Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Incredibly durable, supportive, best traction in dirt and loose terrain
Cons: Heavy, not great climbing performance
Best Uses: Big walls, long and tough approaches with minimal climbing.
The Five Ten Camp Four is designed with aid climbing in mind. Five Ten made these shoes extra durable with a thick rubber rand and a strong heel cage for both durability and support. If you know you'll be climbing a big wall soon or if you just completely trash your shoes and need extra tough shoes but don't use them to climb all that much, then these shoes are a pick. For something more agile and hikable, try the La Sportiva Xplorer - Women's. For something that climbs better, go with the Five Ten Guide Tennie - Women's.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Five Ten Camp Four is a durable and supportive shoe that is designed for aid climbing. While it is the most rugged of all the shoes we tested, it also climbs the poorest and is the most expensive.
The Five Ten Camp Four rated the lowest on the climbing ability metric when compared to the rest of our test group. The tread is made with Vibram® Stealth S1 rubber. This rubber isn't as sticky as the Stealth C4 rubber that is used on the Five Ten Guide Tennie - Women's, but the Stealth S1 rubber is much more durable, while still providing decent friction. The tread has a knobby, lugged design that is great for traction on loose dirt terrain and trails but doesn't give very good precision or surface area contact on the rock for edging or smearing. They also have the tallest and least flexible toe box, which makes it more difficult to get purchase when trying to jam while crack climbing. All that being said, they still have good grip as long as you aren't trying to make delicate moves on tiny footholds.
The Camp Four is the only shoe that gave our testers a rub spot near the Achilles and heel area. However, making sure you have a higher sock to cover that area and also taking a little time to break them in helped and didn't cause long-term issues. While this is the heaviest shoe of those we tested, it doesn't feel especially heavy on your feet.
This shoe is rated at the top of our list for the most supportive in our test group. One of the biggest features that makes this shoe so supportive is its external molded heel cup so your foot and your heel doesn't slide around. The Camp Four is also the most water resistant of the shoes we tested.
These shoes were the heaviest of all the pairs we tested - one shoe weighs 14.7 ounces. However, if you are using these for aid climbing, or just to get a heavy load to the base of climb, then you might not mind the extra weight because you'll either soon be on the wall, or you need the support.
The Camp Four is designed for aid and big wall climbing, where many approach shoes have been known to blow out and fall apart halfway through the trip. So these shoes were specifically designed to withstand the toughest thrashing. And they do this well - they received a top score for the durability metric. The Camp Four is made with a tough leather upper and has plenty of sticky rubber which is extra thick and that wraps around a large portion of the toe area.
Use these shoes big wall or aid climbing, or on approaches where you need extra support.
The Five Ten Camp Four is the most expensive shoe of the group we tested. The $150 MSRP might be worth it if you're planning a lot of aid climbing, but otherwise there are probably other shoes out there that will still give you great support, but also climb better and be less expensive.
These sturdy and well-built shoes are a great option if you're a big wall climber. The Camp Four could also be an option if you don't do a whole lot of actual climbing in your approach shoes, but you want a really durable shoe that will support your feet and last a long time.
Five Ten Camp Four
Camp Four Mid
Five Ten Guide Tennie and Five Ten Guide Tennie - Women's
— Sarah Hegg
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Most recent review: June 29, 2015
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