At the start of pretty near every climbing season, I face a dilemma: which climbing shoes to buy. When I first began climbing in the late eighties, the choice was easy. There were only a few pairs of climbing shoes on the market and they were all fairly similar. They were all high tops. They were all lace ups. They were all stiff as boards and none of them were all that sticky by today’s rubber standards. Now, there are literally hundreds of shoes from which to pick, and the choice is, shall we say, complicated.
Standing in front of the shoe display at my local climbing shop, it seems so daunting. Lace up, Velcro or slipper? Soft or stiff? Cambered or not? Slingshot rand? What type of climbing do I mostly do? Fit (which is the single most important factor in a shoe choice) aside, which is the right shoe for me?
Given the uncertainty surrounding new climbing shoes and how they’ll work for me, is it any wonder that, year in and year out, I pick the same make and model? Over and over again, I pick the Five.Ten Anasazi Moccasym.
Five.Ten Anasazi Moccasym Features
As climbing shoes go, the Moccasym is refreshingly simple, and none of its features are high tech. Five.Ten hit on a winning formula with this one. There’s just no good reason to change them!
- Unlined leather upper
- Soft and supple Stealth C4 sole
- Slingshot rand
Five.Ten Anasazi Moccasym Review
- Stealth C4 rubber is, in my opinion, stickier than a murder charge on Charles Manson. Even later versions of Five.Ten rubber do not perform as well.
- The sole under the Anasazi Moccasym is softer than a new-born puppy. This means sensitivity and gripability (the ability to grasp foot holds with your toes, much like a monkey) are high. This softness also enables the Anasazi Moccasym to deform to rock irregularities and smear like a champ.
- Easy on, easy off: granted, this goes for any slipper, but I’ll mention it anyway, because it’s such a huge factor in my decision to keep buying them. I remove them at every opportunity — no fuss, no muss — even when hanging at multi-pitch anchors. I suppose a “comfortable” shoe would suffice, but what’s more comfy than bare feet?
- The Moccasym’s low toe profile also makes it a surprise winner for crack climbing, especially thin cracks.
- Unlined leather stretches, which makes the Moccasym difficult to size. What’s more, the larger the shoe, the more unlined leather it has and the more it stretches. I figured my sizing out early on, so I’m set, but given that this shoe could stretch the equivalent of a full size… or less… or more… a correct size first try isn’t a foregone conclusion. You won’t know if you got it really right, until after a break-in period.
- Unfortunately, the soft sole under the Anasazi Moccasym also makes it difficult to dial in miniscule edges on slabs, which require you to place most of your weight on tiny features. Along these same lines, it takes a strong-footed, precise climber to really make use of something so soft. This is not a good beginner shoe.
Five.Ten’s Anasazi Moccasym has been around longer than almost any other model of shoe I can name, and there’s a reason why it’s the best-selling slipper of all time. I dread the day they discontinue this model — a day I might also consider quitting climbing. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll just buy enough pairs to last the rest of my life!
Buy Now: Pick up the Five.Ten Anasazi Moccasym and find out why so many people before you did the same.