Most climbers will tell you that in order to climb hard, your shoes need to hurt. This may be fine for short sport routes where removing your climbing shoes after each send is common, but not so convenient or feasible on long multi-pitch routes. Enter the Stonelands, a new shoe from Five Ten that looks to turn that No Pain No Gain climbing ethos on its head.
Similar to the La Sportiva Mythos, the Stonelands are meant to be an all day comfort shoe that still delivers on performance. As Five Ten puts it, the Stonelands are the first “cruelty free” shoe for the brand, built upon a new anatomical last that lets you stand flat footed in the shoe with relaxed toes, or just slightly bent depending on how small you prefer to wear your climbing shoes.
Taking a 180 degree stance to current climbing shoe design convention, the lace up version of the Stonelands is actually the softest, with the velcro coming next, and finally the slipper at the stiffest. The weakness with slippers is that they are much more prone to rolling on your foot, especially when inside and outside edging. Adding stiffness to the bottom of the slipper will keep it from spinning, where the softer soled lace ups can easily be cinched down nice and tight for the same result.
The Stonelands Lace have been my go to multi-pitch shoes since we first tried them out at Smith Rock last October. Most recently, I brought these climbing shoes with me to Jordan and wore them for limestone bouldering around our campsite as well as on a large multi-pitch sandstone route in Wadi Rum, complete with large gaping chimney.
Right out of the box, the Stonelands are a smearing and crack jamming machine. The Stealth C4 rubber sticks to just about everything. With a bit of adjustment to your usual pointy, down-turned toe edging technique, these climbing shoes can hang on to even the tiniest of footholds.
The Stonelands size like any other Five Ten climbing shoe, which for me means a 1/2 size up from my street shoe size.
The Five Ten Stonelands retail for $130 (Slipper), $135 (Lace), and $140 (VCS), available now.