Routesetter Review – 5.10 Warhawk

Jun 29, 2011Brooklyn Boulders

The run-down:
The Warhawk is  a beefed up, more supportive version of the Daescent–and thereby a big improvement.  If sized correctly, it’s a comfortable approach shoe that can edge and smear securely enough to cruise up to 5.8 (or harder if you’re daring) at the crag.

Tech Specs:

» An ultra lightweight approach shoe.
» Perforated nubuck leather upper promotes a supportive fit and breathable environment.
» External heel counter straps for enhanced support.
» Heel pull tab for easy on/off.
» Lightly padded tongue and contoured collar for added comfort and performance.
» EVA heel wedge for increased stability.
» Stealth® rubber outsole is ultra light and offers exceptional durability.
» Weight: 11 oz

The Whole Story:

I was eager to try the new Warhawk, having inherited an old pair of Daescents from NY hardman, Ivan Greene (a big fringe benefit of knowing Ivan and having the same size feet) and beaten them to pulp for 6 months routesetting at BKB.  The Daescent was (and is) a good shoe for setting–light-weight, comfortable and more than adequate for testing moves mid-set.  My only beef was with their complete lack of support and the way they got floppy and toothless as time wore on.  The Daescent was truly an indoor animal. With the Warhawk, it looked like 5.10 took my beef and put it right back into the shoe.  Thicker tongue, stiffer sole for better edging.  I had to try it.  So I did.
I took them straight to the Gunks for a day of trad.  On the approach, I tied them snug (I lace them more openly around the gym) and hiked the stairmaster up from the parking lot to the carriage road with my mind on my feet.  The EVA heel wedge and the extra heel padding of the insole combined to protect my heels from gravel and jagged scree, while my toes in the Stealth rubber-randed toe box felt grippy and precise with each step.  Good thing, because my quads were on fire…stupid stairmaster.  All day, as we scrambled along the base of the Trapps from Shockley’s Ceiling to Wonderland, the Warhawks kept me nimble as a mountain filly while protecting my feet.  In fact, they would have been perfect, if I had sized them correctly, and therein-literally-lies the rub.
I wear a size 10 street shoe and when I was sizing at Send Supplies, the size 10’s felt like a great compromise between my approach shoe needs and my climbing shoe needs, but after a couple hours of scrambling, I realized that I probably should have sized up by a half size, sacrificing a little bit of climbing precision for more walking comfort.  It’s tricky–all shoes in the Warhawk’s class are a marriage of two ideals, approach perfection and climbing adequacy.  Beware, when sizing, of skewing toward a snugger fit.  It’s gonna cramp your style as soon as you try to walk any farther than from your sesh at BKB to your sesh at Canal Bar.  Me, I’m going to have to try to take the ol’ shoe stretcher to ’em.  Luckily this pair will see most of it’s action inside BKB as I set routes for all you plastic-pulling weenies and for that calling, they do me proud.  So next time you’re grovelling through one of my V4’s and cursing me for a hack setter and no kind of gentleman, remember I probably did your project in my approach shoes.

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