What happened to Five Ten classic climbing shoes

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What happened to Five Ten classic climbing shoes? If you thought Five Ten is a brand category of Adidas… good for you. You are a young pup. Unless, if you are like me, an avid fan of the Five Ten Anasazi back when Five Ten was not just a climbing shoe brand but a shoe manufacturing company. For those who know what I am talking about. You will be wondering why is it getting harder to find Five Ten Anasazi.

History of Five Ten (The climbing shoes manufacturing company)

Five Ten was founded in 1985 by Charles Cole. A climber who spent lots of time climbing the rock walls of Yosemite and Joshua Tree National parks. To find ways to increase the grip on his shoes to stay on the rock wall he developed the famous ‘Stealth Rubber’ sole. Back in the day, the hardest climbs were rated using the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS). A YDS of 5.10 was considered an advanced climb in which climbers require great skill and focus. And with as much technological assistance a climber can get. Thus the name Five Ten.

Five Ten started producing climbing shoes in the 80s. The Five Ten ‘Stealth Rubber’ sole was one of the grippiest shoes available and climbers around the world loved it. This success helps Five Ten to grow rapidly. Five Ten also ventured into mountain biking shoes with great success.

Acquisition by Adidas

In 2011, Adidas acquired Five Ten. For a number of years after the acquisition, Five Ten still operates as it was. Producing and developing many of its own products. However, as of 2020 Five Ten is officially a sub-brand of Adidas Outdoor. Five Ten official product ranges are now found on Adidas’s website. The wide range of Five Ten climbing shoes had been drastically reduced and most of the classics had been purged from the product line or renamed.

Five Ten classic climbing shoes

Back when climbing is still very much considered a fringe sport. And climbing sponsorship hasn’t really taken off. The shoe of choice was Five Ten for many rock climbers. Many climbing videos in the late 90s and early 2000s featured climbers such as Chris Sharma and David Graham wearing Five Ten climbing shoes.

Anasazi VCS

Five Ten classic climbing shoes
5.10 Anasazi VCS

The iconic Anasazi is by far the most popular climbing shoe Five Ten ever made. Well more specifically the Anasazi VCS. The Anasazi VCS is a versatile all-around climbing shoe. It comes in a simple 2 velcro closure design and the Stealth Onyx rubber sole is a great compromise between grip, stiffness and durability. Definitely, a very durable climbing shoe that lasts. Adidas had discontinued or rather rename the Anasazi line to NIAD (Nose In A Day).

The Five Ten Anasazi VCS alternatives

If you love the Anasazi VCS so much and are unable to find the original version anymore. Here is the alternative to the Anasazi VCS.

Adidas Five Ten NIAD VCS

Five Ten Anasazi VCS
5.10 Anasazi VCS

The NIAD (Nose In A Day) VCS is the replacement for the Anasazi VCS. Design according to the original Anasazi formula but with improvements made to the shape and material of the shoe. There is no mistaking NIAD VCS is the direct replacement for the Anasazi VCS.

Unparallel Up Rise VCS

unparallel up rise 3
Unparallel Up Rise VCS
Five Ten Anasazi VCS
5.10 Anasazi VCS

Unparallel is a climbing shoe company created by the Ex-employees of Five Ten. And of course, Unparallel will recreate a version of their most beloved Anasazi. Unparallel Up Rise VCS is not branded or marketed as a replica of the Anasazi VCS. But, it does look very similar to the Anasazi VCS in many ways.

Anasazi Lace

five ten 5.10 anasazi lace climbing shoes e1652193053381
Anasazi Lace

The Anasazi Lace had been around for ages. Since the 90s this iconic pink shoe had been used by climbers on big walls and technical routes. It is a workhorse that climbers love. Adidas Five Ten has stopped the production of the Anasazi Lace. Similar to Anasazi VCS the Lace version had been rebranded to NIAD Lace.

The Five Ten Anasazi Lace alternatives

five ten niad lace climbing shoes 4
5.10 NIAD Lace
5.10 anasazi lace climbing shoes
5.10 Anasazi Lace

The Five Ten NIAD Lace is the replacement for the Anasazi Lace. The NIAD Lace similar to Anasazi Lace has the Stealth C4 rubber which is time-tested for edging and hard friction. An extended toe rubber is incorporated at the front for increased toe friction for crack climbing and toe hook.


5 10 Dragon
5.10 Dragon

The Five Ten Dragon is another iconic shoe. The Dragon is a lace-up climbing shoe. Aggressive downturned design with a super soft stealth rubber sole which is super sensitive and is great for overhanging routes. 2 new versions (velcro and lace) of the original Dragon were released by Adidas back in 2019. However, Adidas had discontinued the Dragon entirely. You can no longer find the Dragon on the Adidas Five Ten product page.

The Five Ten Dragon alternatives

Adidas Five Ten Dragon

five ten dragon climbing shoes detail 8
5.10 Dragon Lace
five ten 5.10 dragon e1652195247513
5.10 Dragon Original

Adidas Five Ten made a revision to the original Dragon. The new version of the Dragon was launched in 2019 and can still be found in some online stores. However, this new version of Dragon had also been discontinued and is no longer available on Adidas Five Ten product page.

Unparallel Sirius

unparallel sirius lace 3
Unparallel Sirius
five ten 5.10 dragon e1652195247513
5.10 Dragon Original

Apart from making the Up Rise VCS a replica of the Anasazi VCS. Unparallel’s Sirius Lace is also a Dragon alternative. Designed to wear and feel like the Dragon, comes with an aggressive downturned design and soft rubber sole.

Anasazi Moccasym

5 10 Moccasym
5.10 Anasazi Moccaym

One of the most comfortable climbing shoes available. The Anasazi Moccasym had been a staple for climbers since it was launched. An easy slip-on climbing shoe suitable for all-day climbing. Same as the Anasazi VCS the Anasazi Moccasym had been rebranded to NIAD.

The Five Ten Anazasi Moccasym alternative

Adidas Five Ten NIAD Moccasym

five ten niad moccasym
5.10 NIAD Moccasym
five ten anasazi moccasym 3
5.10 Anasazi Moccasym

The Adidas Five Ten NIAD Moccasym Climbing Shoes deliver comfort and simplicity with an easy-on, easy-off design. This version maintains the original low-profile fit and feel. Added rubber across the toe increases your options. A full leather upper conforms to your foot. Pull them on for gym training and outdoor routes alike. In addition, the shape of the shoe is significantly more asymmetrical which is suited for precise edging.

Five Ten NIAD Climbing Shoes

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