This is a review of the 2020 edition of the Five Ten Hiangle.
The first version of the (Adidas) Five Ten Hiangle was launched in 2014. When the Hiangle hit the market, it was known for comfortable performance. It became an immediate success in the bouldering community and a lot of top Five Ten athletes were starting to switch to the Hiangle from the previous top of the line -model, the Dragon.
The only negative aspect of the shoe was that it used blue leather on the top of the shoe which transferred its color to the climber’s sweaty feet, creating the ”smurf foot”.
Since the initial launch, Five Ten has updated the model to a darker colored model that didn’t dye the climber’s feet and a low-volume model that was red. This is the third edition of the Hiangle.
The Five Ten Hiangle is an aggressive shoe with a split sole to offer sensitivity and an overall feeling of what is happening under the rubber. This new feature makes the Hiangle especially appealing in indoor and competition-style climbing.
Make no mistake, this is a highly asymmetrical and aggressively downturned shoe created with performance in mind. Even though being aggressive, the Hiangle is surprisingly versatile. While performing best on technical footwork on overhung terrain, slabs and smearing isn’t a problem.
The slightly harder Stealth C4 rubber tackles tiny edges really nicely while being sticky enough for friction climbing, indoors and out.
The biggest changes compared to the previous model are the split sole, different heel construction, and the microfiber upper. I’ll talk more about the differences later on.
The Hiangle features one velcro strap to keep the shoe on while heel hooking aggressively. The strap is nicely designed and wide enough not to create any hot spots when tightened firmly.
The Hiangle has a microfiber upper and is made of synthetic materials. The new Hiangle is also vegan-friendly.
The Hiangle is a hard shoe to get on, even if the sizing is right. But once you get yourself into the shoe, it stays on like it is stitched to your foot. I couldn’t even imagine a situation where the shoe would come off.
As a matter of fact, it so hard to get into the Hiangle that initially, I thought that I chose a size that was too small. But once on, the Hiangle is quite comfortable. Hope the loops at the back are built sturdy enough to handle the aggressive pulling required to get into the shoe 😉
The Five Ten Hiangle performs really well right out of the box. The shoe break-in in just a couple of sessions, which is nice. The shoe performs equally well on small edges and on big smears.
The one thing I did not like is the way you have to step on the footholds with the Hiangle. The high knuckle of the toebox combined with the aggressive shape of the sole makes it hard to see what you are stepping on. For me, it means that I’m almost stepping blindly on the footholds.
Even though stepping on footholds with the Hiangle is different from the way I’m used to, I haven’t noticed it on the climb. Odd. When on the sharp end of the rope, I’m focusing on the movement and not that the shoe feels different. The Hiangle has always performed flawlessly and the send has not been a matter of the shoe.
If you’re a fan of the La Sportiva Solution, this is a great alternative, only softer. The way you step on footholds with the Solution is quite similar compared to the Hiangle. Combined, the Solution and Hiangle have hundreds of thousands of fans, so this is merely a matter of personal preference.
I’m also a big fan of the Hiangle design which combines the newly designed and fully rubberized awesome heel and the softness of the split sole, not forgetting the slightly harder C4 rubber. It’s a sweet combination.
The Hiangle sports an aggressive last that shoves the toes to the front of the shoe. The aggressive design gives great power on small footholds.
Even though being quite aggressive, this is not an uncomfortable shoe. On the contrary. After a brief break-in period, I am able to wear the shoe for an hour straight when climbing indoors. Impressive! Of course, you can size the shoe smaller if you want, but I see no advantages in climbing with shoes that are too small. Here you can read more about choosing the correct size shoe for climbing.
Like I mentioned earlier, the Hiangle sports a split sole design for an overall soft feel. The front part of the sole is 4,2 mm thick which is nice and supportive and gives awesome power needed for utilizing small footholds. The Hiangle has a nice balance between softness and supportiveness.
Five Ten updated the heel design due to high demand rising from their top pro athletes. The now fully rubberized heel enables hooking in all parts of the heel. This feature is a must in competition-style bouldering. The soft Stealth® HF rubber used on the heel makes for secure hooking. The heel rand comes rather high on the Achilles. The heel is designed to fit a larger spectrum of foot shapes. Overall the Hiangle fits medium to high volume feet best. In my opinion, the newly designed heel is one of the best that Five Ten has put out so far.
