Rubber and Quality
The Team 5.10 uses a thin, 3.5 mm Stealth Mystique rubber to give the shoe a little more sensitivity. In my experience, Five Ten rubber has been very sticky, but it hasn’t always proven to be the longest lasting. But Five Ten says that the new Stealth Mystique rubber is designed to be lightweight and have twice the endurance of previous rubbers, and over the past four months of use, the rubber has held up quite well. In fact, the entire shoe has held up well, and the overall quality is very good. The edge has lasted the entire four months—even with quite a bit of gym climbing, which can be hard on a shoe’s edge. There’s also been no delamination between the sole and the rand.
I used this shoe mostly on overhung boulders and sport routes, thinking that would be what they are best suited for; but I quickly found that they perform well on most technical climbs, no matter what the angle. The aggressive, down-turned toe does make it easy to pull in and down on overhung climbs, but they also edge very well, so I found myself also choosing them for climbs that have slab sections.
The inside edge and front toe edge work very well, and the shape that the shoe keeps your foot in creates an impressive amount of downward pressure. I was able to power off the smallest of footholds with confidence.
The only problem is the outside edge. Again, the shoe is quite narrow, so I found my foot pushing the rubber rand out just above the outside edge. This meant the sole of my shoe wasn’t the widest part anymore, so if I wasn’t careful, my foot popped off holds on thin edges while using the outside edge of the shoe.
For pocket pulling, the Team 5.10s did great. The rubber is very sticky, and I felt very confident on small, sloping dishes.
There is a generous amount of rubber over the toe box, which helps for toe hooks and for hugging featureless bulges with the inside of your foot. The heel fits pretty good, with just a little too much volume underneath (for my heel, anyway). This made it feel like my foot might slip out of the heel, but it never did, and all my heel hooks were very solid.
The closest climbing shoe I can compare the Team 5.10 to would be the Evolv Talon, which performs similarly. The main difference is that the Evolv Talon is a lace-up shoe, so you can get quite a bit more adjustment out of it to fit the shoe to your foot. I also found the Talon to heel hook a bit better than the Team 5.10, but edging and overall control is very similar.
Overall, I’ve found the Five Ten Team 5.10 to be a great technical sport climbing and bouldering shoe, almost as well rounded as the La Sportiva Miura VS. The main difference is the fit. The La Sportivas fit my foot much better, and so performs a little better for me. But if you have narrow feet and the Miura VS don’t quite fit you right, I’d certainly suggest trying the Team 5.10.
I’ll stress the “technical sport climbing and bouldering,” capabilities of the Team 5.10 though, because the Team 5.10s weren’t comfortable enough for me to use for trad climbing. Granted, Five Ten didn’t design these with trad climbing in mind, and I wouldn’t want to spend the extra time placing gear or shoving my feet into cracks in this shoe. (Even on sport routes, I found myself trying to take them off while being lowered off climbs.)
Again, I opted to go with a half size smaller than my street shoe size, but for my feet, it seemed that the Team 5.10 would have gotten too big and sloppy before it became much more comfortable by going to a size 13. Your experience may vary.
The Five Ten Team 5.10 performed well on just about everything I could throw at it, from overhanging caves to nerve-racking slab. My only gripe with the Team 5.10 is how narrow it is, which will be a problem for some, and perfect for others. So for all of you out there who have narrow feet and are looking for a high performance bouldering and sport climbing shoe, go try these on.
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.