User Review: Five Ten Guide Almighty
Use: approaches, light technical climbing
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $80?
I've always been a fan of Five-Ten shoes and these new boots have reaffirmed that status.
They can be hard to find. While Five-Ten's climbing shoes are pretty well distributed in climbing shops, their impressive line of approach shoes and boots are almost impossible to locate. However, your efforts to find a pair will be well rewarded. (try www.mgear.com)
The Guide Almighty is a high-top approach boot that can also be used for light-duty technical climbing. It has a nice soft leather upper that is well padded around the ankles. The lacing goes all the way down to the toes, so you can crank them down really tight when/if you actually want to rock climb in them.
The sole is a 'dot-pattern' of highly sticky climbing rubber. The dot-pattern means that you'll have some traction in dirt and leaves on the trail; but don't expect them to give you much traction in mud. Where the soles really shine is on rock - where they stick as if glued. There is also a sticky rubber rand up over the toe and around the front half of the boot for wedging in cracks.
They were extremely comfortable out of the box and required no break-in at all.
I have done mid-length approaches in these (not carrying too much weight -- climbing gear, lunch, clothes) and used them on technical rock climbs up to about 5.7 or easy 5.8. They are most especially excellent if your approaches involve hiking up low-angle rock or doing a lot of talus hopping. What I would NOT recommend these for is standard hiking with a heavy pack in wet weather. They are also great around town since they are so comfy.