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Gear Review - Five-Ten 5-X


Original Post
Sam Lightner, Jr. · · Lander, WY · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,466

Five Ten 5-X

I have been using the Five-Ten Moccassym for as long as its been around. I have worn those shoes on my hardest redpoints, most sustained cracks, and longest free-walls. If I were to get a photograph of my greatest accomplishments as a climber, the red Moccs would be on my feet in all but the ice climbing. I carried them all over Asia as the only shoe in my backpack, and I have had them on my feet so much that my toenails are slightly pink. That said, I have always known that there were a couple of caveats where another shoe might be a better choice. In recent years I have taken other shoes to places like Yosemite, Sinks Canyon, and the Black Canyon as my aging feet have grown weary of thin edges in the soft red Moccs. The new Five Ten “5-X” has taken all the greatest features of the Mocc and improved on them to erase those limitations.

The first thing you notice about the 5-X, besides the lime green color, is the closure system. Initially, I thought having a zipper, a Velcro strap, and the fixed elastic (similar to the Mocc) was over kill. However, after a few pitches I realized it was a great improvement over just having the elastic. With the zipper open and the strap undone, your foot easily slips into the shoe without over stretching and thus weakening the elastic. The 5-X, formed on the same last as the Mocc, feels and fits the same as its predecessor. With the zipper closed it tightens down like the old Mocc over your arch, and then when you synch down the Velcro strap you realize the brilliance of the closure… unlike the Mocc, this shoe will not roll on your foot.

Moving up any wall your gonna find the 5-X to be a pleasure. The slingshot rand gently drives your foot forward, and the Asym shape lets your foot fill the shoe and take advantage of a pointy toe. The C4 rubber, which really is stickier than any other rubber in the world, grips like a tick to the rock, and the heel cup holds you firmly in place while hooking around large edges or over a roof. The biggest change noticed when climbing is in what Five Ten has done under your toes. Rather than ruin the red Moccs soft and flexible midsole with a harder and thicker midsole, the 5-X features a “fishhook” midsole. This is synthetic fiber-board that runs under your toes to the arch of your foot on the edge of the shoe. Shaped like a fishhook, this .8 mm edge is only under your toes and not under the sole of you’re foot.. This hybrid-midsole allows the shoe to maintain the flexibility and sensitivity of the red Moccasym, but give the climber more rigidity under the toes. The result is a shoe with the advantages of Mocc that allows you to stand on very thin edges. I found that the fishhook also allows you to size the shoes a bit bigger and still maintain that rigidity for edging. I personally used an 8.5 Mocc on my hardest redpoints, but found I could take full advantage of this shoe in a more comfy size 9.

I put the 5-X to use for a month of spring-climbing. Straight out of the box it was in hand cracks and such in Indian Creek. The shoe behaved just like a new Mocc, cupping into the pods and toeing into tight finger cracks. A week later I visited the crimpers of Mill Creek, and found that the edging characteristics were so good I had no need for a pure edging shoe. As the season has gone on, I’ve gotten to wear the 5-X on a number of towers. The better edging qualities of this shoe allow me to wear them slightly bigger, so I often don’t slip them off on the belays. When I do want a bit of reprieve, I found a hidden advantage in the multiple closure system; the Velcro strap allows you to slide the show off your toes, but keep it synched down around the sole of your foot so you don’t drop them (been there, done that… finishing Fine Jade with a bare left foot is not pleasant!)

If the 5-X lacks in any category, it requires a super-anal approach to single it out. I suppose a purist crack climber could complain that the low-top design means you might get some ankle scrapes on an offwidth. A finger crack climber might worry that the extra thickness of the fishhook will make Optimator or Tricks of the Trade a bit harder, but the synthetic material that makes the fishhook is only .8 of a millimeter thick (less than a credit card) so it its really not a concern. As a desert climber I did put a layer of seam grip on the leather above the knuckles of my toes to protect the shoe in long handcracks. However, most climbers are not going to need to do this unless they spend WAY too much time at the Creek, and Five-Ten is wise not to extend the rand over the toes. More rand makes the shoe thicker, cuts down on breathability, and is not necessary for anything other than mile-long hand cracks. All of these nit-picky caveats are easily overcome as this shoe is more than capable of being used even in those environments.

The reality is that this is the best all around shoe I have ever seen. It flexes and toes-in like a tradition Mocc and it can stand on thin edges like a more traditional sport climbing shoe. On my next trip to the Valley, to the limestone of Wyoming, or out the door to a desert tower, this is the only shoe I will need to carry.

new
Brand new 5-X's.

The 5-X on Bridger Jack Butte after a month of use.

This is the shoe on Bridger Jack Butte after a month of use. They have held up well.

Joey Wolfe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,020

I'm going to have to try these out, thanks Sam

Here is Lee's review as well.
mountainproject.com/v/climb…

Jon Ruland · · Tucson, AZ · Joined May 2007 · Points: 540

great review, sam! just one question though: when using these shoes, how do your feet feel after a long day on a wall? personally i've had issues with my big toes and the balls of my feet feeling tender after a few pitches. how do these shoes treat those areas of your feet?

Sam Lightner, Jr. · · Lander, WY · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,466

Well, I dont have a problem there... yet. The longest I've worn them is on towers, so like 4 pitches, most of the day. Because I could slip them off I never felt like they were too bad. The shoes were comfy for a performance shoe, but the slip off makes them even better.

saxfiend · · Decatur, GA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,225

Nice review, these shoes sound great. The closure system is particularly intriguing.

I've never been able to make any Five-Ten shoe work for me; every pair I've tried on felt like I'd jammed my feet into a coke bottle. But these sound so nice that maybe I'll give them a try.

JL

Sam Lightner, Jr. · · Lander, WY · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,466

Hey Sax
If you notice I have sliced away some of the slingshot rand on my shoes. I didn't mention this in the review as it has nothing to do with the shoe (in particular) and everything to do with my old feet. I have to do this to every shoe I buy cus I have heel spurs. Those spurs might be from centuries of wearing the Moccs... or they might just be bad genetics. ITs probably a combination of the two. In any event, I have heel pain too and my means of dealing with it is to just cut away some rand. It probably takes a way a bit of performance, but it makes me feel better. Again, I do it on every shoe, not just 5-10s... so your fit -issue with 5-10 heel cups may not be reprieved by it... but it works for me.

saxfiend · · Decatur, GA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,225
Sam Lightner, Jr. wrote:Hey Sax If you notice I have sliced away some of the slingshot rand on my shoes. I didn't mention this in the review as it has nothing to do with the shoe (in particular) and everything to do with my old feet. I have to do this to every shoe I buy cus I have heel spurs. Those spurs might be from centuries of wearing the Moccs... or they might just be bad genetics. ITs probably a combination of the two. In any event, I have heel pain too and my means of dealing with it is to just cut away some rand. It probably takes a way a bit of performance, but it makes me feel better. Again, I do it on every shoe, not just 5-10s... so your fit -issue with 5-10 heel cups may not be reprieved by it... but it works for me.
Actually, I wasn't clear on my fit problem -- it's with the toes rather than the heel. In Five-Tens I've tried, my toes just feel like they're being crushed unless the shoe is unacceptably loose. Maybe these shoes don't have that characteristic, never know til I try!

JL
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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