Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review > The BIG 5.10 review...


Noodles:
Christ I think I set myself some goals, so this time I'm going for gold... but maybe in a limited sense for now, this is purely an indoor review.... let me put this into perspective, through various means we've managed to get out hands on a bunch of shoes. The list goes like this:
  • Blackwing
  • Dragon
  • Anasazi Arrowhead
  • Supermocc
  • Hornet
Yep, five types of shoes (We've done the Projects already) that we're looking at for indoor use... now for a start we all know that my go-to shoes are the Anasazi lace ups... and I've had pairs for years and years, so lets take it that I'm reviewing my ragged out shoes against this line up. On the same routes in a few week process... yes all of these shoes vs my favorite, and that's why we asked for comments, hell we've asked for comments on all of the shoes but Sharma didn't respond :)

Here's how we did it, as I set at a local gym there are routes ranging into the V5 range that I can easily walk. In a separate pair of shoes (Anasazi lace ups that are old) I managed to get the routes railed, working mainly on footwork rather than brute strength, I then climbed the same routes in all of the shoes listed above and tried to discern the difference....
Here’s what the Five Ten shoes look like:
  • Blackwing
 

  • Dragon
  •     Anasazi Arrowhead
  •  Supermocc

  • Hornet


So two pairs of lace ups, one pair of slippers and two pairs of velcros all against a ragged out pair of Anasazis, you have to admit that it's an interesting premise for a review. And when you think about it that's a bunch of different styles of shoes and a lot of rubber to look at and try to discern the difference between... Mystique, Onyxx, Stealth HF and Stealth C4

Here’s what the Five Ten site says about the shoes :
  • Blackwing
The Blackwing fits like second skin but the Velcro® brand closure makes it easy to take off and put on. The padded tongue has a super-soft, fleecy microfiber lining that wicks sweat and provides extra cushioning and comfort, no matter what the angle. The heel cup is designed for a snug, no slip fit and the outsole is specifically designed for ultimate friction on overhanging rock.
  • Dragon 
Designed by climbing legends Fred Nicole and Dave Graham as the ultimate bouldering shoe, the Dragon has firmly established itself as the foot-tool of choice for The World’s Greatest Athletes™. Our acclaimed Stealth® HF™ rubber is super-sticky for pulling up under overhangs or throwing a heel hook. The Dragon fits like a glove and provides precision edging and power.
  • Anasazi Arrowhead
Our Elite team raves about the Arrowhead’s fit and performance. Built on our 4G Anasazi last, you’ll instantly feel the difference in the casually down-turned toe and heel cup that grips without pinching. The upper is a supple, breathable Cowdura™ that molds to the foot. The toe rand is made of extremely durable, high-friction Mystique™ rubber and the Onyxx™ outsole is the benchmark in edging performance.
  • Supermocc
The Moccasym™ is THE top-selling slipper. It is a training shoe, a thin-crack shoe, and perfect for long bouldering sessions. We have made an über-version of the Moccasym™ with a split toe rand guaranteed to improve your footwork in cracks.
  • Hornet
There is no better shoe for high-end sport climbing, bouldering or competition climbing. The Hornet is built on a new state-of-the-art low volume last, with a down turned toe and an asymmetrical lacing system that allows for a perfect, custom fit. The upper is synthetic Cowdura™ with a 3-D Polytechnic™ coating that increases durability and abrasion resistance without adding weight. The  Mystique™ outsole offers unparalleled grip, precision and durability

As per usual the heel cup is the issue on most of the shoes, my Anasazis fit my heel well so lets run down what fits and what doesn't:
  • Blackwing
Nice wide toe box and a heel that's reinforced with no air gap. Super nice and comfy upper that means long sessions without taking them off
  • Dragon 
Slightly tight toe box with a not so bad with a little air gap on the heel. These shoes are pretty comfortable but you need to take them off between burns
  • Anasazi Arrowhead
Again a wide(ish) toe box a little more turned down than expected, the heel has a huge air gap which is a surprise considering my lace ups have none. The shoes again have a nice comfy upper that means you can wear them for hours at a time
  • Supermocc
Easier to get on than expected, super comfy toe box with a good fitting heel cup. The toe box was a little wide on my foot
  • Hornet
Good fit, despite the turned down toe, shame there's a gap in the heel again :( Probably the best fitting shoes for me on this test... its just a huge shame about the heel gap :(

So all of the shoes fit, the uppers on the Arrowheads and nice and padded with the Hornets being the most comfortable turned down shoes I've ever had on my feet. As usual the 5.10 heel cup is the issue with some of the shoes and I suggest you try them on before you buy them.

