Note: this review is for the BLUE Team Shoe, not the new Black one.
I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about the Teams that really makes me love them.
Maybe it’s the fit. Maybe it’s the awesome heel. Maybe it’s the rubber on top of the toe box. Maybe it’s the sensitivity.
Okay, maybe I do know why I love them.
So I started climbing in the Teams after my first ever pair of shoes (the 5.10 Rogues, a solid beginner/intermediate level shoe) blew through. At the time, I was also getting to a point in my climbing where a more aggressive shoe would help me improve.
I bought a pair of Teams, and I haven’t looked back. My first pair was half a size too small (so I thought, more on that later), and even though they were the most painful thing my feet have ever experienced, it was totally worth it. The Teams did everything well – overhangs, vertical, slab…bouldering, sport…heel hooks, toe hooks…it was everything I wanted in a shoe and more.
Once I blew through those, I naturally ordered a new pair – this time half a size bigger. They fit perfectly, and my appreciation for the shoe grew even more. What is it specifically about the shoe that I like? Well…
- Velcro. They’re quick on and off. Great because they’re super aggressive and uncomfortable for long periods of time.
- Fit. I’m lucky enough that they fit me well. I could wear them as slippers.
- Heel. Plenty of rubber, and combined with the right sizing makes for outstanding heel hooking.
- Toes. There is a lot more sticky rubber on top of the toe than on other shoes. This makes toe hooking super effective.
- Sensitivity. The rubber isn’t as thick as on other shoes, making the teams ultra-sensitive (but still pretty durable).
- Versatility. The Teams can do it all (expect probably cracks…).
Recently, I’ve thrown the Dragons into my rotation (I’ll review them at a later time), but the Teams continue to be my go-to shoe, especially inside and for competitions. I’ve sent my hardest sport climbs and boulder problems in them. I just recently received a new pair from Sasha, since Five Ten doesn’t make them small enough for her.
Which brings me to sizing. My first pair of Teams was size 6.0. These were painfully tight. When I re-ordered, I got a 6.5, which fit me perfectly. But the pair that Sasha gave me is a 6.0…and they fit oh so perfectly. So I’m really not sure which is the right sizing, though I’m leaning towards the fact that my current pair (6.0) is accurate.
It’s difficult for me to compare my street shoe to my climbing shoes, mostly because I wear kids shoes pretty often…but I’m around a 5.5 street shoe, and I wear a 6.0 Team. Comparatively, I wore a 6.0 Five Ten Rogue and a 6.5 Five Ten Dragon. Do with that what you will.
Anyways, there are some downsides to the shoes. One of my likes about them – the sensitivity – also leads to a bit of a dislike. Because they’re a little thinner than other shoes, the Teams tend to wear through a little faster than you may like. But still, it’s not like you blow through within a month – and it’s also important to keep in mind that I climb 3-4 hours per session, 5-6 sessions a week inside. That’s a lot of climbing.
And another thing with the Team shoe is that sizing properly can be quite difficult. If your foot doesn’t fit the shoe right, they won’t provide you with the same effectiveness. People I’ve talked to oftentimes have trouble fitting the heel and the arch right. Sometimes the toe box is too narrow. This is unfortunate, because the Teams are an excellent shoe that I would recommend to anybody. But if they don’t fit, they would not be a good choice.
However, Five Ten redesigned the Teams this past Spring. The new shoe comes in a very cool looking black, and more importantly, they relaxed the slingshot rand and the intensity of the heel cup, allowing for a more comfortable and universal fit. If you didn’t fit the Blue Teams properly, I would recommend checking out the Black ones.
So, all-in-all, I would most definitely recommend the Five Ten Teams. I’m hard-pressed to think of any huge negatives about them. If you need an aggressive shoe with excellent rubber, sensitivity, and versatility, then the Teams are for you. What more do you need? They have served me more than well since I began climbing in them, and I foresee them being with me consistently as my climbing journey continues.