Well-known in the climbing world, Five Ten also has a variety of MTB and outdoor-friendly shoes. While the new Aescent approach shoes are billed as a do-it-all outdoor sneaker, they don’t stray far from their climbing-friendly roots.
Five Ten Aescent Features:
- Stealth C4 outsoles
- Low-profile lugs
- 2-piece molded EVA midsole
- Breathable mesh toebox
- Weight: 12.44 oz (size 9, stated)
- MSRP: $120
Getting Dirty in the Five Ten Aescent
Five Ten has made a name for themselves in both climbing and freeride mountain biking circles, so it’s no wonder that the new Aescent approach shoes employ some of the best characteristics from both disciplines. Sticky rubber, relatively-stiff soles, excellent breathabiliy and durable materials ensure these will take serious abuse.
Slipping them on, the Aescents are a very comfortable shoe. The extra-deep tongue lacing provides a contoured fit that can snug things up when needed. The size 10.5 fits true-to-size and can be worn with lightweight socks. I appreciate the wide toebox for extra wiggle-room — great when wearing Injinji toe socks.
The Aescent sits low to the ground for stability and grip in all conditions. A handfull of day hikes revealed a few things about these shoes. The low-profile, grippy soles offered consistent traction under all conditions. That excellent traction sometimes translated into a little extra dirt build-up, however. Wet, sticky soil just attaches to the sticky rubber and stays put unless you clean the tread.
In spite of the stiffness of the soles, these shoes do walk well. I even ran some short trail distances and these can hang under uptempo walking or light running. For me, the midsoles, combined with the sticky rubber outsoles, provided for a bit of a harsh, but ultra-stable ride. A full day walking around town and my knees felt abused. While these can be worn around town, my experience was that they are best on dirt.
Durability has been top-notch and I am exceptionally impressed with the grip provided by the Stealth C4 outsoles. Scrambling is easy and confidence-inspiring as every step on the rock is met with amazing, Velcro-like rock crawling. The warmer the temperatures, the grippier the rubber. As temps dropped to near freezing, I began to notice the rubber firm up and not bite into the rocks as well.
- Rock-gripping Stealth C4 outsoles are like Velcro
- Low-profile design
- Stability on uneven terrain
- Laces pull evenly and fit well
- Wide toebox gives wiggle room
- Midsoles don’t offer much cushioning
- Low-profile outsoles attract mud
The Bottom Line
Keep these on dirt trails or approaches to climbing adventures. It’s easy to like these shoes, but I prefer these on dirt, much more than around town. The Stealth C4 outsoles are lights-out grippy for rock climbing adventures.
Buy Now: Available at Backcountry.com