Five Ten reimagines the bouldering shoe with the Anasazi Pro. Hard rubber and a neutral shape – created in collaboration with pro climber Shauna Coxsey – produces an edging and toe-hooking machine.
Shauna Coxsey, the winner of multiple IFSC Bouldering World Cups, requested a toe cap for her tried and true Anasazi LV. The result was the Anasazi Pro ($170), released in April 2018. I put it to the test on limestone, granite, and plastic for the past month.
The Anasazi Pro is a stiff and flat shoe that performs best on routes and boulders that require hard edging. The shoe has a comfortable, relaxed fit and the legendary traction of Stealth C4 rubber. The Mi6 toe patch adds incredible toe-hooking and scumming performance. Despite its World Cup bouldering pedigree, the Anasazi Pro is best suited for more vertical routes.
Anasazi Pro Components
Five Ten took the classic Anasazi and added a molded Mi6 rubber toe patch, a more breathable tongue, updated closure straps, and increased heel tension. The brand then removed the liner from the synthetic upper to create the Anasazi Pro. The climbing shoe retains the slightly asymmetrical last, Stealth C4 rubber and relatively stiff midsole.
Stealth Mi6 is Five Ten’s softest rubber compound, designed to stick to the slickest of surfaces. Five Ten reserves the use of Mi6 as an outsole on only one shoe, the Team VXi, a specialized tool for competitions and overhanging climbs on polished holds.
Anasazi Pro Sizing
With the Anasazi Pro, I had to size down. I have worn size 10 across the board for all synthetic Five Ten offerings, but I took a 9.5 in the Anasazi Pro.
The shoe is unlined and has little to no stretch. The polyester-based synthetic upper and the molded toe cap aid consistency of fit over the life of the shoe. These also eliminate the ability of the upper to mold to intricacies of the foot.
The heel is narrower and of lower volume than other Five Ten shoes in my quiver. And the wide forefoot and low toe box height fit my “duck foot” exceptionally well.
Climbing in the Anasazi Pro
World Cup bouldering is insanely tricky and usually steep. And footholds can be delicate. I was astonished that a shoe with input from Shauna Coxsey, a high-end competition climber, would be so stiff, flat, and comfortable.
Those in her sport commonly choose shoes more in line with the Team VXi. This means soft shoes, radical downturn and asymmetry for sensitivity, and precision and power at the big toe for pulling the hips in when the going gets steep. These shoes typically have a tight, “high performance” fit.
The Anasazi Pro was the opposite. Other than the toe cap, the initial feel of the shoe didn’t feel like a competition shoe at all.
The break-in period was longer than usual, the relatively stiff midsole and 4.2-mm-thick Stealth C4 outsole gradually becoming more flexible and sensitive. The overall fit is relaxed, and the flat profile and low asymmetry provided a comfortable general fit from the beginning.
Covering almost the entirety of the toe box, the Mi6 toe patch prevented the upper from molding to the foot and gave an inflexible feeling. Thus Five Ten sacrifices a bit of comfort in this area to improve toe hooking in the Anasazi Pro.
The increased heel tension (compared to the Anasazi) was noticeable, but it wasn’t high compared to other performance-oriented shoes. The heel’s edge binding is stiff. It caused some skin irritation at the Achilles tendon when worn for long durations, but this improved over the break-in period. I appreciated the well-padded and breathable knit tongue; it was the only area of the shoe with perceptible airflow.
Excellent Edging Shoe
The Anasazi Pro is stiff and flat. So regardless of the design pedigree, this shoe was bound to be best suited for vertical routes and boulders where edging defined success. The rigidity and flat profile made standing on even the smallest edge productive and comfortable, even for long periods of time.
This isn’t a very sensitive shoe, so smearing on smoother surfaces felt insecure. Still, the Stealth C4 rubber provided steadfast adhesion, both indoors and out.
The toe shape made engaging pockets on more vertical lines effective – as long as they didn’t require smearing or high shoe flexibility. Toe hooking was a breeze. The Mi6 toe cap provided both dependable traction and a bit of cushioning, adding comfort to high-force maneuvers.
Interestingly, the stiffness doesn’t carry to the heel. This, combined with a somewhat baggy fit around the sides of the heel, made for only average heel hooking. The shoe’s heel could roll under high tension.
I didn’t test the Anasazi Pro in cracks. But the low-profile toe and Mi6 toe cap hint that it could be used on cracks when a stiffer shoe is required.
The Five Ten Anasazi Pro is a conundrum of a climbing shoe. The association with competition climbing and the Mi6 toe cap tend toward steep lines. But the stiffness, lack of high downturn, and asymmetry suit more vertical routes.
It’s a comfortable and powerful edging shoe with toe-hooking prowess and the lauded traction of Stealth C4 rubber. The Anasazi Pro became a top choice for bouldering at my local granite area, where standing on tiny crystals is mandatory and toe hooking the sides and tops of boulders is common.