Shoes with purpose:
The five Ten Hiangle are pretty good. Well, they’re actually really good, like really pretty good. The rubber is classic Five Ten gold, sticky and flexible. The fit is very comfy and in classic five ten shape with a rather high ankle closure. The heels are good, the closure is very good and the fit is great.
The lack of toe rubber for toe hooks is frustrating, although many major brands seem to do this. A little rubber covering the big toe and upper inside of the foot and that’s it. Which is, well…… not enough.
All this brings me to the major point of my short and sweet review, which is….. what or who are these shoes for? I mean, don’t get me wrong here, I love them, and I have found that as a setter they tick all my requirements, so when I travel, typically they have been all I’ve been taking. But does that make them a comp shoe? I think if I was really serious about a comp, maybe I’d pick something where the toe hooks were better, sacrificing some of the stickiness and comfort the hiangles provide….. but I don’t compete all that much anymore anyway.
Indeed the other issue is that the rubber is really soft. So you definitely can’t use them as a training shoe, or wear them day in day out….. you’d burn through them in a matter of months! Especially if you climbed as much as I do……
So, in my usual cyclic manner, what are these shoes for? You want super aggressive comp shoes, maybe get a pair of teams, you want comfy training shoes the Anasazis, or even shamans could fill that hole better, or worse/better, mad rock sharks (much cheaper)…..
But then, like I said, I take these everywhere with me, so there is definitely something appealing about them. Their comfortable fit, reliable rubber and heels make them a really great all rounder. So if you’re in a position like me and you don’t know what you are going to encounter, they can usually help provide you with the solution.
So maybe these shoes are for everyone and everything?? Not likely. These high-end shoes are really that. You want something that’s good, reliable and gets the job done 99% of the time, these will do it. There is no margin for error with toe hooks, but then, I think if you are going to use these to the best of their ability, that won’t matter.
Getting a pair of the hiangles is like being a chippy and getting a festool or mafell saw. They’re just better tools for the job, especially if you know how to use them.
Rating – 8.5/10
Follow Up – Posted 3 months later –
The line between love and obsession
I’m sure we’ve all experienced at some point, some attachment to an object that bordered (or was unapologetically so) obsession. That cowboy hat you just wouldn’t take off, not even for baths, when you were 5. Or the sneakers that you just had to wear with everything, you even tried on a suit with them and moonwalked around your room, before changing into your dress shoes.
Well, this is what happened with me and my hiangles. Lately, I have been spending a bit of time on the road, WA state titles, SA beyond bouldering opening, social comps here, state titles there. It’s been a busy few months and my poor hiangles paid the price. I mean, when Walltoys contacted me about them, the first thing they said is that the rubber is soft, and when I got them, the first thing I noticed was that the rubber was soft. I mean, I even talked about how soft the rubber was in my initial review! But still, I just couldn’t help myself. They were so comfortable, and for someone that almost lives in climbing shoes, that’s a big deal. They were easy to put on and take off, I knew they would just work and did I mention they were comfy? I just couldn’t get away from them.
I tried…. I tried pretty hard….. I took my Madrock Sharks away with me, I wore my evolv Luchadores for lead, nexxo’s for boulder, but nothing felt as good as the hiangles…… and alas….. I burnt through them in a little over 5 months!
Rolling in the hiangles at the set up of Beyond Bouldering earlier this year
So, I sent them in for a re-sole. I haven’t re-soled a pair of shoes in a long time, so for me, this was a big deal! I got them back very promptly, with an OK job. I’m not into naming and shaming, but it probably could have been done better…… But still, they had a new lease on life and I was once again hooked.
So here I am, slamming this down in a cafe before I head into another gym to set for another comp, and yep, you guessed it, the only shoes with me? Hiangles.
So in summation of this follow-up, I’d seriously consider dishing out a 9, or even a fabled 10, but I can’t….. They’re not perfect. The issues with toe rubber still exist and with such soft rubber, they don’t last half as long as I want them to, which is forever because I love them. I mean, I love them so much I am considering putting together an open letter campaign to five ten to make a replica with harder wearing rubber so I could enjoy this obsession a little longer and for more sessions per week…… But then, maybe they just wouldn’t be the same?
So, if you are looking to feed your addiction, check out the Wall Toys online store now.