My (previously) much loved unparallel uprise have seemingly self distructed overnight. So much so I dont think I will get another pair. I have several pairs of instincts for bouldering and limestone but find these a bit stiff and a bit downturned for grit trad. I have kind of gone off 5.10s as the last few pairs I've had were rubbish (although these were during the Adidas takeover). Can anyone recommend a softish flat shoe but with a decent technical capability?
I got a fair bit of use out of them to be fair, moderate usage over 2 years I guess and I absolutely loved them at first. What is odd is that they have completely lost their shape, the rubber around the heel has begun to detach, both toes have gone at the same time, the rubber has seemingly lost its grip and most weirdly the actually soles near the toes have begun to disintegrate. This has all happened over the course of my last 2 or 3 trips out, I've never really had this before on any other shoe.
I would normally expect to get a couple of resoles out of a pair of shoes but the heel and loss of shape makes me think I wont bother with these.
> .... they have completely lost their shape, the rubber around the heel has begun to detach, both toes have gone at the same time, the rubber has seemingly lost its grip and most weirdly the actually soles near the toes have begun to disintegrate....
You should URGENTLY consider washing your feet.
More seriously, if the fit suits you, LS Katanas. Old school, but comfy on longer routes, in particular if you need to jam your toes.
Katanas are very stiff and I find them slightly terrifying on slabby grit in cold weather! Great for stuffing in cracks though.
I prefer the Ocun Bullitt for most grit. Wide, comfy fit, technical, soft and ever so grippy, smears are incredibly re-assuring, and they're pretty cheap as climbing shoes go.
Likewise, Katanas used to be my go to shoe for 'edgy' trad. I would regard them a bit stiff for me on grit.
I'll have look at the occun ones, I had it in my head they were quite an aggressive bouldering style shoe?
The Bullitt's are designed as a bouldering shoe, but they aren't particularly aggressive, certainly not like Solutions/HiAngles or the like. I wear them for a couple hours at a time in the gym. The design for sticking to smeary comp-style volumes transfers well to slopey grit in my view.
I did buy the bullitts for bouldering, but tried them on grit trad and have been using them for it ever since. It's kind of annoying that features like toe patches and grippy heels are seen as 'for bouldering', but I use them on trad when standing on one leg and using the other to hook for balance while fiddling gear in.
I did hear from a shoe expert in a shop selling Unparallel that stretching was a big issue across the range...
What are the grit maestros wearing these days? I saw Mark S's pics of Franco working an E10 at the Roaches the other day and Franco was wearing his Miuras as seems to for everything! I've got a pair that I haven't used so much, but in recent years have gone back to sometimes finding them superb for my moderate level on limestone, although you don't think of them as an obvious grit shoe. Then again they are great for granite cracks, so I'm sure work well for grit cracks too.
UKC Rob has raved about some of the Scarpa models in reviews in recent years, including for on grit, but I'm so confused by the number of high end models from Scarpa I can't remember which ones he recommended for what. I'm currently trying out the Scarpa new midrange models the Quantix and the Quantic - both seem good but I need to use them more to decide what the differences are between two superficially very similar shoes. The Quantix is the softer of the two, the Quantic more edgy.
Edit: this is good for the 'soft flexible shoe for slabs' mentioned above by Gaston Sweatyballs
For Grit I have a pair of Red Chili Spirits. The ball of the foot seems to cover a much wider friction area of rock. I also love my Miuras for Limestone as the toe area fits small edges quite well.
Whatever works I guess.
these look really good for grit slab - i don't think the lower strap would last very long being twisted into a grit crack tho - but great if strictly face/slab climbing.
I have some five ten grandstones (hightops) which are perfect for grit, really durable and pretty soft once broken in (unlike TC PRO) so great for smearing. Unfortunatlely they don't seem to be making them anymore as not on the addidas website, and the stock still availble online is really expensive. If you can find a cheap pair in your size then def go for them.
I noticed recently that Ocun have released a crack-specialised version of the Jett Lace called (imaginatively) the Jett Crack.
I've gone through a pair of Jett Lace before and they were pretty solid all-rounders, although I wasn't climbing grit at the time!
I usually go with my street shoe size in Ocun, for reference, I don't like my shoes tight, I prefer to be able to wear them for hours at a time. I could probably go a half size down, but they're not holding me back at V6 ish bouldering level. Edit - nearly forgot, I'm a weird sock-wearer
Interested to hear how they are, I'll probably try some next time I need a new pair.
> UKC Rob has raved about some of the Scarpa models in reviews in recent years, including for on grit, but I'm so confused by the number of high end models from Scarpa I can't remember which ones he recommended for what.
Don't worry Toby, neither can I 😂
> I'm currently trying out the Scarpa new midrange models the Quantix and the Quantic - both seem good but I need to use them more to decide what the differences are between two superficially very similar shoes. The Quantix is the softer of the two, the Quantic more edgy.
I haven't used the Quantic or Quantix, but they do sound like they'd fit the bill for what the OP describes.
The Vapour V is the other that springs to mind. I didn't think it was up to much as far as edging was concerned, but if it's a Grit shoe you're after then that isn't a problem, and the fact it's soft will likely be a benefit. That said, it wasn't a shoe that I fell in love with, and certainly wasn't one I continued to use for very long after the review had been written; however, it has - rather curiously - been a much better seller than its predecessor, so make what you will of that...
Following on from that theme, whilst it may not be Scarpa's most successful model, the Instinct SR has been my Gritstone shoe of choice for a fair few years now - both for trad and for bouldering. These have very recently been superseded by the fantastic - and much improved - Instinct Slipper (review incoming...), although these are perhaps a little more oriented towards bouldering, being a bit more technical and a little less supportive. Slippers are definitely a more specialist choice, and aren't for everyone, but I've just found these to fit really well, providing a level of comfort, support and precision that's seen me through everything from the casual evening solo to some of the hardest boulder problems I've ever done. It really is a pleasure to climb in them...
Obvioulsy plenty of other brands, and other options out there, but that's a quick assessment of a few the Scarpa shoes I've reviewed within relatively recent history - seeing as the question was asked.
> Oh, I'm a total convert to toe patches. Great for wedging in cracks and cheeky little toe hooks, even on the low E grade puntering I partake in.
I totally agree with this too.
As per the post above, the Instinct SR/Slipper I reference has this, and it's an absolute pleasure to jam in, giving your foot a little more grip and protection.
> Thanks, another good shout. Do you know if the sizing is consistent between the vs and sr?
I've found it to be, although as always - I'd definitely recommend trying them on (if you can).
If it helps I’m the same size in (older) Vapour Vs, Instinct VS and SRs. It’s one of the things I like about the Scarpas I’ve tried. I’m a bear of little brain and the 20 odd Scarpas is more than enough choice.
Yes, the sizing send to be completely consistent for the VS and VSR. For what it's worth, both these types I find work well on grit slabs to but something softer in a crack would be nice sometimes, although they perform well.
In my humble opinion the Scarpa Instinct is the best shoe ever made. It excels on anything. Hence why I have three pairs, in two slightly different sizes (2 Velcro, 1 lace) and they live on rotation between the gym, outdoor bag and re-sole workshop.
On the odd occasion i don’t plumb for the Instincts, I do think the Unparallel UP Lace is an excellent shoe offering stiffer sole and support for very long trad routes or slabs. (So probs not ideal for grit.) Used to be a big fan of the Tenaya Masai which is good on grit but I think outperformed by the Instinct and UP Lace