Five Ten Rogue VCS

Rogue VCSThe Five Ten Rogue VCS (MSRP $99) is a budget-priced super-soft Velcro slipper for all-around comfort. What I like about this slipper is that it’s extremely comfortable, fits well and the Velcro does a good job of cinching the shoe around my foot. However, its split-grain leather upper is not durable, and the shoe’s tongue slides around and bunches up.

One of the most comfortable shoes I’ve worn, the Five Ten Rogue VCS is billed as being a “transition” shoe for beginner/gym climbers looking to take their performance to the next level. I would agree with that assessment. This shoe is extremely soft, which I think really helps everyone from beginner to advanced climbers gain necessary toe strength and learn to think about placing their feet precisely. This is a fantastic shoe for training in the gym, but due to its fit and shape, I found myself being able to climb at a high level outdoors as well. I’d use it for sport climbing and bouldering, but not trad.

The Rogue VCS will eventually fall apart outside. The split-grain leather can’t withstand crack climbing, nor the harsh desert sand. But for those looking for a next-level high-performing shoe on a budget, this is a great option.

This shoe can’t edge very well, but it’s so soft that it allows you to use your toes and curl them around footholds. The Rogue VCS can handle basic edging, but it’ll curl up and over your toes when the footholds get too demanding.

A soft sole with Stealth C4 rubber allows for pretty good smearing capabilities. However, the lack of a high-performance fit made smearing a challenge as the shoe rolled underfoot.

One area this shoe was a surprising performer was on pockets. The pointed, low-profile toe plus the soft fit allowed me to feel more secure on really tiny pockets.  

This shoe worked well enough on heel hooks and toe hooks. The Velcro closures help cinch the shoe around your foot, ensuring that your heel won’t pop out even on demanding heel hooks. 

I think the design of the last has the potential to be a fantastic crack climbing shoe. In fact, I was hoping to use the Rogue VCS for this purpose. But the low-quality leather upper is simply not durable enough to withstand the rigors of crack climbing.

Bottom line, the Rogue VCS is a great price point, and so long as you don’t plan on using the shoe outdoors, especially for crack climbing.