Five Ten Aleon Climbing Shoe
The Five Ten Aleon is an aggressive shoe designed for hard boulder problems with really small footholds. It's a powerful, extremely precise shoe which, thanks to Adidas' plethora of resources, features new materials and new manufacturing processes to improve its comfort, fit, and performance.
Traditionally, Five Ten's climbing shoes have been designed with a rounded toe-box. However, Five Ten's new shoe designer, Fred Nicole, a Swiss cobbler with years of experience repairing and dissecting Five Ten's climbing shoes, has designed the Aleon with a pointier toe and wider forefoot to really direct the shoe's precision towards the big toe. Nicole has also implemented a high arch and strong heel-toe tension to amplify the the big toe's power, making the Aleon extremely precise and powerful on edges and small footholds.
One of the main tools Five Ten have borrowed from Adidas' toolbox is Primeknit, a four-way stretch material that's digitally-knitted into the shoe. This allows Five Ten to fine-tune the amount of flexibility and support of the tongue. The result is a very tight-fitting tongue which, thanks to the extra flexibility, is still easy to take on and off.
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Stealth C4 Rubber
• Stealth C4 rubber for the greatest versatility on all rock types
• Rubber's concaved edge provides a solid edging platform
• Midsole with diamond-shaped increases flex but maintains edging support
• Seamless inner reduces painful hotspots and improves overall comfort
• Precision laser-edged rands are more malleable, will fit a greater range of foot shapes, and relieve pressure on the heel
• Lined microfibre upper won't stretch to maintain the shoe's aggressive shape
Stealth® C4™ Rubber
A high-friction rubber used on the majority of Five Ten’s shoes due of its all-round performance and versatility. Five Ten first debuted this rubber on the original approach shoe, the Five Tennie, in 1985, and since then Stealth rubber has always been developed by Five Ten themselves in direct conjunction with their shoes, unlike other shoe manufacturers who outsource their rubber. The result is a rubber that works with your shoe harmoniously.
2 product reviews
Within the first few session with this shoe, I fell in love with the feeling you get having these on when you climb. I followed the advice of other reviews online and bought the Aleon the same size (42EU) I wear in my street shoes. There is not even a tiny amount of air left between shoe and foot. Even with the velcro open, you really have to find an extreme heel hook to get these shoes of your feet ;-). Until now, I used them for bouldering and sportclimbing (both indoors) so I cannot give any information on how they feel on real rock.
On plastic holds however, the precision is brilliant. Before the Aleon, my goto shoe was the la sportiva solutions which are quite similar when you compare the agressiveness. Compared to the Solutions, the Aleons are a little stiffer (there is some resemblance of a mid-sole) and all around a tighter fit (especially at the heal). Others might find the tighter fit a little painful or unpleasent, I actually take them off, after I climbed a route.
I find it almost impossible to say anything bad about them. The stealth sole is quite soft, so they probably will wear down quite fast, but in turn the grip is considerable!
The Aleon is similar to the La Sportiva Solution in terms of stiffness, but the toe box is more pointed and the heel has less height and width. The primeknit is very comfortable and makes pulling on the shoe easy even if you have a high volume foot. However, the primeknit is not supportive/confining, so the strap and fit is important to ensure the shoe is secure.
My street shoe is 44EU/9.5UK and I originally downsized to 9UK (I wear 9UK in Quantum Lace), but could not get into the shoe properly. I settled on 9.5UK which is a tight fit with no dead space. In the 9.5UK my smaller toes are more knuckled than my big toe due to the pointed toe box. This was initially very uncomfortable, but after 5 gym sessions the shoe has conformed to my foot and I no longer notice any pain.
The shoe is great at sticking to small holds on very overhanging terrain. I've found it very easy to know when I'm on a small foot hold, and then put down some serious power. At least at the moment, the shoe is not great at smearing, but perhaps once it breaks in further, this may change. The heel is thin and sensitive, and is yet to collapse under load thanks to the narrow fit. Some might find it a little painful to heel hook compared to other shoes.
I cant finish this review without talking about the build quality. There were no loose threads, and no globs of glue on the surfaces; overall the shoe is very well put together.