FIVE TEN RUNAMUCK SHOES
TEST SERIES BY ARNOLD PETERSON
INITIAL REPORT - December 12, 2009
FIELD REPORT - January 13, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - March 06, 2010
Wilmington Massachusetts USA
5' 8" (1.73 m)
165 lb (74.80 kg)
At this time almost all my experience has been hiking in New Hampshire, Florida, Colorado USA, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia Canada using an 11 lb. (5 kg) day pack. I have backpacked on Mt. Washington and at the IMP shelter located between North Carter and Mount Moriah mountains in New Hampshire. The gear I will be writing about has been used a lot hiking mostly all year around in New Hampshire. I have recently completed the forty-eight 4000 footers (1219 m) of New Hampshire. My day hikes have been as long as 12 hours covering almost 20 miles (32 km).
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Five Ten
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: www.fiveten.com
MSRP: US$ 89.95
Listed Weight: 18 oz (510 g)
Measured Weight: 20.5 oz (581 g)
Size: 9 Mens
Soles: Stealth S1 rubber
Manufacturer's Description (from Five Ten web site)
"This shoe does it all—We’ve designed the ultimate amphibious shoe—that hikes through rain, sleet, dust and mud without flinching. Uppers are a synthetic mesh with ultimate breathability. Don’t worry about puddle-splashing, as these shoes were born to drain and dry. Built on our proprietary trail shoe last, the Runamucks are perfect for long day hikes, moderate runs, and rock hopping. Soles are high-friction Stealth S1 soles, with excellent durability and friction. The shoes are helium-light, at just 18 ounces for a pair of men’s size 9. The Runamuck comes in both men’s specific and women’s specific models."
I was very impressed with the lightness. The shoe seemed to float in my hands. The mesh around the arches provide for a lot of drainage holes. There is extra rubber on the toe end for protection. A loop at the heel end helps with putting the shoes on. The stitching looked perfect, as did the seams between the rubber bottoms and the synthetic uppers. The shoes look like they will be well ventilated and they have a removable insole. I did note that the lace on the left foot was damaged in 3 places. I called customer service and they will be sending me replacements. See picture below.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
There were no instructions. The hang tag on the shoes was the only piece of information on the shoe. Essentially it had Stealth Rubber S1.
TRYING IT OUT
I had several things to do in Lowell and figured I would be walking for about 2 hours. I also planned to call customer service in between appointments. I had worn the shoes about one hour when I called customer service. I explained about the laces and was told another pair would be sent to me. I then informed them that I was having a pain in the tendon near the heel of my foot. I was told that that was common and I should put tape on the inside of the shoe until the shoe was broken in. By the time I got home, and had walked for about another hour, I had a sensitive area on my tendon. I took my shoes off and did not wear any shoes the rest of the day. The next day, about 18 hours after wearing the shoes, I took some pictures of the shoe and the red area on my foot. The red area was sensitive to the touch, but seemed to be healing. The binding around the top of the heel portion of the shoe forms a ridge which is quite flexible. I think this ridge rides up and down between the shoe and my tendon, causing friction and, consequently a blister. See pictures below.
|blister on tendon|
They are very light and provide excellent traction. Hopefully there will be no problems with discomfort after the shoes have been broken in.
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information. I wish to thank BackpackGearTesters.org and Five Ten for the opportunity to test the Runamuck shoes.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
In the Franconia, New Hampshire area, I hiked Bald Mountain 2340 ft (713 m), Artist Bluff, along the bike path adjacent to Echo Lake and south to Lafayette campground. Temperatures ranged from 28 F (-2 C) to 65 F (18 C) with winds as high as 50 mi/hr (81 km/hr) on Bald Mountain. I also did a bushwhack off the bike trail to where the rock climbers go to climb Cannon Mountain.
When I hiked 4 hours with 4 other hikers on Old Bridle Path, Lafayette Mountain , it was about 28 F (-2 C), overcast with the ground partly covered with snow and ice. I also hiked for 2 hours at the Flume in New Hampshire on bare ground with the temperature around freezing.
Locally, I have worn the Runamucks up to 4 hours daily in temperatures ranging from 10 F (-12 C) to 70 F (21 C). This includes exercising at the gym, walking in the neighborhood, and snowshoeing.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
In the last report I mentioned calling customer service reporting damaged shoes laces. I was concerned because the damage was close to the top eyelet on the shoe, a location that has commonly been a point of shoelace failure for me. After waiting 10 days I recalled customer service to ask about the laces. I was told they would be put in the mail that day.
I was also having some discomfort on the right Achilles tendon as reported in the Initial Report. I was told that this was a common problem and tape should fix the problem. I stopped wearing the shoes for awhile and the blister took about a week to completely dry up.
