Gear I Love: Five Ten Canyoneers

The ugliest shoes you’ll ever come across, and the pair that you will fall in love with hard, fast, and undeniably forever. Five Ten Canyoneers are an insult to your eyes, but they give you superpowers. Their patented super-sticky rubber will make you feel like spiderman, running up rocks and slippy surfaces as if you were a mountain goat.

My toes get a view from the top of the 90 ft rappel - June 2011 - Pine Creek Canyon, Zion

My toes get a view from the top of the 90 ft rappel – June 2011 – Pine Creek Canyon, Zion

They’re great wet – the top ankle support of the shoe is mostly made of neoprene, and everything yellow on the bulk of the shoe is a breathable (and drainable) mesh. The heel is graced with a massive, sturdy heel cage that is easily wedged into slots and rocks for great stability in the trickiest of places. They are easy to get on and off with gloves (or frozen hands) thanks to the massive buckles and velcro tongue closure. They’re also extra roomy, so when you buy the thickest wool socks you can find and then top them with neoprene socks for those extra-cold canyons, you’ll still be able to wiggle your toes and hike in comfort.

Fall Creek Canyon, December 2012

A very wet and mossy/slippery rappel in Fall Creek Canyon, December 2012

I will admit they have a few drawbacks – the insole is awful (as with the case with most Five Ten shoes) but if you invest in a pair of Superfeet and toss them in instead, your feet will forever thank you. The one and only time they lose some of their magical sticky-ness is when they get sandy, but a quick dip in the nearest water source will fix your stick.

They’re my best friend, and I can honestly say that I owe a few body parts to their fabulous grip. I can’t imagine canyoneering without my trusty, ugly as sin, Five Ten Canyoneers.

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