The Hiangle is a new shoe from leading US brand Five Ten. They describe it as “…an all-around performance shoe that is relaxed enough for all day climbing, yet aggressive enough to tackle steep, overhanging routes”. With 4mm Stealth C4 rubber and a sturdy midsole it strikes a more solid profile than its peers. This makes it something of a rare breed: a stiffer and more supportive performance shoe.
After the Five Ten changed their legendary Dragon shoe a few years ago, many people have been looking for a substitute. The old Dragon had a medium stiff sole which made it a great all-rounder, but in the current incarnation the sole is much softer and this narrows its appeal to those looking for a go-to shoe. In this context the Hiangle promises, at first glance, to be a worthy alternative. Over the last few months I’ve tested the Hiangle thoroughly, on various rock types in the UK and abroad, as well as on indoor walls. How did it fare?
The performance of the Hiangle was excellent, and the tried and tested C4 rubber worked well on sandstone, gritstone and other rock types. Being a little firmer than some of the other compounds out there, C4 works in partnership with the stiffer midsole – meaning small edges feel much more secure than they do in a softer shoe.
The Hiangle is also quite a versatile beast. I used it primarily as a bouldering and training shoe, where it excelled, but I also found it comfortable enough to use on longer climbs. Having said that, on multi pitch routes or situations where you might want to take the shoes off from time to time I would usually favour a lace up for greater ease of getting on and off.
The Hiangle features a more moderate downturn than other performance models, which makes it great for people who want to transition towards more downturned shoes from flatter models. The toe has a well-designed wrap of rubber which covers you for toe hooking, giving a good balance between sensitivity and durability. Over the last few months the only time I found myself reaching for a different pair of shoes was when I needed to use pockets, as the rounded profile of the Hiangles made them less useful for precision guiding your toes into small pockets.
The Hiangle comes in high and low volume versions (blue or pink). The unlined leather construction means that the shoe moulds to your foot, stretching between a half and a full size (depending on how tight you fit it initially). I’d recommend ordering them with this in mind. Mine were very tight out of the box, but I found they started to soften up pretty quickly and it wasn’t long before they felt great. For the first few wears I found them a little difficult to get into, but once on your foot the single Velcro strap made them feel more secure than standard slippers.
The toe box feels more rounded than many performance shoes, which – along with the stiffer midsole – is why this shoe is great for edging. I usually find that five tens seem to fit my narrow heels very well, and these were no exception. I imagine anyone favouring a sensitive heel cup will get on better with this than some of the stiffer moulded heels found on other performance shoes.
The Hiangle is a great addition to the Five Ten range, and I can see why so many Five Ten devotees have switched to it from the Dragon. It gives a great ratio of comfort to performance and as such it has fitted nicely into my shoe armoury (!) as a do-nearly-everything-shoe. The Hiangle combines a soft, comfortable upper with a supportive midsole that deals well with those footholds that you really need to stand tall on. The shoe is less good in pockets due to the more rounded toe box, but for general bouldering the Hiangle compares well with much more expensive models. All things considered, the Hiangle it a very attractive choice for anyone wanting to push their climbing to the next level.