I have been involved in the various mountaineering activities for few years now and climbing is a major part of it. Part of climbing, is sport climbing and is a great way to practice for difficult mountaineering ascents. Like in any other sport and/or outdoor activity, the proper gear and correct use of it can provide extra advantages to the user.
My first climbing shoe was the La Sportiva Tarantula, and although is a good climbing shoe for beginners, is not of high performance. Having used the La Sportiva Tarantula for quite some time, I then got in my hands a more advanced climbing shoe by Five Ten, the Anasazi VCS.
The Anasazi VCS is dialed for techy face climbing. It has a flat last (with slight asymmetry), stiff midsole and thick (5-6mm), hard rubber that will stick to credit card edges. The lined Cordura upper won’t stretch much so climbers can count on a similar fit for the life of the shoe (size accordingly). The heel cup has six slits that allow the rubber to mold to the heel. For hooking on arêtes and other tech features, they’re great, but don’t count on sick hooking on super steep terrain. They feel cumbersome on overhangs steeper than about 15-20 degrees past vertical because it’s hard to “grab” with them. Two burly Velcro straps cinch these babies down. Climbers with average to narrow feet will love the slimmer last, though climbers with a bit wider feet, like me, will not feel very comfortable to climb with this pair of shoes.
This is what the Anasazi VCS is designed for.
Testers wore these on a 600-foot 5.4 scramble up the First Flatiron above Boulder, unsure of what to expect. If they’re sized appropriately—a half or full size up from a performance fit—they’re awesome smearers. On steeper rock they’re still better than average due to their flat sole.
The Anasazi has never been the most sensitive shoe. But as the rubber wears down in the toe they become more and more sensitive on pockets and better at “smeadging”—a hybrid smearing and edging toe placement.
Design & Materials
One of the earlier Five Ten climbing shoe model. Anasazi VCS had been around for over 2 decades. It is one of those shoes that had been worn by climbers since the 90s. No major alteration had been made except for some minor superficial design change, along with different colour variations. There is a reason why not much changes were made to the Anasazi model. Because it was very good then and it still is. A design that had been tried and tested by generations of climbers can’t be wrong. It is a great all-around shoe with simple old school design.
Cordura Upper Material
Designed for living and built to last, the original durable CORDURA® fabric has proven performance in many of the world’s toughest environments. Made with high tenacity air jet textured nylon 6,6 filament yarns in a range of sizes – 330D, 500D, 700D and 1000D.
- Rugged – excellent resistance to abrasion
- Strong – excellent tear strength
- Water Repellent – finished, coated and laminate options
- 100% high tenacity nylon 6,6 filament fiber
Stealth Onyxx rubber is hard and durable—exactly what you want for edging. At 5-6mm thick, depending on the shoe size, the soles are relatively insensitive, yet will last longer than any other in this review.
Although many other climbers claim this is a very comfortable shoe just out of the box, my personal experience says otherwise. Actually, the entire period I have been using them, I have never climbed in comfort. In fact, my left foot is only 3 mm longer than the right one, but I had really painful experience every time I was using the Anasazi VCS on difficult routes (that require precise footwork).
I have tried also different sizes, but my final verdict on this shoe is that is NOT a comfortable shoe for the type of my feet.
In addition, for unknown reasons, Five Ten, have been changing the sizing of this show on each new production. This means, that if your current Anasazi VCS is size EU44 and feels comfortable, if you order a new Anasazi VCS EU44, chances are that will be way to small compared to the previous production model.
5.10 Five Ten Anasazi VCS – Product Details
- Lined synthetic Cordura non-stretch uppers
- Double strap Velcro closure for quick and easy adjustment
- Asymmetric toe box
- Stiff midsole
- High heel tension for a super snug fit
- Stealth Onyxx rubber for benchmark edging performance
Although this is one of the most famous and perhaps used climbing shoe around the world, my personal experience was not that great. In terms of materials, durability and performance is really good, but it was NOT comfortable at all.
Therefore, I have decided to not use anymore this climbing shoe and to move ahead to try and test another climbing shoe. So, stay tuned for upcoming gear reviews.