The Five Ten Team 5.10 is a very aggressive downturned climbing shoe that performs exceptionally well on steep rock. The shape of these shoes is their most defining feature, placing the foot in an ideal position for pulling in on footholds. Additionally, their mid range stiffness makes them very versatile, capable of both edging and smearing well. In fact, since trying them, the Team 5.10 has become my number one choice for performance on most sport climbs and boulder problems.
To guide our review, we have broken the shoe down into its specific components to give you a full summary of its features.
The Team 5.10 are extremely downturned. This feature makes them great for grabbing and pulling in on feet, especially on overhung rock. The shape also really focuses the foot’s pushing power onto one small point at the tip of the big toe. The result is a shoe that grabs the rock better than any other I’ve experienced. Climbing in these shoes feels about as close to having hands for feet as possible. There is downside to this extreme shape and that is that standing on parts of the shoe, other than the focused toe point, can feel a bit awkward. The shape also makes these shoes a poor choice for any terrain that is less than vertical.
The Team 5.10 feature Stealth® HF™ rubber which, much like the shape, is tailored for the primary purpose of pulling in with the feet. The website describes the rubber accurately:
“Stealth® HF™ requires less downward force to achieve friction, which allows it to excel on overhanging terrain, and the incredible sensitivity of the Team 5.10 is ideal for high-precision footwork.”
The fully rubber topside on the Team 5.10 make them an excellent toe hooking shoe. The uppers a perfectly sticky and are built with a great balance of stiffness and sensitivity, the climber is able to feel what they are hooking while still having the necessary padding to use a lot of force. The heels on the other hand, might be the shoes least selling feature. When heel hooking on smaller features like crystals or little edges the soft material on the side of the heel doesn’t provide enough stiffness. That said, unless your project has a heel hook crux, you probably won’t notice this deficiency.
The Team 5.10 can become quite a comfortable shoe, but usually aren’t at first. One they soften up a bit the comfort level really comes down to how well a person’s foot can handle being held in a downturned position.
The Team 5.10 edge well but not exceptionally. The have a mid range stiffness which makes them versatile but not as well suited for really powerful edging as a stiffer shoe like the Dragon. Like most downturned shoes The Team 5.10 perform best when edging at the focused point under the big toe. Conversely, edging while backstepping can feel a bit awkward.
The Team 5.10 perform perfectly well indoor but they don’t excel as a competition shoe. Only on rare occasions have a seen world cup boulders wearing them. I think this is probably due to the Team 5.10 being not specialized enough. Most climbers will opt for the softer Team VXI or the stiffer Dragons.
The sizing on the the Team 5.10 is rather strange and should be noted. I recommend actually upsizing from your street shoes by a half size. I wear a size 9 in my 5.10 approach shoe, a size 8 in the Anasazi line and and a 9.5 in The Teams. What gives!?
Overall, the Team 5.10 is an excellent shoe for steep rock. For the purpose of pulling in with one’s feet, they perform exceptionally well. I’d recommend them as primary shoe for sport climber and boulder who want to climb a variety of steep terrain. I believe them to be the best all-around steep rock shoe on the market. Because of their versatility, the Team 5.10 does lack in some specialized areas. I don’t recommend this shoe for climbing terrain less than vertical. This shoe is also not suited for novice climbers as the shape is too specific.