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five ten rogue shoe

It’s a popular climbing shoe for good reason. It’s comfortable all day, priced right, and the rubber is as sticky as can be.

I’m talking about the Five Ten Rogue.

For seasoned climbers, it’s probably a boring shoe. But for beginners, or casual climbers, it has just what you’re looking for.

The basic design is suitable for all types of climbing, whether it’s short bouldering routes or long multi-pitch routes on big walls. Indoors or outside. The less-aggressive shape means you can wear them for longer periods of time, but if you like to slip them on and off, the two Velcro straps make it quick and easy.

The synthetic uppers won’t stretch out like real leather, making it easier to choose a size. What it feels like in the store is almost exactly what it will feel like a week later.

five ten rogue shoes

It’s just a good, basic, all-around shoe.

They also happened to be, far and away, the best fitting shoes for me. For you, maybe not. That’s why you need to try the shoes on. Especially if these are in the running for your choice of first climbing shoe, buy them in person.

I purchased these at Appalachian Outdoors in State College, PA. If you’re anywhere near central Pennsylvania, it’s a good store. How good? Let’s just say I was living in Pittsburgh at the time (three hours away) and I went there to buy the shoes.

The Rogue was a perfect match for my overall foot shape. The La Sportiva Tarantula was close to a good fit, but nothing like the Rogue. The Rogue fit me like a sock. I was worried because it was almost too comfortable.

But which Five Ten Rogue is it?

What I have is simply the Five Ten Rogue, not to be confused with the “Five Ten Rogue VCS” or the “Five Ten Rogue Lace.” Both of those shoes are slightly different than this shoe, but all in the same family. This model Rogue is sometimes called the “2012,” and it seems like it may have been discontinued in 2015. Bummer.

But the Five Ten Rogue VCS looks like a good replacement!

Comfortable (For a Climbing Shoe)

These are actually pretty darn comfortable! I’ve worn them for five hours straight!

After that long, yes, my feet hurt! But I did it. Of course, had I taken my shoes off during my breaks, I would have been fine. (Unlike cycling and running, where you keep your shoes on, it’s standard protocol to remove your rock climbing shoes during rest breaks.)

Here’s why:

  • The soft sole moves how your foot moves.
  • Most of the upper is a soft synthetic leather that conforms to your foot.
  • Less-aggressive shape is unlikely to put weird pressure points on your foot.
  • They won’t stretch, but they will “break in” to match your foot shape a little better.

So, if it matches the basic shape of your foot, it’s probably going to be comfortable.

The Durability

I got these in January 2014, so I’ve had them over a year now. That includes three months where I wore them at least 3 times per week, if not more, and five months where I wore them occasionally – about once per week. It probably averages out to wearing them at least once per week for an entire year.

The sole is showing some wear – rounded edges – but overall the shoe is still in good shape. It’s not even close to getting any holes. There’s plenty of rubber left on the sole, and the rubber is as sticky as ever.

five ten rogue stealth c4 rubber

The other day I noticed they reeked terribly, so I gave them a good washing. I hand washed them in the tub with hot water, some distilled vinegar, and laundry detergent. Rinsed liberally and hung to air dry, and also stuffed with balled up newspapers. A few days later, they were completely dry, looked much cleaner, and smelled so much better!

They didn’t smell perfect after, but they’re not putrid like before! The wash didn’t seem to damage them in any way. (And it shouldn’t – the shoe is just a mix of rubber, synthetic leather, and Velcro.)

Here is the year old shoe, fresh and clean:

five ten rogue freshly washed

The only visible wear and tear is some separation between the rubber and leather on the toe. But that occurred after the first couple weeks of climbing. A year later, it isn’t any worse, and it has no affect on performance.

Indoor Climbing Performance

Most of my climbing takes place indoors during the winter and spring (since that’s lousy weather for cycling.)

I tested these shoes at The Climbing Wall in Pittsburgh, Brooklyn Boulders Somerville, Boston Rock Gym, and Delaware Rock Gym, among others.

And I’ve been very happy with these shoes! Whether it’s plastic, plywood, or textured concrete, these shoes work well.

It’s awesome that they are comfortable enough to wear for hours, yet they offer real performance.

For just being a basic shoe, I could definitely tell the difference on foot holds! I could use more areas of my foot (outside edge, inside edge, big toe, heel) confidently. I could also push my foot against the wall and it would stick! Before these shoes, I could not successfully smear!

Outdoor Climbing Performance

I used these for occasional trips outdoors. These shoes have been to Bilger’s Rocks, as well as various crags at Ohiopyle and the New River Gorge.

The shoes worked great for bouldering and slab climbs. They would stick everywhere. And I’d gladly heel hook in them, where as I might not always trust other beginner shoes.

five ten rogue heel hook

I can definitely tell when I’m wearing these as compared to my Mad Rock Phoenix (my cold weather shoe.) With that shoe, I don’t do anything too crazy. But with the Rogue and the Stealth C4 rubber sole, which is the best rubber for a climbing shoe, I learned to “trust my feet” as they say.

I even wore these for my first lead climb.

It has treated me so well that I’d buy it again!

Yes, closeout deals in my size!

Wearing a men’s size 11 shoe, I rarely find any sort of closeout deal for shoes in my size.

But it just so happened that these shoes, the Five Ten Rogue 2012, were on sale at Sierra Trading Post. And it coincided with a 40% off coupon!!

The retail on the shoe is $99.95, and at STP, I paid $49 each after discounts!

I couldn’t resist. I bought two more pairs – another 11.5 and an 11.

I’m really glad I did, because I’d hate to not have these shoes.

I’ve tried shoes that were more aggressive and supposedly better, but they are not nearly as comfortable! And they cost at least 50% more than these!

And I’ve tried other shoes in the same price point that are pretty good, but they simply don’t offer the same comfort or performance.

And I’ve tried some bad shoes.

So I’m very happy to have a nice row of boxes from Five Ten!

five ten rogue climbing shoe collection

My final verdict is…

I was, and still am, very happy with these shoes. I’ve purchased three pairs so far, and I’d recommend all beginners try these shoes on when you head to your local outdoors store.

Now that I have a whole pile of these, I’m going to be looking for a more aggressive bouldering shoe to add to my collection, and that could very well be another Five Ten model (the Hiangle, Arrowhead, Dragon, or Team 5.10) since the Rogue has performed so well.

Official website: www.FiveTen.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Five Ten
Product: Five Ten Rogue Climbing Shoe
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2015-02-14
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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  1. Any tips on sizing this shoe?

    • @Cael

      I typically wear an 11 or 11.5 running shoe or casual shoe, depending on how tight I want them and what socks I’m wearing. And that’s exactly what I wear in this shoe. (With preference going to the 11 because climbing shoes are worn tighter than running shoes, and with thinner or no socks.) So it’s probably close to your street shoe size.

  2. Have you worn the Rogue VCS you mentioned as a replacement? Can you just buy the same size in that?

    • @Josh

      I haven’t actually worn that one. My friend has a pair, and I may have worn them once, but they would have been very much broken in (for his feet) at the time, and it wouldn’t help me answer. They are probably a little trickier to size because of how high the Velcro straps are and the smooth leather around your foot which may move/stretch more than the this Rogue does.

      What it comes down to is, even though I know I wear a size 11 in this, I wouldn’t run out and buy a size 11 Rogue VCS without trying on a few first.

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