Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Extremely precise, great at standing on tiny edges and small pockets.
Cons: Expensive, takes time to get on and off, not comfortable for all-day climbs.
Best Uses: Technical sport climbs and boulder problems.
Manufacturer: Five Ten Anasazi
The Anasazi Lace-Up Blanco is one of the highest performing sport climbing shoes out there. Five Ten claims more 5.14's have been climbed with the original Anasazi Lace-Up than any other shoe. We can't validate the claim but it seems true, especially based on our own experience. We don't climb 5.14, but can say this shoe makes a big difference on hard, technical sport climbs. This shoe was recently updated and the name changed from Anasazi Lace-Up to Anasazi Lace-Up Blanco. The main changes are a snugger fitting heal and the change of the uppers to synthetic material. The idea is that this shoe will fit better and stretch less and make the shoe even more precise. This shoe uses the traditional Steal C4 rubber. The the Five Ten Anasazi Verde uses the new Stealth Onyxx Rubber.
Now that most performance shoes have a down-turned toe, these seem old school compared to something like the Five Ten Arrowhead. For people who want a performance shoe with a more conservative and traditional design, this one is hard to beat.
We would use a slightly softer-soled shoe like the Five Ten Anasazi VCS as the everyday sport climbing shoe and save this one as the redpoint shoe. Another shoe to compare this to is the La Sportiva Miura. Both are technical climbing masters. The Anasazi Lace-Up is ideal for more experienced climbers. For beginning climbers, we would recommend a cheaper and more comfortable shoe like the Mad Rock Flash.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
This shoe stands out for just how precise it is. Its relatively stiff sole means you can stand on really tiny edges – smaller than you probably thought was possible. The pointy toe is ideal for small pockets, which is why this shoe excels on steep volcanic rock and limestone. The rubber is as sticky as it comes. The shoe smears better than more modern shoe designs with an aggressive twisted shape.
It has such an asymetrical toe that it is not ideal for longer climbs unless you get it really big. We wouldn't do that because the whole point of this shoe is to have a tight, high performance secret weapon for those climbs at your limit where you need every little advantage. It's not a comfortable shoe (but it is not supposed to be). Get it tight and feel every micron of the rock! Like any lace shoe, it takes a bit to get on and off. That is one reason we do most of our climbing in the Anasazi VCS. Either you have to make an effort to keep this shoe clean or accept that it will show all the wear you have put it through. There is no rubber on top of the toe for toe hooking, which new school climbers may find a big drawback.
This shoe is expensive; it's priced like the high-performance shoe it is. If you are looking for every little advantage on technical routes, it is worth it.
Video on the Features of the Anasazi Line
— Chris McNamara
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Most recent review: April 18, 2014
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