It’s been a while now since the New Blanco’s were released. Brought back by popular demand, when these were dropped from the range there was an outcry. Was it a good move to bring them back, and are they as good or even better?

These shoes are not for the masses, they are not for beginners, they are high performance. Perhaps hard to justify in the range in terms of numbers sold, but think top end Ferrari; there won’t be many sales, but everyone knows they are the absolute best, and that the brand is all about performance. So having the Blanco in the 5.10 range, though not for everyone, shows everyone that 5.10 mean business and that they are not just churning out punter shoes.

It was the likes of Tom Randal, Pete Whitacker, Sonny Trotter and myself that pushed for the return. For us and many more, these shoes really do make the difference. For sure the ‘whites’ will be clearly visible on many hard ascents.

The Blanco is a stiff shoe, not downturned, but aggressively fitted to force the toe into the shoe front for precise edging. The stiffness gives incredible power through the toe and unbelievable confidence when standing on tiny edges, and we are talking tiny! Described by many as ‘the go to shoe for UK rock’ they perform best, and pretty much unmatched, on UK limestone and mountain trad. Think vertical to slightly overhanging with small edges and the need to stand there a while (maybe placing gear). Malham, Raventor, Pembroke, Cromlech, Lakes…

17 11 blanco review

Once 5.10 decided to bring them back it was crucial to make them at least as good. Better would have been nice, but they had already pretty much found perfection. But better was the ideal, and after a little testing the new Blanco came back the same in most areas but even better in others.

Most notable is the stiffness. It begins the same, and like the previous Blanco retains this for a good while, but where the old White lost stiffness, the new retains it for much, much longer. A thermo-plastic midsole won’t breakdown, ensuring performance right till the end.

The toe is slightly less ‘pointy’, we are talking tiny amounts here, giving equal performance but perhaps a tad more comfort. There is also a little less volume in the toe box holding the toes in position for precise edging.

There is also a slight tidying up of the cosmetics, black tabs, black laces; an awesome look.

Same C4 rubber, same heel, same fit.

A few people have noted the sizing to be slightly different, perhaps ¼ of a size smaller, but stick to your same size as normal and they will feel tighter and better.

In terms of fitting from new, it’s the same story, don’t go for a death squeeze, those days are gone now. They will stretch a little, but from the off they should be awesome.

Personally I’ve given these a thrashing now, on my 2nd pair, but they have lasted longer than I expected and remained in their ‘performance phase’ all the way through. Having pretty much lived in Whites for the last 9 years I know them well. I was gutted to see them go, but more than happy with what has returned!