(4 out of 5)
When I first started climbing I only wanted to be wearing shoes that fit comfortably. I didn’t understand the point of jamming my feet in shoes that were way to small for me, suffering through the pain in search of what seemed like less than proportionate performance gains . The irony here is that at the time I loved to road bike and was willing to shrink wrap my body in lycra, sit on a piece of minimally padded plastic and suffer up mountain climbs for hours. I guess having sore feet was where I drew the suffering line.
The first time I put on the Moccasym slippers I loved them. The suction feeling fit as your heel slides in, no laces, no straps, and a nice leather that provides sensitivity and stretch for comfort. This is starting to sound like a Trojan condom review, but stick with me. For a noob like me, I wasn’t crack climbing, which is where the Moccasym really excels. I was just trying to learn how to climb while using a shoe that provided a bit more performance.
Fast forward a few years later, and many different styles of shoes having graced my feet, I found myself tying in to climb Wherever I May Roam with my Moccasym’s. The logic was I was going to be climbing for a little while and figured it would be nice to have a more comfortable shoe on. I’d always remembered the Moccasym to get the job done and still see some strong boulderers at the gym wearing them. Plus, I was only going to be climbing 5.9 (no big deal) for a few pitches. Pfshh, they’d be perfect, right?
The Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym is a great shoe. I’d give it a 5 out of 5 rating if we were only judging based on crack climbing or smearing ability. When it comes to more technical edging or even a route with any sort of mildly consistent technical climbing, other shoes provide better performance and confidence. That said, I always keep a pair on hand.
- Comfort: This can’t be overstated enough. Once you break these babies in, which doesn’t take long, you don’t really need to take them off between climbs.
- Easy on and off: As mentioned before, no laces or straps, just a quick tug on the heel pull tabs and they’re on.
- Keep jamming: The flexible sole and proper fit allow you jam your feet in cracks like no other. The shoe doesn’t restrict any twisting and with a flat foot/toes, jamming won’t feel nearly as shitty as it otherwise could.
- Smear away: Stealth C4 rubber keeps things sticky over the lifetime of the shoe. The unlined leather allows for sensitivity and digging in on smears.
- Durable: The Moccasym’s hold up well over time.
- Generally, a good all around shoe. There is a reason you see climbers of all types wearing these shoes.
The Not So Good
- Edging: The shoe doesn’t offer up as much confidence on technical climbs found at a place like Smith Rock. Mocs are not stiff, so standing on your toes all day at a place like Smith can get tiring.
- Red feet: It’s really not a big deal.
It’s best to size down at least a full size for Moccasym’s. I wear an 11.5 to 12 street shoe size depending on brand and wear a 10.5 in the Mocs. They might feel really tight the first time you pull them on but they will stretch and mold to your feet and eventually be nice and comfy.
To finish off the story I started, I wish I hadn’t worn my Moccasym’s that day climbing Wherever I May Roam. I wasn’t used to the lack of stiffness and what felt like uncertain edging underneath me compared to the Katana lace ups I usually wear. The Mocs ended up working just fine but it was a head trip most of the way. Flashback a few weeks earlier to a little jaunt up basalt column crack climbs at The Columns, and I was in heaven jamming and smearing with my Moccasym’s.
Given the price tag on Moccasym’s, I think there are better beginner shoes if you looking for comfort or just getting into the sport. I don’t think these would be my go-to purchase for an all around shoe either, especially if Smith Rock is your home crag. I’d opt for the Five Ten Anasazi VCS or Lace up. As mentioned earlier, there is always a time and place for the Moccasym and it never hurts to have in your arsenal.