A confluence of factors have led me to the inescapable conclusion that I need to buy a new pair of climbing shoes.
The first factor is that I haven’t bought a new pair of shoes in almost two years, and due to a healthy stockpile I still have shoes in the rotation that are in some cases 7-10 years old. With my aging Five Ten V10’s suffering a devastating pull-tab rip the other week I’m starting to brace myself for the eventual retirement of these old standbys, and the rest of my collection is, frankly, looking worse for the wear.
The second factor is that in mid-June Mrs. Narc and I will be visiting the Front Range, and it would be nice to have a fresh pair of shoes at the ready for the bouldering we’ll be doing. Given my inability to “train” for more than a week at a time without hurting something I’m going to need all the help I can get to climb anything in RMNP or Mt. Evans.
The final factor, and perhaps the tipping point in the whole matter, is the 5.10 Days Of May promotion running this week at Rock/Creek which is offering 10-30% off my favorite brand of shoes, Five Ten.
While I’m still hoping to wake up one day and realize that the discontinuation of my beloved V10’s was all just a bad dream, I’m starting to think I’ll just have to move on. And while new models from Five Ten like the Quantums are certainly tempting (even if they’re not on sale) I’m feeling like I may be inclined to stick with something I know I’ll enjoy like the always reliable Dragons.
With this indecision in mind I’m curious to hear from you, the trusted reader, about what your favorite climbing shoe is these days. While I’ve been on the Five Ten bandwagon for the better part of 10 years now I’m certainly open to hearing about shoes from other companies, so don’t let that discourage you if La Sportiva, Evolv or a different brand makes your shoe of choice. Besides, it does seem to be the year for people to be switching their shoe loyaltiess so fire away in the comments…