Five Ten Dragon

Gear Review: Climbing Shoes

Company: Five Ten

Product: Dragon (2012 model)

Climbers are full of excuses. You’ve heard them before: “My foot slipped!” “These shoes aren’t ‘aggressive’ enough!” “I could totally stand on that if I had different shoes!” Admit it, you and I are both guilty of blaming gear for our failings – it’s part of the culture. But when was the last time you heard the opposite? When was the last time you heard someone crediting their shoes for the send? I call this anti-excuse-making. What rare climbing rubber is that impossibly good, though?

The Five Ten Dragon. See it in the picture? Doesn’t look like much, I know. But that’s it. That’s my anti-excuse, and it should be yours too. This shoe will literally turn your life around. Still trying to escape responsibility? Found some other cop-out? Just can’t break the cycle? Buy these shoes. You’ll definitely stop blaming your shortcomings on silly things like the rubber on your foot. And maybe that’ll bleed over into other parts of your life. Or maybe not. Either way, you’ll start climbing harder.

Sit down, slip a Dragon on each foot, lace up, chalk up, and bump up your project grade. It really is that easy. But don’t let it get to your head. I said they’ll make you climb harder; I didn’t say they’ll make you a better climber. I’ll let you figure out the difference.

How do they help so much, then? Well, you know that tiny screw-on foothold? It’s the one that makes you curse the routesetters. The one smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. The one you couldn’t stand on while wearing your La Scarpa Whatevers. Save those other dinky shoes for doing laps, because Five Ten’s Dragons have you covered with a toe more well-honed than your excuse-making skills. Precise. All the better for standing on little nothings. Boulder: sent.

Next project. Steep. Bad holds. Feet so low you feel the tension ripping your body apart. Focus! Your old shoes would have popped off by now, but you’re still on the wall. How? You’ve got Dragons on, that’s how, and Five Ten’s got your back with down-turned, Stealth HF rubber. That means friction to the max. Toe down, step through, flag. Job done. Losing your feet is a thing of the past. Now, the only time your shoes won’t be stuck to the rock is when you’re impressing your bros by campusing V0s. As it should be.

What else do your other shoes suck at? Heel hooks? Listen, the girls and boys at Five Ten had you and your project in mind when they sculpted the Dragon’s rubber. It’s a masterpiece. Next question. Toe hooks? See previous answer. Smearing? Too easy. These shoes are plenty soft for those low angle footholds even through that down-turned sole. Comfort? Who needs it!

Enough talk. With the Dragons, you’ll stand on anything you’ve got the guts to. You’ll learn that soon after putting them on. No excuse is good enough then. So, are you ready to finally send?


Still need more convincing? Watch Puccio climb harder than you while wearing a pair of anti-excuses.

Recommendation: High Performance


  • True to size, or even a half size up.
  • If you wear a US M 10.5, expect to fit in a 10.5 or 11.
  • These shoes do not stretch!


  • Material: Polyester
  • Sole: Stealth HF rubber (3.5mm)
  • Upper: Lined synthetic
  • Closure: Lace
  • Weight: 200g


  • $175 (no longer produced by Five Ten, but you can still sight Dragons floating around online)

Web Site:  Adidas


“00” Guest Writer



7 Replies to “Five Ten Dragon”

  1. I know nothing about climbing. But I do like your concept of the “anti-excuse,” and how it gives credit where it’s due, rather than taking all the credit for oneself. Nice review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not a big fan of these shoes. Best part about them for me was that I bought them cheap from a friend. I’m not entirely bummed or surprised to hear 5.10 doesn’t make them anymore. With that said, nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My go to is pretty much anything La Sportiva. The Futuras, and TC pros are currently in my quiver. But I’ve also worn Katanas and Miuras. I just keep resoling.

    Liked by 1 person

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