Now, this may sound like a shoe review from a guy who climbs for Five Ten, who has been asked to do such a review. It is in fact not that at all. Simply put, I was never asked to do this review. I am so impressed with this shoe I wanted to share it and give some fit information which is greatly lacking online in the current e-stores. I have only felt this good about a shoe once before in my life and that was the Jet 7.
On Monday I received my new pair of Blackwing from Five Ten which has now very much added to the fire of spring bouldering. Since Five Ten had decided to discontinue the Jet 7 I have been worried about what my next go-to shoe might be. Sizing is always a question when it comes to Five Ten, as I fit a size 8.5 Anasazi, a size 8 Moccasym, a size 8 in Jet 7, and a size 9.5 in the Team Shoe. I fit a size 10 in the Blackwing on this order. They fit like a glove and are maybe a 1/4 size larger than my old Jet 7. After only a few minutes there is no question what my go-to shoes is. These are probably the best shoe I have ever put on my foot!
|The Five Ten Blackwing in all their glory|
One complaint I had from the Team Shoe was that the toe box was too boxy and would not give for precise foot work on granite and often times small feet in slots would not fit. A particular project I have been working on had a very small sloping foot in a deep slot. The toe box of the Team Shoe would push my foot off the hold. My Anasazi were not sensitive enough for the project and I was left with yet another unfinished line. With the new shoes my foot fits the slot and the toe box rubber is stiff enough to mold the slot rather than push my foot off. Very excited about the new shoe to say the least.
Review after a few days of use:
I just finished fore-running the Friday Night Bouldering Competition problems using the Blackwing shoes. The competition is held at the University of Wyoming climbing gym and tends to be vertical or just past vertical with only a single small bouldering cave. I have always used the Anasazi for the fore-run, but decided to use the new rubber. I climbed 42 problems in them from V0-- to V9/10 or so and am floored at how well these performed. They edge, they smear, they toe and heel hook, and they stick to things that I've never thought of sticking to and do it on every angle of terrain.
It is rare to find an all around shoe for bouldering that is down-turned. This may actually be the only pair of down-turned shoes that I feel completely comfortable putting on for hard slabs. In a roof there is no other choice. I am reminded of a very long roof that has often carried my imagination. The roof is around 35 feet long and all huge sloper rails. With the Blackwing my imagination will become reality in April when I go to lay siege on the roof.
As for the competition problems, I had to re-fore-run many of the advanced in my two year old, totally blown out Anasazi to be sure that the problems were not flukes of good rubber. Some were, and feet were adjusted to accommodate lesser rubber and the average shoe.
|Another view of the best shoes in the world|
Overall, a fantastic shoe has been introduced to the market that will for sure bring many people to the next level. If you are looking for a do everything bouldering shoe the Blackwing should be on the short list of possible shoes. Enjoy!