- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Size Bought: 9.0
Forever a great shoe. Enough said. Thank you backcountry for such a great deal!
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Professional climber Shauna Coxsey wore Five Ten Anasazi Pro Climbing Shoe prototypes when she won the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in 2017. Not only did she send in them, but she also worked with Five Ten designers to make a show worthy of her powerful prowess. Compared to the original Anasazi, the Anasazi Pro boasts a little more heel tension to provide better aggression and precision. The toe patch is also a new update to the Anasazi family, and it's made of Five Ten's stickiest Stealth Mi6 rubber for reliable friction. The bottom rubber is Five Ten's ever-trustful Stealth C4 rubber that Coxsey admittedly used when she first started climbing at the age of four.
Forever a great shoe. Enough said. Thank you backcountry for such a great deal!
Also, if you're going to order climbing shoes, do it from Backcountry. My gearhead Kayla was incredibly helpful, especially when trying on different shoes and returning sizes that did not fit. The gearheads will work to ensure you get a product you love, and if anything goes wrong or you accidentally get the wrong size, they will work to make things right.
I don't think I'll buy shoes from any other retailer ever again. 5 stars just for BC because of the process.
I have been climbing for about 4 years, and currently climb at around V4/V5 and 5.12a outside, V5/V6 inside. I have owned quite a few different shoes (will list sizing and models at bottom of review), and have really struggled to find something that works well for me. In most downturn shoes I have tried on, even ones sized modestly, I have pretty bad foot pain and cannot climb for long stretches without blisters or hot spots. I toughed this out for a while and climbed in the shoes "pro's" recommended, and I think it was pretty detrimental to my climbing. I had trouble leading above gear because I was focused on the pain, and hated doing boulders with small feet because it hurt to put pressure on my toes. I also found smearing to be a terrible battle in every downturned shoe I've tried on. It's hard to get friction on a wall when the bottom of your shoe is curved.
A year ago I started trying out flat, or slightly down cambered, asymmetrical shoes. After trying on a lot of different models, I bought some 5.10 Stoneland Laces, and loved them. I climbed up to V4 and 5.11b outside in them, and while I could notice a difference in their performance, the lack of pain allowed me to climb WAY harder. However, after 6 months or so they became so soft it was hard to edge well in them.
When the stonelands burnt out, I tried on 8 different pairs of shoes to try to find something that was a little more aggressive (think higher heel tension) and asymmetrical without being painful. While I liked the stonelands, they aren't the best for climbing above 5.11. Tried Vapor V's, Evolv Supra's, Tenaya Masai's, and La Sportiva Otakis. None of them fit well, they were either too tight/painful, or too loose with dead space in the toes. I was about to give up and get another pair of Stonelands, when I tried on the VCS pros. And holy cow, are they dope.
I got these in street size, and my toes are ever so slightly bent in them with no pain, no hot spots, and no blisters. I tried on half a size below street, and while they were more comfy than any downturn shoe I tried, my toes were pressing hard into the toe box and causing pain. The heel tension in them was perfect (pretty forceful without causing any rubbing), and there was a level of asymmetry that clearly increased precision without being uncomfortable. They were a bit stiff, but, stiff is good for the limestone I climb because of all the microedges. They weren't as comfy as my stonelands, but thats simply because the stonelands are so floppy after they break in that you feel like you are wearing a sock with rubber on it. The VCS strike an amazing balance of comfort and performance feel.
When I took them out the first time, I was worried they were too big. My toes weren't curled as much as I typically like, but as soon as I hopped on the 5.12 I've been projecting I realized they were perfect, and that I didn't need super curled toes to climb hard. Even with slightly curled/almost flat toes I could stand on literally everything I saw. The precision was downright stupid. There's this stemming move at the crux of the route, where you have to back step as hard as you can with your right foot on a terrible sloping edge, and put as much force into it as possible to cause compression between your legs so you don't pop off. I was able to crank down on that hold as hard as possible, without the shoe slipping at all. It actually felt like my foot was glued to the rock.
I have only wore these out once, and will update this review with pics/information after a few months of climbing, but I'm very impressed. They are an amazing all around shoe, and I think they will excel on vertical and overhanging routes, as long as you aren't past 45 degrees.
