/ Boreal Zenith slippy rubber?

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MrWayne on 10 Oct 2016
Bought a pair of Boreal Lynx. Lovely shoe, fit and design is great for me since I want a flatter all-round shoe.

However, compardd to five ten C4 and evolv rubber I was using before it feels very slippy. Bouldering yesterday i actually climbed a route easier with no feet than using the Boreal Lynx since the shoe would unexpectedly slip off holds. Climbing the same route back to back with a pair of Five Ten Hiangles was like night and day.

Has anyone experienced this Boreal "Zenith" rubber? Does it wear in and become stickier? I have to think it must because almost all reviews of Boreal shoes say it's a sticky rubber.

3leggeddog on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:

I have a pair of boreal shoes which I use at the wall.

The rubber on them is great for training your footwork, if you haven't weighted the hold correctly then you are off.

Every cloud...
MrWayne on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to 3leggeddog:

Ha, that's interesting, that sounds like the experience I had.

I wonder why they are called "super sticky" in almost every Boreal shoe review then
john arran - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:

I struggle sometimes to understand the anti-Boreal rubber brigade, even more so now that they're using Zenith. I've been on Kalymnos all week with Zenith-soled shoes and on more than one occasion the tiny footholds felt so secure it felt like cheating.

One thing I have noticed although mainly with the older Fusion rubber, is that if you haven't used them for a while, and particularly if it's cold, you may need to give them a quick spittle rub before use. I don't know the chemistry behind it but the temporarily hard and slippy rubber revives almost instantly.
james1978 - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:

All new shoes have a slightly slippy feel to them when they are new. You have to wear them in on quite a few routes before the rubber is at its best. It's similair to the reason behind F1 drivers doing warm up laps to bed their tyres in - you see them doing agresssive s turns to improve the fricton on their slicks.
andy farnell - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:

Boreal. The best shoes in the world. For campussing and fingerboarding...

Andy F
4
Nadroj on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to andy farnell:
Not held me back.........
Post edited at 21:57
bouldery bits - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:

I find all new shoe's stickiness benefit from a bit of use.
MrWayne on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to james1978:

Yea I agree and think most rubbers probably wear in a bit. However the five ten hiangles and evolv Nexxos I have did not have this problem at all.
andy farnell - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Nadroj: Rampaging elephants couldn't hold you back.

Andy F

1
ripper - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:

I haven't climbed in Boreals for years but from memory they come with a smooth, almost polished finish to the sole rubber when new - whereas my 5.10s (and others I've seen/used) have a rougher, kind of 'wire-brushed' finish. Not sure if this is still the case?
I've heard it said that Boreal rubber becomes approximately as sticky as most others eventually, but (for the above reason) just takes quite a lot longer to break in. You could always try giving them a good scrub with a wire brush - if you don't mind taking a chunk of time off the back end of their life expectancy, that is...
MrWayne on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to ripper:
That definately seems to be the case.

Five tens have little rough surface and it's very sticky - you can notice it just by touch.

The Boreals have a smooth finish on the rubber - like they'd been polished with sandpaper or something.

You're probably right that beneath this layer may well be sticky rubber. I've taken a kitchen scrubber to the bottom, hopefully that won't remove as much rubber or leave lasting gouges like a wire brush might.I also messaged Boreal on Facebook and they said it might just be the surface rubber and to climb a few more times in them. I'll report back soon.


Post edited at 13:44
gethin_allen on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:

Boreal soles appear to be moulded and then the front is ground to roughen the surface, so I'm guessing the initial slippery rubber issues are related to a release agent used.
I've had this on a few different trail shoes that have complex sole designs eg my old TNF hedgehogs which were slippery as hell at first but later wore in nicely.
MrWayne on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to gethin_allen:

Hope you're right, again in the gym for about 4 hours last night they were still noticably much slippier than a pair of vibram xs grip shoes I have. And that's after I scrubbed them a little with a bit of soap to roughen up / hopefully remove any surface chemicals.

Going to Spain at the weekend so I want to believe they'll break in.
andi turner - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:

Seems a little strange, but I'm pretty sure they'll break in. I've been in them for years and always found them excellent straight out of the box, but then again I don't do much indoors.

When you consider the likes of Jordan and Caff pushing the limits every week in them, and the amazing Spanish team of folks like Dani Andrada and Edu Marin doing the same in their turf I don't think there's much doubt in their stickiness, so it might be just worth sticking it out (no pun intended) a bit until they're bedded in. If they fit properly, then I don't think you'll find a much better boot.

andy farnell - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to andi turner: Beyond sponsered wads I can't think of may of our top climbers who wear Boreal, certainly not many of the usual Malham/Tor crowd. Most wear Scarpa, 5.10 or La Sportiva. Unlike when I started, when everyone wore Boreal. But that was a good while ago.

Andy F

Naomi Buys on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to andy farnell:

Andy, you are a one man campaign against boreal.....

I've been to the boreal factory and seen their amazing machine which tests the stickiness of various rubber samples, and zenith won. However, the stickiest rubber attracts the most chalk when walking around on indoor matting. Keep your shoes clean. They will be great on the rock.
Naomi Buys on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to andy farnell:

> Beyond sponsered wads I can't think of may of our top climbers who wear Boreal, certainly not many of the usual Malham/Tor crowd. Most wear Scarpa, 5.10 or La Sportiva. Unlike when I started, when everyone wore Boreal. But that was a good while ago.

> Andy F

By the way, 'sponsored wads' still choose who they want to be sponsored by and they wouldn't stick with a brand if the product was holding them back, especially when they are being offered great deals elsewhere....
andy farnell - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Naomi : The campusing comment was, as you well know, very tongue in cheek. My comment about many good and better climbers not choosing to buy Boreal is valid. They may well be fine shoes, but the vast majority of people we both know don't wear them.

Wether that is down to a perceived lack of friction on UK rock, a lack of positive advertising or a common misconception about quality, I don't know. The last great pair of Boreals I wore were the Stingers. They were a fabulous shoe, sticky and sensitive, but they wore out quickly. Then I had a pair of the IRS slippers which were like clogs, then never went back. That was over 15 years ago.

Most people will wear what is recommended by their peers and from what I see at the crag and the wall, its other brands. It may well be different in other parts of the U.K. or the World.

Andy F

Naomi Buys on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to andy farnell:

Ha, I know Andy. It's your little joke. A 15 year old one!

What you say is partially true, mostly because of old prejudices. However, things are changing. Especially when you realise that most of the UK 9a climbers wear boreal.

You should get a pair of satoris to try, they are the bomb.
andy farnell - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Naomi Buys: I might try them...
































When they start using XS grip rubber ;)

Andy F
2
MrWayne on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:
I've an update to this.

Last night I cleaned the boreals with baby wipes very thoroughly. I tested the rubber alongside a barely worn in Five Ten C4 rubber and newish Vibram XSGrip rubber both also cleaned with baby wipes. The Boreal's were now noticably much different and just as sticky or even stickier than both C4 and XSGrip.

I initially washed the soles with a small amount of detergent, but this obviously didn't work. Someone commented about washing in Alcohol - which I don't have - but baby wipes worked well.

Going to try them again in the Gym tonight or tomorrow. If correct it means that there's some sort of chemical coating applied to the rubber out of the box that needs to be cleaned off as I already made sure that chalk/dirt was cleaned off.
Post edited at 11:07
1
MrWayne on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:
Ok so one more update.

Tested in the gym today, still very slippy compared to c4 or xs grip. Several times I slipped straight off volumes on routes I've done several times before. Went and grabbed a pair of xs grip and had no problems on the same moves.

Very worrying still....
Post edited at 23:15
1
dr_botnik - on 15 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:

Are you sure there's not an element of technique causing that? I once went on a coaching session the foundry had put on with a friend who had climbed 7a indoors. When it was our turn to get video'd his foot slipped off a large volume on a 6a. The coach talked about more consciously placing and weighting the foot, obvious stuff we knew already. But what had caused that? Maybe it was nerves, or by "trying" to climb in style for the camera actually having the opposite effect? Maybe he just had shoes that were a bit too edgy?
What I'm trying to say is that it could be the shoes, or it could be alot of other things. Some "edgier" shoes are rubbish on big, rounded indoor holds, so it could be that the shoes weren't suited to those polished blobs you get indoors. My scarpa instinct slippers are awesome for that, but felt insecure on a grit HVS smear the other day. I'd take them on holiday and see how they fare there.
One other quick point: are you sure they're the right size? Hold them against your other shoes, if there's 5mm difference that could be the issue...
wbo - on 15 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne: i think lynx are ok for that style of shoe, but my reading is that you're comparing to something 5.10 and broken in? 3 things come to mind.
1. The rubbel on lynx is perfectly ok, but no, it isn't the stickiest ever - they're all day shoes , also for beginners
2. They're new, the 5.10 are broken in, softer and as a result smear better
3. fit - I'm amazed your foot will fit both equally - I can't wear 5,10 , boreal fit perfectly.

All shoes are a compromise (except vapour v )

maybe_si - on 15 Oct 2016
In reply to wbo:
Lynx an all day shoe for a beginner?? Pretty sure both Ben Moon and Jordan climbed Rain shadow wearing them!
wbo - on 15 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:
Whoops, my bad, thinking of the wrong boreal shoe
MrWayne on 15 Oct 2016
In reply to dr_botnik:

Happy to admit my technique could be better but I climbed the same route in the same method in two shoes back to back. A route I have climbed previously.

Oh and it was Tenaya Intis with vibram xs grip. And they're quite new too.
MrWayne on 26 Oct 2016
In reply to MrWayne:

So after returning from a week long sport trip to Spain and having used them again once more in the gym this week, I can note for anyone considering buying Boreals that:

- The rubber did wear in slightly and grip did increase. The shoes performed OK on real rock but still not as good as Vibram XS Grip which required no wearing in.

- The rubber is very soft and not at all durable. Relative to my other shoes the rubber and edge degrade very quickly.

- Indoors climbing on any slippy-ish volumes and plastic they are still noticable slippier than Vibram XSG.

- The shoes other than the rubber are very nice, perhaps the nicest in terms of comfort and built quality that I have used.
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