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Five Ten Hiangle Review

Hiangle

Five Ten’s Flagship shoe, favored by some of the biggest crushers out there including Will Bosi, Janja Garnbret, and Natalia Grossman. The Hiangle are aggressive monsters hell-bent on sending spicy lines.

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Summary

Overall
8.15
(3 reviews)
  • Edging - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Smearing - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Steep Terrain - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Comfort - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Sensitivity - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value For Money - 8.5/10
    8.5/10

Pros

  • Extremely-secure heel that’s awesome at heel hooks
  • The highly aggressive shape is brilliant for steep climbing
  • Stealth rubber offers plenty of friction on rock and plastic holds

Cons

  • The blunt toe box isn’t super precise
  • Microfibre uppers wear fast
  • Not suitable for longer climbing days
  • The white uppers quickly become discolored

Best For: Overhung sport and boulder problems

The Hiangle is hell-bent on cursing up short and steep terrain. Its highly downturned shape, sticky rubber, and unyielding heel tension are just a few of the qualities that have put it up there as one of the most popular sport and bouldering shoes out there.

And as Will Bosi regularly proves, the Hiangle is capable of squaring off with some of the hardest boulders and routes out there…. but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without some drawbacks.

For starters, thanks to that super-aggressive shape, the Hiangle isn’t in the running as the most comfortable shoe I’ve tested, and I find that the rounded toe box shape is detrimental to its edging precision. Small smears using the toe box feel surprisingly good, but larger friction-dependent moves become difficult due to the aggressive shape of the forefoot, combined with the highly tensioned slingshot rand. 

But for $50 cheaper than comparable performance shoes, it’s a steal for those intermediate and advanced crushers on a budget who enjoy spicy sports lines, both in the gym and at the crag.

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Five Ten Hiangle Review

Model History

The first generation Five Ten Hiangle first hit the market in 2014 and was an instant hit, renowned for its awesome bouldering capability paired with a surprisingly comfortable fit. Many of the brand’s ambassadors began favoring the model over Five Ten’s former flagship model, the Dragon, a shoe that was used to establish many of the breakthrough ascents at the turn of the century. 

The original Hiangle was described as the “goldilocks of performance shoes” offering that just right feel on a diverse climbing terrain, with a surprisingly comfortable fit. It was a common sight on the World Cup circuit, as well as on the feet of crag veterans like Dave Graham and Carlo Traversi. But the model wasn’t without its flaws, most notably the blue dye in the uppers would cause – what many people referred to as – “smurf feet”. The heel also left a lot to be desired, unwilling to offer sufficient support required to crank hard.

Five Ten Hiangle Smurf Foot
The classic “Smurf Foot” caused by the old Hiangles

In 2019 the Hiangle got a fresh update and some serious revisions had been made. Gone was the blue dyed leather and in its place was unlined microfiber. The old heel cup was removed, much to the delight of Five Ten top athletes, and a new beefed-up molded heel cup was introduced. The new design featured a large, highly tensioned, slingshot rand that clamps down on the back of your Achilles, as well as significantly more rubber coverage on the heel, instep, and forefoot.

Perhaps most importantly, the new generation model introduced a split sole design, replacing the full-length sole. This offered the shoe more flexibility throughout the forefoot, at the slight expense of edging ability. Along with a male and female version of the 2020 model, the Hiangle Comp was introduced at the same time.

Performance

When I first squeezed into the Hiangle, my feet didn’t know what to make of them. The shape is unique, more so than other popular aggressive shoes like the Evolv Shaman or the Scarpa Drago. The fit resembles something similar to the La Sportiva Solutions, with both shoes having a highly downturned toe box, locking your toes into a position that resembles a pair of rubbery talon hooks.

Testing the Five Ten Hiangle
The Hiangle excels on steep boulders and sport climbs.

At first, they also felt pretty stiff (and extremely tight) but after a brutal break-in period, I started to find my flow with the Hiangle. After testing in the gym, as well as on granite and limestone, here’s my Five Ten Hiangle Review.

Edging

Bouldering in Five Te Hiangles
The blunt toe tip makes edging less precise.

Edging in the Hiangle feels a little conflicting. On one hand, the shoe’s amazing tension engages extremely well and offers great support when weighing the toe box. And for such an aggressive shoe, the Hiangle isn’t overly asymmetric. In fact – the heel and toe are almost completely aligned. This puts the “power tip” shoe somewhere between your first and second toe, helping generate more power as you hone in on those tricky edges. The power you can generate from the toe box is pretty impressive, especially out of the box, when the shoe still retains a stiffer feel before becoming fully broken in.

Yet at the same time, it somewhat lacks the precision I have come to know and love from similar models, including the Five Ten Crawe. Because the toe box engages both the first and second toe, it’s wider, and more rounded, than a more asymmetrical model that focuses power over the big toe. 

Also, because the Hiangle toe box curls aggressively, your toes sit in a tightly curled position with your knuckles pressed tightly against the high-volume toe box. This shape makes it difficult to see the tip of the shoe, making it noticeably more tricky to laser-in on those mico-features on vertical and slabby terrain. Is the edging of the Hiangle good enough for most gym holds? Absolutely. Would it be my first choice for working on a highly technical granite face with barely there features? Probably not.

Smearing

Smearing in the Five Ten Hiangle climbing shoe
For such an aggressive shoe, the Hiangle can smear surprisingly well.

