Two years ago, Five Ten offered the DAescent. It was one of the best light-weight shoes for hiking through desert terrain or for a technical day of route setting. Their latest update, the Aescent, offers nothing shy of the performance of its predecessor and with an increased color flair for sneaker collectors.
The new Aescent weighs just 24.9 ounces; not much more than your climbing boots. They are perfect for long treks across both moderate and steep terrain, like the paths of Joshua Tree, Hueco, or any other desert getaway where you want a light material that breathes and doesn’t hold in the sweat.
With any hiking shoe, support is key and although the shoe is flexible it offers solid arch support, especially for someone who has athletic arches (a non-flat foot). The Aescent sports a medial and lateral arch support that offers a comfortable ride over gravel and smooth boulders. It provides stiff tension on the down step, without forcing your arch to flatten, while still maintaining the flexibility of the fit.
Beneath the body of the Aescent is a stiff, low profile dot-matrix Stealth rubber sole which smeared nicely on bare rock. After repeated use, the dots held up well to wear-and-tear and captured the step on both slippery terrain and slabby rock.
The only feature that took some getting used to was the slightly upturned toe box, which, unlike the DAescents, now features dot-rubber instead of a smooth sole and aggressive shape. The raised toe box will last longer, decreasing the likelihood of holes and wear and tear on the toe, but it does lack the sensitivity of the toe box found in the DAescents. Because of this, if you’re looking to tackle a mid-afternoon parkour session or solo some 5.6 terrain, consider another shoe. But for long walks and bush-walking excursions to look for that boulder that is “just over the next hill,” these shoes are the perfect blend of light and sturdy for constantly getting lost and lying about it until you find your way.