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Canyoneering Shoes: Models & sizes?

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Terry LeBlanc, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    I'm curious as to the models & sizes of shoes being used for canyoneering.

    1. Are there separate "approach" shoes and "canyon" shoes? Is this because 5.10 Canyoneers aren't ideal for hiking, but are ideal for canyons? Opinions seem to vary.

    2. What "size" shoes are typically recommended? Same size as normal "hiking" shoes? Half size larger for thicker/extra socks? Full size larger for even thicker socks, 3mil or 5mil neo socks?

    3. The "stealth" rubber on the Canyoneers appear to be the "holy grail" of shoe bottoms for canyoneering. I've seen references to similar "sticky" performance on other shoes, such as the Solos. Are there any other recommendations for good shoes for the surfaces found in canyons (slick, wet sandstone)? My Merrells were fine on dry surfaces, not much traction at all on wet.

    For example, I have small feet, normal shoe size is 7.5...getting wider as I get older.<g> Muscle weighs more than fat, so they say...so I'm not sure why I'm getting heavier as I get older, since I'm pretty sure I don't have as much muscle as I used to...would think I'd be getting lighter as fat replaces muscle.<g>

    I normally wear a size 8 in hiking boots to accommodate 2 pairs of socks, usually a thinner liner and a thicker hiking sock. I normally wear a 7.5 in Merrells, since they seem to "accommodate" the thicker socks in their hiking shoes in their "sizes", at least that's been my experience...I don't have to "upsize" with them, unlike other shoes/boots.

    If I were to buy, say, a pair of 5.10 Canyoneers...what size should I buy? I assume my normal 7.5 would not be large enough to accommodate my normal 2 pair of socks. Would a half size larger to an 8 be enough? Probably so, if it's just my normal liner & hiking socks? Would a half size be enough to accommodate a liner & 3mil neo? Would a full size larger be needed for a liner and 5mil neo?

    I've never worn neo socks while hiking, never worried about keeping my feet "warm" in South Florida, we have the "opposite" problem.<g> I've never owned a pair of Canyoneers, never owned anything made by 5.10, so I'm not familiar with how their shoe sizes "match" my feet. Hence...this thread.<g> Looking for information...feedback...recommendations.

    Still enjoying the info on this site...and the personalities... Got a year to prep for our next Zion trip...learning...

    --Terry
    Chris Grove and Kuenn like this.
  2. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    My mileage report.

    Love the 5.10s in canyon, in water, stemming, rappelling, wet or dry, et al. But as a long hiker shoe (approach/exit), not so much. I prefer a shoe designed for that purpose, however that adds weight and pack consumption, which can present a challenge. Case in point: TR. Hind sight, I would have been much better off with the two shoe option, given that we did MUCH more hiking than we anticipated. As a results the feet took a beat'n!

    Totally agree with the Merrell being a good hiker/dry canyon shoe; very poor wet shoe. My 5.10s are 1/2 size larger than I normally wear. If I were doing more winter type canyoneering (wish only) I may go with a bigger size for added thermal benefits. I also use the 5.10s for caving, winter or summer, it's a great solution.

    For context, I don't have "cold feet" issues (matrimony exclusion), so light neo socks and or merino wool have worked for me in all cases. (Maybe the only benefit of diabetic neuropathy.)
  3. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    I'm warm natured...don't have a problem with cold feet, other than when camping, have to have my feet warm when sleeping.<g>

    Love my Merrells, have many pair, different types for different things...all 7.5, fit like a glove from the start, no break-in needed...very unusual. The only thing close was my last pair of Vasque boots, needed some Superfeet inserts, but like walking on clouds from the first hike, no issues.

    I knew I was going to have a problem downclimbing in the Merrells when I couldn't control descent on a wet groove, slid right off into the shallow pool...no harm done, but I got a lot wetter a lot sooner than I thought.<g> Was very entertaining to my daughter & son-in-law, so at least I got a standing ovation.<g>

    I guess I'll try the 8.5 Canyoneers, a full size larger...that should give me plenty of "room" to fill the space with socks. Could probably go with an 8, but don't want my toes crowded/cramped. We'll be limited to once a year in Zion, late August/early Sept, so I suspect I should be good with 3mil neo when needed.

    Thanks for the feedback, Kuenn.
  4. ucla56

    ucla56

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    I feel like I'm the exception but I wear my canyoneers in the same size as my street shoes. Actually for street shoes i wear 10 or 10.5, my canyoneers are size 10. It all comes down to preference. Everyone says the canyoneers are so uncomfortable but compared to aggressive climbing shoes they are super comfy.
    For dry canyons I prefer approach shoes, they are better hikers but still sticky. I like la sportiva approach shoes even though the rubber isn't as sticky as 5.10. I feel overall la sportiva has a better overall shoe. I'm really intrigues by Adidas terrex with stealth but i haven't tried them yet.
  5. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    I'll probably stick with Merrells for approach, if I don't like the Canyoneers while hiking, unless I find something better. I'm used to Merrells (well, my feet are), with the Superfeet inserts, so I'm fairly confident as to how they'll perform. If it's wet, I'll need something better, probably use the Canyoneers, which should at least provide good traction.

