Edging - 7.5/10
Smearing - 7/10
Steep Terrain - 5/10
Comfort - 7.5/10
Sensitivity - 5.5/10
Value For Money - 8/10
- Great value for money
- Stealth C4 rubber
- Good all-around performance
- No specialized discipline
- The high heel tension takes time to get used to
Best For: Outdoor all-arounder
Summary: The ultimate all-rounder “quiver of one” shoe. There might be better shoes out there for smearing, edging, hooking, jamming, or all-day climbing; but the Pinks can do all these things – and more.
While the Anasazi line was discounted in recent years, it has now been replaced with the next-generation line NIAD.
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Five Ten Anasazi Lace Review
The Five Ten Anasazi Lace or ‘Pinks’, as they are simply known, have been a staple of the Five Ten range since the ‘90s. Over the decades they have built a reputation as the ultimate all-rounder and a loyal fan base due to the shoe’s reliable performance and adaptable characteristics.
The upgraded version of the Pinks boasts some new features compared to the old model, including an improved heel and a sole plastered with Five Ten’s famous C4 rubber. This shoe is in its element serving up technical footwork on vertical terrain. Unlike the Blancos, the Pinks have a medium-stiff sole that facilitates all-around use in your gym or local crag.
The Pinks have handled most styles of climbing I have thrown at them. From slabs to vertical and slightly steeper walls, they feel great. Be warned though, that the Pinks will reach their limit on very steep sport, bouldering, or modern competition routes.
A shoe that operates well in such a wide range of environments does of course come with some compromises. If you fit them tight for performance, they are less comfortable than other shoes we have tested for all-day use.
Because the Anasazi Lace strives to be soft enough to be good smearing, but stiff enough to hold a good edge, it’s not going to edge as well as a more specialized shoe like the Blanco. And because they are stiff enough to provide some support on long routes, they are not as sensitive as some softer shoes available.
In this Five Ten Anasazi Lace review, we will look at some of the standout features of these shoes, and what that means in terms of performance.
The toe is rounded, very slightly asymmetric, and just a tiny bit downturned right at the big toe.
The toe box is fairly roomy so your toes will sit flat, rather than in a crimped-up position. Combining these features with the upgraded tensioned heel means that the big toe is pinpoint precisely at finding and using small edges and pockets.
The rubber extends just enough up the toe to be used for toe jams of various widths, which I have found really enhances the Pinks’ crack climbing ability.
There’s also just enough rubber for the occasional sideways toe hook on aretes and tufas, but not certainly not enough for more extreme hooking in a big featured roof or modern competition bouldering.
The designed heel uses a moderately high tensioned rand. You will discover that once your heel pops into place – with the help of the two perfectly placed heel tabs – is held securely in place and your power is pushed forward into your toes.
This is the secret ingredient that gives the Anasazi Lace high performance without being a downturned or aggressively pointy shoe. Of course, the tension does create the trade-off of more performance but less comfort, even when climbing on bigger footholds.
One of the biggest improvements of the updated Anasazi Pinks (released in 2014) is in the heel cup. It’s evident from the first time you slip them on that the Five Ten boffins have been working hard to improve the back end of this shoe.
The suction effect generated from the heel gives you a really secure fit. During my time testing these shoes I’ve never had any issues with the heel slipping or moving when doing prolonged sections of slabby smearing or occasional heel hooking.
Ah yes, Five Ten’s legendary Stealth C4™. Arguably considered one of the best climbing rubbers out there, and unquestionably 5.10’s most versatile rubber. The C4 rubber offers an unbeatable grip on almost every climbable surface. It is used throughout the Anasazi lineup as well as a bunch of other Five Ten climbing and approach shoes.
Soft and sticky enough for friction holds, yet durable enough to last several seasons of moderate use, Five Ten have mastered the balance between durability and friction.
This exceptional rubber paired with the Pink’s stiff midsole gives this shoe that reliable edging ability the Pinks are famous for. And although 4.2mm rubber – paired with that stiff midsole – does give you great durability, there is a slight trade-off with sensitivity.
Sure, compared to high-performance soft shoes like the Five Ten Dragon or the La Sportiva Skwama, the Pinks might feel like clucky hiking boots, but in reality, they have very reasonable sensitivity compared to other all-around climbing shoes.
Comfort and Fit
It’s no secret that laces give you flexibility in the fit of your shoes. You have the option of having them looser for a day of playing at the gym, or tightening them up for when it’s time to get serious with those harder pitches. What’s great about the Pinks is that the lace extends far down the center of the shoe, allowing you to get a custom fit right down to your toes.
Just undoing the laces won’t make them instantly comfortable as there’s still tension from that heel rand gluing the shoe to your foot. The upper is thin but surprisingly comfortable, and the tongue is just long enough that I have never really felt any pressure from the laces, cuff, or seams in the upper.
Like any shoe, you could opt for a bigger, more comfortable size, or a smaller performance fit. In an all-around shoe like the Pinks, I prefer to have a size that I can’t wear all day but can wear for several pitches without having to take them off. The Anasazi Lace has a synthetic upper so they hardly stretch when breaking in, therefore I’ve only ever downsized the Pinks half or one whole size from my Five Ten approach shoe fit.
The ultimate all-rounder “quiver of one” shoe. Yes, there might be better shoes on the market for edging, smearing, hooking, jamming, red-pointing, or climbing all day: but the Pink can do all these things – and more.
Soft enough for smearing, stiff enough to edge, combined with great toe jams and a precise big toe this is a great all-around shoe for beginners and advanced climbers alike. I think Five Ten have found the sweet spot between comfort and performance with this mid-priced shoe. Having to buy one pair of shoes is a persuasive economic argument for any occasional or all-around climber.
Love the color but not a fan of the Anasazi Lace? You’re in luck! Take a look at the best pink climbing shoes here. I hope this Five Ten Anasazi Lace review has been helpful. Happy climbing!
We’ve had our say, and now it’s time for you to have yours. If you have a history with this shoe, then please leave a review! The climbing community needs your wisdom.