Adidas Five Ten today released the Hiangle Pro, a shoe the brand designed specifically for World Cup competitions and the Tokyo Olympics.
In the past few years several brands of climbing shoes have been launched Indoor or bouldering shoes, adapted to the more gymnastic and sporty style of modern climbing. These shoes are usually softer, more sensitive and can hook and scratch your toes better than “normal” sports shoes.
But adidas Five Ten went one step further with the Hiangle Pro (US $ 160), addressing a central topic for the high-end climber. Because of the parkour attitude that has infiltrated the sport, the Hiangle uses a wrap-sole design to improve the transition between the shoe sole and the inner edge. Adidas Five Ten also made similar improvements to the heel.
I trained in the Hiangle Pros for 2 months, at least twice a week, on my home boards and occasionally in the local gyms to see if the design improvements carried over to the wall.
Five Ten Hiangle Pro: Solving the climbing shoe corner
Every gym and competition route setter mixes the volume at high rates, presenting unique challenges to those at the forefront of performance. If you dynamically move away from a volume or put a toe hook on an edge, both show what adidas Five Ten intended to do with this shoe – to transfer the pressure between the sole and the inner edge of the shoe.
In almost all climbing shoes, the perimeter of the outsole has a 90-degree edge where it meets the edge. This “corner” concentrates the pressure on a tiny surface as the foot rolls from below to the inside edge or vice versa. And this can overwhelm frictional forces, resulting in slippage.
Yes, it’s a nuanced subject, but it can make all the difference in the upper tier of competitive climbers. The Hiangle Pro addresses this directly and also addresses a similar problem when rolling and moving off the heel.
3D molded sole
Instead of a flat outsole that is bonded to the upper, adidas Five Ten has developed a 3D molded outsole that wraps around the medial forefoot. This construction eliminates the traditional sole edge and provides a more continuous surface to apply pressure.
The rubber of the sole varies in thickness from 3.5 mm under the feet to 2.1 mm in the forefoot area. The design aims to improve sensitivity where it matters most. The perfect adhesion of the compound itself comes from the legendary Stealth C4 rubber.
Adidas Five Ten also paid attention to the heel. The heel is completely covered with rubber and built on a continuous, unbroken longitudinal curve from the back of the shoe over the metatarsus to the toe.
The same continuity applies to the vertical aspect of the heel. There is no heel packaging, so the rubber surface is mostly homogeneous. Five Ten claims that this surface continuity allows dynamic loading without repositioning and smooth transitions from the heel to other parts of the shoe – all without forcing the contact area to break.
Hiangle Pro: Compliant upper
Five Ten constructed the unlined upper material from a high-quality microfiber, which was initially difficult to distinguish from natural leather. I’m wearing a size 10 street shoe and a size 10.5 (yes, I had to get bigger) Hiangle Pro – a verified pound per pair – felt too tight on my toe knuckles after unpacking, especially with the sharp downswing.
But Five Ten told me that this was actually the right size. Adidas chose this material because of its ability to stretch just enough to accommodate space.
adidas Five Ten Hiangle Pro climbing shoe review
In fact, this microfiber upper stretched within the first moonboard session to better fit my foot. There wasn’t a bit of slop, and within four sessions I was able to leave it on for an hour without complaint.
They always felt perfectly “competitive” after this slump, so the individual Velcro fastener felt unnecessary, unless I hooked my heels with all my might. I also found the upper to be pleasantly breathable, a bonus for such a tight-fitting shoe.
The lack of a definite inside edge of the shoe was initially a challenge for slightly overhanging terrain and tiny edges. I was used to using the edge of a glued sole as a guide as the feel of the sole extending all the way to the wall indicated that I was using the entire handle.
This feeling changed with the continuous winding surface of the sole of the Hiangle Pro. I had to pay a little more attention while placing it and put more pressure on the wall to get feedback that inspires confidence.
But I quickly mastered these differences. In fact, rolling from the smear to the inside edge was a lot safer. And the smaller the edge, the more contrasting the continuous surface.
The dynamic departure of larger holds, especially slopers, has also been improved. It felt seamless to get the last bit of upward momentum by curling up on the inside of your big toe to lift off. Uncomfortable transitions with larger holds and volumes, like pinching with both feet to move to an inside edge, felt safer.
If the edges of the feet were tiny or indistinct, the combination of edge and smear (“smear”) with the Hiangle sole was more productive. The thinner rubber at the curved and even transition point from the sole to the inner edge created just the right angle. It enabled high pressures directly against the feature with much more sensitivity compared to a standard shoe.
I considered this ability to forge one of the shoe’s strongest traits when the kicks became desperate.
And dare I say this is the best Five Ten heel yet. Not only is the entire heel area covered with rubber, but the fit, sensitivity and evenness of the contact areas have also inspired me to use my heel more consciously.
The overall sensitivity of the shoe on all surfaces was excellent for steep problems and stretches. Beginners or those venturing into more vertical boulders and routes may find the lack of support a problem. However, the Hiangle was designed with no excuse for the sharp end of indoor climbing performance.
The Stealth C4 rubber performed as expected, that is, excellent. I don’t know of any better rubber for sport climbing for glassless textures.
What about outdoor climbing?
Although designed specifically for plastic, I found the Hiangle Pro to be great for a local limestone area known for its lack of texture and pronounced edges. Located in the middle of the city, this area has soft rock, so the heavy traffic for the past 30 years has made the texture more like a bar of soap than a rock. Not to mention the hordes rounded almost every edge.
The only positive thing about this area is that it doesn’t destroy shoes or skin.
But the sensitivity I experienced in my workouts and the adidas Hiangle Pro’s ability to stew were just the right tool for those cliffs and boulders. The coiled sole has been armed against the trafficked features for better grip and sensitivity. But only because I first adjusted myself to the shoes inside – and I did so very deliberately.
The only way the hiangle would have been better for this “soapstone” sector would be to switch to stealth RF rubber.
adidas Five Ten Hiangle Pro: Conclusions
If the Hiangle Pro fits your foot, you are unlikely to find a better performing shoe for climbing in the gym or competing. I have tried several well-known brands of indoor and competition-specific footwear over the past 6 months. The Hiangle Pro has a number of specific features and capabilities that give it its all, including the exclusive Stealth C4 rubber.
While adidas Five Ten wasn’t the first to get rid of the inside edge of the shoe, the execution is excellent. And the heel follows suit.
The rest of the highlights of the shoe challenge you to climb to your limits and use your feet as often as possible.
The Hiangle Pro is currently available in the European market. But adidas Five Ten told us it would hit US retailers this month. We will update this review with links that are available for purchase at this time.