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Red Chili Phantom, $139
Summary: Of all the shoes this year with a cupped sole, the unlined Phantom exploits this feature to the utmost, offering a firm yet sensitive edging platform that also smears well. With liberal amounts of toe and heel rubber, the shoe is versatile enough to go from the knobs of Tuolumne to the steep limestone of Rifle. One shortcoming: The toe box is narrow in comparison to the roomy heel, therefore catering to a fairly specific type of foot.
Pros: Excellent edging. Versatile.
Cons: Narrow toe box.
Overall grade: B+
Red Chili/Excalibur: (801) 942-8471, www.redchili.de