TEAM 5.10

Team 5.10

I wanted to wait until I’d worn these a bit more before doing a review on them, but as I’ve sworn only to use them on rock, that was looking like a long way off. These shoes are so badass that I could only wait until after the last Castle Hill trip, and here it is!
I’m a huge fan of 5.10, but as I’ve said before their R&D and design sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. While they make the worlds best rubber and a lot of the worlds best climbers use their products, it often seems like they’re so excited to release new shoes into the turbulent seas of the market, they neglect a few other crucial aspects about their design that, say, La Sportiva have whittled down to nothing less than a fine art. Think of the V10’s. There was an almost perfect shoe that could do no wrong. It was soft, sensitive, sticky, precise and stood out in photos, but what did 5.10 go and do? Dropped it from their range. This happens every year with many different models (and there are heaps), so if you buy a particular model, best to get two or three because they won’t be around long enough to update once you’re done with the first pair.
With this in mind I hastened to buy me a pair of the newest models: the Team510, thinking it would be another with the same problems. However while it may be here today, gone next season, this shoe does not suffer from the poor design problems some of the others have. If this shoe was a human, it’d be in prison on charges of possession of too much awesomeness. Was it really designed by 5.10’s top sponsored athletes? Who really cares, what matters is the shoe is amazing. It’s a tight slipper like the V10, yet solves the sloppy heel issue by adding a single Velcro strap which, should you need it, cinches the heel in so tight you’ll be in danger of DVT. The outside of the heal and whole inner of the toe is slathered in rubber, and no crappy rand rubber either, they’ve used their stickiest Stealth Mystique over the whole thing, which, in my experience, slips off nothing. It’s lasted the same as the Dragon but with so much rubber enclosing the toe it remains stiff and strong right to the point. This does pose one problem however, and I’m still in the process of dealing with it.
I sized these the same as my Dragons (US9), and herniated myself trying to squeeze them on.The elastic covering the opening is ridiculously tight, added to thick toe rubber than didn’t stretch an inch. I had to revert to the time-tested Plastic-Bag Technique to get them on, and thus did I remain, wearing them while watching climbing movies in my house until, lo! I was able to stretch them enough to do away with the plastic. Be warned that these will take quite some time to break in, and to begin with it’s not advised to use them on anything less than a roof or a 45 because your feet will explode.
Grand design and fit aside, what makes a shoe great or crap is its rubber. I’ve had experience with Stealth Mystique in the Project (see below), and while those were a cat-walk model thin 2.5mm, these are much thicker, meaning they will last much longer. However considering my Projects are still going strong, I’d say this new compound is not only supper sticky, but it will actually go the distance before it glasses up and splits. I hope to be using these shoes for a few years yet, once they soften, and with any luck they won’t fall apart like a lot of the other 5.10 offerings have.
Once again, if you live in NZ, you’ll have a rough time trying to get a hold of these shoes. The easiest way is to write a letter to Santa and pray. Failing that, email myself or the Rogue Trader. So far, and from the limited experience I’ve had with them, they are the best performing shoes I’ve come across. Well done 5.10!
Star Rating: 5

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