Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $85
Pros: Very sticky rubber, comfortable and light.
Cons: Not very supportive, not great for hiking.
Best Uses: Short approaches, scrambling, easy climbing, the perfect descent shoe.
If you are looking for a lightweight approach shoe to bring along with you on climbs for descents, this is the ideal shoe. It excels at scrambly climbing or walking on slabs. It is breathable and stylish, so this can be a shoe that you wear every day instead of just when you are approaching. They are not very supportive, so for long approaches try the La Sportiva Exum Pro - Women's. If you will be carrying heavy loads and need extra support, the Five Ten Camp Four or the La Sportiva Boulder X - Women's are the best.
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
The Daescents are light, breathable, and have very sticky rubber on the bottom, which allows them to climb well, especially on slabs. Unlike all the other approach shoes, these only have sticky dots on the heel. The toe is smooth sticky rubber like a climbing shoe. This gives you extra grip when on slabs or easy climbs. The lightness of these shoes may be their best feature; it makes them ideal to bring along on climb. The mesh upper squishes down pretty small so they are hardly noticeable when clipped to your harness.
The downside to the smooth rubber on the bottom of the Daescents is that they are very slippery once they get wet or on rock when there is small gravel, so be careful. Unlike most approach shoes that have laces all the way to the toes, the laces on these shoes stop early. This gives them a look more like a street shoe and sacrifices a bit of sensitivity in the toe when climbing. These shoes have almost no support and do not hike very well, which makes them more specialized in their use and not as versatile as the other approach shoes that can do both.
The Daescents are best for short approaches, or (surprise!) descents. I wore the Daescents on an approach in the Whitney Portal area and my feet were aching by the time I reached the base of the climb because of the lack of support. They are the lightest climbing shoe in this review, which makes them easy to clip onto a harness and carry with you on a climb without getting in the way. They are absolutely ideal for climbing in Tuolumne Meadows where there are many short approaches and slabby walk-offs that leave you thankful for sticky rubber. These shoes also work better as a street shoe than any other approach shoe since they are stylish and comfortable.
Note that these shoes run pretty small. Since this is an approach shoe that is aimed at performing more like a climbing shoe than a hiking shoe, it is also sized to fit more like a climbing shoe. If you plan on using these shoes to do a lot of walking in, you may wish to buy a size larger than you normally wear.
The quality of my pair of Daescents was questionable. When I first got them I peeled back the footbed to check out the inside of the shoe, and in one of them the stitching was very poorly done and was already coming out before they were even worn! Most likely I had a lemon pair, and not all of them have this issue, but I was concerned at the craftsmanship.
These are the least expensive shoes reviewed. However, they are not the most versatile approach shoe. If you plan on a lot of hiking, these are not the shoe for you, but they do double as an everyday street shoe so you could still get a lot of use out of them for the price of $85.
Five Ten Guide Daescent - Men's
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: June 27, 2011
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