Mammut Tabu, $109
Overall grade: B-
on pockets and smears; not meant for heel or toe hooking
Moderately asymmetric; narrow to medium width and volume throughout
Mammut’s Tabu, an unlined leather Velcro slipper, is definitely eye-catching — mostly because you notice right away what’s not there. In an effort to create the most ventilated shoe on the market, Mammut has removed every possible bit of material they could, retaining just enough to ensure that the shoe stays on your foot. “The concept for this shoe was to make it very sensitive, light, breathable, and unencumbering — and fun to wear,” says Dave Furman of Mammut.
In the gym, the Tabu was a kick and did quite well on steep, smeary problems, and its low profile was a plus on pockets. Stay away from heel and toe hooking, however — there’s just not enough material there to protect your foot. Outside, using the Tabu quickly becomes problematic. Because the heel is so open, it scoops up dirt, rocks, and bits of vegetation. If you want to use this “svelte, sexy, and Swiss” (according to one tester) model in the great outdoors, you’d better be lucky to enough to live near a crag with a grassy base area. Our recommended use: deep-water soloing.
Mammut USA: 800.451.5127,
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