Five Ten Team 5.10 (Team Black)

Matt Pincus reviews the Five Ten Team 5.10 black, Blister Gear Review

Five Ten Team 5.10 (Team Black)

Five Ten Team 5.10 (Team Black)

Color: Team Black

Weight: 7.2 oz (size 9)

Size Tested: 9

Fit: Performance with high asymmetry

Upper: Microfiber

Sole: 3.5 mm Stealth Mystique rubber

Closure: Single Velcro strap

MSRP: $160

Reviewer’s Foot: Average shape, narrow width, medium arch

Days Tested: 10; Fall and spring bouldering; winter sport climbing

Test Locations: Joe’s Valley, UT; Sinks Canyon; Wild Iris in Lander, WY; Fontainebleau, France; Ticino Switzerland; Red Rocks, NV

Zachary Eannarino reviewed the original Five Ten Team 5.10, which featured a blue upper, and characterized the shoe as a versatile tool suited for high-end bouldering and sport climbing on a variety of angles.

However, despite praising the original Team 5.10 as a well-rounded shoe, Zach also noted that because of his wide foot, the overall fit of the Team 5.10 was too narrow, and as a result was often uncomfortably tight in the toe box. Second, Zach pointed out that the opening of the shoe was quite small, and the elastic over the top of the foot quite tight, making the shoe difficult to get on and off.

As someone with relatively narrow feet, I never had any issues with too tight of a fit in the toe box, and experienced no discomfort while using the original Team 5.10 shoe. But I did experience difficulty in getting the shoe on and off; like Zach, I found that the opening was far too small. Taking the shoes on and off became easier as they broke in, but I still ripped off one of the pull tabs wrestling with a pair, and ripped the inside of one of the heels on another before the process ever became easy.

Five Ten has updated the Team 5.10 shoe. It has the same name, a new color (it now features a black upper), and 5.10 claims that they “increased the elasticity of the entry, so that the shoe slides on for a performance fit.” As someone who liked the original Team 5.10 shoe but was sick of having to replace them because of the damage inflicted in repeatedly wrestling them on, I was psyched to check out the updated Team 5.10 to see if the issues really had been addressed.

Matt Pincus reviews the Five Ten Team 5.10 black, Blister Gear Review

Matt Pincus in the Five Ten Team 5.10, Ghost King V11, Joe’s Valley, UT.

Sizing and Fit

With Five Ten shoes like the Dragon or the Blackwing, I have always downsized a full size from my street shoe to a size 8½. Although this is pretty drastic, I have found it provides the best performance fit and, once the shoes are broken in, does not create any discomfort.

However, with the original blue Team 5.10 shoe, the small entry meant I had to use a size 9 (only a half size down from my street shoe) as I could not get my feet in the 8½. With the new Team 5.10, I was hoping that the increased elasticity of the entry would allow me to get down to a 8½, since I was planning to use them primarily for bouldering and wanted as precise a fit as possible.

The new Team 5.10s are substantially easier to take on and off, but I ended up going with a size 9, as the 8½ still feels tighter than a new pair of Blackwings, which also have synthetic uppers and are difficult to break in.

To be clear, my inability to downsize a full size in the new Team 5.10 was not the result of the entry again being decidedly too small and tight (which was definitely the case with the original version), but more due to the overall construction of the shoe. Like the Blackwing, the upper of the Team 5.10 shoe is synthetic and does not stretch as much as a leather upper like the Dragon’s. This, combined with the large amount of rubber on top of the shoe, means the new Team 5.10 hardly stretches and generally fits tight to size compared to other Five Ten shoes. I am a proponent of downsizing to ensure a precise fit, but I would recommend being slightly more conservative when sizing the new Team 5.10 shoe.

So while my choice of size in the new Team 5.10 remained the the same as the previous blue version, my major gripe about the original shoe has been addressed. Again, the increased elasticity of the entry on the new Team 5.10 means that they are are significantly easier to take on and off. I no longer cringe every time I see a toe hook, and reach for the Team 5.10 shoe.

Performance

With my only major complaint about the original model addressed, I was happy to see that really nothing else has changed with the new Team 5.10. Just as Zach describes in his review of the original Team 5.10, the new Team 5.10 still excels at both sport climbing and bouldering on steep terrain, but is fully capable of both edging on vertical faces and smearing on slab sections of routes and problems. Because of how soft they are, the Team shoe does not provide the same support edging as stiffer shoes like the La Sportiva Miura VS. However, their down turned aggressive profile still allows the Team to stand on and power off the thinnest of edges. Ultimately, the Team 5.10 is truly a well-rounded shoe.

This is not to say that the Team 5.10s are suited for all styles of climbing, and I certainly would not grab them for a day of multipitch trad climbing or a day of crack climbing in Indian Creek.  However, they can certainly handle everything on most boulder problems and sport climbs.

Matt Pincus reviews the Five Ten Team 5.10 black, Blister Gear Review

Matt Pincus in the Five Ten Team 5.10, Pop Rocks V7, Joe’s Valley, Utah.

One element of the Team 5.10 shoe that Zach did not touch on is their ability to toe hook. The Team 5.10 features a large, relatively thick swath of Stealth Mystique rubber across the top of the toe box. I have found that the combination of the Team 5.10’s ample rubber coverage and its relatively soft design enables precise and powerful toe hooks.

While my bouldering shoe of choice has long been the Five Ten Dragon, I always bring the Team 5.10 along and grab them every time a problem involves a toe hook. In this sense, I’ve mostly used the Team 5.10s as a “quiver” shoe, often wearing the Dragon on one foot and the Team 5.10 on the other foot that will be toe hooking—though admittedly, I think mismatching my shoes in this way is mostly due to years of not wanting to wrestle the original Team 5.10 onto my feet.

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