Five Ten is a family-owned company that is dedicated to making the best outdoor sports footwear available. Five Ten was founded by Charles Cole in 1985. Cole had finished up his MBA from University of Michigan, and was hanging out in Yosemite, putting up spectacular first ascent aid routes—many times solo. After a slip while descending El Cap, he decided that climbers not only needed high-friction rubber on their climbing shoes, but on their walking shoes as well.
Being a man whose passion and focus matches his great intellect, Cole immediately resolved to create a new rubber compound that would help climbers on every angle surface. Reaching back to what he’d learned while obtaining his engineering degree from University of Southern California, he set his sights on developing a revolutionary rubber formula that would have better friction and higher durability than anything climbers had ever experienced.
Five Ten was born, and in 1986, Cole, with the support of his parents, Mary and Charles Sr., began distributing a new line of approach and climbing shoes with Charles’s new Stealth rubber soles. Climbing suddenly got easier. Because the soles actually stuck better to the rock, climbers could ascent routes that had previously been unattainable. Charles Cole, Five Ten and Stealth rubber helped to open climbing to a new generation of athletes for whom friction meant everything.
Now, the Redlands, California-based company makes shoe with their proprietary Stealth rubber for a variety of outdoor disciplines. Five Ten climbing shoes are depended upon by the world’s top climbers. Even climbers who are paid to wear shoes by other companies resole with Stealth. Stealth Rubber resole kits make up 99.9 percent of resole sales world wide. Five Ten multi-sport shoes are now favorite footwear of downhill mountain bikers, paddlers, hikers, trail runners and climbers. From elite, world class athletes to every day outdoor enthusiasts, people know that Five Ten is the most authentic footwear brand available. As Cole found out on El Cap, and athletes find out everyday, friction does make a difference. Add that to the unique comfort, durability and technological advances of Five Ten, and you have the best footwear in the world.
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