Five-ten-five-tennie-approach-shoe-review-dirtbagdreams.com

ProView – Five Ten Fivetennie Men’s Approach Shoe

The Five Ten Five Tennie (yeah, say that five times fast) was essentially the first true approach shoe on the market. Introduced in 1985, the original Five Tennie was essentially a sticky rubber sole slapped on a tennis shoe upper. After many years of being off the market, the old school Five Tennie has been given new life with some modern updates. 

Five-ten-five-tennie-approach-shoe-review-dirtbagdreams.com
Five Ten Five Tennie Approach Shoe

Product Description: A modern remake of Five Ten's first approach shoe, these men's shoes are designed for scrambles and technical approaches. An extended rubber zone around the toe handles abrasion. A sock-like fit adds stability and control in mixed terrain. Sock construction for ease of entry. Leather upper with extended toe rands for durability. Climbing zone on outsole for friction on technical terrain. Stealth® S1 rubber outsole for unbeatable grip.

Offer price: $125 MSRP

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (4.5)
  • Fit
    (3)
  • Durability
    (4.5)

Summary

The Five Ten Five Tennie (yeah, say that five times fast) was essentially the first true approach shoe on the market. Introduced in 1985, the original Five Tennie was essentially a sticky rubber sole slapped on a tennis shoe upper. After many years of being off the market, the old school Five Tennie has been given new life with some modern updates. 

Overall
4.3

Pros

  • Solid Construction 
  • Grippy sole
  • Climbs Well
  • Versatile
  • Looks Great
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Limited Color Selection
  • Narrow Fit

As a full-time traveling adventure journalist, I spend most of my life outside trying to get that perfect photo. I often find myself perched high on a sketchy slab of granite, and I can’t mess around with shoes that don’t hold up their end of the bargain.  I tested the new Five Tennie (as well as the Guide Tennie) on a thirty-day work trip that began in the blistering late summer heat of the Utah desert, traveled west to the Sierra Nevada, and then north to the soggy Pacific Northwest. I put these throwback-kicks to the test on sandstone, granite, and the volcanic rock in Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness.

Five-ten-five-tennie-approach-shoe-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Fit/Comfort 

I found the Five Tennie to be more narrow than its counterpart (the Guide Tennie). As a result, I experienced some minor foot pain in the arches of my feet after just a few miles on the trail. Word on the street is that the Five Tennie runs about a half size larger than the true-to-fit Guide Tennie. I tested my standard size (US 13) and except for the width, they fit me just right. I didn’t experience any slippage or toe pain even on steep descents. If you don’t have a wide foot, this is one of the more comfortable approach shoes on the market. The sock-like fit hugs and forms to your foot. As the name suggests, they feel like a tennis shoe, which I was a nice change of pace after switching back and forth between the more firm Guide Tennie.

Look/Style

The Five Tennie might be my favorite looking approach shoe available right now. In homage to the original, the throwback colors look like they are straight out of the 1980’s. They are available in three color-ways, but my favorite is the retro True Green/Real Magenta. If you want something a little more low-key, they are also available in a couple of more modern earth tones. These shoes look less like a traditional approach shoe than the Guide Tennis and look great in town or on the crag.

Five-ten-five-tennie-approach-shoe-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Features

My favorite feature of the Five Tennie is the sock-like gusseted mesh tongue. Even with the shoe laced up, I was delighted to find that you can easily slide the shoe off and on without needing to untie and retie the laces. This was perfect for quickly switching between the Tennies and my rock shoes. The sock-like fit also does a very nice job keeping out dust, debris, and rocks while traversing across scree fields or exploring sandy slot canyons. Five Ten uses their Stealth S1 rubber outsole which performed well on 4th class terrain. It also features a high friction “Climbing zone” on the toe which helps when edging on technical terrain. The upper is leather which will hold up against sharp rock, but it isn’t the most breathable. 

Five-ten-five-tennie-approach-shoe-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Weight

At roughly 11.5 ounces, these shoes are lightweight which I really appreciate. To me, they feel like a more minimalist shoe. Which I like. 

Function/Performance

As I mentioned above these shoes perform well on a variety of terrain and under a variety of conditions. The Five Tennie feels more like a tennis shoe, so you can expect more sensitivity than many other approach shoes on the market. The supper sticky Stealth S1 outsole grips incredibly well. In fact, these gripped every bit as well as the Guide Tennie. I surprised when I was able to walk my way up an almost vertical sandstone slab.  If you need a softer shoe that will remain comfortable on long approaches (think 10+ miles) while simultaneously being able to smear and edge with the best of them, then this is the shoe for you. I did find that the sensitivity of these shoes was better suited for smearing than edging. If edging is more important to you, the Guide Tennie might be a better option. 

Five-ten-five-tennie-approach-shoe-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Durability/Construction

I have been testing these shoes for 60 days and these are showing no signs of deteriorating. I suspect these shoes will last a long time. The leather upper feels solid and help up well to abusive talus fields and sharp sandstone. 

Five-ten-five-tennie-approach-shoe-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Friendliness to the Earth

In 2016 the Five Ten parent company Adidas Outdoor listed fifth among the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. However, as far as I can tell the Guide Tennie is made from all new materials as opposed to recycled materials.

The Final Word

Whether you are a die-hard dirtbag climber or a weekend warrior the Five Ten Five Tennie is a throwback classic that looks good, feels good, and performs better than expected. I recommend this shoe for anyone looking for a lightweight all-purpose approach shoe to replace some of the clunky heavier shoes on the market. However, if you have a wide foot, this may not be the shoe for you.  

Five-ten-five-tennie-approach-shoe-review-dirtbagdreams.com

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Ben Dawson is a full-time #vanlifer and adventure journalist/photographer based in the western United States. He has a passion for conservation and spends most of his time creating content for various brands in the outdoor space. Connect with him on Instagram at @meetme_onthe_mountain

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