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Five Ten Anasazi VCS Review

   
Editors' Choice Award

Climbing Shoes - Men's

  • Currently 4.9/5
Overall avg rating 4.9 of 5 based on 10 reviews. Most recent review: December 11, 2013
Street Price:   Varies from $132 - $160 | Compare prices at 9 resellers
Pros:  Edging, technical climbs.
Cons:  Expensive.
Best Uses:  Sport climbing, trad climbing.
User Rating:     
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 (4.9 of 5) based on 9 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (9/9) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Five Ten
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ March 1, 2012  
Overview
The Five Ten Anasazi VCS is one of the best climbing shoes on the market and one of the most popular among experienced climbers. I call them my "secret weapons." For years I have reached for them every time I did a climb at my limit. They used to be called Anasazi Velcro but got a new name when Five Ten changed the rubber and heel. What stands out is the precision edging these shoes have – I feel like I can stand confidently on just about anything. They are also easy to get on and off, which is nice at the sport crag or a hanging belay.

These are awesome rock shoes for sport climbs, boulders, and even big wall free climbs. They are very versatile considering how precise they edge. They have a firm sole that lets you stand on tiny stuff. For sport climbing and hard trad climbs, they are hard to beat. For the gym I would choose another model like the Mad Rock Flash or Evolv Defy which can be half the price and save these for outside. The top competition with this is probably the La Sportiva Miura which is also a very technical and expensive shoe. A ton of top free climbers in the world wear either one of these and to say which one is best probably comes down to personal preference. We like the Anasazi VCS better for granite and the Miura for limestone. The La Sportiva Miura VS is another shoe to consider. It is a little more precise than the Anasazi, but less versatile.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The Five Ten Anasazi VCS is a relatively stiff shoe for a low-cut Velcro shoe, which makes them incredibly precise on tiny foot holds. Also, the shape of the toe channels the edging power to one spot so you know exactly where to place your foot. They are among the most versatile Five Ten shoes out there as they can handle just about any terrain (depending on how tight you buy them). A lot of climbers use this as their only shoe. One friend of mine who is sponsored by 5.10 says, "At this point I pretty much have to stay sponsored by 5.10 because my foot is now in the shape of an Anasazi Velcro"

Dislikes
My main dislikes with the original Anasazi Velcro was the heel, which I often found uncomfortable. They have improved that feature so now I can only really complain about the price – at $139 they are not cheap.

Best applications
I have always bought these a little snug and used them as my go-to "redpoint shoe" for eeking out that hard sport climb or granite trad lead. They are also pretty much the only shoe I use for a hard boulder problem. If you buy them a little looser they could be used for all day climbs. They work for crack climbs but their shape is not ideal. They are ideal for standing on tiny edges… if I have not driven that home enough already. They are surprisingly well suited for all around climbing despite also being so high performance oriented. In contrast, a shoe like the La Sportiva Solution may be better for tricky boulder problems but does not have as good a range for a variety of applications.

Value
While expensive, these shoes are a good value if you climb a ton of technical sport climbs or trad routes because they are durable. When other Velcro shoes start to become "mushy" and imprecise, the Anasazi VCS is still edging strong. If you are a beginning climber or just want shoes to trash in the gym, these are overkill. Compared to other high end shoes like the La Sportiva Miura VS, it is $15 cheaper.

Video on the Features of the Anasazi Line

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: December 11, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.9)

100% of 9 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
10 Total Ratings
5 star: 90%  (9)
4 star: 10%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 9 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   May 7, 2010 - 06:13pm
rocknerd · Climber · Santa Barbara, CA
These are also amazing for pockets. That's what got me hooked on them when I was climbing in the Frankenjura in Germany. A review in a magazine when they first came out said something like "these seem to find their own way into any pocket". I fully agree and, I would add, they make it easy to then stand on it.

Big issue used to be the heel, and even with my newer model I don't quite trust it as much or feel as solid on heelhooks. Some of that may be mental, but as a buyer you might want to give a heel hook a try if possible before committing.

My go to shoes as well for most hard climbs.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Dec 11, 2013 - 01:49pm
Geoffrey gonzales · Climber · Pasadena, CA
Great toe, velcro stitching could improve to interfere less with strapping, the heel is not bomber.
Lasts a long time, breaks in well, stretches like 2mm or 1/4th of a size over about 30 pitches.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   May 10, 2013 - 07:03am
Bookpacker · Surfer · Berkeley ca
I've been through a lot of shoes, indoors and out. I'd try something new, then go back to the familiar like the Mythos, which have been around awhile like me. When I tried the Anasazi, the improvement in performance made them my go-to inside shoe, sized down a little from my street shoe, and still climbing the Mythos on multi-pitch. Then I got this idea to climb in a pair of Anasazi street size. For me it worked great, comfortable over the length of the day, very little degradation in performance, plus I could pop the straps at belay stations and give my feet a real rest.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Apr 1, 2013 - 08:46am
DW · Climber · Redmond, OR
Every climber should have a pair of these shoes. They are comfortable, durable, and will perform well in most situations. They work for trad, sport, and hard bouldering. They will stretch about a full size. I usually get them about two sizes smaller than my street shoes. They take very well to being resoled as long as the work is done properly.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 27, 2013 - 04:22am
TheRyan · Climber · Colorado Springs, CO
I am on my second pair of Anasazis. The first pair were the old model with the Stealth C4 rubber. They were the best all-around shoes I had ever owned. Until I got the new model with Onyxx rubber. Better by a landslide! Best pair of all around shoes I have ever climbed in, bar none!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 24, 2012 - 06:34pm
jmayfiel · Climber
Best all around shoe I've owned.

Good for bouldering, outdoor, gym, even cracks. I think they're comfortable. Edge well. Not super awesome at anything, but if you want a pair of shoes that you can wear for anything, this is it. If you fail at that problem, it wasn't this shoe that let you down.

Why not 5 stars? There is a better shoe for specific things: TC Pro for crack, Miura (lace up) for edging, possibly some hook shaped beast I don't own for roofs. I wouldn't call these my secret weapon, but they're about to go out for resole and I will miss them.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Apr 4, 2012 - 04:13pm
motta.rr · Climber · Rio de Janeiro
it is the most comfortable technical shoe I ever climbed with. I have reduced one full size from my first one and it still feels so comfortable that I thought I had sized it too big, but when I went climbing on "Pedra do Urubu" where there are almost only micro edges I was amazed how well they performed. Five ten really knew what they were doing!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jul 22, 2011 - 12:44am
Cormes · Climber · Cape Town
Best shoes to date, fit perfect and does not hurt my baby toe. Heel cup sucks to my foot. Love em! :-)

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 26, 2010 - 08:06pm
jfailing · Climber · Lone Pine
So killer! I've been a pretty devout Moccasym wearer for the past few years, but decided I needed a good pair of edging shoes and man are these rad! First of all, let me say that these broke in way slower than any shoe I've ever had. I only sized them down 1 full size from my street shoe and they hurt terribly for about the first 20 times wearing them. Once I sweat in them a good amount, they softened up a bit.

The precision with these puppies is amazing. It could be that I'm not used to a shoe like this, but it is way solid on some pretty small stuff. I've used them in the Bishop area primarily and they kill it in the Gorge and Happies. Can't wait to see how they perform in the valley.

The only issue I had with it initially - my feet are pretty narrow, so the velcro straps hung off the side and easily came undone when doing any crack climbing. This is easily remedied with a pair of scissors though. 5.10 has the best rubber in my experience, and I think these and the Moccasyms will be my go-to shoes for some time to come.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Five Ten Anasazi VCS
Credit: FiveTen.com
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