Versatile and Durable. Versatile and Durable. Versatile and Durable. These two words best describe the Five Ten Camp Four Approach Shoes. Around for years now, the original Camp Four has been popular with Climbing Instructors and Guides given it’s all around performance on rocky trails and rugged approaches. It’s a good, comfortable everyday shoe. But the Camp Four is also popular on Big Walls. Five Ten athlete Ammon McNeely has used Camp Fours during some of his numerous speed records up El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park.
The features on the Camp Four are what gives it the big, burly reputation. These include Five Ten’s proprietary Stealth rubber sole, a molded Polyurethane heel cage for extra support and stability, and a reinforced rubber toe cap. The tread pattern maximises grip when dry, keeps loose gravel at bay, and even has spacing if you are climbing with an Aider. The leather Upper, while not completely waterproof in the original model, will keep out a good degree of moisture. And the lacing system starts lower than most hiking shoes, so provides a better fit for various foot shapes.
What the Camp Four is not is the best approach shoe for more technical climbing. The Guide Tennie is the preferred choice in the Five Ten range for handling Class 5’s. The Guide Tennie has better edging and is lighter weight, but doesn’t have the cushioning for a tough approach like the Camp Four.
The other drawback to the original Camp Four is hiking through wet terrain, as mud can accumulate underfoot and is best cleaned before climbing. For 2014, Five Ten has introduced two new models at recent Trade Shows, having worked with Gore-Tex to make the Upper more waterproof and breathable for wet conditions. These are being called the Camp Four GTX, with an above the ankle version called the Camp Four Mid GTX.
Five Ten climbing and outdoor gear is now being distributed by Frontier Equipment in both Australia and New Zealand. The original Camp Four approach shoes have retailed for as high as A$230, but shop around as retail outlets make room for the new GTX models.
Featured Photos: Five Ten Media Images