Reviews You Can Rely On

Five Ten Access Review

The Access is good for casual hikes to the crag or the boulders
Five Ten Access
Credit: Five Ten
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $140 List
Pros:  Comfortable, rubber is super sticky
Cons:  Doesn't climb well, no clip-in loops
Manufacturer:   Five Ten
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 25, 2017
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
  • Climbing Ability - 35% 5.0
  • Hiking Comfort - 25% 6.0
  • Support - 20% 4.0
  • Weight and Packability - 20% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Five Ten Access is genuinely unique to the approach shoe line-up. It feels more like a casual athletic shoe than a stiff approach shoe designed for jamming cracks and standing in aiders all day. It offers loads of cushion and support for hiking out a rope and a rack to the sport crag or hiking around in the mountains when the occasional fourth class section warrants some sticky rubber. What it lacks is stiffness and sensitivity, making it a mediocre climber when compared to the Five Ten Guide Tennie or the La Sportiva TX4. The Access is the only shoe that lacks a clip in loop on the back of the heel, so we had to clip into the laces when we want to carry these kicks up a multi-pitch.

New Color

The Access is now available in a new color selection. These comfortable approach shoes are now sold in tan, shown above. Design-wise, everything remains the same!

March 2019

Our Analysis and Test Results

As the name implies, this shoe is designed to get you to the crag or boulder field and negotiate a few obstacles along the way. Consequently, it scored well in the hiking, comfort, and support metrics, and didn't do so hot for climbing, weight, and packability. If your style of climbing involves more redpointing and less bounce testing, these shoes will keep you comfy and get you where you need to go.

Performance Comparison

Five Ten Access approach shoes - these shoes feel like a traditional athletic shoe, but with sticky...
These shoes feel like a traditional athletic shoe, but with sticky rubber.
Credit: Matt Bento

Climbing Ability

The fat PU midsole that makes this shoe great for hiking around in also makes it feel clunky and insensitive for climbing. Fortunately, the scrambler isn't totally out of luck, because the Five Ten Stealth S1 rubber outsole sticks to rock like well-done pasta does to the ceiling.

Five Ten Access approach shoes - insensitive and not very stiff, our testers didn't like climbing in...
Insensitive and not very stiff, our testers didn't like climbing in these shoes.
Credit: Matt Bento


Standing on big edges (almost ledges) feels nice and secure in the access, but when the edges are an inch or narrower we prefer a more sensitive shoe like the Evolv Cruzer Psyche or a stiff shoe like the La Sportiva Boulder X


The Stealth S1 in the classic dot style doesn't disappoint, and our testers felt that the access smeared well right out of the box. The S1 feels softer and gooier than the pressure molded rubber on the Guide Tennie but feels like it will deteriorate quicker.

Five Ten Access approach shoes - the leather uppers are well prepared to take a beating in cracks.
The leather uppers are well prepared to take a beating in cracks.
Credit: Matt Bento

Crack Climbing

This wide shoe feel comfortable and offers plenty of support for crack climbing, and the leather upper can take more of a beating than the canvas upper on the Evolv Cruzer Psyche, but it's challenging to wiggle these shoes into cracks smaller than cupped hands.

Five Ten Access approach shoes - these shoes are best suited for mellow hikes to the sport crag.
These shoes are best suited for mellow hikes to the sport crag.
Credit: Matt Bento

Hiking Comfort

The Five Ten Access excels at what it was designed for, getting you and a lightly loaded climbing pack or crash pad to the crag. Most of our testers found the familiar athletic style a welcome change to the tank-like feel of the Five Ten Camp 4 or the La Sportiva Boulder X. The pronators among us were happy with the supportive heel that allowed for miles of slip-free, blister-free hiking. These shoes have a wide fit, and the tongue is a fully attached to the upper, which made this model a challenge to slip in and out of for our testers with high volume feet. While the leather upper is perforated for breathability, one of our testers said he felt like he was wearing sweaters on his feet due to the thick padding on the tongue.

Five Ten Access approach shoes - these shoes have a wide fit, plenty of cushioning, and the classic...
These shoes have a wide fit, plenty of cushioning, and the classic stealth rubber dot pattern.
Credit: Matt Bento


The thick PU midsole puts a lot of padding between your foot and the ground, offering shock absorption while you run, jump, and scramble over talus or surf down scree. The Access is not as stiff as the Top Pick for Heavy Loads La Sportiva TX4 and isn't our first choice for humping heavy loads to the base of El Cap, or multi-day climbing trips in the backcountry.

Five Ten Access approach shoes - without clip in loops, we wouldn't want to take these shoes up a...
Without clip in loops, we wouldn't want to take these shoes up a multi-pitch climb.
Credit: Matt Bento

Weight and Packability

When evaluating a shoe for weight and packability, we are mainly asking "How are these shoes going to feel when they're clipped to my harness?" The Access doesn't have a clip in loop. You can still bring them along by clipping into the laces, but this is not ideal because they aren't as low profile against your body in squeeze chimneys and could get caught, breaking the laces and losing your shoes. Concerning weight, the Access will add 25 oz to your kit.


If you stick to their intended purpose, they'll take you to the crag for many days of rock climbing action. Use them for climbing cracks or jugging lines they won't last very long. We can't say this model offers a ton of value for a wide audience.

Five Ten Access approach shoes - perforations allow for some much-needed venting through the leather...
Perforations allow for some much-needed venting through the leather uppers.
Credit: Matt Bento


If you're used to running around in a pair of Nikes or any athletic style trainer, you'll dig the feel and style of this shoes, and can take comfort in the stealth rubber when you have to negotiate the occasional fourth class terrain on your way to the crag.

Matt Bento
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More