The Five Ten Team VXi is a unique slipper-style shoe that performs very well in terrain of any angle. It’s superior rubber sticks in the most improbable of situations and tended to hide the shoe’s inherent flaws. The softness of the shoe makes for a comfortable fit, yet it remains aggressively downturned during use. As the only shoe in the test group without a midsole, the Team VXi is radically sensitive but lacks a defined edge.
RUBBER The Team VXi boasts the Stealth Mi6 rubber compound, which is the softest rubber ever wrapped around a climbing shoe. Originally designed to stick to glass, it had no problem sticking to the glassiest of climbing holds, making it by far the best rubber in the entire test group. The increased friction does come at a price: it showed more signs of wear than other shoes we tested.
EDGING The Team VXi has no midsole and very soft rubber, essentially eliminating a defined edge. Thus, its edging capabilities rely on strong feet and the amazing grip of the rubber. This shoe’s edging is best applied to overhanging terrain.
SMEARING The Team VXi conquers tough smears on even the smoothest surfaces. Be it texture-less bumps or greasy indoor cracks, it provided more friction than any other shoe we tested. Its soft nature allows the sole to flex and adhere fully when smearing up slab faces. It sticks well with less pressure, making technical overhanging terrain seem easier.
HEEL/TOE HOOKING The Team VXi has a generous patch of rubber over top of the toes, which makes toe hooking incredibly secure. Strong feet are required to fully take advantage of toe hooks due to the softness of the shoe. The amount of rubber on the heel keeps hooking sensitive and helps the user feel exactly where the shoe is gripping.
COMFORT/FIT The Team VXi uses its soft rubber all over the shoe, allowing it to contour to every bump of the foot. The single strap slipper design is easy to get on and off in between climbs. Its glove-like fit and narrow toe box forces toes to crowd together and makes them uncomfortable to wear for long periods. Zigzag stitching in the heel cup aggravated the achilles tendon at first, but went unnoticed after a few sessions. This shoe fit very tight at our tester’s normal climbing shoe size.
Mike Summers is an avid hiker, cyclist, climber, and outdoor enthusiast. While exploring America’s best outdoor spaces, Mike has developed an intimate relationship with his gear systems, allowing him to stay safe and comfortable in an otherwise forbidding environment. When he’s not exploring, you can find him sharing insights and chronicling his journeys at improbablebutpossible.com.