Legendary boulderer and longtime cobber, Fred Nicole, helps 5 Ten knock it out of the park with the Aleon
Fred Nicole is a reputation that has floated round high-end bouldering for many years. The reserved Swiss boulderer garnered a legendary standing within the ’90s, visiting established bouldering areas and rapidly dispatching the toughest issues with a gradual and undeniably robust model and establishing check items that grew to become classics.
What many didn’t know was Nicole’s penchant for shoe design; a Swiss cobbler, Nicole has delved into the nuances of rock sneakers for so long as he’s been climbing, with the identical methodological strategy. He even introduced 5 Ten shoe his handmade lasts, with one changing into the brand new 5 Ten Aleon, launched this spring with an MSRP of $190.
We examined the Aleon gymnasium climbing and limestone sport climbing for 2 weeks for this First Look.
The Nicole Issue
Nicole and 5 Ten labored on the Aleon for 2 years, and this shoe is the primary born of the partnership to hit the market. Together with a handful of different just lately launched sneakers, it’s amongst the primary to be co-branded with adidas.
The Aleon’s most visibly noticeable function is the sharp toe, a lot pointier than previous 5 Ten choices geared toward sport climbing and bouldering. The only real beneath the toes has a noticeable concave form. The Aleon just isn’t as mushy or downturned as could be assumed for an “aggressive” shoe, with a medium stiff midsole and average downturn.
The Aleon sports activities a rand that splits on the outdoors of the arch, with the within rand extending to cowl many of the toe field higher. The slender heel has textured, thinner rubber masking the gaps within the rand because it wraps reasonably excessive up the again of the shoe. A single Velcro strap and Primeknit, a breathable and clean elastic cloth, present a excessive closure to maintain filth out.
The cut up sole boasts 5 Ten’s confirmed Stealth C4 rubber and the higher is all microfiber.
The Aleon Match
I’ve a basic “duck foot;” a slender heel with a large however skinny forefoot. I put on a dimension ten working shoe, and the dimensions ten Aleon (verified 1 pound, 0.9 ounces per pair) match me extraordinarily effectively out of the field. The microfiber higher, which feels thicker than most, has a pleasantly mushy inside, and the four-way stretch Primeknit closure, though using excessive, didn’t make moving into the sneakers troublesome. The knit closure could be very safe with none stress factors, making the Velcro closure only a backup to me.
The arch feels larger than different 5 Ten sport climbing or bouldering sneakers in my quiver, with out the necessity of the strap pressure to maintain it in touch with my foot. The toe field additionally feels wider than my different 5 Tens, which felt nice for my vast forefoot. It’s common for uppers to be a bit saggy on my skinny foot, however the Aleon wasn’t. I might simply really feel the concave form of the toe field platform.
The Aleon has a detailed match and my toes felt glued into a strong place with out excessive rand pressure or aggressive downturn like many sneakers marketed towards the high-end climber. The heel on the Aleon didn’t have gaps within the match, a standard drawback for me in 5 Ten sneakers.
All these attributes made the 5 Ten Aleon one of the comfy and well-fitting sport climbing and bouldering sneakers for my foot form in current reminiscence.
Climbing within the Aleons
The primary two indoor coaching classes within the Aleons proved Nicole’s enter was productive. Pulling in on steep woodies, stabbing pockets, and placing excessive stress on small edges all revealed the effectiveness of the concave and pointy toe and the midsole stiffener. The sneakers rapidly molded to my foot, making the already comfy match much more so. I didn’t take the sneakers off as soon as throughout my second 45-minute stint.
Out on limestone, the sneakers continued to impress, with the efficiency indoors transferring to sport routes and boulders outdoor in a big zone of steepness. Ranging from about 15 levels overhanging as much as 45 levels overhanging appeared just like the Aleon’s candy spot; the average downturn, concave and pointy toe, and semi-stiff platform working on this common vary for sport climbing and bouldering within the mid to larger grades. For extra vertical terrain or routes and issues nearing horizontal, a stiffer or softer shoe with much less or extra downturn could possibly be simpler.
The Stealth C4 rubber had class-leading adhesion to each plastic and limestone, as anticipated from previous testing of sneakers utilizing the identical rubber compound. Each heel hooking and toe hooking felt safe and delicate; the heel hooking felt higher than some other 5 Ten shoe I’ve tried.
Fred Nicole’s expertise in each climbing and shoe design has helped 5 Ten create a terrific weapon for sport climbing and bouldering. The bodily traits of the Aleon bode effectively for climbers with wider forefoots, larger arches, and small heels heading to mid-high and high-grade targets. And for a efficiency oriented shoe, they’re remarkably comfy.
Hopefully, Nicole’s design enter places simply as a lot optimistic spin on 5 Ten’s different choices.