After my blister had dried, I wore the shoes for only 20 minutes the first day and added about 20 minutes each day until I reached about 2 hours. The blister problem seemed to be gone, but was replaced by discomfort and mild pain on the top of my foot between my ankle and my toes, but closer to the toes. This discomfort changed in intensity from almost nothing to a point where I would stop, readjust my foot in the shoe and the situation would be temporarily gone. The shorter my stride the better the situation was. At some point the tape started rolling up. and I took it out, removing some of the material which was stuck to the tape. I was now not pleased with the tape solution.
Again, after waiting again for about 10 days, I called about the laces and mentioned the discomfort problem. Customer service said that if I wanted to try another pair of shoes, they would be willing to send them. At this point I was still upset about not having received the laces. I then asked if there had been a change in shoe material. I was told there had not been any changes.
I have not experienced this type of discomfort with any of the 12 other pairs of hiking shoes/boots that I have owned. All the other items were first tried out in a store before I bought them. I was not willing to try another pair of Runamucks and possibly go through the same break in situation especially since customer service said it was a common problem to have discomfort on the tendon of the heel.
I told customer service I would wait to take up their offer. Customer service was friendly and courteous, but I don't have a lot of confidence in dealing with them mainly since I still have not received the laces. A couple weeks later my replacement shoes arrived to my surprise.
I started wearing the replacement shoes immediately. This time I did not get a blister on my tendon even without tape. I did have the discomfort on the tops of my feet near the toes. I decided to try something different with the laces, since the area of discomfort was on the top part of the shoe near where the laces start. I relaced this time not using the center loop near the toe end of the shoe. See picture below. This was an improvement, and I also started using heavier socks due to the dropping temperatures. The extra thickness has improved my comfort.
|one less loop used|
The trail to Bald Mountain is a fun hike with great views. The last section near the summit is very steep and quite tricky especially when the winds are up to 50 mi/hr (81 km/hr). I had no trouble with traction on the way up. To my surprise, for the trip down which is always a lot harder, where I usually have to sit down on the rocks and slide slowly down to feel secure, I was able to walk down with no sensation of slipping. See picture below.
I hiked at the Flume on bare ground and had no problem with slipping. There were a few steep sections and I had no trouble in either direction. The following day I hiked with 4 others on the Bridle Path which was partially covered with snow and ice. I quickly found out that there was little or no traction on ice. The darker rocks were bare and even though they were wet, the traction was good. I ascended this trail until the trail was covered mostly by snow or ice and it had started snowing. At that point, I turned around. Although I had slipped slightly only once on the way up, I had a lot more small slips on the trip down. The extra force of going downhill was too much for the traction of this shoe in these conditions.
|ascent to Bald Mountain|
Dealing with the cold
I found out that recorded air temperature and the temperature at my feet can be quite different. My initial experience using the shoes at 15 F (-9 C) was when the ground temperature was still warmer than the air temperature. When this situation reversed and the ground temperature was colder than the air temperature, I needed warmer socks. My feet were getting cold a lot faster. I also noticed that as the ground temperature gets colder, the soles of the shoes get noticeably harder and less comfortable under foot. The soles also lose their traction capabilities as the ground temperature drops coinciding with a hardening of the material.
I was very skeptical the first time I tried snowshoeing in the Runamucks. We had had about 14 in (36 cm) of powder and the temperature was about 15 F (-9 C). I put on thick wool socks and went snowshoeing for about 2 hours. The powder did not stick to my shoes or melt which turned out to be a good thing. At the end of 2 hours I was starting to feel a little cold. The following time snowshoeing, the air temperature was warmer and the snow powder was melting on my shoes. After awhile my feet did get wet and were getting too cold to be comfortable. The next time I wore a thin pair of wool socks with a second pair of GoreTex socks. I was colder with this combination. In my next report I hope to try this combination again but with a pair of wool socks on the outside of the Gore-Tex socks.
|Runamuck in snowshoes|
The 2 outstanding features of the Five Ten Runamuck shoes are their lightness and superior traction. On the down side, I do not think shoes should require tape to prevent blisters or to require this long to break in.
At this point I will continue wearing the shoes up to 4 hours a day and going hiking, snowshoeing or daily activities. The challenge in the next period will be staying warm and day when the ground temperature is colder than the air temperature is warmer.
I wish to thank BackpackGearTesters.org and Five Ten for the opportunity to test the Runamuck shoes.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Locations in New Hampshire: temperature; time duration; weather; field conditions; snow cover.
Crotched Mountain; 17 F (-8 C); 7 hours; sunny with moderate wind; several small brooks with steep slopes; heavy cover mostly crusted with some areas of powder with bare spots on summit.
