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No matter how much shredded gnar you leave in your wake, one fact remains: to climb well, you need good footwork. But it’s hard to know which shoes to pack, especially when you’re new to the game. This summer, a bomber toe-twinkler enters the all-around market: the LA SPORTIVA NAGO ($99, sportiva.com), a comfort-fitting performance lace-up. Waddya get? Stickier-than-flypaper 5mm Vibram XS Grip soles, a perforated upper for ventilation, a synthetic-leather arch that wicks sweat, and a 1.1mm Laspoflex midsole as your edging platform. I rode the Nago hard on August-hot granite — crack, face, slab, flares. Performance stayed high, and everyone went home happy, with bizzled, pain-free feet.

—Matt Samet

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Film: How Matt Cornell Free Soloed One of America’s Classic Hard Mixed Routes

"The Nutcracker" explores the mental challenges of solo climbing and the tactics Cornell used to help him send the route.