Five Ten Rogue VCS Climbing Shoe
Available from fiveten.com; $100
The Good: A relaxed-fit shoe that will work both at the gym and out in the wild.
The Bad: A little too soft for more aggressive climbs. Makes a terrible dog chew toy.
The Ugly: Apparently, they’re delicious.
While I have done a fair amount of gym climbing back in my college years, I’m definitely still in the “entry level” category. It had been some time since I had spent a weekend climbing. The pair I owned previously were purchased under the guidance of one of my hardcore friends who subscribed to the Chinese foot-binding theory, so getting a pair in a size that actually fit was a big step in the right direction to get me back on the wall. These shoes were great for me. At a half-size larger than my street size, they still hug the foot in a way to feel like you’re not sliding all over the place, but you don’t have to rip them off your feet the second you hit the ground. The leather uppers are great for breathability, and allow for minor stretching as your foot swells over the course of the day. It’s also important to note that being an unlined leather shoe, these will stretch out over time.
The Rogue VCS’ are composed of split-grain leather uppers, with Stealth C4 rubber outers, and employ Five Ten’s Comfort Range Slingshot rand (the rubbery side of the shoe) and Active Arch Technology, which keeps your foot positioned securely in the shoe. They have two Velcro straps that allow for a moderate amount of adjustment.
During our Lover’s Leap climbing trip, Hazel, my puppy sidekick, decided to add her own two cents to my review. At some point, she snuck off with one shoe to give it a little chew test. She’d like to report back that while the mouth-feel was quite satisfying, the overall durability could be improved upon. She managed to rip through these bad boys in a matter of minutes.
Push comes to shove: Great middle-ground climbing shoes to cover both indoor or outdoor adventures, but make sure to bring along a more durable dog toy when Fido joins in on the fun.