I shouldn’t get so excited by rock shoes but… well the whites are just flippin brilliant! When Five Ten discontinued these, there were some pretty unhappy people, there was even a Facebook group called “Five Ten – Bring back the Anasazi Whites!”. I loved them, they fitted my feet perfectly so that even fitting them quite tight I found them comfortable (I took size 11, compared to my street shoe size of 12).
Imagine my excitement when I heard that Five Ten were bringing them back! They were coming back last year, but the release date seemed to slip, I think partly due to a change or two that they made not being met with enthusiasm by their sponsored climbers. I’ve been delaying buying a new pair of shoes until they were re-released and so I was very happy to see my local store, V12 in Llanberis put a Facebook post up yesterday with a new delivery of Whites, boom! Perfect timing with a few slate routes on my to do list.
With a day on the slate planned, this morning’s first port of call was V12 to pick myself up a pair, turns out I wasn’t the first person to buy a pair either! They are pretty expensive, the RRP is £130, I think V12 are going to sell them for £115… Yesterday I’d been working on Slug Club Special E4 6a on the Seamstress Slab, so I thought this could be the perfect test for them.
The new Whites seem to fit exactly the same as the old ones and again I’ve gone for an 11. They are fairly narrow, very stiff (new design means they should stay stiff for longer) and the heel is pretty precise but like the old one, does pull into my Achilles tendon a bit – this softened up nicely on the last one so I expect these will do the same.
These shoes really do edge well, like amazingly well. My old ones are fairly rounded now and are a bit rounded on the edges these days, but I still love them on limestone sport and anything I want to be really precise on. But for now the new pair are going to be slate only shoes. I tried Slug Club in the older ones and the newer ones and was pleasantly surprised that the new pair were sticking really well to a couple of quite smeary holds that I thought they struggle with fresh out the box, as expected their edging performance was superb.
The only differences seem to be the eyelet rail construction, gone is the orange piping, they say the rail is welded on, whatever that means, the tongue seems to be made out of a really stretchy material and is nice and comfy and the laces are different (sad as this sounds that is a shame because the old ones were kind of ribbed(!) which made them stay done up well.
Did Slug Club go down? Well sort of. The moves are steady enough, but the first bit of gear – the spike at about 6 metres feels pretty high! So I, like many people I guess, did it with the spike of metal preclipped, I decided the risk of broken ankles wasn’t worth it and I don’t expect I’ll be rushing back, great fun all the same.
I always buy Five Ten shoes, they fit me well and the rubber is ace. Currently, as in the photo, I have:
Whites x 2
Velcros x 2, one for wall, one for trad
Hi Angles for bouldering and steep sport
Greens, quite knackered but great for smearing
Vertical Miles, old but comfy for work
Old Whites, virtually the same
Velcros (10.5), Whites much more precise fit, stiffer
Greens (11.5), similar fit, Whites have a far better heel, stiffer.
Whites then, they’re brilliant, buy some if you want a really precise, stiff shoe and you have a relatively narrow foot. They never seem to have held Steve McClure back…