The Five Ten Water Tennie Review

Clothing, Footwear, Gear

The Five Ten Water Tennie Review

The Five Ten Water Tennie is another popular item with the CKS Staff. It’s proven to be a versatile shoe that functions well for a few different water based activities, ranging from white water kayaking to stand up paddling. It’s also durable, comfortable and good looking. Similar to the Teva Gnarkosi, the Water Tennie is the type of shoe that you can wear on the river, and then to the bar afterwords. Here’s the details:



  • Fun for stand up paddling: The sticky rubber is perfect for lots of hiking, portaging, and dragging the board to shore when paddling down river or surfing. It’s obviously great for sticking to the board when paddling, but also having a light shoe that is nimble when you are moving around on the board is key too. They drain water quickly, and are perfect for kicking it on shore waiting for your turn on the wave.
    The Water Tennie loves shallow manky low water rapids like Zoom Flume at 200cfs.

    Water Tennie’s are the perfect choice for hiking out of this…
  • Lots of features that set the Water Tennie apart from the pack:
    The full EVA midsole gives extra support and stiffness like a traditional sneaker or climbing shoe.
    No need to beat a dead horse, but the AquaStealth rubber is incredibly sticky.
    Heel cap for support, mesh for draining water, and neoprene uppers…
    Toe cap for protection against rocks and other sharp painful things…Mesh to drain the water.
    Full neoprene uppers for comfort and support. The QuickLace system works well. They do a good job of evenly tightening up the shoe.
    Close up of the QuickLaces and front reinforcement.

    More drainage mesh and rubber and protection on the inside of shoe.
  • GREAT CREEKING SHOE:Paddlers like Tim Kelton have used the Water Tennie’s on some of the California classics. So far the word is that the shoe is great for longer expeditionary runs (for obvious reasons) and are very durable.
    Water + Gradient + Granite = good times for The Water Tennie!

  • OK, one more time. The AquaStealth Rubber will STICK TO ANYTHING THAT GETS IN IT’S WAY:For all of you that didn’t know, Five Ten is known for making the best rock climbing shoes in the business. Shoes built for climbing overhanging 5.14D’s do one thing particularly well, THEY STICK TO ROCK. The Water Tennies are the best shoes out there in terms of clinging on to slippery wet river rock.



  • PRICE:Whenever we review a top shelf item like the Water Tennies, Sweet helmets, Kokatat PFD’s, etc…the down side is that they cost more than other products on the market. There are river shoes for sale that cost 1/2 as much. They do not have AquaStealth rubber, and are most likely not double stitched like the Water Tennies.
  • The Shoe laces came untied a few times:I’ve been wearing the Water Tennies for the past few weeks, and have noticed that the laces have come untied a few times. This could partially be my fault for not trying double knots. I am used to water shoes that do not have laces, so it took some getting used to tying the laces tight enough so they did not come undone when I was swimming my board to shore.

The Verdict:

These are great river shoes. Not much else to say. The non marking soles are very sticky. Also, the Tennies are light and comfortable, and have stellar support and protection (for how light they are). They look similar to street shoes, which makes it possible to wear them before or after paddling. They are not the least expensive river shoes out there, and they have slippery laces, but that is a small price to pay for some dang sticky rubber attached to a solid shoe.

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7 thoughts on “The Five Ten Water Tennie Review

  1. jimmy jones

    I agree with most of what you wrote but as usual 5-10 shoes delam and fall apart with in a few months of use.  Don’t get me wrong I love my water tennies I”ve been wearing mine for about a year but I also have had to warranty 2 pairs in that year and am on pair 3 but I will continue to wear them if 5-10 warranties them and maintains the great customer service.  Also double stitching doesn’t mean much when the material they are stitched into falls apart.  Just felt a need to add my 2 cents from a real user that isn’t trying to sell the shoe.  Overall I suggest buying a pair they will keep you upright on slippery rocks that most people will slip on but not with 5-10 rubber 

  2. Cramersec

    I’m with Jimmy on this. I had a pair delam the first time I wore them. My 5-10 CS experience was not as good. “Oh, yeah, we don’t make those anymore, so you’re SOL.” That’s not exactly what the rep said, but it’s close.

    1. ckspaddler

      That is too bad. Good to know. Because we are working in the industry, we usually do not have to deal with that end of CS. If you bought the product from us, please get in touch, and we can take care of you.

      Also, good to know about the delam reputation. I have worn mine daily for about a month, and the soles seem to be fine. I am only using them to walk from my house to a surf wave at the park, and then back.

      Would love to know how they are working out in Cali on some of those sierra runs. Long hikes in, lots of portages and a stout hike out.

  3. david

    I have the water tennis and the old slip 5-10 that are blue i think they called them internationals the old blue sticks on wet rocks much better,and my water tennis fit loser than the old blues

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  6. Carl

    I have friends wearing those and they all say the shoes fall apart after a while. I had a used pair that I bought with a bunch of other river gear and the first time I wore them and they got wet they completely fell apart. The company told me tough luck. I have owned a number of pairs of their climbing shoes which are great and some Chacos with the stealth rubber and all those are great. Not sure why they cant get these right.

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