Five Ten Hueco

Rock-climbing Shoes
Five Ten Hueco
$140, 1 lb. 2 oz. (men’s 10)
Sizes: unisex 6-13
fiveten.com

Count me as one of those climbers who was heartsick when Five Ten stopped making the Hueco some years back. And apparently, we were a pretty big club, because the Hueco was an awfully popular shoe in the 1990s. Now it’s back and improved, and after test-driving a pair on moderate routes at Idaho’s Castle Rocks State Park, I’m a kid in love again. The split-grain leather uppers conform to your foot, and with a fit that doesn’t crush toes, the Hueco delivers all-day comfort for multi-pitch routes. But what really sets this shoe apart is Five Ten’s Stealth Onyxx rubber: It gloms onto any rock, yet has superior hardness for edging and durability. A friend who wears my size tried the shoes on one route and decided on the spot to buy a pair. These aren’t shoes for high-end sport or crack climbing—they’re a jack of all trades, master of none. But for most recreational rock climbers getting on moderate routes (up to 5.10), or for multi-pitch climbing where comfort is critical, these are a favorite. One caveat: Go up a full size from your usual size.

—Michael Lanza