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With a female-specific last designed to fit a lower volume foot, Lowa’s first stab at a performance shoe for women has a slight downturn and a medium-stiff midsole to excel at a wide variety of angles and climbs. The Sparrow is multi-pitch ready and performed well on every type of terrain from slab to steep. Testers found the overall shape aggressive enough for roofs, and the tapered toe transferred power into the front of the foot while edging. “It’s a perfect balance of comfort and performance,” says one tester, “with a little more focus on performance.” The Sparrow wowed another tester with its unmatched wearability over long stretches of time. She noted that she could “walk around the crag or the gym with these on and not need to take them off,” loving them as a high-mileage gym shoe. A thick section of proprietary LC-SuperGrip rubber under the toe makes the shoes extra durable. Still, the shoes are pretty stiff, so if you prefer a soft and sensitive feel, look elsewhere. Bonus: The Bio-Active inner lining is anti-microbial, saving your climbing partner shoe-smell shock when you open up your crag bag.
These durable queens of comfort are tailored to any climber who wants a sizeable step up in performance from pure-comfort shoes without losing ease of wear.
Review: 5 Superb Rock Climbing Shoes