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Footwear

Gear Guide 2009: Five Ten Exum Guide Boot Review

Get a grip—the soles of these boots stick to any surface.

Stickiest Scrambler

“When it comes to steep rock scrambling, there’s nothing better than Five Ten’s sticky Stealth S1 rubber,” one tester raved after hiking and scrambling steep talus and exposed slabs at Idaho’s Castle Rocks State Park. A unique, beefy external heel cup (made of molded polyurethane) boosts stability and support, making this nonwaterproof midcut ideal for long scrambles that involve miles of hiking with a daypack.

With lacing that extends to the toes (and more eyelets than we’ve ever seen on a boot), testers could really fine-tune the fit, and the leather uppers are superdurable. Downsides: The sticky outsole throws up a lot of trail debris, which often lands inside the shoes, and the lacing can get tedious. Best for medium-volume feet with a slightly narrow forefoot; some testers had to go up a half-size. $135; 2 lbs. 4 oz. Fiveten.com

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