2004 High-performance edging shoes

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Evolv Rage, $89Overall grade: CTarget climbs: Slabs, vertical to slightly overhanging face routesFit: Moderately asymmetric last; medium to wide volume throughout, with a low archSummary: Slippers traditionally don’t edge well, but combined a lined synthetic upper and a bit of midsole and maybe you could fix that problem. With that in mind, the Evolv Rage offers a different kind of slipper that eschews sensitive smearing in favor of edging power, while still offering the convenience of a slipper. Unfortunately, the result is sub-par. The shoe doesn’t deliver the edging performance of the La Sportiva Venom or the Five Ten Anasazi, despite its compromised sensitivity. On vertical and lower-angle faces, it displayed an unnerving tendency to roll off edges instead of standing on them with authority — testers found that the shoe’s upper did not provide enough support to keep the toe box from rotating.

Mammut Blaze Lace Pro, $125Overall grade: A-Target climbs: Edging on slightly under vertical to slightly overhanging routesFit: Moderately asymmetric overall; medium to wide fit overallSummary: The Mammut Blaze Lace Pro is an excellent edging shoe that flirts with steeper sport-climbing versatility. “Most important is to notice that the reference climber for this model is the addicted-but-not-so-hardcore climber,” says designer Carsten von Birckhahn. The centerpiece of this shoe is its cupped midsole, that provides a beefy edging platform around the perimeter of the toe box yet still allows for more sensitive smearing under the forefoot. Testers found that the shoe frontpointed well, thanks to its firm, structured toe box, which also helps the shoe perform on turned-out, edgy face routes. The Blaze Lace Pro’s heel cup is a little boxy, lacking a pronounced area for latching hooking holds. The lacing system cinches up well overall, and extends well down the toe box, so you can tighten down on the toes when you need that extra bit of control.

2004 Rock Shoe Manufacturers

Acopa: (510) 262-9581, www.acopausa.com Boreal: (310) 576-9965, www.e-boreal.com Bufo: (877) 922-5462, www.rockshoes.com Cava/Liberty Mountain: (888) 902-5462, www.libertymountainclimbing.com Evolv: (714) 891-0555, www.evolvesports.com Five Ten: (909) 798-4222, www.fiveten.com La Sportiva: (303) 443-8710, www.sportiva.com Mad Rock: (503) 797-1952, www.madrockshoes.com Mammut/Climb High: (802) 985-5056, www.climbhigh.com Montrail: (206) 621-9303, www.montrail.com Red Chili/Excalibur: (801) 942-8471, www.redchili.de Saltic/Bear Adventure: (866) 472-5842, www.salticshoes.com Scarpa/Black Diamond: (801) 278-5533, www.scarpa-us.com Triop/Vertical Addiction: (403) 688-1830, www.vertical-addiction.com