We had the chance to check FiveTen’s new Dome Mid hikers. These are a wide, good-looking trail shoe, with tasteful brown Nubuck leather and black patches for durability on toe and heel and a couple of red touches.
The first thing I noticed about these shoes was that they’re pretty light for as well padded as they are. Unlike the minimalistic Terrex Fast R Mids, which pare down padding to all time record levels, the Domes are plush and cushy. The second thing I see immediately is their width: they remind me faintly of extra-wide skater shoes. Merrell’s Moab, a very wide low hiker, is one of my favorite shoes, so this may mean great footing.
Getting the Domes on and off exposes a major pet peeve of mine with many mids—shoelace trouble, which for you may be a minor issue. The laces don’t pass through their loops easily, making getting the Domes on or off troublesome and time consuming. The doughy laces themselves seem too thick and unwieldy, and I felt like just getting into the Domes was a chore. Adjusting when they proved too tight was no different.
Once on the Domes prove comfortable and feel light. The leather isn’t as hot as I expected and was a pleasant surprise, and I really liked their Stealth footbed material and tread. It provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces and seems lighter than it should—the weight of these shoes all seems in the upper, with the compression-molded EVA midsole comfortable and light-weight.
Trail time in the Domes quickly showed I preferred them without the top holes laced; they were too restrictive without offering good movement for the added ankle protection for my taste. More time in them loosened the lacing somewhat, which was good, and without the top loops, they became somewhat easier to get on and off. My feet felt comfortable and well-supported, and I have been repeatedly impressed with their grip in the dry (didn’t really have a chance to test them on wet, slippery surfaces). Expect a little break-in time for the uppers; the midsole is an old friend in no time. Watch your sizing–the toe box in mine, for all their width, pinched my toes as my feet began to expand during long hikes. Half a size up may not be a bad idea.
At $155 on FiveTen’s website, the Domes undercut some other premium mids, like the aforementioned Adidas Terrex Fast Rs. That said, I feel like the Domes are a good “early effort” and have room for growth and improvement with a few minor alterations. You could probably swap out laces and have an easy fix for my lacing gripe and would have a competitively priced leather light hiker. Keep ‘em coming, FiveTen! (And be sure to check out their comfortable tee-shirts and other apparel–they also sent my new favorite tee!)