Byline: Bill Becher Special to the Daily NewsWhen rappelling down a slick 200 foot rock chute through a waterfall, you don’t want to slip.I didn’t slip or slide wearing 5 10’s Canyoneer shoes on a three day class in canyoneering with the Zion Adventure Company. The shoes hooked up like gecko toes.Originally designed for this rather narrow niche exploring canyons using rock climbing gear Canyoneer shoes now are appearing on the feet of river guides, kayakers, fly anglers, or anyone looking for sure footing in wet places. The key to the shoes’ success is the special rubber used on the soles.In a serendipitous flubber like accident, Charles Cole, an avid rock climber and mechanical engineering graduate of USC, happened on the rubber formula.Cole had borrowed $20,000 from climbing buddies to start a company to make climbing shoes. He worked with rubber manufacturers to come up with a substance that would provide good friction for climbing and have high abrasion resistance. With his limited capital, Cole couldn’t afford mistakes, so he was worried when his rubber supplier called up and told him they’d gotten the rubber he specified wrong, and could Cole come and check it out.Cole found the rubber was noticeably better than previous generations.I asked them exactly what did you do?” Cole said.The new rubber was refined and christened Stealth” in 1988. Cole came out with an approach” shoe that combined a running shoe design with the Stealth rock rubber. The shoes were a success and Coles’ company, 5 10, named for a rock climbing difficulty rating, went on to produce a variety of climbing shoes.I used the Canyoneers as wading boots fishing the fast moving Kings River and found they worked well. They are designed for water, climbing and hiking.The ankle collar has doubled 3mm neoprene for support, comfort and a no itch fit. The breathable mesh upper is lightweight, synthetic and also durable, says the company. The buckle won’t loosen in fast water, stays out of the way in cracks and cinches down tight for climbing. Any water that doesn’t drain out of the shoes is squeezed out as you move by a self bailing compression molded midsole.