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Climbing Shoes

Five Ten Dragon

When Five Ten released the original Dragon, which sported a Velcro closure system and an aggressive, down-turned toe box, the shoe gained a following among core cave dwellers and others dabbling in the thuggish art of steep climbing.

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Five Ten Dragon Lace-Up| $165 |

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When Five Ten released the original Dragon, which sported a Velcro closure system and an aggressive, down-turned toe box, the shoe gained a following among core cave dwellers and others dabbling in the thuggish art of steep climbing. The model was eventually discontinued, and the Dragon vanished except for rare sightings on eBay.

Now, Five Ten has a new Dragon, this time adding a precision lacing system to a precise shoe. The first thing you’ll notice about the laces is that they stretch far down the sides of your foot, and when undone, the Dragon’s mouth opens wide. Since the Dragon is a high-end shoe, you’ll want to size them tightly — this wide mouth really helps get your oversized foot into the snug construction of synthetic leather and Stealth HF rubber.

I decided to save the Dragons for redpoint efforts, when I wanted tight, aggressive shoes and the anti-wobbler insurance that my foot wasn’t going to blow off those greasy nubbins.

Many Five Ten models dig into my Achilles tendon and this one was no different. With time, however, the shoe stretched to a more comfortable fit. I got the Dragons in the same size as my street shoe. The slightly narrow heel cup molded better to my foot, and the synthetic leather over the toe box gave just enough to keep my toes curled but comfortable.

The rubber was, of course, sticky. And like most versions of Stealth, the HF began to wear down more quickly than I would’ve preferred. That’s why I decided to save the Dragons for redpoint efforts, when I wanted tight, aggressive shoes and the anti-wobbler insurance that my foot wasn’t going to blow off those greasy nubbins.

This shoe is so good in fact, I saw one climber, sponsored by a different company, don the Dragons to send his project. Now that’s what you call tugging the dragon’s tail.

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