La Sportiva Jeckyl VS
Instead of trying to add performance to a pure comfort shoe, La Sportiva took a top-of-the-line shoe and dialed back the aggressiveness by loosening the tensioning in the heel rand and flattening out the downturn. The result? A shoe that’s easy to wear all day, but still has enough high-end features (rigid forefoot for toeing in and edging, asymmetric toe for precision, and sticky Vibram XS Edge rubber) for performance on hard routes. The relaxed heel rand lets you stand comfortably at belays (the back of the shoe won’t dig into your ankle; a small split in the leather upper there helps with this, too). Plus, the 5mm stiff rubber protected and supported our testers’ feet on multiple 400-foot routes in Red Rock, Nevada. These shoes are great for long, moderate routes and big mileage days. Small gripe: The bulky tongue extends across the entire top of the foot, which made it difficult for some testers to dial in the fit.