5.10 Exum Guide- GearReview.com
By Matt Smith
Have you ever wanted a shoe that could do pretty much anything from a grueling fifth class approach to a half day of contouring in the same direction to boulder hopping to hard-as-concrete trails? I have too; and every once in a while I come across one that hits the mark. The Five Ten Exum Guide is just such a shoe.
When I took them out of the box, I couldn't belive how light they were, for how stout they look. It did take me a while to get over the feeling that I looked a little like Marty McFly in Back to the Future 2 (thanks to the molded heel cage), but this "outside the box" look is not unique in the current Five Ten lineup. That being said, I have to admit the futuristic heel cage on the Exum Guide does an excellent job of locking in your heel and providing excellent stability even while side hilling. The functionality of the proprietary heel cage couldn't be fully appreciated without the incredible fit allowed by the tightly spaced lacing system
The sole of the Exum Guide was designed for compatibility with strap-on crampons, and versatility in almost all conditions. Though developed with input from professional mountain guides, I found that in addition to excelling in the backcountry, the Exum Guide is an excellent front country and side county shoe. The Stealth S1 rubber sole provides great all-purpose friction, and I found although deep, the lug pattern did a great job at shedding mud and small rocks.
Exum Guide Heel Cage
I pretty much wore the Exum Guide non-stop for a month during testing because they are so comfortable. The plentiful cushioning around the ankle reminds me of my old Guide Almighty's from years ago. The one caveat I would offer is the Exum Guide was conceived and born a technical mountain shoe. The fit is snug, but true. So if you like your shoes a little on the roomy side, or if you plan to wear thicker socks, order 1/2 size to 1 size large (I recommend going to your nearest retailer to try them on). For me personally, because I like a tight, snug fit I was perfectly happy with my regular size 11. I should also note that although I generally prefer to trash the factory insole, I was surprised with the quality of the insole in the Exum Guide , so I have left it alone for now.
Summary: The Exum Guide is a little on the spendy side at $165, but it should be some consolation that if you buy them you won't need an approach shoe, a backpacking shoe, and a peak bagging shoe.
For more information contact:
Five Ten USA
PO Box 1185
Redlands, CA 92373
Matt Smith is the canyoneering specialist at GearReview.com, and has recently enjoyed getting out hiking with his now 5..yes, as in FIVE sons.