Five Ten Shoes

Extreme sports demand extreme grip

Who Are Five Ten Shoes?

History of the Five Ten Shoe Company

Charles Cole - Founder of Five Ten ShoesFive Ten Shoes is the brainchild of accomplished climber Charles Cole. Charles Cole spent much of his time in the 1980's climbing in Yosemite spearheading many first ascents, often solo. His climbing experiences led to the conviction that a better rubber compound for climbing shoe soles was needed. He delved back into his days at the University of Southern California obtaining an engineering degree and invented a rubber formula with greater friction qualities and higher durability than anything else previously available.

In this way Stealth rubber was born. This led to the Five Ten (often written as 5.10) company being established in 1985 distributing a range of climbing shoes using Cole's Stealth rubber soles. The increased friction made climbing a good deal easier and led to climbers being able to ascend routes which had previously been out of their scope. Several different formulations of Stealth rubber were arrived at, after years of research and testing, for specific sport applications. All formulations share the same high friction and shock absorbing qualities which make Stealth rubber a world leader.

Charles expanded the range of shoes to biking and walking shoes all utilizing the same Stealth rubber technology to increase the "stickiness" of the sole increasing grip on whatever surface the shoe was on. In fact, the Stealth sole has earned such a repution that Stealth resole kits now account for around 99% of worldwide resole sales! Many athletes will have their favorite brand of shoes resoled with Stealth rubber.

                        Which Is Your Five Ten Shoe?

         "Anasazi" Climbing Shoe "Freerider" Bike Riding Shoe  
FreerunnerCamp Four  
          "Freerunner" Parkour Shoe "Camp Four" Hiking Shoe  

Stealth rubber is even doing it's bit to help the environment with one of it's rubber compounds. Most wading shoe manufacturers have converted from the traditional felt material to a Stealth rubber compound known as AquaStealth to help combat the potentially disasterous Whirling Disease in fish. The disease is easily transferred from location to location by becoming trapped in the felt soles of waders. It cannot adhere with such ease to Stealth rubber. Naturally, the rubber also gives fishermen tremendously improved grip on slick rocks.

How Should Your Shoe Fit?

Shoe LastIt matters little what quality a shoe is if it is the wrong size for you. Shoes are made using a tool called a last. It is like a mold which the shoe is built around. Different companies will use lasts which are slightly different in size - in fact, different styles of shoe from the same company will quite possibly be slightly different in size because they are built on different lasts. This means shoe size is only a guide and does not guarantee a good fit.

The width of a shoe is also important. People have many different shapes of feet but most shoe companies will only make shoes in a standard width. If you find you have narrow feet, sometimes trying shoes for a "ladies fit" will give you a better result as they are slightly narrower than mens fittings.

Another point to be aware of is your feet will change size throughout the day. Particularly with changes in temperature (hotter weather and your feet will swell) and activity level (increased blood flow again will cause some swelling). It is better to try shoes on later in the day to help account for this natural swelling.

Remember too that some shoe materials will stretch over time. Leather in particular will give a little over time. Shoes which are too loose can cause blisters from your feet sliding around in them but shoes which are too tight can cause blisters and worse damage. If shoes are slightly large, a good insole can help out.

Idealy, it is probably best, in most cases, to walk out of the shoestore with a pair of shoes which is a snug, but not uncomfortably snug, fit. A fraction too large is probably the next best option and you can experiment with insoles. Different shoes for different purposes will sometimes require a bit more attention to the fit, such as rock-climbing shoes, and we will go into these special needs when we take a closer look at some specialist shoes.