An appeal to the collective wisdom of UKC on behalf of a friend in Germany who is doing some research:
What do people think about Boreal? Have you used their shoes? Have you ever used any of their other products? How do you rate them? What kind of image do you associate with the brand?
I probably wore every shoe they ever made from the original Firé through to the Vectors. My perception being that that, about thirty years ago, was the last time they were state of the art.
I've had two pairs of borel shoes. Both of them the rubber went stiff and slippy after about a month. I've been told that rubbing them before climbing is the secret, but it didn't seem to work for me
Saw you posted the same question appealing on the collective wisdom of UKB and subsequently got all upset when most people replied they thought the rubber sucked and would never buy boreal again.
I don't understand why you think you'll get a different outcome on this forum.
The OP has not responded to the thread on UKB?
I climbed in almost every type of their performance shoes for 25 years now.
At the moment my favourite ones are the Lynx, the Mutants and the new Ninja's.
Miss the old (black and red) Lasers.
I'm not that keen on doing free-market research for the OP, but the rubber doesn't suck. People have climbed high Es and F9a in the Boreal Lynx.
Saying that, I did buy a cheap pair of Jokers off ebay for gym use and found that, when the soles began to get really worn, they (subjectively) felt a bit slippery. On the other hand, the Lynx feels solid on a dime; I've worn one pair through and bought a second.
He has. He didn't like the answers which made him very sad.
> I'm not that keen on doing free-market research for the OP, but the rubber doesn't suck.
Good to hear. I've never climbed in Boreal so I would not know.
I'm also not that keen on doing research for the OP. I just found it amusing the OP seems to be posting the same question on different websites and, my guess is, expecting a different outcome.
I started climbing in a pair of borrowed Boreal Jazz and then a pair of original black, green and yellow Aces many, many years ago - can't remember any specific issues with them, but was pretty inexperienced at the time. Returned them when I bought a pair of Scarpa, as they were on sale at the time.
I had a pair of black and purple Lasers for a few years and thought they were pretty good - kept as my "hard route" shoes compared to the much softer Sportiva Mythos I also had. Sadly lost the Lasers somehow on a trip to Arran a few years ago
Don't think I've owned/used any of their other products - I'm currently using Scarpa boots again.
I'm currently looking at buying a pair of 2nd hand Ninja Juniors for my daughter, if the seller ever replies...
That reply was from Naomi Buys...who’s sponsored by Boreal
That was a different person. Read the thread again.
Okay thanks for the info.
I'm not going to read the thread again even though I thought it was pretty hilarious
I've Climbed in Boreal shoes for a good 7+ years and really like them. Every pair of shoes I seem to buy are discontinued by the time I need to buy a new pair which is really frustrating!
The last pair of boreal shoes I bought I use for footwork training. For this they are brilliant, if your foot is not perfectly placed on the hold, you are off.
So if boreal used vibram XS grip on their shoes do you reckon it would solve the problem or is it the make up of the shoe that is wrong as well ?
They seem to have some sponsored climbers that don't have much trouble climbing 9a ISH in their boots so unless they are re-soleing the sponsored climbers boots in vibram it can't be that bad
I did have a pair of the old version of the satori which I thought were quite good
No idea, my sample size (in recent years) n=1, I would class my experience as anecdote rather than reliable data. They are the only shoes I have used in the last 20 years that have behaved this way.
I've almost exclusively (I briefly had a pair of Red Chilli's, that were slightly too small) climbed in Boreal's. I've never had a complaint, as they have always done the job, but don't really have anything to compare them to!?
> Miss the old (black and red) Lasers.
> Kind regards
Weren't they more Black & Pink? They were my first Climbing Shoe! Happy days..
> Okay thanks for the info.
> I'm not going to read the thread again even though I thought it was pretty hilarious
How about an apology to the OP though?
In any case, seems a perfectly reasonable thing to ask the same question on two different forums, whose users probably represent different markets.
I used them exclusively in the early 90's, when the superstars of the day wore them (lasers, vectors, ninjas, stingers)
I then had a terrible experience with them, the IRS model slippers. The worst rubber I've ever experienced. I switched to Scarpa (and used 5.10, Red chili, and Evolv at times). I haven't worn Boreal since the late 90's and have no intention of trying them again.
The design, colours and shape of the current range doesn't appeal whatsoever. The rubber may be excellent, but I'm happy with what I now wear.
My last experience of Boreals was similarly terrible. Years ago I bought a pair of Boreal laceups - Stingmas I think. The fit was okay (unlike my only other Boreals) but the rubber (Quattro?) was absolutely awful.
I am generally pretty insensitive to the differences between rubbers. I wear shoes with various 5.10 compounds (Stealth, C4, HF), Vibram XsEdge, Vibram XsGrip, and frankly, cannot reliably detect any differences that cannot be attributed to conditions. But wearing those Boreals felt like ice skating. Oddly they performed worst on big footholds (greater surface area involved = more opportunity for the rubber to be terrible?). Easy indoor warmups became a terrifying experience that degenerated into campusing. I was relieved when I "accidentally" lost one of them......
Perhaps the new Boreals are decent; the company would surely have gone into administration if my experience was universal. But, life is too short to wear potentially terrible rock shoes, and there are other manufacturers that have not disappointed me so badly (Sportiva and, to a lesser extent, Scarpa).
