Weight (Size 9): 7.2 oz / 204.12 g
Size Tested: 12.5
Sole: 3.5 mm Stealth® Mystique™ rubber
My Foot: Size 13 street shoe, medium width (D), I have a high arch when my foot is not weighted, and I pronate.
Time Tested: 4 months, 3-4 days a week
Test Locations: El Rito, NM; The Dungeon, NM; The Enchanted Tower, NM; Sailing Hawks, Durango, CO; climbing gyms
I am primarily a boulderer and sport climber, so I want a shoe designed for those disciplines. Five Ten calls their Team 5.10 shoe, “the world’s most perfect bouldering and sport climbing tool,” and they had some of the world’s top climbers help with the design. All of this got my attention, and I wanted to check these out.
Sizing and Fit
I buy climbing shoes small, especially when it is going to be an aggressive, technical bouldering and sport climbing shoe, so I bought the Team 5.10 a half size smaller than my street shoe size (a 12.5 instead of a 13). But there is a thin line between a tight performance fit and a shoe being too painful to complete a climb, and the Team 5.10 was right on that line.
While I’ve got pretty big feet, they are fairly normal, proportioned feet (I’m a D width in the forefoot and have a normal-to-narrow heel). But the Team 5.10 is a narrow fitting shoe, and the forefoot was painfully narrow for me in the 12.5. Even if I had sized up to a 13, I suspect the forefoot would still have been narrower than I prefer. So even if you have average-width feet, expect a narrow fit.
Five Ten also appears to have designed this shoe to be worn at your street shoe size. It is entirely synthetic and does not stretch at all, so take that into consideration if you get a pair.
It was bit difficult to get into the the Team 5.10 at first, with its small opening and just a little elastic over the instep of the shoe to allow enough stretch for you to slip your foot in. After just a few uses and a few popped stitches in the elastic, it became much easier to get in and out of them. (I don’t think a half size up would have made much difference in the ease of on and off, but after the elastic breaks in, it’s not much of an issue. So, again, if you try some on, know that the on / off gets easier.)
As I mentioned, the overall fit of the shoe is narrow, and I could have used a bit more volume in the toe box. The heel pocket of the Team 5.10 felt good around the sides and back of my heel, but was just a little too deep. The closure system is just one simple Velcro strap across the top of the shoe, but the shoe fit so tightly around my foot, I didn’t notice much of a difference if I used the strap or not. Overall, it’s not the most comfortable shoe I’ve tried, though it’s not that the Team 5.10 had specific painful pressure points. It was just too tight all over, and it’s hard to see this shoe being more comfortable by upsizing without first becoming too sloppy, unless, again, you have a narrower foot.
Where to Buy:
The 2011-2012 Nitro Team Gullwing is a loose, playful board with amazing pop, but it can get a little unsteady at high speed.
The Five Ten Women's Blackwing is an aggressive, slim, relatively comfortable climbing shoe that's most at home on anything overhanging. But they offer no protection from being klutzy.
The Conflict 2.0 wasn't designed to be the best at a single aspect of climbing, it was designed to be very good at everything. And it is. It's also very hard to beat its versatility for the price.