What was climbed:
As I set at a local gym I was able to set a bunch of routes that ranged from smeary to long routes with heel hooks the entire way up. Both of the routes after warming up on easier routes in the shoes, the tests continued over a number of weeks. All of the shoes were worn through numerous sessions so not just the test routes were climbed. They were worn for hour long sessions where I was working longer and harder problems to see how the shoes (and my climbing) performed.

How the shoes climbed:
So it's an indoor world that we're looking at here, lets face it at some point you'll be outside and something that performs well on a wall where you can clearly see where your feet are going may not (and as we found with the Projects vs the outside the old shoes won) work when you're outdoors, so take that in mind when you read this review.

So what was it like? Climbing the same routes time and again? It was boring to tell you the truth, the only thing that really made a difference on a route was really the shoes, and that's the interesting point with the shoes especially when it comes to heel hooking. Now when a shoe doesn't fit your heel you can either deal with it or you can't, in this case I dealt with it because we're reviewing the shoes and we have to see how the shoes work when you've made the wrong choice and you've got some heel bag going on.

Here's an interesting point all of the shoes in the test even when heel hooking actually performed well; if you can climb and deal with bag around your heel then you can use the extra rubber to grip really well, but why do you ask did I not just focus on the shoes this fitted properly? Well because lets face it people make mistakes and get the wrong shoes and sometimes you need to have to deal with what you've been dealt for review purposes...

So I dealt with it and got climbing whilst the climbing was good, here's what I found:
  •  Blackwing
Expected to perform better than they did, they're awesome on edges and great at heel hooking but not so good smearing

  • Dragon
Probably one of the best performing shoes in the test, they performed well from smears to tiny edges. They're not something you can wear for hours on end but if you can stand the pain they perform about as well as you expected, if they fit you then they're amazing

  • Anasazi Arrowhead
Considering I love the non velcro version of these shoes these shoes lack the feel that i'm used to. The heel fits well, it was surprising to find that these shoes weren't as good as the lace ups
  •  Supermocc
For slabs I can see these shes being amazing, when I used these guys indoors they weren't really that good, they're a little soft for my liking. I know people that like them but these weren't for me
  •  Hornet
These guys are pretty damn good, they perform amazingly in all areas... again it's the shame about heel cup not fitting anywhere near as well as I like. Small stuff is your friend in these shoes.

What would I pick for me?:
Well it's a toss up really... the Arrowheads I gave away to a guy at the gym because his Boreal Lazers (remember those) needed resoling and I wanted him to climb some more... so it wasn't those guys for sure.

The Hornets have too much hell bag and I'm kind of gutted about them, but I'll keep them around for non heel-hook routes.

The Supermocc is a shoe I'd take outdoors but not climb indoors with, despite being super comfortable

SO Dragon or Blackwing?

Tricky and the answer is both, I'd use them both indoors without a doubt (if they fit your foot well)... why? Well I like lace ups they offer a more precise fit and the Dragon perform exceptionally well on all terrain as do the Blackwings which I don't have to take off at all.... both shoes are precise, both shoes perform super well.... but I guess if it was the Blackwings / Dragons or my ragged out Anasazis what would I choose?

I know my old crapped out shoes, and i'll get another pair soon. They are all great all rounders and that's what people generally need when they climb for exercise. Don't get me wrong I climb, and I'll take my crapped out shoes on 5.10's and be happy that I did because they perform, and have performed above and beyond the call of duty for years. Maybe the Dragons or Blackwings will take over their spot but only time will tell with that one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

MUST get my hands on a pair of 510 Supermocc's - womesn size 6...Have been told that they are on 'close-out'...what's a girl to do when she's gotta have them. Yes, call me 'Desparate Deborah'