CGR tests out the super comfortable Rogue velcros from 5.10
Built on our Anasazi last, the Rogue VCS has a premium leather upper that conforms to your foot. This comfortable climbing shoe is designed for gym-to-rock performance and features our Comfort Range Slingshot and Active Arch Technology.
I spend a lot of time ion climbing shoes, either when instructing, training or my own personal climbing. I have discovered, over time that you need a shoe that is comfortable as well as having good performance. Most people fit their climbing shoes much too small in the mistaken belief that they need that for the shoe to perform. Climbing shoe manufacturers have made great strides in the design of shoes to do both – I just feel that people’s opinions need to catch up. I usually advise to go to a specialist shop and try on all the types of shoe they have to see which one fits best, start with the shoe being a half a size smaller and go from there.
And so it was with new, redesigned 5.10 Rogue VCS shoes that popped onto my desk for review. My usual review size is a UK7.5 (EUR 41.5) as I can make a fair comparison for fit against other makes and models. I’ll come to fit later but first I’ll discuss styling. The 5.10 Rogue VCS is built on the legendary Anasazi last so it looks similar to the Anasazi velcro shoes but it has some distinguishable differences. The uppers are made of leather and not the Cowdura faux leather that is more usual in the 5.10 performance range. It must be noted however that the shoes have been designed as an all day comfort shoe that would suit beginners and climbers making the transition from climbing wall to outside, so leather works better in these situations as it stretches more as the day goes on and your feet getter bigger (they do as they heat up). This is a significant improvement on the 2010 model.
The styling gives them more of a performance look than the more traditional beginners shoe so they would be great for trialling before you go straight into the more uncomfortable performance styles. The bright blue and charcoal colour combination looks good without it being too garish and is contrasted with bright green stitching and closure loops. So the styling offers a performance look without the feel that you’ve got disco shoes on your feet.
The leather uppers have the advantage of allowing the shoe to breathe, this definitely is a good advantage over other models in the 5.10 range (not all are made from Cowdura) as they will not smell as bad over time. So I would always recommend for people with foot odour that they buy a leather upper climbing shoe. That said the tongue and some of the inside of the shoe is made from microfiber so they won’t have full breathablility. The tongue was well padded with a brushed velour lining that made it very comfortable. The velcro straps were also made from microfiber and fed through a hard plastic hole to give a good range of fitting options.
As I said earlier the 5.10 Rogue VCS has the same shape as the 5.10 Anasazi, my feeling is it isn’t as radially asymmetric as the Anasazi and this is what makes it more comfortable. The shoe has a complete rand and good coverage in the toe for toe hooking for foot jamming. The heel has been resigned from the 2010 model and fitted nicely, it performed reasonably well heelhooking. The heel was finished with an offset pull tab. This is again a remodel on the 2010 version that had two pull tabs. This one works much better because the shoes are easier to pull on and off and, more importantly, the shoes are bought together in a much more tidy fashion for clipping onto your harness. A nice touch.
The rubber is the legendary Stealth C4 and was very sticky on all the rock types I tested it on (Mountain Rhyolite, Gritstone and Limestone). The sole was very soft and I really felt this on long and multi pitch routes. The comfort was excellent but I could often feel sharp holds through the shoes and my feet got tired after a while.
The sole has no midsole stiffener so felt very soft and bendy. This was fine for indoor climbing but for someone who relies on footwork I found them much too soft for my style of climbing. Most of the time of the time this didn’t matter as I’m hanging around on lower grade climbs teaching people to multi pitch climb or lead. But as soon as I got into the VS range and above I felt that I needed a stiffer shoe. I haven’t climbed anything harder than HVS in these as I feel the shoes are not designed for harder climbs.
So to conclude – the 5.10 Rogue VCS is a great improvement on the 2010 model. They are supremely comfortable and will be a great beginner shoe for people just starting out and making that all important transition from climbing wall/gym to outdoor climbing. I have worn them for instructing, muliti pitch climbing to VS, single pitch climbing and sport climbing as well as bouldering and they have performed well. Do remember to size them appropriately as they will stretch over time and that they are definitely not a hard, performance shoe. The range comes in a lace up version for extra precision and a women’s specific version. Sizes UK 1-13 in half sizes and UK 14.
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