Verdict from 1 expert and 5 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Vertical wonder: According to a blogger, the Five Ten Niad VCS excels on vertical faces, on top of overhangs and thin seams.
  • Edge master: Whether on ledges or tiny nubbins, this bad boy is simply phenomenal, a professional reviewer says.
  • Instant comfort: It is one of those rock climbing shoes that possess plush confines right from the get-go.
  • Grippy: To a footwear pundit, the Niad VCS from Five Ten is remarkably sticky, particularly on smooth-surface smears.
  • Glove-like: This offering has been reported to have a dead-zone-free fit.
  • Breathable: An expert finds the featured shoe to be quite capable of dealing with stuffiness.

1 reason not to buy

  • Could-be-tougher front tip: The rubber around the shoe’s big toe loses its pointiness easily, says a seasoned climbing gear critic.

Bottom line

“A scene-stealer on various holds” may very well be the most accurate description for the Niad VCS. Its well-roundedness also translates to you finally being able to send semi-challenging problems without feeling the need to reach for a different pair. While it is not without an Achille’s heel, this 5.10 offering—as long as it lasts—has enough aces to keep you spidering through various routes (especially indoors).

Tip: see the best climbing shoes.

5.10 NIAD VCS: Anasazi VCS redefined

This section’s header should be telling enough: The NIAD VCS is the reimagining of the Anasazi VCS. At first glance, they look strikingly identical. That being said, they do have distinctive qualities, the most notable of which are listed below.


The NIAD VCS is as flat as camber-less rock shoes go, offering more than enough comfort on multi-pitch climbs. Its predecessor, on the other hand, had a moderate downturn, which makes mounting on micro-edges easier.


Five Ten engineers did away with the Anasazi VCS’ liner in the NIAD VCS. Translation: An unlined climbing shoe usually delivers more sensitivity and flexibility at the possible expense of extra upper cushioning.


Unlike the Anasazi VCS’ asymmetric shape, the NIAD VCS has a straight construction. This kind of engineering trades toeing power for enhanced smearing prowess.

Toe patch

The minuscule toe patch seen in the Anasazi VCS has been vastly improved in the NIAD VCS. Yes, the featured shoe’s sticky toe rubber covers almost the entire forefoot, which should give you more toe-hooking coverage.

Additional info

  • NIAD actually stands for “Nose in a Day.” Nose is a popular big wall on El Capitan, which climbers all over the world attempt to send “in a day” as a rite of passage.
  • Five Ten launched the NIAD VCS alongside two other kicks: The NIAD Moccasym and the NIAD Lace.


How Five Ten NIAD VCS ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 45% neutral climbing shoes
All neutral climbing shoes
Top 48% Five Ten climbing shoes
All Five Ten climbing shoes
Bottom 44% indoor climbing shoes
All indoor climbing shoes


The current trend of Five Ten NIAD VCS.
Compare to another shoe: