If anyone has been to the Canadian Rockies for climbing they likely know about the one thing in the area that is just as memorable as the rock, the hiking. Most cliffs are a 45-minute hike minimum, and many dip into the hour and a half, to two-hour range. Yeah, phew. I get tired just reading that! So even though I had begged and pleaded to get my hands on the Five Ten’s new Dome mid’s I found myself scared to take the shoe switch plunge on Acephale’s super steep, rock-rolling, tree-stump riddled, t-shirt drenching approach. Especially since I had a perfectly worn in pair of new Dome low’s in tow.
And then one day I found myself forced to make the change after forgetting my regular approach shoes. As fate would have it, that very night the infamous Lev Pinter decided to grace us with his presence after he got off work for an evening sesh. This is always a great reason to stay at the cliff until 9pm, but with the fading summer light it also means walking out 45-minutes downhill, in the dark, sin headlamp. It was the Dome mids first day out and they were going to be put into full ankle-twisting-territory. I may have walked like an ailing grandma the last 15 minutes of the hike, but I was impressed by not a single twist or lost footing. These guys had passed with flying colors!
Over the next week I made the switch permanent to the Dome mids and here’s what I found…
· Over all I love the overall shoe design of the Dome mids. It has a wide foot base just like the low-top Domes, which for me nearly eliminates any rolling of my ankles. The tread flares out from the foot bed and creates a really sturdy base, so even when you walk on the outside of your feet you can feel the stability.
· This shoe is burly and looks like it could be clucky or heavy, but I didn’t find that to be the case. And I was surprised that this shoe felt just a light as the regular Domes.
· This is basically a hybrid hiking and running shoe, being built on a trail running shoe last with a high-top, hiking shoe design at the top and sides. So it feels really agile on the trail, while still providing the fit and supportive feel of a hiking boot.
· I didn’t feel like I could fully appreciate the ankle support from the high-top until my 3th or 4th wear. That’s when the shoe wore in enough and I could get the laces tighter and really feel the support of the hiking, high-top design around my ankle during the rocky and steep parts of the trail. I’m definitely hooked.
· As always the sticky rubber kills it. From wet hikes to water polished boulders, Stealth rubber sticks to it all. I trusted the rubber on any footing almost immediately.
· A few downfalls; I felt the lacing, made it a little hard to tighten the shoe easily right away. I can’t decide if new laces would help the issue, or if it’s the eyes for the Dome’s laces which aren’t traditional eyes but pieces of fabric.
· The first day I did feel a little abrasion on my ankles with the high-top design, since my ankles weren’t used to getting rubbed on. Again this was resolved by my 3rd day.
· Also as a climber I wear these shoes to the cliff, which means I’m taking my shoes on and off about 6-15 times a day. That being said they obviously aren’t as easy to slip in and out of as a low top shoe.
· Regardless I think these kicks are for light and fast hiking and trail running, not for chilling below your proj. So if you do some serious hiking out to the boulders or cliff, or just love hiking and do so often these are great shoes for the fast and light approach; light, sturdy, sticky and my most favorite part, super cuteJ
[Side note: My street shoe is a women’s 7.5, and I size the Dome’s the same.]