April 29, 2021

Five Ten Anasazi Lace Review

by Jullie

Our review of the Five Ten Anasazi Lace climbing shoes will reveal one simple truth; that they are rigid enough for edging and, at the same time, soft for smearing. All these, blended with excellent toe jams and an accurate big toe, make the Anasazi lace climbing shoe incredible all-around footwear for all climbers

Also known as the Pink Lace-up, this shoe has been in the market since the 1990s. However, with the remarkable improvements through the years, it can still compete with other modern climbing shoes. Priding itself in a medium-stiff construction and potent edging platform, the Pink Lace-up is engineered for tricky footwork on steep terrain; therefore, we put it through a series of tests. 

What we like:

  • The pink lace-ups are among the best high-performance climbing shoes we've tested, and they are ideal all-around climbing shoes.
  • The upper is made using Cowdura faux fabric, which is handy in maintaining the comfort and durability of this climbing shoe but with minimal stretch.
  • Incorporating the Stealth C4 rubber makes this shoe sturdy and tacky, and it also delivers traction on plastic and different types of rocks.

What we don't like:

  • The Anasazi lace is a comfortable, aggressive shoe; therefore, it is not downturned enough for climbers looking for aggressive climbing shoes.
  • The tensioned heel cup makes this climbing shoe a bit difficult to wear and take off.

Five Ten Anasazi Lace Feature Highlights

Our favorite crack shoe, possibly overall shoe. It's comfortable, works well in the cold and heat, and jams wonderfully.

Five Ten Anasazi Lace Front

Feature Toe Box

The Pink lace-up is a somewhat asymmetric, averagely downturned climbing shoe. It is made with a spacious toe box that lets the front part remain flat and has a medium-rigid midsole. 

So what does this mean? The Pink Lace-up is supportive, providing stability and power on edges. Besides, it is versatile enough for slabs and smearing when sized up or when you break in. 

This makes the Anasazi lace better than most soft climbing shoes, such as the La Sportiva Skwama (read our La Sportiva Skwama review), which does not offer the support necessary for accurate edging. However, they do better toe-in on vertical terrain. What's more, this climbing shoe allowed us to feel the small holds underneath our feet. 

Five Ten Anasazi Lace Heel

Feature Heel

It would be negligent in reviewing the Anasazi Lace and not talk about the heel. It has an exceptional heel cup and tensioned rand system, and these two are the reason behind its impressive performance. 

The heel has a comfortable fit, and this is blended with the tensioned rand, which focuses your weight towards the forefoot. This mechanism has an incredible version of La Sportiva's P3 technology, and it makes this climbing shoe a unique edging beast. 

Also, some of our testers found that the heel digs excessively into the ankle, and the tensioned rand was not tensioned enough for their liking. The Anasazi lace-up features the "Cowdura" fabric applied across the foot on either side, leading to reduced seams and a simple change from the rand to upper. 

This fabric is incorporated to hold up the leather's breathability and comfort while reducing stretch. This also helps it to keep its original shape, compared to most leather climbing shoes. When it comes to versatility, the Anasazi Lace is exceptionally versatile. It features a shoelaces closure mechanism which means you can adjust the fit to your liking. 

Moreover, whichever terrain we were on, the laces never felt uncomfortable due to the marginally reinforced tongue. Even though the Pink lace-up performed well on almost every adventure we were on, we found that on more challenging and steeper boulder issues, we needed to switch them for other stiff high-performance shoes since they are better than the Pink Lace-ups.

At one point, we tested them on a long adventure, and we felt that they were relatively comfortable and had knife-like precision on all the routes we climbed. This climbing shoe is also ideal for belays, and the level of comfort they provide even on all-day adventures is terrific.

Five Ten Anasazi Lace Rubber

Feature Rubber

The Five Ten Anasazi Lace climbing shoe features the infamous and most preferred blend of rubber, Stealth C4. This rubber compound from Five Ten is extremely tacky, and it climbs decently on everything, such as gym plastic, desert sandstone, Yosemite granite, and river-polished schist. 

On the other hand, it does give up a marginal amount of rigidity and durability. Nevertheless, it delivers exceptional grip on any surface. It is a bit complex to compare it with some of the best rubber compounds from Vibram, which are integrated into most La Sportiva and Scarpa climbing shoes since there is a lot to consider.

However, we think that the Stealth C4 rubber compound could rank somewhere between the tacky and soft XS Grip2 compounds and the more rigid and robust XS Edge. Therefore on a climbing shoe like the Anasazi Laces with a rigid midsole, the C4 provides a highly reliable edging platform, and it does not give up any traction.

Feature Comfort and Fit

For a long time, Five Ten have produced climbing shoes with a heel that is not entirely comfortable, and this is according to the climbing shoes we've tested. However, most of these issues have been tackled with the Anasazi lace, which has a reduced-volume heel. 

The Pink lace-ups can effortlessly be sized up for comfort during long adventures or downsized for a tight fit during single-pitch climbing adventures. The faux lining is impressively comfy for single-pitches, though not quite during hot weather. This is because the Pink Lace-up has difficulty breathing, which reduces comfort. 

This climbing shoe has a distinctive shape which might not work for all climbers. For those climbers with wide and high-volume feet, this might be the climbing shoe for you. It delivers high levels of comfort and performance, which is what you require from any climbing shoe. 

Fortunately, when it comes to sizing, you can size them up half a shoe size more than your usual street shoe size for comfort during all-day adventures. Also, you can downsize them half a size less than your average shoe size to get that tight fit required for high-performance. But, down-sizing it will sacrifice a bit of comfort. Remember that this climbing shoe is made using faux fabric, which will stretch minimally compared to leather climbing shoes.

Lace Provides the Familiar, Secure and Reliable Fit, Climb after Climb.

You probably know someone who has stockpiled the Lace-up in anticipation of a chance on "To Bolt or Not to Be." To help out, we made the classic shoe even better. STEALTH C4 toe rand, new heel construction, and a lined Cowdura™ synthetic upper that fits like a glove, all provide the familiar, secure and reliable fit, climb after climb.

The Verdict

The Five Ten Anasazi Lace climbing shoe is designed to be an all-around climbing shoe for crack and face climbing. When it comes to vertical Granite, this climbing shoe is also perfect. From sticking to small crystals, handling fragile jams on tiny V-slots and cracks, to smearing and maneuvering tricky corners, the Pink Lace-up is undoubtedly a versatile and handy partner. 

The moderate-stiff construction, tacky C4 rubber, and a highly tensioned rand offer you the support and confidence required for the most challenging footwork. Even though the Five Ten Anasazi Lace climbing shoe does well in technical climbing, it is also a solid all-around climbing shoe that you can use in the gym. They are not quite suitable for bouldering since taking off and wearing them takes a lot of time. 

The lacing system is quite a handful, and it makes getting them on and off rather complicated. This climbing shoe is the perfect combination of comfort and functionality. Also, if you're on a budget, the Pink Lace-up is the shoe to go for. Hopefully, this Anasazi Lace review is helpful!

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About the author 


Jullie is a professional indoor climber. She loves speed climbing competitions. This style makes her feel like she's flying. Maybe because her other passion is flying airplanes. Obviously, high speeds are her thing.

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