The best approach shoe we tested for hiking to and from climbs is the Five Ten Camp Four. Whether on trail or scrambling over rough terrain, this shoe delivers. It's 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.
Five Ten Camp Four ReviewPrice: $150 List | $112.99 at MooseJaw
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Durable, supportive, a great hiking approach shoe, fairly light
Cons: Limited climbing ability, a little bulky when put in a backpack
RELATED REVIEW: The 10 Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Men
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.Edging
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.Smearing
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.
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.
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.
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.
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: July 8, 2017
67% of 3 reviewers recommend it
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.
I bought these boots last summer because they were lightweight and super comfy, sturdy sole and looked and felt like they would be great for my summers hiking the Tetons and Winds in Wyoming- and they are, if you plan on throwing them in the garbage after a month. First pair had sole rubber delaminate within 2 or three weeks, so I brought them back to the retail shop i got them from. Teton mountaineering replaced them for free with another pair. Figured I'd give five ten the benefit of the doubt and try another pair to see if it was a fluke the first time around. Didn't do much with them except for a few day hikes in the fall, wore them a bit working as a waiter, indoors, on a hardwood floor. More delamination, broke a lace hook just trying to pull the laces tight enough for some ankle support, and I'm embarrassed to take them back to the retailer again. I'm sure that performance wise, hiking a week in them seems awesome. Just give them a month or two and you can trash them after they fall apart on you. I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THESE HIKING SHOES TO ANYONE WHO EXPECTS THEIR BOOTS TO LAST MORE THAN A MONTH!!!
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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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