As somebody who is sponsored by boreal, I've obviously had a full opportunity to test lots of their shoes over a long period of time. I've NEVER had a problem with the rubber! Both Jordan and myself heavily rely on technical footwork in our climbing. I'd go as far as to say that Jordan has the best footwork of any climber I know! On the other channel it was suggested that he could probably climb just as well in clogs, but this is nonsense. He is particular about using the right tool for the job - smearing, toe hooks, heel hooks, edging. Neither of us would still wear boreal if the shoes were not performing to a high standard.
I get that everyone's feet are different shapes, and people have different tastes about colours etc. Also, the top end 'performance' shoes that we use will no doubt perform better than a mid range or beginner shoe. All I can say is, from our experience, the current top end range of boreals are fantastic and have massively helped our climbing. Try them at a boot demo, give them a chance.
Thanks for all the comments. Much appreciated.
@douwe: No apology required. You're just the latest in a long line of self-righteous keyboard warriors to test my tolerance.
I have had numerous Borel shoes from Aces to Jokers, and still have a pair of Jokers. The Aces were particularly comfortable and performed well. Once I find a shoe which is comfortable I tend to keep it for years resoling them as necessary ( Feet First), rather than replace them. It's a few years since I bought new shoes, so am disappointed to read that there are problems with the rubber in new ones but most of my experience has been using Feet First's replacement soles.
I've yet to hear of any problem with Boreal rubber in recent shoes. In my experience they're outstanding.
I'm a total punter but I love the Boreal fit. They just work for me better than almost any other brand - I went to banana fingers for my last pair having worn cruxes for ever and a day (think I resoled them 3 times - they were creating new life forms) and the guy was trying to get me into 5.10's and sportiva's and scarpas - they all felt horrible to wear. To the point where he was almost avoiding boreals even though I said I knew they work for my foot shape. Eventually he brought them out - tried three pairs, they all fitted like a glove and I ended up with a pair of Dharma's. They aren't the most sensitive but the fit is great and I seem to climb well in them so all good from my point of view...
A rather important point is that if you go to the premier sport crags in the UK, very few people who climb there use Boreal. Of those who actually pay for shoes, almost all use Scarpa, La Sportiva or 5.10. This is purely on my observations at Malham, Kilnsey, Goredale and Raven Tor.
About 20 to 30 years ago, Boreal shoes were the best for me mainly because they fitted my feet well. My favorite was the Ace, and I had one pair resoled twice with 5.10 rubber, which was then regarded as the best.
Personally I wish Boreal were locally available for me as they fit very well
> how much of that though is a combination of fashion and availability? People tend to buy what they can get.
Maybe. I remember when I first started having climbing holidays at various Spanish and French crags, I was always struck by how hardly anyone wore 5.10. This was a time when 5.10s - Anasazi velcros and pinks - were near mandatory for anyone who fancied themselves as a "serious" climber. I assumed it was mainly a culture / availability issue - the native climbers preferred European brands or 5.10 just didn't advertise / import to those markets. Possibly with a bit of fashion / suitability - 5.10s were very much a "Hard Grit" shoe in the UK, and other brands were possibly better for steep limestone.
One thing this thread has given me an insight into, is that many of us are pretty unforgiving when it comes to rock shoes. A few of us, myself included, have stopped ever considering Boreal as a possibility after just one or two disappointing pairs, often many, many years prevously. People who've served prison time for serious crimes are treated with more forgiveness!
It's mainly due the perception that the other brands make better shoes for British limestone. Whether this is true is hard to ascertain as (from my admittedly personal observations) very few people wear Boreal nowadays.
I think that's fairly normal - peoples opinions are easily polarised. I mean I've had exclusively bad experiences with 5.10 in terms of the glue being rubbish and the shoe soles coming unstuck. I tried several pairs and then gave up. I've also tried various Scarpa's and these were a close second to Boreal's fit for me, Sportiva just isn't even remotely comfortable, and red chilli I can't even get on my feet... that said, Jokers (I've had Lace and Velco) have been comfortable but not massively sticky as reported and I had a pair of Blades and those were just not very supportive. But Ace's (the old black and yellow ones were great, my cruxes were fantastic and the current ones I'm one are great too - I guess being and upper end shoe they have been blessed with better rubber. Joker's aren't anything but beginners shoes, that's what they're aimed at. So I would suggest that if you took similar level shoes and put them on a beginner, (or someone experienced) the single biggest factor in performance will be fit and it's only once you are operating at the fringes of the shoes ability that you'll be able to discern rubber differences. And if it's relly that critical, you'll be buying a top end shoe with better rubber...
Yes, they were Black and Pink, after a period of time it could be seen as a light red .
I currently own Jokers and am now wondering how amazing I would climb in a more expensive shoe!? If I ever start climbing again (Ulnar nerve problem), maybe I will invest...
Most likely you'd be Adam Ondra.
That's what I was thinking! Too old my @r$£!!
Emma Twyford has become the first British woman to climb 9a with a redpoint of The Big Bang at Lower Pen Trwyn, North Wales. Emma's ascent is only the third of this route, first climbed in 1996 by Neil Carson.