For me, the heel feels great even though it is not a perfect vacuum fit. Hooking with the Hiangle is really secure and the feedback is great.
For a super tight heel, you are always sacrificing comfort by sizing down. Try out the shoe to find what is the proper balance for your needs.
Some climbing shoes are designed for long routes and all-day comfort, others for beginners who are just learning proper foot technique. The Five Ten Hiangle is designed for advanced and pro climbers alike with performance in mind.
I found the shoe to be excellent on small footholds on vertical to overhanging terrain. Though the Hiangle is more suitable for bouldering, especially if you wear your shoes tight, they work equally well on hard sport climbing. Discomfort is not an issue, but I wouldn’t go multi-pitch climbing with them.
The heel is one of the best I’ve tried. Period.
The C4 rubber works really well on all terrain and is sturdy enough to withstand a fair amount of abuse. Also, the Stealth® HF rubber used on the heel makes hooking feel like a breeze while being sensitive enough to feel what’s happening under the heel.
New Hiangle vs. old Hiangle
Adidas states on their website ”Built on the same last as the previous Hiangle, these shoes feature an unlined microfibre build for unmatched shape retention. Worn by world-class climbers and weekend boulderers alike, they balance the sensitivity and support that aggressive climbing demands. The downturned shape and extended toe rubber provide improved toe hooks while a split outsole and soft Stealth® HF rubber on the heel offer secure heel hooks.”
Sounds pretty cool. Here are the differences in the new vs. old design that I noticed.
The biggest differences are in the updated design. The new Hiangle is noticeably higher in volume. The heel is wider as well as the front part of the shoe. Some users have noticed bagginess in the front compared to the old model. I personally preferred the way the older Hiangle hugged my medium volume foot.
The new Hiangle feels all-round softer due to the unlined microfiber upper and the split sole design. The older model had a sole that supported the foot more. Nowadays more and more climbers are veering towards softer shoes and the new split sole design fulfills this demand.
The older model was made mostly of leather. Due to the new use of synthetic materials, there might be some fragrance issues in the new model.
I also noticed that the top part of the new Hiangle feels significantly softer and thinner compared to the old design.
When comparing the sizing to the previous model, I would recommend going half a size down in the new Hiangle due to the increase in volume. For example, I had a UK 7,5/ US 8 (EU 41 1/3) in the old model and UK 7/ US 7,5 (EU 40 2/3) in the new model.
To sum it up, the new Hiangle is softer all-around, wider and higher in volume. The new design is also vegan-friendly. It’s not a case of the new Hiangle being better or worse, it’s just different. Kind of like a new model that is based on the old Hiangle.
Maybe Five Ten should have kept the old leather Hiangle in production and just named the new version differently since the old version seems to have a solid fan base, what do you think?
The Hiangle’s sizing doesn’t differ much from the other Five Ten shoes. I use the Hiangle 2020 model in a size UK 7/ US 7,5 (EU 40 2/3).
For comparison I use the Five Ten Aleon in size EU 40/ US 7/ UK 6,5, Tenaya Mastia and Oasi in a size EU 38/ US 6/ UK 5, Scarpa Booster S, Instinct and Instinct VS in EU 39 / US 6,5/ UK 5,5, La Sportiva Solution in EU 38,5/ US 6,5/ UK 5,5 and my street shoe size is about EU 41/ US 8/ UK 7.
The Hiangle 2020 is a great shoe for hard bouldering and sport, in the gym or at the crag. The soft shoe works really great in competition style bouldering.
If you are a fan of the older Hiangle models, you will likely want to go down a half size. By any means, this is not the same shoe it was before, even though the model name is the same. Try it on as you would a completely different model.
With the updated design that accommodates a larger number of foot shapes and sizes, I would not recommend this model for narrow and low-volume feet. Instead, check out the low-volume version of the same shoe.
Equipped with sturdy high-friction rubber, aggressive downturn, awesome heel, and a sleek design, the Five Ten Hiangle is looking to sweep the market.
Give it a go and tell me what you think! Thanks for reading.
Upper material Microfiber
Closure type Velcro
Weight 0.45 kg (Size 40 EU)
Sole material Stealth C4 Rubber
Sole thickness 4.2mm