Fairly new to the scene in 2014, the Five Ten Hi-Angle is a balancing act of aggressiveness, comfort and affordability. It's got the down-turn to put down some work, but won't ruin you and your wallet in the process. Available at all 3 of our gyms (with the women's model only available at our Dallas location), here's the inside scoop of what this shoe's all about, and why you should care.
The Lowdown: The Five Ten Hi-Angle is a less expensive, and more comfortable aggressive shoe for those looking to turn it up a bit without sacrificing your feet completely to the merciless gods of climbing. It's really great as an intro to aggressive shoes — it's got enough downturn to get that bite you need on higher angle climbs (hence the name Hi-Angle OMG!!!!), but isn't so downturned as to start your feet in the process of foot-binding. Its slipper construction makes putting on this shoe uncomplicated, with the velcro strap only acting as a secondary closure. I will say, though, that the stiff mid-sole that gives this shoe such great precision also makes this shoe a bit of a beast to get your foot into. After a break-in period, the shoe gets much easier to wiggle into. And once your foot gains entry, the Hi-Angle's fairly narrow fit will contour to your foot like a glove, making the hassle of getting it on totally worth it. The precise edge on the toe and the stiff midsole give this shoe some really spot-on accuracy, that is often not found on some of the more aggressively down-turned shoes. No matter the angle, the Stealth C4 rubber will stick on a dime's edge. (I would know, because I tried because I have that kind of time.) The extended toe rand and more moderate angle of this shoe's last makes for some pretty great toe-hooking and scumming, as well.
It's made of unlined leather, so this shoe is much more comfortable, as well as much cheaper than many other shoes. The unlined leather is very breathable, and will stretch anywhere from a half to full size once the shoe is broken in. I must warn you though — if you purchase the men's version of this, the blue dye often transfers quite a bit, especially if you are prone to sweating. If you've ever seen someone walking around the gym with Smurf blue feet, it's probably cuz he's rocking Hi-Angles, or he's a Smurf, in which case DON'T STARE. Sizing is often true-to-size, meaning your street shoe size is often a good fit. Aggressive down-sizing in this shoe will leave you most likely in tears, so at most we would recommend down-sizing a half size for a more snug fit.
The women's version is strangely free of the color transfer issue, leaving all the ladies' feet looking as fresh and un-pink as when they started climbing that day. Currently only available at our Dallas location, this version of the Hi-Angle is lower profile and lower volume, with a smaller heel cup.
Who it's for: For the all-around climber, who dabbles in both high and low angle climbs who doesn't want to spend a million dollars on one shoe, or two million on several different shoes to accommodate their wide range of climbing preferences. Also, it's a great shoe for the climber who's looking for a more comfortable introduction into the world of aggressive shoes.