Open main menu

Five Ten Canyoneer

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Five Ten Canyoneer water shoe

These shoes by far have the best sole of any canyoneering shoe on the market.


  • Stealth Rubber
  • Comfortable
  • Lite
  • Water drains well


  • Too many sand traps
  • Glued on sole, peels off around toe and heel.

This shoe undeniably has the best traction of any shoe designed for canyoneering or river walking. That is attributed to the Stealth Rubber used on the sole. For those of you who are unaware of Stealth Rubber let me break it down for you.

5.10 is a rock climbing Shoe Company first and foremost. They do dabble in all sorts of other shoes, but their specialized stealth rubber is in my opinion the best option for sticking to walls of any geological making. It is this rubber that makes the shoe great. That being said there can be several downfalls to this boot.

I work in a rental shop and the 5.10 Canyoneer was the first shoe we ever rented. As a matter of fact it was the only shoe any outfitter in Springdale, Utah (Zion) carried. From my understanding of the Canyoneer it was developed with assistance from a local outfitter specifically for the hike in The Narrows of Zion National Park.  The shoe is basically an upgraded version of the 5.10 Water Tennie.  It has a reinforced heal and they use straps with buckles instead of laces.

The major benefits to this shoe beside the rubber is the heal, which is highly re-enforced with rubber for greater support and also protects the back of the foot from rolling rocks. Besides the fact that these look like something you would wear in space they are all around great for the sport of canyoneering especially here in Southern Utah.

The boot comes equipped with a high abrasion mesh which keeps the boot lightweight and allows water to flow in and out freely. They also have a small drain in the side which really helps get the water out as soon as you get out of the drink.

I have worn the Canyoneer in both wet and dry canyons and they perform exactly as they were meant to. Before I proceed let me explain that my personal shoes which have been used about 50 times have a few minor blemishes and scratches. The rentals we carry in the shop are a different story. I believe this is due to being in the water all day then being on a dryer all night then back in the water day in and day out, so keep that in mind.

There is a rubber rand that goes from the toe to (depending on the model) ¼ to ½ way around the boot. For some reason these like to feel up with sand. Once the sand is in there and dries it becomes like cement which becomes quite uncomfortable. The only way to remedy this that I have found is to cut the rubber at the seam where it meets the mesh, drain it out and close the hole with aqua seal.  Another issue is the glue used for the sole. I have seen a few pair lose the bottom layer of the sole and have seen the heel separate from the boot completely. This can be remedied with some barge cement and/or aqua seal.

There are a few spots on the inside where sand likes to hide. The one of most concern is the foot bed. The foot bed appears to be made of a cardboard composite which once wet is prone to getting sand beneath it. As a rental I have seen these get bulges of sand in the toe area and arch. I have also seen the foot bed split open. Again this may be due to constantly being wet than dried.

From my standpoint, despite the problems this is a great canyon shoe and the best advice I can give is this. To rent they run about $20 to buy they are $120-$160 if you are going to do more than 5 canyons or river walks in your life they are worth having.

Buy some aqua seal when you near your 20th trip. For some reason the size 8 and 8.5 have the most problems which just so happens to be my size, but on my personal shoes I have had no issue. Maybe people that rent don’t know how to walk.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120

First off -- and this has nothing to do with the boot -- make sure when you are ordering yours that you are getting the Canyoneer II and not the Canyoneer. They are the same price, and I understand that the II is a superior product.

That said, I hands down love this boot. It does everything it says it does: it's warm for cold canyon water, it's rugged, it's super-sticky in wet conditions, and it works just fine as an approach boot if you don't want to carry two pair of footwear.

So why shave half a star? It comes down to the feel of my foot in the boot. It fits very well, hence no more than half a star drop. However, you need to consider a good high-wicking sock that's a bit thicker than you normally would wear. People might consider going barefoot in something like this, but I wouldn't recommend going that route.

Definitely use high wick socks -- and as mentioned, try to find a thicker pair. It will add to your comfort and overall experience!

The boot also multitasks well: in addition to being comfortable for the hike in to the canyon, these are great boots for general water wear. Kayakers and canoeists will enjoy the super sticky soles on rocks, as well as the extra protection you get for your ankles -- particularly compared to aqua socks and other similar products.

As to the stickiness, one word of caution: this boot sticks extraordinarily well to rock. Which is to say that if the rock you are standing on is covered in moss, silt or something else, use your usual caution on these hazards as while this boot still sticks better than anything else I know of (besides felt-soled footwear designed for such things), it still will slip.

Bottom line: get yourself a pair -- you'll be very pleased!

Materials: Neoprene, rubber
Use: Canyoneering, water sports
Break-in Period: Two weeks minimum
Price Paid: $118

I rented these from an outfitter in Springdale, UT which caters to hikers wishing to explore the famous Zion Narrows.

They were definitely big compared to other five ten shoes I've tried in my size. I would also strongly recommend using neoprene socks in combination with this boot, because they are completely lacking padding in the sole.

I am POSITIVE I saved myself at least 10 sprained ankles by using this boot. The support was unparalleled. The neoprene wrap at the ankle kept all but the very smallest particles of sand out. I completed the 16+ mile trek with not a single blister.

I would never do a mostly-water hike again without these!

Use: Hikes that are 50% or more in water

Your Review

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.

You May Like


Price MSRP: $154.95
Historic Range: $85.24-$179.95
Reviewers Paid: $118.00-$120.00
Product Details from Five Ten »

Recently on Trailspace

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Review

Fire Maple Petrel Ultralight Pot Review