Five Ten Project First Impressions

Five Ten Project First Impressions

When I first saw random photos of people climbing in a new, top secret high performance Five Ten shoe last year I knew I had to have a pair.  This wasn’t so much because I really needed a new pair of shoes (I hardly climb enough to wear out any of my shoes), but more so because I’m obsessed with having whatever is “new”.  I’ve also been looking for a replacement shoe for the discontinued V10s, and I was hoping that this new Project shoe from Five Ten might help fill that void in my life.

After months of eager anticipation I finally had a chance to try out my pair of Projects a few weeks ago during my trip to Rocktown.  I was a bit concerned that they were too thin after trying them in the gym, but their performance on real rock was a pleasant surprise.  The best way I could describe how they feel is that they make it seem like you aren’t wearing shoes at all.  The Projects are so light and soft that it feels like you are just pulling on the rock with your bare feet.  It’s kind of like having an extra pair of hands to pull down with…without all the associated injuries!! (sorry, couldn’t resist the lame injury joke)

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Photo:  Danny

The obvious downside is that the Projects are not ideal for edging or face climbing so you have to pick your spots.  Remember, this is not a beginners shoe.  I did try them out on a few smeary climbs and they performed really well.  I could see this being useful in a place like HP40 for example.

Photo:  Danny

Overall I was really pleased with how the Projects performed albeit in very limited testing.  Right now they fit really well other than a small dead spot on the side of my heel.  It will be interesting to see if they overstretch like my Moccasyms or if they maintain their snug fit as they get more use.  (For reference, I sized my Projects the same as my Moccasyms which are size 9.  I wear a size 10.5 street shoe.)  I will also be keeping a close eye on the Mystique rubber to see if it really is as durable as advertised despite being absurdly thin.  I’ll try to provide another update in the event that I actually get to do some climbing anytime soon.

To give you a few more opinions, here are a few other people that have tried out the Projects:

Sicky Gnar Gnar

Hayden Miller

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14 Responses to Five Ten Project First Impressions

  1. eddie April 6, 2009 at 8:21 am #

    I’ve got a pair. I used ’em in IC and a couple steep sportie sport routes. They kick ass for smearing, but are of limited overall use. Amazing for Madness Cave and routes of that steepness but in overall badassness I rate them 2nd-line to my Solutions. Better luck next time Five-Ten.

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    • Narc April 6, 2009 at 8:27 am #

      What is this Madness Cave you speak of? Sounds like a sick bouldering area or something…

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      • eddie April 6, 2009 at 8:45 am #

        it’s actually a forest of hanging quickdraws, tickmarks, chalk and holds that are way too big.

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  2. phil April 6, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    i really wanted to like my projects but they just don’t work for people with wide feet. the strap wasn’t long enough and it felt like the shoes were going to explode. it’s really too bad, i’ve never had a problem with five ten’s in this way.

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    • Narc April 6, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

      It’s definitely a pretty unforgiving design if you have wide feet. I feel like my feet are right on the border of what will actually fit comfortably into the shoe.

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  3. sock hands April 6, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    narc stole my post! so, in the great rockemsockem shoe smashfest, this is how the narc will play: dirty!

    IT’S SO ON, BITCH! MY ARMY WILL MARCH ON YOU AS SILENT AS NINJAS, BUT IN NUMBERS MORE AWESOME THAN A SIAFU ATTACK!!!!

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  4. automated April 7, 2009 at 9:20 am #

    so far these shoes rip it up on the steep stuff. never had shoes so sensitive… ever (it’s almost creepy how soft, sensitive, and sock like these things are). this is due to the new rubber, which is only 2mm thick (check your current shoes — they’re probably around twice that thick). plenty sticky, too. HOWEVER, not good for face routes — feels you could bust through the rubber standing on a pointy crystal. reminds me of the old VXs (lace-ups), which 5.10 put out as a competition shoe in the 90s — they were so soft and thin that they’d wear out too quickly for normal use. only for the comps and the readpoint burns. similar story here, except you can use these for steep routes and boulder problems pretty consistently. verdict is out on the heel — feels a tad shallow to me. also, they’re a pretty narrow shoe — can imagine someone with a really wide foot being hosed trying to get into these puppies. for steep, hard climbing, i’d give em an 8/9 out of 10. no idea about durability or other longer-term questions.

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    • sock hands April 7, 2009 at 11:02 am #

      nice thing about online reviews is that you’re not limited by word count and you can post follow-ups.

      so, autoface: plz post here again when you get some more feelings about the durability, etc.

      i thinks that the narc and steve will do the same.

      whenever the speedster trickles down my way, i shall do the same.

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  5. Lynn April 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    I’ve got wide feet–girl’s feet, but wide anyhow, and they fit great…aside from them only being sized as small as a womens 5, (I’m really a 4.5) they feel great! I am a bit worried about too much stretch, as they are leather…and I found that heel hooking in them, really pulling on small stuff with the side of the heel, isn’t that great…the rubber just seems to slide instead of grab…although this was on plastic. I have yet to get them on rock.

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    • Narc April 9, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

      What are you waiting for!??! 🙂

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    • Jessi April 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

      So do you think these shoes are suitable for women? How long have you been climbing for. They look awesome and I am looking for a more overhanging compatible shoe but am just not sure?

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  6. Lynn April 13, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    Okay, now I’ve been on rock with them…unfortunately not steep rock. I’m sure my feet will get stronger, but for the most part I could almost feel the rock too much! Ouch! Again, my feet will get stronger…Any small, sharp feet were rather painful. I tried using them in a heel/toe jam, and due to the lack of stiffness in the midsole, my foot repeatedly came out…put on an Evlov Pontas and it stuck fine….my feet WILL get stronger. As far as is this shoe good for a girl, yeah, I’d say so…these are rather slim in the toe box compared to most Five Ten shoes. The heel isn’t ridiculously deep, so the average shallow female heel should fit it fine. I DO love them on the overhangs…though I’m still finding it difficult to heel hook on thin, shallow holds…the heel is pretty round & smooth, with no notches to catch the hold on. >:( maybe my toes will get strong enough to grab them instead.

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  7. Lee September 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    I have a pretty narrow foot so these fit perfectly, and by the time they were completley worn in, they were the most comfortable agressive shoe I’ve ever had. I disagree with a lot of the reviews saying it was a good smearing shoe. Over time I felt the rubber became a bit slippery. Amazing for overhangs though. My biggest problem however, was that after only three and a half months of use, a pencil sized hole was formed right at the toe. Honestly, if you’re going with five ten, I’d recoment the dragons, which I have almost no complaint.

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    • Narc September 17, 2009 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks for sharing your experiences Lee. I haven’t had much chance to use these shoes yet, but I hope to use them a bunch in Hueco later this year. I’ll be interested to see if I have the same durability problems.

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