I'm gonna go crazy and comment on what's in the article! The garmin Instinct Solar will probably be my next watch. My Fenix 3 seems to take hours to charge now and doesn't last as long as it did. It does everything I need and has an MTB option that is not on my Fenix. Great choice!
Yes stock pins, with the pin closest to the axel removed. I bought the Ions because they were reduced a fair bit, so it wasn't a scientifiic choice. I did test Five Tens for them about five years ago (pre kid) because I wrecked them so fast. Obviously not on Daggas back then, probably on boomslang pedals with very needly pins.
I would still say that weight is a thing, because the harder sole shoes like Ion, are good for me on nylon pedals too, like the oneup, which preceded the Daggas. I still wrecked five tens on those!
I think weight of the rider matters too. If you're heavy like me 100kg+ five tens WILL wear out very quick (holes through the sole in 60hrs) and can be too sticky for any type of foot correction. I run Chromag Dagga and older Ion Scrub Amps (i think). My weight keeps them planted on the pedal, but I don't have to lift right off to adjust my foot.