Review: Boreal Kintaro Climbing Shoe

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Boreal Kintaro Rock Climbing Shoe Bouldering

Boreal has made some crucial updates to this aggressive, medium-stiff performance shoe. With a wider toe box and a narrower heel, the new last transmits to better footwork on all types of terrain. More room up front gives toes increased power and accuracy, while the smaller heel vacuum-seals the fit for heel hooks and tricky foot maneuvers. Skinny-footed folks, fear not: Testers found they could still get an exact fit thanks to double-wide Velcro straps and a Neoprene tongue that not only wicks sweat but also keeps the shoes comfortable, even when cinching them all the way down. “The split-leather upper stretched nicely, too, offering me what seemed like a personalized fit,” one tester said after two months. A ribbed heel added friction and increased confidence on questionable heel hooks, and the new Zenith rubber recipe was some of the stickiest in our test. While the shoe is most at home on vertical to gently overhanging terrain, the aggressive shape and V2 Rand system (which tightens the shoe down on the whole back of the foot instead of just the heel like other rands) were exceptional for one tester’s alpine bouldering ambitions.

Conclusion 

The Kintaro delivers exactly what you want from a medium-aggressive performance shoe: superb edging, power on steep terrain, and comfort for longer pitches. 

$149; e-boreal.com

Further Reading
Review: 5 Superb Rock Climbing Shoes