|Five Ten The New Pink is White: The Anasazi V2
£80.00, added Jul/2008, see all Five Ten news & reviews
reviewed by Tom Dixon
This review has been read 20,345 times
Amendment: Big Stone (distributors of Five Ten and Arctery'x - www.bigstone.co.uk) have just informed us that the new Anasazi is now available and they have shipped to the UK's independent climbing shops including Outside, Lakes Climber, Needlesports, V12 Outdoor, Crag X and Rock and Run, amongst others. See the BUY BAR at the base of this review.
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Here Tom Dixon takes a close look at the new Five Ten Anasazi V2 and also gives us a bit of a history lesson.
I've been looking forward to writing this review for
some time now, always having been a big fan of the
Anasazi line of shoes produced by Five Ten, which obviously
makes me something of a rarity! First though let's take
a quick look back at where this shoe came from and
what made its predecessors so successful.
The Five Ten Anasazi 'Pink'
© Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com
The original Anasazi lace up or 'The Pink' as it came to
be known and loved by the climbing community was the
shoe which set the modern standard and by which climbing
shoes are now judged. What really gave the Pink such a
universal appeal was its versatility coming from the
superb balance it achieved between sensitivity and
edging support. Here was a shoe with which you could
stand on a dime edge or minute pebble and then happily
rely on to stick to the most insecure of sloping
footholds. The heel of the Pink was always a point of
contention, it had loads of tension across the
Achilles which was great (I'll explain why in a bit),
though there was tons of dead space in the rest of the
heel cup, even when worn as tight as they would go these
shoes never really felt a close fit at the back.
OK, the tension in the heel: this basically rams your
foot forward into the front of the shoe delivering
more power through the toe and meaning it maintains
this level of performance as the shoe stretches and
breaks in a bit. Ask yourself how many people you see
with shoes which simply bend back off a foothold like a
pair of trainers as their shoes have stretched too
much and don't offer them enough support anymore? To
cap all of this off Five Ten had the soles that everyone
believed in, Charles Cole's revolutionary, Stealth C4 rubber. The chess playing, big wall climbing Charles Cole founded Five Ten back in 1985 and he's still there at the helm and designing shoes. There are many people
who maintain that Stealth C4 rubber is still the best blend on the
market (myself included) even though more modern
rubbers have been introduced.
Both Steve McClure and Sonnie Trotter wore the new Anasazis on their ascents of Rhapsody E11. © Hot Aches
To summarise, more people sent more hard routes
and boulder problems in a pair of Pinks than any other
shoe ever and I don't need to conduct a survey to tell
After a fairly successful revamp of the Velcro Anasazi
in which Five Ten introduced their new Onyx rubber, and
also the new heel design dubbed Magic Fingers, the
Pink followed suit with the Anasazi Verde. The new
design eliminated the previous dead space at the
bottom of the heel making for a much closer and more
sensitive fit. However, after trying the Verde I wasn't
particularly blown away. A few things were amiss from
the feel of the old Pink. After talking to quite a few
people on the subject there was a bit of a common
theme with the Verde, the fit seems a bit roomier and
that edging performance seems to have been lost. This was
a symptom of the toe being a little softer than before
and also a lack of tension in the heel meaning these
shoes don't hold your foot forwards as much, so you
New Anasazi: Available NowUKC Articles© Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com
The Five Ten Anasazi V2
This is where I am happy to introduce to you the
Anasazi V2 (version 2) not only is the name more like
my usual bouldering grade but it's white too reminding me
of suits worn on Miami Vice in the 80's - the height of cool if you ask me!. So they look
chic, but how do they perform?
Well Five Ten in their
wisdom have reinstated that heel biting tension and
stiffened up the toe so that once again you can
happily stand on coins glued to the wall, though they do
feel hard out of the box and definitely require a bit
of breaking in before they start to feel really good.
I don't see this in anyway as a bad thing however as
shoes stretched around your feet and worn nice and
snug perform better - which is what people buying a pair
of these are looking for.
In order to maintain the heel tension Five Ten
have used a double rand, so even when they break in it'll take a fair while before they stretch too much. I've found this shoe to
perform really well on edges and smears alike making
it really versatile. This kind of flatter lasted
performance shoe has been superseded by down turned
shoes like the Five Ten Dragon, Scarpa Booster or La
Sportiva Solution when it comes to really steep
overhanging terrain but where these shoes start to
falter on slabs and vertical walls the Anasazi Version
2 excels whilst being able to turn its hand to roofs as well, making for a superb all rounder.
If you have a narrower foot then it's definitely worth trying a
pair of the V2's as you can crank the laces right
in to make a for a really secure fit.
I'm happy to see the return of Stealth C4 on
this shoe and know that I'm not alone in saying
this, it looks, for the moment, like Five Ten are
continuing with the Verde so you can have your choice
of soles and stiffness. Now we just need to get them
to make the V10 again and everyone's a winner. (continued below>
Five Ten Anasazi V2 (pull on)© UKC Gear, Jul 2008
The Anasazi Version 2 has Five Ten's superb synthetic
leather Cowdura™ which has a great feel and resists
stretch really well so they don't become baggy once
you've worn them in.
In the past Five Ten have suffered in reputation with
build quality but in recent years this has improved
dramatically (I'm the returns manager of a shop which
sells them so I can guarantee this). The glueing
issues, which they've had in the past, seem to have
been resolved and so when you buy a pair you can be
confident that the sole will stay on.
I would happily recommend this new Anasazi to anyone who was a
fan of the old Pink, although I do feel some pressure now as some
people are zealous of the old model. Suitable for anyone looking
for a performance shoe which can turn its hand to anything
be it trad or a bit of bouldering.
What Five Ten Say?
We've refined the Five Ten Lace-Up that has delivered climbers to the top of more 5.14s than any other shoe. The lined Cowdura™ synthetic upper fits like a glove; providing the same fit, climb after climb, as the day the shoe was born. Stealth® C4™ rubber soles offer extremely high friction and great sensitivity.
- Lined Cowdura synthetic upper
- Stealth C4 soles
- Dual pull-on loops
Designer: Charles Cole
High-end sport climbing shoe with an emphasis on edging performance.
Five Ten Anasazi V2 (tie)© UKC Gear, Jul 2008
Visit the Five Ten Website: www.fiveten.com
Five Ten are distributed in the UK by Big Stone: www.bigstone.co.uk
Tom Dixon, age 23, works at Lakes Climber in Ambleside. Originally from Northumberland he boulders, trad climbs and enjoys days in the mountains in winter and summer and is at home in Fontainebleau as he is on Tower Ridge.
Tom Dixon© ukclimbing.com, Oct 2006
Tom's other articles and reviews for UKClimbing.com include:
- UK Bouldering 2007: The UK's Best Boulderers Feb/2008
- Snap Pads Dec/2007
- Bouldering Mats Dec/2007
- eVent Fabric Apr/2007
- The Boreal Mutant Apr/2007
- The Scarpa Stix Apr/2007
- The Moon Fingerboard Nov/2006
UKC Articles and Gear Reviews by Tom Dixon: