Tuesday, 12 July 2016

5.10 Quantum review

Now firstly I never actually owned a pair of the old style purple Quantum’s, although I did in fact once try a pair on many years ago. So while I am unable to comment directly from experience on the comparisons between the old and new versions, I can give a run down on the key qualities of the new design and offer a comparison to some of the other shoes in the 5.10 lineup that have similar attributes.

Below is what the crew at the Tennie HQ have to say:

"For the redevelopment of the classic Quantum, we worked with the Huber brothers, Alex and Thomas, to develop an all-around performance shoe for any climbing setting. We started with a Stealth® C4™ outsole, the Hubers tackle a diverse range of climbs with many different angles and rock textures and C4™ is our most versatile compound. The shoe has a stiff midsole and lined Clarino synthetic upper, so it stays comfortable for extended periods of wear. The tongue is a perforated ariaprene, which conforms to the foot and provides unmatched breathability. The Quantum is built on a new last; it is slightly downturned and a bit wider than our traditional downturned lasts allowing your foot to sit in a more natural position."

I first picked up a pair of the re-designed Quantum towards the end of last Autumn. It was late in the season and the limestone was beginning to give way to the onslaught of the winter months.
However before it gave up the ghost entirely, I did get to give them a few run outs on my project at the time.

They are a stiff, down turned boot that offer unparalleled support. They are a slightly wider last than before and come with a very sharp edge making standing on and pushing off small microscopic edges a dream. The design of the heel cup is all new compared its predecessor, feeling secure and tight around your foot, with zero dead space.
The route I briefly tried towards the end of the last season was Evolution at Raven Tor. Anyone that knows anything about this route will know of the nature of its series of small holds throughout. 
The route obviously requires exceptionally strong fingers but it equally requires precise, intricate footwork. The Quantum felt like the perfect tool for the job from the moment I first gave them a run at the wall. 
The C4 sole brings a huge degree of sensitivity and stiffness throughout the entire shoe, enabling you to really generate some serious push throughout the toe box. The down turned toe gives them an aggressive feel, which along with the stiff edge, enables you to wrap your toes around those micro edges.

Two other stand out features are the perforated tongues which give a very comfy and snug like feel and a lacing system that does the job of maintaining the tension as the laces are tightened up. A small detail maybe, but something that just adds that little bit extra.

It was not long before the crux moves on the headwall of Evo started to become much more amenable and I suddenly found myself linking over two thirds of the route in a oner.
Unfortunately that was the last time I got to use them as the season quickly came to an end, winter set in and shortly after Christmas so did my injury. 

However, I made sure they were apart of my line-up for my recent trip back to the Gorges du Tarn. I had a feeling they would suit the style of climbing out there and this proved to be the case.

I have to admit I am a big big fan of the Teams. They are my go to shoe for a lot of stuff. Particularly abroad, but I made sure to give the Quantum's their fair chance and they honestly felt at home straight away. Performing just how I imagined them too on the steep pocketed walls of the gorge.
Perhaps not a shoe (to begin with) for smearing, slab style routes but I am sure once bedded in and softened slightly they would feel equally good on such terrain.

One thing to note is that thanks to the Clarino synthetic uppers, these shoes will maintain their shape and barely offer any stretch so keep that in mind when trying on.

Obviously, as always with climbing shoes, there will be various and conflicting opinions but there is no doubt in my mind that this is another top quality, high performing shoe in the 5.10 range.