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Hands-on Gear Review

Five Ten Arrowhead Review

Five Ten Arrowhead
Price:   $175 List | $139.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Easy on off velcro, tight-fitting heel, edge on less than a dime, front point stand in pencil size pockets, great rubber
Cons:  Color, no rubber on top for toe hooking, uncomfortable for long periods
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Five Ten

Our Verdict

We don't like… we love every Anasazi shoe we've ever worn. Same goes for these. We would love to have a fresh pair of these in our arsenal for those rare and intriguing climbs when the crux is all about just keeping your foot on the tiny jibs. That said, these have some stiff competition. The La Sportiva Solution has rubber on top for toe hooking and scored a little higher. The Solution could be better if you climb a lot of steep (beyond 45 degree) angled stone and often use toe hooks. The Arrowhead has slightly more pointy toe for getting in pockets and edging and arguablly has more sticky rubber. Another top competitor is the La Sportiva Miura VS which has a similar agressive shape and edges a little better. It comes down to preference. Some people put on the Solution and say "wow, this shoe climbs so much better than everything it feels like I am cheating." Other people put on the Anasazi and appreciate the more simple design and fit. Put these three head-to-head in the store if you can.

For a more all-around shoe, we would stick with the Five Ten Anasazi VCS. It is more comfortable and almost as high performance while being much more versatile.

If you are just starting to climb, a shoe that is half the cost will get the job done. Check out the Mad Rock Flash or the Five Ten Coyote VCS.

New Version Update - June 2015
The Five Ten Arrowhead has not been replaced by the Arrowhead Orange Crush shoe. Keep reading to find out more!


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Men's Rock Climbing Shoes

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Score Product Price Style Upper Lining
86
$195
Editors' Choice Award
lace Suede Leather/MIcro fiber none
86
$185
Top Pick Award
lace Leather/Lorica Pacific (forefoot and back)
86
$185
velcro Leather/Synthetic Leather Unlined
80
$185
Top Pick Award
lace Leather Sentex/PU Foam
76
$165
lace Leather dentex
76
$175
velcro Cowdura⢠Synthetic synthetic
76
$165
velcro leather synthetic
74
$180
velcro Leather/Lorica HF
74
$130
velcro Non-stretch Synthratek synthetic upper microfiber leather cotton
74
$175
velcro Leather synthetic
74
$160
velcro synthetic Unlined
72
$145
lace Leather none
72
$175
lace Synthetic (Cowdura) none
72
$83
Best Buy Award
velcro Leather / Synflex none
70
$125
slipper leather none
70
$175
velcro MicroFiber (Synthetic)
66
$139
Lace 1.8mm Suede/Micro Suede none
66
$90
velcro Leather/ Synthetic Leather synthetic (tongue and arch only)
66
$180
velcro Suede/Micro Suede none
62
$150
velcro Leather synthetic
58
$89
velcro Elastic Synthratek synthetic upper nylon

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Chris McNamara
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Monday
February 21, 2011

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The New Version of the Five Ten Arrowhead Orange Crush vs. The Older Version


The Arrowhead is now available in Orange Crush, which you can see pictured below on the left; the Arrowhead (which we reviewed) is pictured on the right. We contacted 5.10 to confirm any updates that have been made to the Arrowhead; 5.10 confirms that no changes have taken place since we last reviewed the Arrowhead, other than a different colored tab on the back of the shoe.

Check out the side-by-side comparison, with the Orange Crush color pictured on the left and the older version shown on the right.
Five Ten Arrowhead
Five Ten Arrowhead
 

Performance Comparison



Likes


The Arrowhead uses what Five Ten calls the "next generation Anasazi last." This translates to a more aggressive and down-turned toe and high arch for a more snug and precise fit. It has similar asymetrical (pointy toe) shape as the Anasazi VCS that focuses edging power into a small point on the tip of the toes. The difference is that the Arrowhead has a more down-turned arch which makes it more suited for short burns on steeper terrain and less suited for all day, slabs, smearing, and cracks.

These shoes excel on steep rock with small footholds where precise toe placement on tiny edges, knobs or pockets is a must. The aggressive down-turned toe is for pulling on holds on very steep angles and for getting the power down on the toe even when the body weight is hanging back away from the wall.

True to legend, the rubber is super sticky. It uses Five Ten Onyxx for the sole and Mystique rubber for the rand. The idea is the Onyxx is better But truth be told, we like all the Five Ten rubber and have choosing a favorite.

Dislikes


The first dislike is trivial: we don't love the color. The orange/red mixture seems a bit bright. That said, it is personal preference and you many be saying to yourself "finally, a shoe that is really bright and expressive!" If you don't like the colors, it only takes a few weeks outside for the brightness to settle down with dirt and scuffing. A more major dislike: since this shoe is designed for steep rock, it is a bummer it is missing rubber on top of the toe like the like the La Sportiva Solution. This omission meant we often reached for the Solutions over the Arrowheads on those long roof projects and steep problems where we wanted to toe hook. If you are going to make the ultimte technical shoe for steep rock, it should have rubber on top of the toe.

A last dislike is the same for all agressive down-turned toes, they are not that comfortable to stand around in. To get the most performance, you need to size them tight. And once they are tight, you can't leave them on for hours. Luckily, the Velcro makes them quick to get on and off fast.

Like all shoes with this shape, they are great for tiny edges but don't give you the most comfortable stance on medium and large edges. They often don't smear comfortable or as well because of the tight pointy toe tip keeps as much of the ball of your foot from touching the rock.

Best Application


These shoes are ideal for standing on small footholds that require precise toe placements. Unleash them on your projects with tiny edges, knobs and pockets. This is a great shoe for extremely thin vertical rock to about 45 degree and steeper sport climbs and boulder problems. They are a bit too expensive for average gym climbing and a bit too specialized with a tight fitting toe for general all day face routes or trad climbs.

Value


These are priced similar to all high-performance shoes: expensive. Because they are so specialized, the only are a great value if you do a lot of steep climbing and bouldering.

Other Versions


Five Ten Anasazi VCS
Five Ten Anasazi VCS
  • Cost - $160
  • Most popular Five Ten shoe
  • Better for a variety of climbing types
  • More comfortable

Five Ten Anasazi LV - Women's
  • Cost - $165
  • Low volume version of the VCS for smaller feet
  • Not just for women, but anyone with a low volume foot!
Chris McNamara and Chris Summit

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: September 10, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.3)

75% of 4 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 40%  (2)
4 star: 40%  (2)
3 star: 20%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 4 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Sep 10, 2015 - 05:39pm
Dangalla · Climber · Eau Claire, WI
Awesome shoe! Love 510 rubber very sticky. Works great on all types of rock.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 28, 2013 - 02:00pm
dickie · Climber · Barnsley
although the shoe puts the power where it is needed and i had a good fitting session at the climbing wall i find that the internal stitching on the bottom makes it very uncomfortable and gave me a blister on the bottom of my big toe. not too bad once stretched a bit and with tape on the bottom of the big toe

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 3, 2012 - 11:10am
Just bought this shoe. I used it in Bishop. This is a fantastic shoe.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Dec 29, 2011 - 10:39am
Ray Lee · Climber · Hong Kong
Brought this lovely climbing shoes recently to replace my broken 5.10 Project. I just fall in love with this pair immediately, it has very narrow head (toe) which is very good for tiny foot hold and especially when I am going up side down. The heel design is a bit tricky for Asian (as I am a Honkey) but works for me very well. A toe hook plastic would make this shoe score higher points as well. However, it is not ideal for smear/friction climbing and the price is a bit high.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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