Locations in Massachusetts: temperature; time duration; weather; field conditions; snow cover.
Harold Parker State Forest: 15 F (-9 C); 5 hours; sunny light wind; rolling hills with a lake and pools of water; mostly powder with some bare rock.
Boxford State Forest: 24 F (-4 C); 5 hours; overcast light wind; rolling hills with swampy areas; powder and hard packed trails.
Middlesex Fells Reservation: 30 F (-1 C); 3 hours; sunny no wind; rolling hills with many rocky areas; mostly powder with bare rocks.
Middlesex Canal: 25 F (-4 C); 2 hr; heavy overcast with light wind; mixed forest of mostly small trees and bushes with a few mature trees, relatively flat with wet areas; deep powder.
Wilmington Town Forest: 20 F (-7 C); 2 hr; cloudy no wind; rolling hills with large pine trees; deep powder.
Harold Parker State Forest: 35 F (-9 C); 4 hours; sunny no wind; rolling hills with a lake and pools of water; mostly hard snow and ice with some bare rock.
Merrimack River: 32 F (0 C); 4 hours; partly sunny; wind off water; rolling hills along river bank, mostly bare with icy patches.
Breakheart Reservation: 45 F (7 C); 2 hours; sunny; no wind; hills with rocky areas and ponds; very few patches of snow/ice.
Merrimack River: 46 F (26 C); 5 hours; sunny; no wind; rolling hills along river bank, completely bare with muddy areas.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
During this period I snowshoed 5 times using the Runamuck shoes for a total of 28 hours. I did 3 hikes for a total of 11 hours. Two hikes were along the Merrimack river. During the first hike I used Microspikes for the icy places. The Microspikes were actually easier to put on the Runamuck shoes and performed as good as my regular boots. On my second trip there were muddy spots and I had excellent traction on exposed tree roots. Other than getting a little wet from some of the puddles this was a very nice hike. The third hike was in the Heartbreak Reservation. This 2 hour hike was mostly on paved surfaces as the other trails were still quite muddy and we were not prepared to handle the mud and water.
Dealing with snow and water
I found using 3 pairs of socks worked out to be the best combination for keeping my feet dry and reasonably warm. For the first layer I used a pair of thin Merino wool socks. The second layer was a pair of Gore-Tex socks. The outer layer was a pair of heavy wool socks.
During the first hour of my snowshoe on Crotched Mountain, my right foot broke through the ice as I was crossing a stream. The shoe was completely submerged in water with an air temperature of about 17 F (-8 C). That foot was cold but I was not uncomfortable. I was car pooling and there were 8 of us in this group. I did stop to rest a few times and as long as I did not stand still for more than 10 minutes my feet did not get uncomfortable. The Gore-Tex socks kept my feet dry. The heavy wool socks did not retain much water. The upper part of the shoe is mostly mesh and ventilates very well. There is very little space between the inside bottom of the shoe and where the mesh starts on the side of the shoe. This allows most of the water entering the shoe to also leave the shoe almost as quickly. When I got home from this trip, I found the outer socks were wet but I could not squeeze water out of them. The inner socks were dry. My feet were dry and cold, but I had no discomfort.
Essentially there are 2 conditions when I was getting snow on my shoes. In some cases the snow melts and the outer layer socks get wet. This happened on several trips. The other snow condition I experienced was when the outside temperature is cold enough that either the snow does not melt on the shoes or there is an insignificant amount of melting. Small amounts of moisture would probably dry as fast as any moisture forms. I experienced this condition when the temperature was below 20 F (-7 C).
|Boxford State Forest|
|Harold Parker State Forest|
|Wilmington Town Forest|
During this test period I have worn the Runamuck everywhere except when I am in my house and the houses of my family and friends. I have used them in the gym on all the equipment they have. On some surfaces in the gym, the shoes make a sound similar to unsticking tape from a surface. The soles of these shoes become easily attached to many types of surfaces but not enough to feel anything, only a sound when pulling away. I sometimes have a slight discomfort on the top of my right foot. Wearing heavier socks improves this condition greatly.
The versatility of this shoe has exceeded my expectations in terms of lightness, traction and being able to deal with water in below freezing weather. On the down side the top part of the shoe is sometimes is a little uncomfortable. This might not have happened if I could try the shoes before acquiring them.
There is still a lot of cold weather before summer, I will continue hiking or snowshoeing at least once a week and will continue using these shoes most of the time. They may very well become my shoe of choice.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
This concludes my Long Term Report. I wish to thank BackpackGearTesters.org and Five Ten for the opportunity to test the Runamuck shoes.
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