The Five Ten Grandstone climbing shoe hits a bull’s-eye with trad climbers

From the folks who first brought you the Grandstone, welcome the Grandstone. That’s right. Other than the name and Stealth C4 soles, this Grandstone is an entirely different rock-climbing shoe. The name raises the eyebrows of trad climbers and there’s no point to giving up on the Stealth C4 rubber — it has the highest friction/durability ratio available.

The Five Ten Grandstone is a great example of how the Five Ten brand is benefiting from Adidas sourcing and manufacturing. Five Ten/Adidas
Banking on the Original

Five Ten started working on the original Grandstone shoe with the late-great Dean Potter, who we are informed was not entirely satisfied with the shoe as it initially went to market. But with access to new materials and manufacturing technology from Adidas, together the Five Ten and Adidas designers built a new shoe. “I think Dean would have loved the (this) Grandstone,” said Nancy Prichard Bouchard, media specialist at Five Ten. “Although, he would have already, as soon as it was released, be thinking of how to improve it.” We miss you Dean!

The designers worked long and hard to build the Grandstone as the perfect trad shoe – one with the performance, and comfort, needed to handle thousands of feet of steep cracks, with the inevitable edge moves. With climbers reporting in since the shoe went to market in September, it appears the design hits the bull’s-eye. “The Grandstones have been worth the wait,” sums up the report from one tester in Seattle.

talo martin
Climber Talo Martin puts the Grandstone to the test in Canyonlands.Five Ten/Adidas
Key Features

There’s a lot to say about the Grandstones. The original had a leather upper, this one a suede microfiber designed to mimic the comfort of leather, with minimal stretch and a lot more durability. Added durability is from the rubberized print in high wear areas. A big break through with the new Grandstone is the slightly hooked toe. It’s not a downturn, but enough curve to really twist into cracks and poke into pockets. The curve is handy especially for moving feet from a hard, thin crack to small pockets and edges on either side of the crack.

Grandstone fit
The Grandstone will conform to your foot after an outing or two.Five Ten/Adidas

After a short break-in, the Grandstone will conform to the unique shape of your foot and then fit that same way, climb after climb. Our testing confirmed that the shoe can be a contest to put on but becomes more comfortable with time, while holding fit like a glove. Inside the shoe is a plush purple microfiber that climbers will recognize as Five Ten’s 1980 heritage.

Five Ten Grandstone — $180