Brief history of Five Ten

1985 - Foundation

Five Ten is founded when Charles Cole invents the first sticky rubber sneaker (the Five Tennie). The company’s name is derived from the Yosemite Decimal System, a method of rating the difficulty of rock climbs. Cole, a Southern California-based climber gained notoriety for bold ascents in Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Parks. The Five Tennie quickly becomes the shoe of choice for big walls and approaches.

1986 - Resoling Revolution

Five Ten shakes up the rock shoe world by selling Stealth Rubber to footwear resolers; not only for Five Ten shoes but for any brand’s footwear. A new industry develops around resoling climbing shoes thanks to Five Ten. Many of the world’s leading climbers (sponsored by other companies) secretly resole their shoes to gain the “Stealth® advantage”.

1987 - First Climbing Shoe with Stealth

Five Ten makes its first sticky-soled climbing shoe (the Vertical). Editors at Rock and Ice swear that the shoe is “stickier than flypaper”.

1988 - Highest-Friction Rubber Period.

Climbing magazine hails Stealth® as “the stickiest rubber available”.

1990 - Closer to the Rock and Trail

Five Ten moves its offices from North Hollywood to Redlands, California. The new location is closer to the rocks and cliffs of Joshua Tree and Taquitz/Suicide and to good mountain biking trails. Stealth rubber is now sold to European footwear resolers.

1991 - Reinventing the Climbing Shoe

Five Ten launches the UFO—a revolutionary climbing shoe with the world’s first down-tuned toe, first slingshot heel and first Velcro closure. Paddlers. kayakers, anglers and rafters ask Five Ten to develop an equally as innovative water shoe.

1992 - Just Do It

Wearing Five Ten Anasazi’s, French climber JB Tribout snatches the first ascent of Smith Rock (Oregon) test piece, Just Do It. Rated 5 .14c on the Yosemite Decimal Scale, it is one of the most difficult sport climbs in the world. Five Ten introduces the world’s first self-draining watershoe with AquaStealth, a high-friction rubber that does double duty by helping to fight the insidious Whirling Disease that is decimating the world’s trout populations.

1995 - Skinner and Chevieux Set Standards

Five Ten athlete Todd Skinner climbs Cowboy Direct (VII 5.13a) on the East Face of Trango Tower in Pakistan’s Karakoram Himalayas (the first Grade 7 free climb in the world). Swiss climber and Five Ten athlete, Elie Chevieux , onsights Massey Fergusson (5.14a) in the Calanques, France, the hardest onsight of that grade of difficulty.

1997 - Fishhook Midsole Adds Power

Five Ten invents the Fishhook midsole—a new technology that increases the ability of climbers to stand on microscopic edges.

1998 - Girls Climb Too

Five Ten introduces the first (ever) women’s-specific climbing shoe, the Diamond. Fred Nicole, a legendary Swiss boulderer and Five Ten athlete, establishes Radja, the first consensus V14 boulder problem.

1999 - Twins at birth? Cruise and Kauk

Tom Cruise invites Yosemite climbing legend, Ron Kauk, to be his double in Mission Impossible II. Kauk already has big screen experience after working with Wolfgang Güllich and Sylvester Stallone on Cliffhanger. Both Cruise and Kauk wear Five Ten® Ascents.

2000 - The Aussie Invasion

Five Ten approach shoes are already a cult favorite for hip, flat pedal mountain bikers; Five Ten officially enters the bike market by manufacturing shoes for Intense Cycles. Three Australian downhill mountain bike racers Chris Kovarik, Sam Hill and Nathan Rennie, start the “Flat Pedal Revolution.” Swiss climbing legend and Five Ten athlete, Fred Nicole, makes the first ascent of Dreamtime (8c) in Cresciano, Switzerland; arguably the worlds hardest climb to date. No Canyon too Deep. Five Ten introduces the Canyoneer, the first shoe made specifically for canyoneering. The shoe becomes an instant classic.

2001 - Chris Sharma and Five Ten make History

Five Ten athlete Chris Sharma, wearing Five Ten Anasazi’s, establishes the world’s first consensus 5.15a. He names the climb Realization. Top DH riders Nathan Rennie and Chris Kovarik use Stealth rubber for downhill bike races.

2002 - The World Might be Flat

Sam Hill, gets his first pair of flat pedal Five Ten shoes and wins Junior World Championships. At the first World Cup race of the season, Chris Kovarik demolishes the downhill field using Stealth rubber shoes on flat pedals.

2003 - Nathan Rennie and the Flat Pedal Revolution

Nathan Rennie wins the UCI World Cup DH overall title with Stealth rubber on his flat pedal shoes. Five Ten and Stealth dominate the UCI World Cup and World Championship podium.

2005 - Woman Can Climb, Part Deux

Five Ten athlete Steph Davis becomes the first woman to free climb El Cap’s Salathe Wall (5.13b/c, 35 pitches).

2006 - Five Ten Dominates Descents and Ascents

Five Ten athlete Sam Hill takes 1st place at UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, Downhill; Rotorua, New Zealand. Canadian climbing superstar and Five Ten athlete Sonnie Trotter makes first ascent of Cobra Crack.

2007 - Stickier than Duct Tape

The popular T.V. show, Modern Marvels, profiles Five Ten. The show equates the invention of high-friction Stealth rubber with the invention of duct tape.

2008 - Dean Potter Invents a New Sport

Five Ten athlete Dean Potter develops FreeBASE. He ascends Deep Blue Sea, a route on the right shoulder of the Eiger’s north face, and then jumps off for the descent.

2009 - Potter and Hill Set Records

Five Ten athlete Dean Potter sets record for world’s longest B.A.S.E. jump from north face of the Eiger. Five Ten athlete, Sam Hill takes 1st Place Overall UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Downhill.

2011 - The Way Back Home

Five Ten athlete Danny MacAskill,releases The Way Back Home and the video goes viral (35 million hits and counting). Five Ten athlete Sam Hill takes 1st Place at UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.

2012 - Minnaar’s World Domination

Five Ten Athlete Greg Minnaar wins the 2012 World Championship in Leogang, Austria.

2013 - Team Vxi

Five Ten releases the Team Vxi, the first climbing shoe using Mi6 rubber to provide climbers with exceptional sensitivity and grip.

2014 - Secret Weapon

Gee Atherton , a pro rider for Shimano, decides he needs a pair of flat pedal shoes for the Cairns (Australia) World Cup. He borrows a pair of Five Ten Impacts from a spectator, and crushes the competition. Five Ten athlete Danny MacAskill, releases The Ridge, an instant YouTube classic. Five Ten rider, Andreu Lacondeguy, wins 2014 Red Bull Rampage.

2015 - Just Getting Started

Five Ten athlete Jerome Clementz, snags Five Ten’s first Enduro World Series win in Crankworx, NZ wearing the new Kestrel. Brett Rheeder, also a Five Ten athlete, wins Crankworx, NZ in Five Ten’s new Sleuth with Stealth Marathon rubber. Climbing Magazine writes that the new Verdon climbing shoe “ups the ante for the classic all-around, medium- high performance shoe.