This story originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of our print edition.
“Lightweight trailrunner meets climbing shoe,” one tester summed up pretty simply. We’ve long loved the Helios for its excellent performance while boulder-hopping in Boulder Canyon, Colorado, running up approach slabs in Red Rock, and on fourth class scrambles in the Tetons, and the simple addition of sticky rubber to the sole makes it twice as nice. In fact, we love it so much that we gave it an Editors’ Choice Award. The “MorphoDynamic” EVA midsole is softer than other midsoles, and it molds to your individual foot shape almost immediately. None of our testers experienced blisters or even a single hot spot, and they praised the ultra-breathable AirMesh nylon for keeping feet dry and happy, especially in arid climates and on swampy slogs. Another upgrade: A slightly larger, beefier toe bumper protects feet from run-ins with roots and rocks on the descent. Note that these are minimalist shoes. “They’re not ideal for long approaches with a heavy pack, but for anything moderate, these shoes can’t be beat.” Sizing note: These are quite low-profile and designed to fit snug, so most feet, especially high volume or high arches, were more comfortable with a half size up.
“Cover a light, zippy trailrunner in sticky rubber, and you get the Helios SR.” A durable but breathable nylon-mesh upper and large toe bumper protect your feet without sweating them out, making these ideal for every climbing discipline during the nine months that aren’t winter.
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