Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Sticky rubber, supportive for long hikes or carrying heavy packs.
Cons: The heel is too bulky and wide, which is clumsy when climbing.
Best Uses: Long approaches, big wall climbing.
The Camp Four is the most rugged approach shoe in this review, and because of its unique PU molded heel cage, is perhaps the best shoe to wear when carrying a lot of weight. It lasts forever and provides great protection for your feet, winning it our Top Pick Award. It has sticky rubber on the bottom, but is not the best shoe for climbing. It is like a beefed up version of the Five Ten Insight. Another similar, durable shoe for carrying loads is the La Sportiva Boulder X - Women's. If you want a light hiker that is comfortable for long distances and also climbs well, check out the La Sportiva Exum Pro - Women's. If you want an approach shoe that excels at climbing, the Guide Tennie is much stickier and precise than the Camp Four.
Check out our complete Women's Approach Shoe Review to see how these compared to others.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
These shoes feel like they could handle a beating and protect your feet during rough use. The Camp Four is basically a beefed up version of the Insight. They have a molded PU heel cage, which Five Ten claims adds extra support for carrying big loads. I wore these on a spring back country ski approach that began with a hike while carrying a large pack filled with skis, ski boots, shovel, probe, water, food, etc. The Camp Fours gave me the right amount of support to hike with a large, awkward load over uneven terrain without twisting or straining my ankles. The lacing goes all the way to the toe to create a snug fit while climbing. Since they are thick and protective, they are actually decently water resistant and, unlike the Exum Pros, they don't catch lots of sand and gravel in them while hiking.
The heel cage feels enormously bulky. These are one of the the heavier approach shoes in this review, and I attribute it to the bulky PU heel. It makes your foot much wider, which actually inhibits climbing and scrambling technique, even though it does add support for carrying a lot of weight.
These shoes are good for rough approaches through sharp talus since they protect your feet so well. They are burly, so they work well for big wall climbing, too. I used these shoes on some short aid climbs and felt they protected my toes as they scraped along the wall. Also, the notch in the heel made it easier to catch etriers with my feet.
The Camp Four is the most expensive shoe in this review, but it is beefy and durable. If you are on a budget, check out a less expensive shoe such as the Five Ten Insight, which is very similar in style, or the La Sportiva Boulder X, which is also a supportive shoe that would be good for carrying heavy loads.
Five Ten Camp Four - Men's
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: June 27, 2011
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