Friday, October 31, 2008
5.10 Dragons Review Part 1
Well I have more or less tamed my new Dragons after a few days of wearing them around the house and actually took them to the Boulder Rock Club last night. So here are my initial reactions. More will follow regarding outdoor use.
First, if you like the V10, you will really like the Dragon. The problem with V10s is that, as with all slippers, they lack a really solid locked down instep, which is key (along with good core strength)for staying set on small edges on steep walls. By adding a lace-up version, 5.10 has built on the foundation of the V10 and made a more solid shoe.
The fit and sizing seem much the same as the V10 except that they are more resistant to breaking in. Be persistent as a snug fit is essential for this shoe. The heel area, probably the hardest to get right is tight and close and the forefoot feels precise and sensitive but with good control. The interior of the shoes felt clean and smooth with no aggravating seams. The lacing is easy to get in and out of and won't slow down your attempts on a problem.
I tried a couple of "elite" problems at the BRC in them, flashing one and falling off the last move of the other, so the shoes were not an issue at a basic level. On small footholds, the shoes stayed put and I was able to pull in well with them on steeper terrain. Smearing was not too bad but these are definitely not slab shoes.
On the whole, especially for the serious boulderer, I would unhesitatingly recommend these shoes. I do not understand why 5.10 discontinued the V10 but the Dragon is a logical option for those who want the same high level of performance and overall design.
I am looking forward to trying them outside very soon and will post a follow-up review.