Home »Shoes» Five Ten NIAD Lace Review: The rebirth of a proven classic
The Five Ten Anasazi rock shoe line has been a loyal companion for an incredibly long time – from 1993 to 2020. Sure, there were problems, but the shape and adhesive properties of stealth rubber were unmatched.
Five Ten brought the Anasazi Dynasty through a. replaced Three-shoes NIAD (Nose in a Day) line this spring – the top, VCS, and Moccasymwho have reportedly retained the best parts of the original while improving the flaws.
We tested them Five Ten NIAD tip over a month of spring climbing on the pink crystalline granite of central Texas.
The Anasazi tip is a low-profile shoe with all-day comfort, great edging ability and the legendary stickiness of Stealth C4 rubber. The shoe’s attributes reminded me of the Anasazi Blanco from before, but with a vastly improved heel and other subtle changes that add value to the overall package.
Five Tens NIAD Fit
The acronym stands for Nose in a Day, which seemed appropriate for the lace-up version due to the low profile and instant all-day fit. (“The nose” on El Cap is 31 spaces.) My size 10 NIAD tip (verified 1 pound, 3.4 ounces per pair) had a very tight but painless fit on my size 10 “duck foot”; a narrow heel, wide forefoot, but vertically thin.
It was instantly comfortable enough to carry for a full hour-long attack on a slightly overhanging block of granite. I kept wearing the shoe on every boulder without taking it off, for a whole day.
The shoe may have been broken in over a couple of weeks to make it more flexible, but the dimensions of the shoe have remained constant. The partially lined suede microfiber upper and the generously padded tongue were comfortable on my hypersensitive skin right after unpacking.
A glaring shortcoming of the original line was the fit of the heel. It was weird, baggy and out of conformity, and that’s nice. The new paragraph is none of this. The Five Ten NIAD tip has a heel that follows the contour of my narrow heel well, with slight gaps in the lower back of my heel.
Further nuanced improvements in fit were seen during the test. In short, Five Ten minimized the loose areas compared to the Anasazi line. One of the noticeable changes was the internal volume around the top of my arch, a common area of bulge for me.
Five Ten does that too NIAD Lace in a women’s versionthat our editors are also happy to test.
Five Ten NIAD Lace: A granite eater
The NIAD Lace is moderately stiff and, together with the tight fit and Stealth C4 rubber, forms an impressive edging shoe. During a 2-day excursion to a newly developed area consisting of granite domes, boulders and cracks, it was typical to step on a tiny crystal. The NIAD Lace provided the necessary support without the “dead” feel of much stiffer shoes (like the Butora Narsha).
When I reluctantly had to pinch my foot, the thin toe profile helped me get into smaller gaps. And the rubber toe cap and lined microfiber upper support both traction and comfort.
The side tight fit shaped my foot into the right tight package in front of the store. Even so, I wish the shoelaces were lower down my toes to create more tension on the toes (which is inconsistent relief from the pain on my Cinderella feet).
The smudging on textured granite felt safe – much of it is thanks to the legendary adhesive properties of the Stealth C4 rubber outsole. The amount of stiffness dampened the tactile feel on less prominent textures, resulting in some tense moments, but on the crystalline granite the C4 rarely failed.
I threw a couple of frantic heel hooks on sloping, crystal-studded ledges, and the new heel stayed on both my heel and the rock without deforming in any way. The slight gaps in the heel fit were largely insignificant under load.
The crystals in the area are known to crush shoe rubber and uppers. The Five Ten NIAD tip went well as the upper returned unscathed and the brim and outsole contained nothing but evidence that I had climbed real rocks.
Photo credit: Jon Cardwell
I tend to reach for the same shoes for every single rock. And for my local granite neighborhood, that shoe was Five Ten’s Blanco. I usually get annoyed when a brand abruptly discontinues a shoe that works well for me, but this time my disappointment quickly evaporated. The $ 150 Five Ten NIAD tip is a huge improvement in almost every way.
The heel is the most obvious fit-related improvement. However, subtle changes to the smaller last also ensured a tighter fit, which was still pleasant even after hours of climbing.
For granite or other climbing areas where the edges and feet get jammed for a long time, the Five Ten NIAD Lace is a comfortable, yet powerful option that does the old job Anasazi line more than justice.
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