The Pink Returns


  • A solid all-round performer delivering comfort and performance
  • Less technical than the Blanco but stiffer than the Verde
  • New re-constructed heel
  • 5mm C4 rubber and C4 toe rand

Full Review

'The Pink', as it is affectionately labelled on the box, is the stuff of legend. To hear it spoken of one could happily assume it was some kind of secret rock-climbing weapon - sticky as treacle, soft and sensitive on slabs, yet solid and precise on edges.

Undoubtedly the old pink was a solid performer, but climbing shoes have moved on in leaps and bounds since then. We now have shoes in such an array of sizes and shapes that even a contortionist would be left scratching his head in puzzlement. 

Rubber types and thicknesses vary considerably and we even have shoes with no edges and curiously named 'love bumps'. 

So where does the Pink stand in all this? A solid all round performer, the new Pink is a noticeably softer shoe than the Blanco, but far more supportive than the Verde version. The toe-shape and general styling carry over from the white but with a completely re-constructed low volume heel. C4 rubber completes the bundle, and the price tag is comparatively reasonable. The sizing is relaxed so make sure to try them on before buying.

Having much experience of the Blancos I was a little concerned to hear that the Pink was softer and less aggressive. My concerns remain unfounded and the new shoe is excellent in this regard. The sole curves slightly before meeting the edge and this allows for excellent friction on all shapes and angles of rock. The C4 rubber is sensitive and sticky, and allows for confidence on the smallest edges


If there is one thing all the Anasazi range share in common it is their fantastic smearing ability. It couldn't be easy to make a shoe which is as comfortable on tiny edges as it is on frictionless slabs, but Five Ten seem to have it nailed. 

The Pink in feels like a mix between the green and brown Anasazi shoes - it smears beautifully like the brown, but the laces give it a more secure and focused fit. In my opinion this makes it a stronger all round shoe than either.

The rubber, at 5mm, is quite thick by today's standards but the shoe remains extremely sensitive and, like always, is getting better with use.

Overhanging Rock
While these shoes do lack the power and grab of a more aggressively down-turned shoe on roofs and very steep rock, they are more than competent in this area. 

The shape of the shoe focuses power firmly through the big toe and into the sticky C4 rubber sole.

The rubber on the toe is adequate to provide secure toe hooks, and the new heel is a drastic improvement and fits even my non-existent heel like a glove.

Considering the shoes are not really designed for it I have found them quite at home on fairly over-hanging ground, and even the most wildly thrown foot is usually met with solid friction.

Many will recognise the familiar pink Cowdura fabric returning. Presumably 'A Boy Named Sue' approach to climbing shoes, this stuff is bomb-proof though generally stretches a little throughout the life of the shoe.

The heel, for me, is the biggest improvement in this shoe. It feels like a stiff elastic band wrapped around the Achilles and under the foot, and leaves no dead space behind, alot like La Sportivas high end offerings.

The Pink seems well built and I would expect it to last. Thankfully Five Tens old reliability issues seem to be a thing of the past, and in many years of using them, I have yet to wear a hole in the upper before a hole in the sole.

General Usage
So far I have used these shoes on Gritstone, Limestone and plastic, and have found them to be an excellent trad shoe, comfortable enough to climb in all day but more than capable of handling harder rock than I can! 

For any crack-climbing masochists out there, the more relaxed fit means the toes are not quite so bunched up, which along with the low profile make them excellent in cracks.

All around I have been thoroughly surprised by these shoes. They were softer than I expected, yet inspire the utmost confidence on the smallest of edges. Their amazing versatility stands them in good stead and means they will remain my shoe of choice. 

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