Five Ten Quantum

Review: Five Ten Quantum Rock Climbing Shoe

Five Ten updated the Quantum last year and the result is a well-designed, featured and finished shoe that’s hard to miss in bright blue suede.  The breathable tongue and lined interior give the shoe a soft feel and soak up the sweat on long days while the always reliable C4 Stealth rubber provides secure footing on the rock.  A versatile shoe that’s good for everything but the most steeply overhung routes with the best heel fit I think I’ve ever had!

Five Ten Quantum
Five Ten Quantum shoes right out of the box. The combination of flat lacing and barrel lacing allow the shoes to fit well into cracks while still being relatively easy to put on. The top lace hole really locks in the heel for the best fit around the heel I’ve ever had in a rock shoe.


  • 4.2mm C4 Stealth Rubber sole
  • Fully lined (even underfoot)
  • Synthetic Clarino upper
  • Ariaprene tongue
  • Flat laces
  • Bright blue

Fit: Based on a new last the Quantums are on the wider end of the spectrum and so great for anyone with a medium to wide foot.  Despite the wide last at the ball of the foot the toe box is fairly narrow giving the shoe a snug, but not uncomfortable, feel through the toes.  The heel is also quite comfortable with a exceptional fit that’s facilitated by the top most lace hole that pulls the back of the shoe into the heel while not digging into the achilles tendon. The lined interior provides a really nice soft feel but unfortunately a stitched seam is located over the toes was problematic.  On the left shoe the seam was more pronounced and uncomfortable/painful when climbing slab or thin edges while on the right shoe this seam was not noticeable at all.  The issue was not simply related to my feet as several testers experienced the same issue with the test shoes.  However, it may be that the test shoe with the pronounced seam is an anomaly, if you have any feedback please post it!  Aside from the seam issue the fit is similar to the Vapor Lace and the Katana Lace and definitely worth checking out if your feet are medium wide or beat up from skiing like mine are.

Five Ten Quantum
The Quantum’s have a slightly down-turned toe but not so much that they’re uncomfortable.

Stretch:  I went a full size bigger in the Quantum’s than I wear in a Moc expecting little in the way of any stretch due to the lined synthetic uppers and I’m glad as they didn’t really stretch at all in the time that I’ve used them.  They did relax a little around the second and third toe from my little toe which was nice as they fit tight in that area.

Performance:  I was quite pleased with the performance of these shoes on all types of granite climbing as well as on some limestone and plastic.  The slightly downturned toe and stiff mid-sole allow for technical edging while still allowing the shoes to smear.  I also found that the shape of the Quantum made jamming a little less painful than it can sometimes be by keeping my toes flat while the thick sole stopped the shoe from compressing my foot.  On face climbing outside and at the gym the shoes also performed quite well on all but the steepest or thinnest routes where a severely downturned toe is needed.  Lastly, with the thick 4.2mm sole I expect these shoes to have a longer lifespan before requiring resoling or replacement.

Five Ten Quantum
The combination of the perforated ariaprene tongue and lined interior give the shoes a uniquely cozy feel.

Another feature of the shoes that I really liked is that my feet never changed color!  The liner that’s sewn into the shoe not only kept my foot from getting overly sweaty on long hot multi-pitch climbs but also stopped the die from leaching and giving me smurf feet.

Pros: Very well made, lined, amazing heel fit, soft and comfortable, climb well

Cons: Stitched seam over the toes was painful on one of the shoes (an isolated issue?)

Overall:  A versatile all-day multi-pitch or single pitch shoe that performs well on all types of rock while maintaining a very soft and comfortable feel.  The only downside to the shoe is a stitched seam over the toes that may be uncomfortable depending on how pronounced it is and the fit of the shoe on your foot, it’s well worth testing them out by standing on an edge in the store to see if it will bother you or not.

Five Ten supplied a pair of shoes for review but of course this has not influenced our opinion in any way.  Cover photo by Raf, other photos by Bonnie.