With any luck, the 2021 Olympics are still happening, good news for climbers and the brands that came out with footwear ahead of the Games. (See 2020: The Year of the Comp Shoe.) Five Ten’s flagship new kick is the Hiangle Pro, a stripped-down Hiangle built with indoor climbing/volumes/bouldering in mind. With a middling skillset, I probably won’t be competing this year (maybe Paris 2024!), but I was still able to appreciate the Hiangle Pro in my garage (spray wall + Grasshopper/MoonBoard) and at local gyms.
The Pro differs from the Hiangle in three key ways: 1) The inside sole is beveled, tapering from 3.5mm on the outside and middle to a rounded 2.1mm on the inside that then swoops up to become the rand—i.e., there’s only an inside edge at the toe tip. 2) The heel is a continuous curve—a squishy, 3D-molded “bulb”—without the “mohawk” of the regular Hiangle. And 3) The midsole has a minimalist fish-hook design to give just enough bite for edging while keeping the forefoot flexy for smearing.
All three tweaks were made with the comp style in mind. The goal was to soften and round the shoe to maximize rubber-to-volume contact without abrupt transitions—e.g., a regular sole edge or built-up heel—that push you out when rocking onto your toe, squatting high on a heel, etc. Not surprisingly, the Pros have a sensitive, slipper-like feel and, if sized correctly, a glove-like fit. (I wore my street-shoe size, which yielded the best big-toe precision on edges and jibs, but also made on/off tricky due to the deep heel cup, which I had to roll off by hand.)
The shoes were crafted in collaboration with the Slovenian comp climber Domen Škofic and input from Carlo Traversi, both masters in the nü-school indoor dynamic style. Punter that I am on parkour moves, I was still able to apply the Hiangle Pros in situations where you need to use your feet like hands—mobile, dragging heel hooks along obelisk volumes, blind toe scums around arêtes, iffy texture smears on downsloping blobs. The Pros were amazing in all cases—soft, sensitive, grippy, and secure. On jibs and edges, there is just enough bite on the mildly downturned toe to get you en pointe, and I was able to send 5.12+ vertical crimp climbs just fine, though if you’re a larger climber or size comfortably, you may notice mild buckling. However, for volumes, that Stealth C4 sole + squishy heel + jumbo toe patch + overall softness had me glomming like a gecko.
- Sensitive, light on the feet
- Very sticky 3D-molded C4 outsole
- Beveled sole gives fluency with volumes, hooking, and smearing, with mild bite for stable edging
- Deep, high heel cup makes on/off fussy
- All-black design not ideal for climbing in the sun (though the Hiangle Pros are meant to be indoor/comp shoes)