For my recent climb of Mount Sir Donald and Uto up in British Columbia, Canada, I struggled to figure out what would be the best footwear option. I needed something burlier than a climbing shoe, as we would encounter rugged scree and snowy terrain, but I also needed a shoe that could not only scramble well, but climb more technical vertical terrain. Believing in the power of Stealth rubber, I took a shot with the Five Ten Dome Mid hiking shoes and ended up finding the absolute perfect shoe for our adventures.
Essentially a hiking shoe on a trail running last, the Five Ten Dome Mid is designed for multiple days on the trail and can handle anything from running to scrambling to hiking with a heavy pack. The hiking shoes were lightweight and extremely comfortable while carrying our heavy pack loads up to and down from our bivouac site. The water-resistant Nubuck leather upper came in handy for the less than dry river crossings and snow found on the approach.
Something with a mid-cuff height was a must for these climbs, as we would spend many hours clambering up and down loose scree slopes. Even with the extra height, I did end up with the occasional rock and a bit of sand in my shoes, but the support was welcomed on this frustrating ankle-busting terrain.
I knew the Dome Mid would make great hiking shoes but I never figured on how well these shoes could climb. The Stealth outsole and toe cap, along with a close fitting design, meant the Dome performed more like a technical approach shoe than a sloppy and cumbersome hiking shoe or mountaineering boot.
The ridges on both Sir Donald and Uto feature some harder climbing moves, such edging on tiny rock knubs, jamming cracks, and even long chimney stems. Numerous slab sections meant you had to simply trust the friction on your feet and hands to keep you on the rock. Never once did I slip or feel unsure on my feet in the Five Ten Dome.
Like any softer rubber, keep in mind that the stickiness of Stealth means it can pick up dirt as you go along, especially when wet. On our hike out, I had a few slips on loose trail soon after our river crossing. Once I wiped the soles of my shoes on my pants, the rubber was returned back to its sticky self and I was sure on my feet once again.