This story originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of our print edition.
“On the comfort-performance spectrum, these fall almost smack dab in the middle because they’re easy to wear for eight or 10 hours, but I can edge like a champ on vertical faces and find micro-nubs on slabs,” one tester said. Although rare for a flat-lasted shoe, the band of rubber up and over the Achilles really drove power to the toe and forefoot for precision moves on the stem-fest Not My Cross to Bear in Penitente Canyon, Colorado. Testers’ feet weren’t the least bit fatigued on 10-pitch routes in Red Rock, Nevada. Testers praised the Tongue-Lock System, which placed Velcro between the tongue and the side of the shoe that prevents the super-soft and cushy tongue from sliding out of place when twisting and torqueing your foot into place. A full-length midsole and 4.2mm of TRAX rubber meant testers could stand at belays for hours without foot fatigue or arch pain, and they added to the durability of the shoe: “From Vedauwoo to Tuolumne Meadows, I’ve tried to beat these up, but they’re not wavering in the least.” Plus, thicker rubber on the toe prevented one climber’s bad footwork from burning through the easily damaged forefoot area. The leather upper will stretch about a half-size, which might also mean a few weeks of discomfort in the shoe before it molds to your foot. Wide or high-volume feet should look elsewhere.
“A solid, do-it-all shoe that is comfortable on everything moderate: cracks, in the gym, and on 10-pitch sufferfests.” A leather upper and laces allow you to dial in a full-comfort fit or a tighter one, with unbeatable edging power.
Review: Our Top 11 Rock Climbing Shoes