Shoe Review: Five Ten Hiangles

Shoe Review: Five Ten Hiangles

At one point last year, I decided to count how many top ten finishers in the men's and women's bouldering world cup wore Five Ten Hiangles. Of the twenty top plastic pebble wrestlers in the IFSC world circuit, six were in Hiangles. That was by far the most popular shoe amongst the elite athletes. A couple months earlier, I picked up a pair for myself and I fell in love. 

The first gen blue men's versions turned your feet blue. But Five Ten figured out how to keep your feet unstained in subsequent versions. I bouldered three times a week in mine for a solid five months on really abrasive Walltopia walls. The edges are mostly gone but I haven't blown a hole in them yet despite my loud and draggy feet.

These are slippers, so they're a bit tough to get on at first. A few people have mentioned to me that they just cant get their foot into this shoe. Younger kids may struggle.Once in, the strap helps to keep them on once you manage to get your feet in and really keep things snug when you're throwing down a heel hook. The newer versions are synthetic leather and didn't stink for a while but they got a little rank after a few months. Maybe it's my feet. Out of the box, though, they were very comfortable. Some of the stitching was noticeable the first day or two, but not anymore. 

They've got a good downturn, and ample rubber on the top of the toes, which makes them great for climbing on overhung terrain. Toe hooks and bicycles are a fun with these. I found them to edge well on little holds and that famous Stealth rubber stuck well in smeary situations. Frankly, I think these are awesome all around high performance shoes.

As for youth, in USAC region 202 where we reside, there are a fair number of kids at the divisionals level that are wearing these. The women's versions are occasionally seen on boys, too, because they're good if you want something with a slimmer fit. Vice versa, there are lots of girl crushers out there wearing the men's versions as well. Fortunately, the colors are very tasteful for either line. The pink and yellow women's versions, which are surprisingly neutral, can be seen in the image below. 

 Lily, FYC. Coming off a bouldering season where she finished top ten in the nation in her Hiangles. 

Lily, FYC. Coming off a bouldering season where she finished top ten in the nation in her Hiangles. 

As with all climbing shoes, have your kid try them on and make sure they fit before you buy. If there are no local dealers, try a retailer that offers free returns and get two or three. Read up on reviews to hear feedback on sizing. I bought them in my street shoe size and found them a wee bit snug but perfect after breaking in.

Bottom line: A great shoe for junior high and older intermediate to advanced youth competition climbers.

The shoes tested, pictured at the top, were worn by me, an adult. 

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