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Five Ten’s New Approach Shoes - Perfect for Spring Conditions
The arrival of warmer weather signals that the spring climbing season is finally here. It also means that trails will be wet, slippery and muddy. To help deal with these sloppy approaches, Five Ten is releasing the new Guide Tennie Mid GTX and the Camp Four GTX. And while both shoes are built with a fully waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex liner, their overall performance seems to be optimized for different conditions.
Five Ten Guide Tennie Mid GTX

Five Ten Guide Tennie Mid GTX

Five Ten Camp Four GTX

Five Ten Camp Four GTX

Of the two shoes, the Guide Tennie Mid GTX is clearly more climbing-oriented thanks to its lighter weight, lower ride height and sticky C4 Stealth dot-rubber outsole with an edging platform. In fact, when downsized slightly, this shoe seemed to perform almost as well as some of the high-cut climbing shoes I had in the 80s. Seriously, these would be a great choice for easy alpine routes that require some technical climbing. For the uppers, Five Ten has speced durable abrasion resistant leather with strategically placed fabric panels for better forward-flex when walking. One thing that’s worth noting is the seemingly thinner-than-normal laces. While some might be concerned with long-term durability, I did not notice any accelerated wear and I appreciated how they allowed for easy one-pull cinching as they offered little friction through the eyelets.
Five Ten Guide Tennie Mid GTX Front

Five Ten Guide Tennie Mid GTX Front

Five Ten Guide Tennie Mid GTX Outsole

Five Ten Guide Tennie Mid GTX Outsole

If the Guide Tennie Mid GTX is a top choice for Western alpine-oriented approaches and routes, the Camp Four GTX (and it’s taller Mid cousin) must be the best approach shoe for most Eastern crags. You see, many Eastern climbing areas are accessed via tree-covered trails that are often muddy and wet in the spring and fall. On this terrain, a more aggressive outsole like the one found on the Camp Four GTX provides better traction than traditional dot-rubber climbing soles. It’s this combination of tall, aggressive lugs and sticky and durable S1 Stealth rubber that give the Camp Four GTX the performance edge in these conditions. The uppers consist of an abrasion resistant textile, which offers good flex when walking and is likely to dry faster than the leather found on the Guide Tennie. Five Ten has used a slightly roomier last and a more supportive mid-sole, which allow the Camp Four GTX to more easily transition to longer less technical day hikes.
Five Ten Camp Four GTX Front

Five Ten Camp Four GTX Front

Five Ten Camp Four GTX Outsole

Five Ten Camp Four GTX Outsole

As far as which is the better shoe, there really is no right answer. Both offer overlapping performance and will keep your feet dry and comfortable during the approach. If I was forced to make a choice, I would base my decision on where I lived and what kind of trails I would normally encounter. Both the Guide Tennie Mid GTX and the Camp Four GTX are more than capable of getting you to the base of the crag.
You can find out more about the Five Ten shoes including the Guide Tennie Mid GTX and the Camp Four GTX at Five Ten’s website.
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Gus Alexandropoulos is a freelance writer who has been involved in the outdoor industry for over 25 years. During his career he has been the editor at Canada’s national climbing magazine, as well as the gear editor for a national cycling magazine, triathlon magazine and running magazine. His work has been published in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, and he has been a guest on television and radio broadcasts. His passion for climbing began in Ontario in the mid 80s and he continues to travel extensively in search of crisp conditions and steep rock.