    I've ordered the 8.5 Canyoneers. If they're too big, I'll swap them for size 8. If they're still too big...I'll be really surprised, and have to swap them for 7.5. I have broken toes that never healed properly, so really tight climbing shoes aren't something I use, can't take the pain after about 15 minutes...it better be a really quick route.<g> Maybe that's the reason I struggle with stuff harder than 5.9...<g>
  6. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    Terry, did you order them HERE ?
  7. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    Yep. $89 plus shipping. I'll bring them with me at Christmas so everybody can see them...those with feet 8.5 and smaller can try them.<g>
  8. GLD

    GLD

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    My experience is the shoes run big. I.e. I normally wear a 12.5 or 13 depending on the shoe. I'm a 12 in the canyoneer. Now, I don't wear a lot of neo socks, a 2mm sock is spoiling myself. I find these shoes run really wide (as do many people) and 5.10 expects a much larger volume foot. For example, almost everybody I know uses the tightest hole on the straps. I'd encourage you to post your results so people who search the forums can benefit from your experience.
  9. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    Hmmm...based on your observation, GLD, the 8.5 is probably too big. Seems to align with what ucla56 is saying. You actually wear a "smaller" Canyoneer shoe than your normal shoe size. Wow...I would not have expected that. Sounds like I'll probably need to send the 8.5 back (if I can't catch it before they ship to change my order) and start with a 7.5 and work up...not work down. My normal method would be to start with an 8, since that what I usually buy in boots and hiking shoes that are not made by Merrell. But that's what I wanted to know...

    Is this forum great, or what...<g> For somebody like me, a newbie in absorb mode, this is a treasure trove of useful information and valuable insights. Having been to Zion once now, done the ODB training class (excellent) and done a canyon, I have a much clearer perspective on what I don't know...which is always a good place to start. If you don't know what you don't know, your odds of effectively filling that gap are not very good. Ignorance is a correctable condition...once you're aware of the size of the "hole" that needs to be filled...and have a source to fill it.<g>

    Be happy to add my few drips to the firehouse of useful info flowing here...
  10. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    I called and changed my 8.5 to an 8...start there. I'll try them with my normal 2 pairs of socks and with a pair of socks and 3mil neo, to compare. If they're too big, I'll either have to use another pair of socks or downsize to a 7.5 to match my normal shoe size.

    I'm fairly comfortable starting with the 8, since that's what I normally wear for anything other than Merrells, knowing I'll be wearing thick socks, want room for my toes, and expect my feet to swell a little bit while hiking, especially in hot, wet conditions (common here in South Florida), assume it would be similar in warm, wet conditions without neos and cold, wet conditions with neos in Zion. It's all horizontal here...<g>
  11. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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  12. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    Hank,

    These are both stealth rubber soles? Look like synthetic rubber uppers...designed to drain in wet canyoneering environment? Or are these designed to be "approach" shoes for hiking in & out? Like the prices...$30 is better than $140/$160...
  13. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    I have no experience with either model, but the price is less than a stealth resole would cost. Not canyon specific shoes, but at the price...could be worth a gamble. Both have Stealth rubber.

    Excited to see a new non-marking model. I love the old non-marking water tennies. Kind of a bummer to watch the Irish slots go from pristine in 2001 to skid-marked, rope grooved and graffitied these days. But I digress... :moses::moses::moses:
  14. townsend

    townsend

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    Thanks for posting. Fantastic price. Hank, do you have first hand experience with either one of these shoes? Are they generally for "damp" canyons (wet, slick rock, etc.) or you using them with neoprene booties in Class C canyons?

    Scott
  15. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    Non-marking, as in non-black (carbon) soles that leave black skids everywhere. Gotcha. The Dome in size 8 is $50 on Amazon, the Pursuit is $30. At that price, as you say, might be worth a try. The stealth rubber should be better than my Merrells on wet rock, remains to be seen if they're as comfortable...easy to find out, and won't cost much.<g>

    Thanks for the heads-up, Hank!
  16. Rick Demarest

    Rick Demarest

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    The Pursuits would be a terrible canyoneering shoe. They weigh as much as a canyoneer 2 and are leather with no drainage. The rubber is not as sticky. all 'stealth' rubber is not the same. They are great for backpacking. Supportive & comfortable, although heavier than I like. I use them for construction work.

    If you want a lightweight 5.10 shoe than works for dry & 'occasional' damp I'd go with the 2012 camp four. Sticky & lightweight and will drain. Not as well as the C2, but good enough. These were my pre-C2 shoe and I'll still use them on occasion - mostly to get just a bit more mileage out of my savants. Five-Ten PLEASE bring back the Savant!

    http://shopfiveten.com/P-4501060013001/Camp-Four-2012--Dark-Shadow.aspx
  17. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    Does the Dome hiking shoe have the same stealth rubber as the Canyoneer? It's a hiking/trail shoe, wonder how well it drains, how heavy it gets when wet. The Exum Guide looks like a heavy, alpine boot, which probably gets heavy and doesn't drain when wet.
  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I just ordered two pairs of Canyoneers from 5.10. (Thanks for the link, cheaper than wholesale).

    I get "Size 10" on my very own Brannock Device. I got one size 11 and one size 11.5. The 11 for dryish canyons, and the 11.5 for wet/cold canyons and more sock.

    Tom
  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    How is the size compared to the C2? I realize the C2 will normally be worn with more sock - I guess the question is what size do you wear in each, and with how much sock?

    T
  20. Rick Demarest

    Rick Demarest

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    They seem to be consistent across all 3 of them. My left foot is 11.5, but right is 11, so I go with 11.5 in all of them - my normal street shoe size. I always wear two socks hiking - thin & thick. I haven't worn the C2 with 5mm neo, but 3mm+hydrosock so close. I've found it works fine by changing out the insole if I need a bit more room, especially for the left foot. I'm one of the lucky ones that the C2 fits really well and I can hike in them, sometimes with socks - long approach, but mostly with neo. I tried a 1/2 size up in the C2 after a few left toenail losses, but found them too loose. Now I just tape my toe up and deal. After all canyoneering isn't a comfort sport. I'm waiting on the C3 this spring. They look like they may solve the toenail issue (larger toe box) and be lighter weight. Really hoping they are closer to the fit of the Savant - all time favorite.
    ratagonia likes this.
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