This story originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of our print edition.
Downturned but not too downturned. Soft but not too soft. Stiff but not too stiff. One tester called these “the Goldilocks of performance shoes” because of the balance between comfort and technical performance. However, the shoe did go to one extreme—“Sticky, sticky, sticky!” is how another tester described the tried and true Stealth C4 rubber. The aggressive profile, pointed toe, and sensitive feel made this great for the overhangs and steeps of Little River Canyon in Alabama, but a stiffer midsole meant that testers could still edge well on the vertical walls of Shelf Road in Colorado. “Wears like a slipper, performs like a Velcro,” said one tester of the single strap, which is placed high over the arch of the foot to lock everything in place. A slightly oversized toe box allowed testers’ toes to have room to curl up so they could wear them for long gym sessions and only take them off a few times. Plus, the unlined leather upper proved itself to be stink-free for four different testers after five months of use. Even though it is a leather shoe, meaning it will stretch slightly over time, the sizing is quite small, so go up at least a half size from your street shoe. Testers found it was “difficult to get on—like putting a large orange in a small sock.” Narrow-heeled testers said the heel felt “slightly baggy and insecure.”
With a comfortable fit and medium-high level of performance, the Hiangle is excellent for climbers looking for their first pair of aggressive shoes or those who want a higher level of performance in the gym.
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