By Todd Frederick
When opening the box of Five Ten’s (5.10) Dome trail runners, the height of the sole and size of the shoe is immediately noticeable, living up to what Five Ten claims to be their, “burliest trail running shoe available.” However, any concern the runner may have about the shoes feeling cumbersome is quelled once worn. With a snug fit and surprisingly light feel, the 5.10 Dome is an all-purpose running shoe fit for any person that is active.
With sleek coloring and a design built for functionality, much like Riley the Raven in the lead photo, these shoes are more than meets the eye concerning design.
Although very snug, the nubuck leather upper provides enough support to keep the ankle properly in place, yet also allows the foot to breathe for a feeling of freedom and lightness. This feature is particularly noticeable when maneuvering quickly over rough terrain. Ankle turns or foot injuries are always in the back of one’s mind when running dirt trails and fire roads, but these fears fade quick once you take these shoes for a ride.
As those familiar with trail running know, there are myriad encounters with unexpected debris or terrain along the path chosen.
This is obviously a top priority with the 5.10 Dome designers. While not oversized, the tread is exceptionally sturdy, especially on steep hills, which provides a feeling of comfort and safety. This feature is the shining star of these shoes. Without being clunky or giving a feeling of being out of control, the sole provides exceptional traction through loose gravel, slippery dirt hills, even grassy surfaces not ordinarily trekked by people.
The rubber sole also reaches up to the front of the shoe in order to protect the toes from any danger. Coupled with a subtle curve upward near the front that keeps the shoe from dragging in any potentially dangerous fragments of earth, safety is obviously a practical and legitimate design concern of the 5.10 Dome.
Like a wide variety of Five Ten shoes, the Dome trail runners use Stealth technology, which provides the runner with protection against rough or uneven surfaces by absorbing shock unlike any other material. This comes to the runner’s attention where offending materials like sharp rocks barely register to the runner’s foot. Accenting this nicely is the EVA midsole, which allows for lightness and additional cushioning while running, yet not compromising on durability.
Long-distance runners are likely to be pleased with the light material of the tongue of the 5.10 Dome, as well as proper ventilation near the toe. Whereas one may assume the foot may feel a little constrained by the burly shoe, the design is built specifically to sidestep this potential setback.
Additionally, the EVA midsole comes into play once again, absorbing the shock of repeated strikes of the foot wonderfully. Typical pain or soreness that can accompany long distance runs, especially pains that accompany those with flat or underdeveloped arches in their feet, is almost non-existent. This is due in large part to the lightness of the material which relieves stress from the rest of the leg.
Short-distance runners or even leisurely hikers need not fret. In fact, the sturdiness of the design may actually come to benefit these types more, in that they will last much longer and provide undeniably steady use. The 5.10 Dome is a shoe built comfortably enough to wear for the day at any pace one feels inclined to move.
While specifically designed for trail running, which is where the true potential of these shoes is likely to be realized, they are
proficient for running on both gravel and concrete as well. For the persistent long-distance runner, however, it may not be the best option on these surfaces. The tread tends to break down a little more quickly, which may lead to a greater turnover rate in your shoe buying, but for the runner that doesn’t want to constrain himself to one environment, the 5/10 Dome is a more than worthy option.
An unexpected plus from this shoe is its deviation from traditional eyelets. The external metal rings are sturdy and well placed, making them easy to lace as one sees fit with very little fumbling around. For the runner that enjoys their shoes a little tighter, they will be pleased with the soft, smooth texture of the lace that does not dig into your hands when more than normal pressure is applied.
The 5.10 Dome trail runners provide a nice balance of sturdiness and maneuverability, a sleekness with sheer functionality. They’re well priced considering the amount of use one is likely to receive out of them, at around $130. For the person that is looking for a reasonably priced shoe that is versatile and likely to last a long time, the 5.10 Dome looks like a shoe that is hard to pass up.