Ah yes, crag approaches – usually consisting of a long uphill hike followed by some degree of climbing or scrambling. The demand of a hiking shoe that climbs well on rock has led to a niche market of approach shoes; one of the manufactures leading the way is Five Ten, we’ve been testing their new Guide Tennie Mid, the latest model of this popular approach shoe.
Comfort & Fit
Despite the small amount of padding, the Guide Tennie Mids were very comfortable straight out of the box and remained blister free during all the long hikes we did. We sized to our street shoe size (i.e. we tried the boot in UK 10.5, the same as our regular trainer size) and the fit was good, if a little spacious – but it’s always wise to allow room for padded hiking socks for your feet to expand during the day.
The Guide Tennie Mids appear well made, with a tough rubber rand running around the toe and heel they did not show any significant signs of wear during our test. However, we will be updating this section in a few months as we have not used the boots for a long enough period of time to state how well they lasted… First impressions are positive, stay tuned.
Hiking in 90°F / 32°C did result in sweaty feet… That said, the Tennie Mids do tend to breath fairly well and we found socks never became saturated even with the high heat. In no way do they breath as well as a trainer, but for a boot they are above average (this may be due to the thin padding).
The Guide Tennie Mids make excellent Via Ferrata boots
Although the boots do not have a membrane, the rubber rand and Nubuck Leather upper provided good resistance to water and can deal with a brief soaking but not total submersion.
Weighing in at 900g (size 9) for a pair, the Guide Tennie Mids are very lightweight in comparison with other mid height technical approach shoes (such as the Scarpa Ascent GTX 1030g & Salewa Hike Trainer 1130g), this is a really nice feature of the shoe especially when weight reduction is a concern.
As we mentioned, these boots do not have a large amount of padding around the sides – yet they remained comfortable for 45 minute hikes. We feel this lack of padding may become an issue on longer hikes (3hrs+) and maybe worth considering depending the ratio of hiking to climbing/scrambling you intend on doing. The sole is fairly stiff and certainly thick enough to deal with scree and sharp edges.
The Stealth C4 rubber and dedicated climbing edge stick to the rock fantastically, these boots give you bags of confidence smearing up slabs and climbing on anything up to 5.6/F4+ (probably higher). These boots are really at home scrambling up rocky outcrops and boulders on the way to your climb, and made excellent Via Ferrata boots – we’d imagine (although we did not test this) they’d also make good aid climbing boots.
The Five Ten Guide Tennie Mids are a comfortable and lightweight approach shoe that hike and climb well. If you’re hiking 90% of the time, it may be worth considering a dedicated hiking boot, but for those of you that do a lot of scrambling and climbing (as well as via ferrata) these boots are an excellent consideration. For more information, visit: www.fiveten.com