VCS pro: 12
Street size: 12
Nike: 12 (sometimes 12.5)
Vans: 12 (sometimes 12.5)
Futura: 45.5 (11.5)
5.10 VCS Standard: 11.5
LS Nago: 44.5
I've been using these solely for bouldering. I'll include the grades I climb at, because a shoe that works well for V0 isn't necessarily great for V8, or vice versa. I'm at a level where I can usually flash V4, work V5 and get it within a day or three, and with much projecting, occasionally get a V6. I've been climbing in Anasazi VCS 11.0US and Evolv Shaman 11.5US. My street shoe size is a 12.5. I have both shoes with a performance fit, though I don't mind leaving the Anasazi VCS on for longer periods. The Shamans fit like a glove, but a very tight glove, so I usually take them off between problems.
The Anasazi Pros I bought in an 11, the same size as my Anasazi VCS, and despite the Anasazi's being well worn in (already resoled once, and ready for another) the Anasazi Pros brand new felt about a 1/4 size bigger. Most of this I put down to the taller toebox, which translates to less power in your toes, and less performance. With your toes able to curl more it seems to create room in the back of the shoe and makes the heel feel a little less secure. I can feel the heel slip once in a while, whereas the VCS heel hold was bomber. I guess I should have sent them back right away and got a 10.5, just surprised to be having to size down two whole sizes with these. Otherwise, the comfort is fine, they climb alright, but with a bit less confidence than my nearly worn out VCSs, and definitely less than my Shamans. Would have been nice if they just slapped some extra toe rubber on the VCS instead of the making the toe box bigger.
Anyway, just a heads up if you're an Anasazi wearer looking to switch to these. You might need to go down a half size depending on your current fit. My Anasazi VCS fit is pretty much perfect, guess I'm gonna just keep getting them resoled, and use these as my in-between shoes.
I'll add, they don't seem to dig into my ankles at all, like another reviewer mentioned. No comfort issues, they just seemed to have grown a little compared to the VCS, perhaps they were trying to compensate for the fact that they expect them to stretch less, and just overdid it a bit.
The Anasazi's are a good option for someone who enjoys gym bouldering and climbing. They are just aggressive enough to get into some more technical routes but are well manageable for smearing and climbing at a low grade too. I would personally favor them on a moderate scale.
Buying climbing shoes is like dating; finding the right one is key to having a great experience. So far i love the fit on these after sizing up a half size from my street shoe due to a tight toe box. The shoes have a subtle downturn and fit my feet like a glove but did take some time to break in. I come from lace up full grain leather multi pitch shoes and wanted something comfortable but better for bouldering. The dark tan color looks great in person and the overall style aesthetic of the shoe is really nice contrast from the very brightly colored options for gym shoes.
Update: After a bit of break in i really like these as an overall gym/bouldering shoe. The heel cup is perfect for someone with a wider forefoot, medium arch and a narrow heel. They are easy to take on and off despite the dialed in fit and the split tongue makes these shoes very easy to get on and off fast. Why all shoes are not made with a split tongue is beyond me but its way more comfortable than a traditional tongue. The standout for me on this shoe is the grip of the stealth rubber. I can grip onto angles that i previously didn't feel secure in with other shoes with a comfortable fit and a pretty relaxed downturn for a competition climbing shoe, this might be my number 1 pick so far for gym shoes.
(UPDATED REVIEW AT THE END) I wore the original Anasazi Velcro in the early 90's when they came out and thought they were way better than the other shoes on the market back then. Pointy, sticky, simple, supportive, precise, no need for laces, and just worked on pretty much everything. It has been since the 90's since I've worn these and ordered the Anasazi Pro because I was curious how they would be with the modified heal and added toe hooking rubber. Well, out of the box I am psyched! They fit almost exactly to size as the regular Anasazi but a smidge more tight in the toe box because of the added rubber. I would suggest getting the same size if you have worn the other ones. I wear a size 9 in the Teams and the Vxi (which I have had several pairs of and think they are the best shoes ever) but I wear an 8 in these Anasazis.
The Anasazi Pros are very stiff and pretty much a flat shoe, but I am getting pretty burnt out on the overly aggressive turned down toes of the modern "bouldering/ sport" shoes. I am looking forward to having a little support and not feel like my feet are getting tortured as much.
I will update the review once I have put them to the test.
UPDATE: I wore them a couple times and bummed out that they dig into my ankles bad bad. The way it is stitched around the ankles is just not soft, at all, and don't seem to be well put together. They also seem to be missing any sort of comfortable lining to soften the fabric around your foot. Feel kind of scratchy (for lack of better word) inside. I don't remember having those issues with the original Anasazis.
They DO toe/ heel hook great and edge really well. The rubber is super sticky and no issues there. I also think they look cool, but won't be able to wear them due to the ankle cutting situation.
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