Five Ten describe the Aescent as 'the ultimate all-round multi-sport approach shoe' and with a minor caveat or two, we'd say they're not far off the mark. Stealth Mi6 rubber provides the legendary traction of other Five Ten models, but with added cushioning, and a rockered sole adds walkability. Leather and mesh combined with toned-down styling complete a travel-friendly, well ventilated and versatile offering. Here's why.
Five Ten are known for specialist climbing and mountain biking footwear, above all else. But specialist isn't always conducive to a multi-activity trip. We've found some approach shoes (particularly the climbing-focussed Guide Tennie) a little too minimalist with a insufficient cushioning, and a stiff and flat sole.
Mountain bike models, such as the good-looking Freerider, also tend to have a very flat and stiff sole to aid pedalling, and are not so good for hiking and day to day wear.
What all these model have in common though is the magical properties of Stealth rubber, beloved of climbers and bikers, but equally freerunners and canyoneers. The Aescent manages to take the best of Five Ten's niche models and combine it into something far more versatile.
First up the Stealth Mi6 rubber adds some much-appreciated cushioning underfoot, which is as welcome on the trail as in everyday travel use. Next up is an aggressively rockered sole that aids the natural movement of the hiker and prevents the foot becoming fatigued.
But they also manage to keep the casual look of something like the Freerider; split-grain leather is combined with lots of mesh (which is great for the airy, light feel of the shoes) and manages not to look like you're about to hit the athletics track.
There is one compromise that might deter some; there is very little in the way of a lug pattern, which makes the Aescent fairly useless on wet, muddy terrain. A consideration for UK all-weather walkers, but as a shoe for active travel, particularly dry and rocky terrain, it shouldn't be too much of a concern.
A near perfect shoe for active travel, versatile from trail to trattoria and at a very attractive price.