With great pain, comes great gripability
I bought a pair of these because they were on sale at Rock/Creek. I really didn't need them as I had a pair of Arrowheads that were serving me quite well as my bouldering and sport climbing shoe. Yet being the gearhead that I am, I couldn't resist buying a pair.
From the get-go, I can certainly say that breaking in these shoes was among the more painful of break-ins I've experienced in my climbing career to date. I purchased a pair equivalent to my US shoe size of 10.5 and couldn't even climb in them out of the box. It took about 5 lounge wears before I could start climbing in them.
However, after about a month of light climbing and continual lounging break-in sessions, I've managed to get these to be comfortable enough to use for serious project and onsight attempts. The HF Stealth rubber is quite good but I can't really say that I personally am capable of noticing much of a difference over the Onyxx/Mystique rubber. For the most part, I have found that my feet seem pasted to the rock or plastic and inspires a bit of confidence.
The last is quite aggressive and so I found it difficult to find these shoes useful in any application other than steep terrain. I've tried slabby and vertical climbs and simply found that the massive downturn was more of hinderance than benefit. This may also be attributed to how the shoe is sized to MY feet so that is not universal to everyone (though the Dragons were really never design for slab anyway!). However on the steeps these shoes performed admirably as I found my feet staying on in positions that my feet might normally slip off or cut out. Maintaining body tension seemed a bit easier especially on those big open stance moves. While not the most sensitive shoe I've owned, the toe has a very unique shape that allows for very precise placement and sort of act like talons. If you've trained your feet with more sensitive shoes, then these shoes have the potential have transforming your feet into a second pair of hands.
The heel doesn't fit me perfectly but I've never really had a pair of rock shoes that had a perfect heel. On that note, I've never had an issue with heel hooks at all. While there is rubber on the toe for good hooking, the Dragons to me are not the best toe-hooking shoe on the market (see the Teams). The laces are great for adjusting fit and most of the time, I seldom do my laces up anyway because the fit is so tight.
I can comfortably say that the hype around these shoes are well warranted but due to limited applications I found for these shoes, I really only reccommend a pair of these for someone with specific needs in the bouldering/sport climbing discipline. Beginners really need not apply as the break-in requires quite a bit of patience and fortitude, the aggressive last is not for everyone and the HF rubber isn't as durable as say C4 rubber. However, for those who are serious about their climbing, consider a pair of these for your hardest steeps!
Great bouldering shoe!!
**Just a comment on sizing. I usually wear a US Men's size 5.5 in 5.10 shoes (Moccasym, Project). I purchased these in a US Men's 6.5. The shoe will not stretch too much so beware when cramming your toes into something super unbearable.**
Bought these shoes as an extra pair(in addition to my 5.10 Projects) to take on my recent Bishop, CA trip. It's a great all around bouldering shoe. I was able to climb overhanging problems as well as the slabby stuff in these shoes. Since I like tight fitting shoes, I would not recommend them for a trad/multi-pitch trip...because they aren't the most comfortable thing to be standing around in.
The lace up feature allows you to adjust how tight the shoes fit...really nice for the insane oh-my-god-my-shoe-better-not-slip heel hook. At the same time if you wear your shoes like I wear mine, they take longer to get off when you get those awesome foot cramps.
Compared to the 5.10 Project, the Dragon is not as sensitive (since the rubber is thicker) on the rock. I like being able to feel exactly where on the holds my feet are when climbing--especially if they are tiny chips. The thicker rubber does make it less painful to climb compared to the Projects though...so they're both equally awesome.
I love the Dragons and will definitely keep them in my arsenal at the crags.
These are my go-to shoes for hard steep sport climbs. The rubber is phenomenal. You place your foot and it doesn't move.
The fit is amazing once they're broken in. They don't stretch much since they're synthetic, but they do form to your feet. I've never had a shoe that fit my heel so perfectly. They literally fit like a second skin. Slipper-like except the laces let you adjust the fit. The only drawback is that the break-in period is a little rough, but definitely worth it.
The other thing to be careful with is the sizing. They run small, at least they did for me. I ended up with the 5.5 (37.5) and I fit women's street shoe 7. In retrospect, I probably should have gone a half size larger and then maybe the break-in wouldn't have been as bad. Friends with the same street shoe size as me have tried my shoes and can't get them on, so I think they run at least a size small. I have wide feet btw.
Just for reference, I wear in 35.5 Women's Sportiva Miuras (lace-ups) and 37 in Scarpa Rockettes.
I'd say the Dragons are more aggressive than the Miura but not as downturned as the Rockettes.
The best climbing shoe ever
I bought the Team 5.10 climbing shoe size 9 from rock/creek but it dosen't fit my left foot and as I live in Brazil it would be very difficult to change for another size so I changed with a friend for the Dragon size 9 which I could try first. the result was awesome. I used the Team a couple of times before the change and for me they are the same shoe, but with more rubber to Team which make it an unbreakable shoe.
In my first climbing trip with the Dragon shoe, I did an 7A+ which needs a very firm toe hook and precision on crimpy feet. Without the Dragon I couldn't do this move.
One of the reasons that makes me like so much this shoe is the heel hook with the rubber strip which fits everywhere.
In simple words: The best climbing shoe ever with perfect simmetry.
the shoe that keeps on giving
Dragons are simply the gold standard of high-performance bouldering / sport shoes. There's a reason so many experienced climbers use this as their sending shoe: they are the top of all notches!! Yes, the Team 5.10 might be slightly more precise / sensitive... but it can also be painful and hard to put on / take off. The dragons can be fit super-tight, and still worn for a few hours. Stealth rubber is not overhyped, it is truly superior. The downturn on these shoes will keep its form for the life of the shoe. Not for slab climbing, per se... but I've done that too. Buy these if you want to up your game on the pebbles.
lean mean sending machine
i mainly climb boulders, so i can not shed light on whether these are decent for long climbs. but i love them to pieces. great edge. awesome toe box, and the rubber is definitely sticky. they take a bit to get used to if you haven't worn a shoe with a significant down turn before. so take that into consideration and definitely get as small a size as you can, you will understand once you DON"T PEEL OFF THAT MICRO-LEDGE. other than that i have nothing more to say. will be getting another pair when i get to that bridge.
Weapons strapped to your feet
These are far and away my favorite projecting shoes for bouldering and sport climbing. They fit my feet like a glove. I feel like the heel and toe box were made just for me. I will always keep a pair of these around as long as they continue to make them.
note: I do have to get these a full size larger then my Anasazis or other flat-lasted 5.10s.
This shoe climbs a v15, so no excuses.
Great for sending your project. Heel hooks and toe hooks like a dream. Edges awesomely as well. Doesn't smear too well if you get it sized aggressively and because of the downturn shape. Stealth rubber is sticky as it gets.
If you boulder, these shoes are bombtastic
Also, not too comfortable if you like to wear your shoes tight. I take my off between climbs.
lean mean sending machine
i LOVE this shoe. sweet sticky rubber (not good tasting), razor sharp edges (not for shaving), and an awesome toe box (to keep your piggies in line). the down turn style can be a bit much at first, but you quickly see the AWESOME-NESS it provides.
i suggest you try them since you are already looking at them.
By far the best shoe i've owned to date. I've gone through almost all the brands and i have to say, if your looking for a comfortable, aggressive bouldering or sport climbing shoe, you've found it. Feels like a second pair of hands.