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Hands-on Gear Review

Five Ten Camp Four Review

Approach Shoes

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  • Currently 3.8/5
Overall avg rating 3.8 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: June 29, 2015
Price:   $150 List | $150 online  —  Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Durable, supportive, a great hiking approach shoe, fairly light
Cons:  Limited climbing ability, a little bulky when put in a backpack
Manufacturer:   Five Ten


The Five Ten Camp Four is one of the best approach shoes we tested for hiking to and from climbs, whether that is on the trail or scrambling over rough terrain. This shoe is supportive if you are carrying heavy loads, but remains comfortable when you're not. However, most climbers who seek a better balance between hiking performance and climbing ability on more technical rock will be better served by one of our award winners. Our Editors' Choice winner, the Five Ten Guide Tennie, for example strikes the best compromise; it climbs technical rock well and is a reasonably good hiker.

RELATED: Our complete review of approach shoes - men's

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Brandon Lampley
Review Editor

Last Updated:

The Five Ten Camp Four is one of the most comfortable and supportive approach shoes for hiking on either smooth or rough terrain. That said, we found its climbing ability quite limited on technical rock.

Performance Comparison

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This was one of our favorite shoes for the rough approach into an out of the Owens River Gorge this winter. It is a comfortable and supportive hiker on smooth and rough terrain.

Climbing Ability

The Camp Four earned one of the lowest climbing ability scores; it smears and edges OK, but wasn't in the top half of performers in either sub-category.

While the new Camp Four's sole has a section designed for edging, our lead tester found it only worked well on relatively large holds. This product has one of the roomiest forefoots and widest toe boxes we tested, so folks with wider feet may find better edging performance.

The Stealth S1 rubber on this shoe is formulated for hiking performance, but is fairly sticky on rock. What limits the smearing performance is the relatively small contact area with the rock under the forefoot.

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The Camp Four is a very durable approach shoe for areas with rough rock. We liked this hiking performance focused model for exploring the far flung areas at the Buttermilks.

Crack Climbing
If your foot fits in the crack, these provide good support for crack climbing. While the toe is more low profile than some others, it is also the widest.


While this is one of the least breathable products we tested, we found it downright cushy for trail hiking and scrambling, with or without a heavy pack. The Stealth S1 sole has big, oval lugs that provide great traction in both dirt and mud. The gusseted tongue also keeps trail debris from getting to your sock. Five eyelets (the lower four are tunnels sewn into the leather upper) provide a minimal but effective lacing system. Like the Guide Tennie, this is a relatively high volume shoe. Our lead tester with skinny feet achieved a good hiking fit, but the lacing system was at the limit of its tightening.

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While this is a durable shoe for getting around Joshua Tree, we would choose a shoe with better climbing ability for the exposed descents from many routes.


The second most supportive of the shoes we tested, the Camp Four is a great choice for carrying heavy loads and standing in aiders. It is just a little stiffer than the La Sportiva Boulder X and Scarpa Zen. This product has more forefoot rocker, or upward bend, than other models we tested. For a stiff shoe, this helps create a comfortable stride.

Weight & Packability

The Camp Four is the lightest model we tested that received a high score for support. Our size 12 test model weighed in at 2 pounds and 2 ounces for the pair, quite light considering the full leather upper and extended toe rand. While the sole is bulky, the upper material is quite flexible; these shoes smush down smaller than similarly supportive models for stowing in your pack.


One of the notable improvements with the redesigned Camp Four is increased durability. The upper is now constructed with fewer seams in the leather, and the new plastic heel cage protects the rear of the shoe. This said, overall durability still falls in the middle of the pack. Of the shoes that hike very well, we find the Salewa Mountain Trainer and Scarpa Zen are more durable.

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Very few seams in the upper and a rand that wraps the whole shoe are good upgrades geared towards durability.

Best Applications

This is a great shoe for getting to and from the crags on a variety of terrain, and is surprisingly light considering the support it delivers. Due to good muddy traction and water resistance, this is a good choice for East Coast climbers, or anyone that encounters mud, puddles, and small streams on the approach.

For lots of folks, this is the best choice for multi-day big wall ascents in Yosemite. The upper is durable, you'll be comfy standing in aiders all day, and there's great support and stickiness for humping your haul bags over to the East Ledges or the North Dome Gully.


This shoe is reasonably priced at $150. We thought the previous generation a little pricey considering its durability, but the new version addresses those issues.


If you want an approach shoe designed primarily for comfortable hiking and foot support, but that still smears well, the Camp Four is a good choice.

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You find the strangest things while exploring in Joshua Tree; an old wooden ladder accesses the start of the free climbing on this former aid route.

Other Versions

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Five Ten Camp Four - Women's
  • Women's version of this shoe - $150
  • Low top is also available in a waterproof version: Camp Four GTX - $180

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Camp Four Mid
  • Mid top version of the C4 - $170

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Five Ten Guide Tennie and Five Ten Guide Tennie - Women's
  • Editors' Choice Award Winner!
  • An approach shoe that climbs as well as it hikes
  • Superb climbing performance
  • Lightweight design
  • $130
Brandon Lampley

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: June 29, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:   
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100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 67%  (2)
3 star: 33%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Jun 29, 2015 - 11:37pm
Jude Bischoff · Mountain Biker · Nevada City, CA
After going through two pairs of camp four's a year, I was excited to see how the new design held up on mountain terrain. The old design, while a great performer on adventures, fell apart on a very predictable basis.

The new Camp Four is 1/2 size larger. If you wore a 11.5 in the old model I would suggest an 11 in the new version.

The shoe laces are the same as the old model and give out within 3 months. Please fix this Camp Four.

The new Camp four is far more durable. The surround rand is holding up very well. There is a small delamination in the crease but nothing like the old model.

Even the liner, which use to go about the same time as the laces, is holding up much better.

All in all for approaches and walk off's and scrambling I have complete confidence in this shoe and I just love the sticky rubber.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   May 26, 2015 - 04:26pm
SurfinBirdman · Kayaker · Boston, MA
I got this at the beginning of the summer and they have been great!

The grip on these is insane and my only complaint is a lack of a wide size. That only gets a 1 star ding because i have really wide feet and it's only a minor issue when doing lots of downhill hiking (and when i'm too lazy to tighten the boots all the way.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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