe is going to be a compromise no matter what and these perform optimally for how I use them…


…the latest version is a bit more rugged than the previous incarnations, but they still get beat up (which is good 'cause it means I'm using them!)…

..one gripe, the top lace eyelettes is cutting the shoe laces when I tighten them, damn annoying.. I just replaced the laces with something a lot more robust, we'll see how long they last. Change the eyelette design or put better laces on those puppies!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 20, 2010 - 02:33pm
ron gomez · Climber · fallbrook,ca
I finally gave up on 5.10's approach shoes. Most of my approaches are back country and these shoes suck for that, feet kill by the time you get to the route. Seams blow out quickly and the overall fit is clunky and uncomfortable. I've done approaches in "sandles" that feel better than guide tennies. Rubber sticks good, but that's about all I can say good about these shoes. Many other companies put sticky rubber on much more durable and comfortable shoes.
Peace

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 15, 2010 - 05:48pm
otis · Climber · Lake Arrowhead, Ca
Good approach shoe. I put a better insole for a little more support on those long approaches. Had a pair of the La Sportiva B5's, well built but the soles were very slippery (can be a safety thing) Anyway, I dig the Five ten's……if there is anything better I would like to know.
http://one-eyed-jackass.com

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Five Ten Guide Tennie
Credit: Chris McNamara
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