For such an aggressive shoe, the Hiangle does a decent job at smearing, especially smaller friction moves that flex the toe box. But here’s the problem; because most of us are likely opting for a performance fit with these shoes, the forefoot is so downturned – and the slingshot rand so highly tensioned – that they’re reluctant to yield on those larger smears that require your whole forefoot.

Sure, you could opt for a bigger size and this would fix the problem, but then you’re going to lose the benefit that goes hand in hand with a performance fit.

Steep Terrain

Testing Five Ten Bouldering Shoes
Inside and out, the steep stuff is where these shoes really shine.

While the smearing and edging of the Hinagle fall a little short, it’s the steep stuff where the Hiangle really shines. How could it not? The talon shape created by the aggressive downturn allows you to hook and grab holds with your toes, like a majestic bird of prey clawing its way up the wall. 

The toe patch is a one-piece extension of the rand that covers the entire front of the shoe, which is awesome for toe hooks, scumming, and foot cams. It’s a fairly stiff rubber toe patch – especially during the break-in period – and certainly doesn’t offer the same flexibility as softer toe patches found on the La Sportiva Skwama or Tenaya Mastia. This is great for when you’re hooking on sharp rock, but also makes it slightly less willing to conform to different shapes. 

But by far my favorite feature on the Hiangle is the heel cup. Even as you pray your foot into the shoe, you can see – and feel – how tensioned the rand is. It clamps down on your Achilles tendon, suctioning your heel into the back of the shoe. This super-secure fit, paired with all that extra heel rubber, makes it one of the best heel-hooking shoes out there. 

Gym Climbing

five ten gym climbing
The Hiangle is a great gym shoe, perfectly suited to edging and smearing on volumes and large holds.

The Five Ten Hiangle is more than capable of taking care of business in the gym. You don’t just have to take my word for it either, a quick look at the feet of the World Cup athletes and you’ll notice plenty of pro-crusher wearing the Hiangle. 

Because gym holds are significantly bigger than what you will find outside, then the lack of laser precision in the edging that I mentioned earlier isn’t something that many gym climbers will likely even consider. Naturally, it’s the steep boulder caves where they perform best thanks to all those features we just discussed.

In short; the Hiangle is more than capable of helping you send your gym projects.

Durability

Durability of the Five Ten Hiangle
The Hiangle has shown some unusual wear and tear, including peeling on the rubber toe rand and abrasion damage to the uppers.

After Adidas bought over Five Ten in 2011, the build quality of their shoes has been questioned. But from my experience with the Hiangle –  and the other Five Ten climbing shoes I’ve tested – durability has never been an issue any more than it is with our shoe brands.

That said, because of the tight fit and the pressure of my knuckles on the high-volume toe box, I did notice that the material uppers started showing signs of wear pretty damn fast. And unusually, the rubber on the front of the shoe also started peeling at around the 1-month mark, which I have never experienced before.

But my biggest gripe with the Hiangle is that I’m categorically opposed to white climbing shoes. Sure, it’s fine for the pros who change climbing shoes more regularly than their underwear, but for us weekend warriors who want a shoe to last 6 months plus, your beautiful white shoes will go a dirty brown color within a couple of crag sessions.

Sizing Guide

I recommend sizing 0.5 – 1 size up in these shoes.

After speaking with my favorite Five Ten rep, I decided to order my street size in the Hiangle. It’s the same size I went for in the Crawe and the NIAD VCS. But as I prayed them onto my feet, I wasn’t so convinced I had got the sizing right. 

Honestly, at first, I found them very tight. Probably too tight, even for a performance fit. Nevertheless, I persevered, and after a brutal break-in period, the shoe softened up. As I got to the 1-month mark of testing, my opinion on the size had changed. Sure, I still had to pray them off after every climb, but the memories of the toe-crushing torture had somewhat faded, and instead, I was left with a shoe that felt extremely secure.

Would I recommend going for your street shoe size? Probably not, unless you really like tight shoes. I suggest up-sizing between a half and a whole shoe size, depending on your preference.   

Five Ten Crawe VS Hiangle
Compared to the Crawe, the Hiangle is more narrow, less asymmetrical, has a blunter toe box, and is more downturned.

In terms of fit, I find the Hiangle has a pretty unique profile. The forefoot width sits on the narrower side of the spectrum but the in-step volume is extremely high, likely to allow for extra space for your bunched-up knuckles. The heel is certainly wider than the old Hiangle too and is a similar shape to the heel on the NIAD VCS. I find the heel is a perfect fit for my heel and offers one of the most secure fits I have ever found.

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Community Reviews

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.

2 thoughts on “Five Ten Hiangle”

    • 7.5/10
      Edging - 7.5/10
    • 6/10
      Smearing - 6/10
    • 9/10
      Steep Terrain - 9/10
    • 7/10
      Comfort - 7/10
    • 8/10
      Sensitivity - 8/10
    • 8/10
      Value For Money - 8/10

    Very good for standing on small holds and volumes, toe rubber wears pretty easily but maybe that’s just bad footwork on my part. Size up because I got a size larger than my street size and can barely fit my feet in them

    • 8/10
      Edging - 8/10
    • 10/10
      Smearing - 10/10
    • 8/10
      Steep Terrain - 8/10
    • 10/10
      Comfort - 10/10
    • 10/10
      Sensitivity - 10/10
    • 7/10
      Value For Money - 7/10

    The shoes is great for the performance for a climber like me. I feel so comfortable even it’s downsize. Recommended for you all 🤙🏽

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