Five Ten Dragon Lace-up ReviewMarch 26, 2014
- Aggressive shape edges really well, even on the steepest rock climbs
- Great for toe hooks
- Stealth HF rubber is extremely sticky
- Takes a long time to put on and take of (not ideal for bouldering/gym)
- Laces don’t allow for much adjustment in volume
- Uncomfortable heel
Best for wide, high volume feet, the lace-up version of the Dragon lives up to its reputation as an aggressively down-turned shoe deserving of its cult following. The downturned toe and super-sticky rubber allow you to toe in on the tiniest edges, even under roofs, but narrow feet will find a loose fit.
The Dragon Lace-up is a re-make of the original Dragon, one of the very first aggressively down-turned high-performance shoes ever made—the result of designs by bouldering legends Fred Nicole and Dave Graham. Today, the Dragon’s cult following continues among those whose feet it fits. People with wide, high-volume feet looking for a high-performance shoe will definitely want to check this out. The heel left way too much dead space for me, however. But the downturned toe with super-sticky rubber allowed me to toe in on the tiniest edges, even in upside-down roof situations.
The Five Ten Dragon’s aggressive shape helps toe in on the tiniest footholds. It is a fantastic edging shoe, especially on steep rock.
The super high friction rubber helped bite down on insecure smears.
The toe box tappers aggressively to a narrow point, which allowed me to use my big toe in tiny pockets.
Toe hooking was great with the Dragon, thanks to a large swath of rubber atop the foot. Yet heel hooking was not solid due to an uncomfortable, poorly fitting heel.
The poorly fitting heel left a lot of dead space under my heel and the arch of my foot, while my toes were scrunched. The shoe also came up too far around my ankle, digging into my Achilles tendon.
If the Five Ten Dragon fits your foot, it’s a great high-performance shoe. However, the HF rubber, though sticky, does seem to wear down quicker than other blends of rubber I’ve tested.