Overhanging footwork is a bear — figuring out how to align your hips, toe in to holds, and heel- and toe-hook efficiently takes its toll when the pump clock is ticking. So when you find a shoe that dances with you on the super-steeps and transitions equally well onto precision face, you love it up. Nicely fitting this bill, the SCARPA FEROCE ($135, scarpa.com) is a high-end adept on all things beyond the vertical, with its narrow, bullet toe shining especially in pockets and thin cracks. Performance comes via a few key features: flypaper-sticky toe-scumming patch; pronounced heel flange for primo hooking; triple Velcro closure to ratchet fit; and the reliable hold of the Vibram XS Grip sole. Size tightly to take full advantage of the V-tension rand, a 3-D foot support that, when you toe down, focusses power into the toebox by re-releasing energy stored in the rand.

—Matt Samet

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