/ REVIEW: Unparallel Lace, Sirius and Regulus

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The UP Lace Heel being tested at Griff's Buttress Unparallel are the new kids on the climbing shoe block, but with a long pedigree behind them they are already gaining quite a reputation. We trial three models from the range.

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Ramon Marin 25 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

They are a bit like going back in time, to me they look like the classic miura, the old V10's and a dragon? Nothing wrong with that though. 

mrjonathanr 25 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

Interesting thanks. Were you fazed or phased?

3
salimp2009 26 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

 I was wondering what size would you recommend for the Regulus. I use HiAngles and typically go 1 size down my shoe size.

I was told that Regulus is a little tighter and so i thought half size smaller than shoe size will be good for a tight feet for bouldering mainly.

In reply to salimp2009: I would suggest (personally) only half a size down from shoe size for regulus. It will still be a fight to get on first time but gets easier. I also have the up lace which I have a full size and a half smaller than shoe size and fits brilliantly without pain. I hope this helps

salimp2009 26 Jun 2019
In reply to The old James turnbull:

thanks. I already ordered half size down from outside.co.uk and can't wait to try them on. Shoes are in customs right now. Thanks for great service

Iamgregp 26 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

Noticed that Unparallel have recently started advertising on here and oh look!  A review of their products.

Classic UKC impartiality.  

23
In reply to Iamgregp:

Yes, we review products of brands that advertise on site, but that doesn't stop us expressing our opinions - good and bad.

We can - and do - offer forthright feedback on products that we don't think make the mark. My recent review of the Vapour V is a good example, as is Alan's recent assassination (for want of a better word) on the Click Up+, and Martin's lengthy deconstruction flaws of the grip rest on the most recent version of the Nomic.

Other examples exist, but given that these are relevant and recent they hopefully goe some way to countering your claim and should allay anyones fears that just because a brand pays us money it doesn't grant them free license to a good review.

 Links below, just in case you're intrigued:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/footwear/rock_shoes/scarpa_vapour_v-11807
https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/climbing/belays/climbing_technology_click_up+_assisted_braking_belay_device-11853
https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/snow+ice/ice_axes/petzl_nomic_and_ergonomic-11538

Post edited at 14:20
MJAngry 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

Who says they are impartial.

Look through the forums the ukc team seem fairly upfront about why certain brands don't feature in reviews etc.

edit - sniped by Rob

Post edited at 14:18
In reply to MJAngry:

It's ok, it's reassuring to see someone else say the same thing

Post edited at 14:24
Iamgregp 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I used to work is ad sales for a large national magazine.  The editorial and ad sales team were 100% independent of each other thus guaranteeing complete impartiality.  There were some advertisers who featured in every issue of the magazine whose products were never featured, and likewise others who never advertised who were the subject of lengthy features.  The's what complete impartiality looks like.

That you guys have made some negative reviews (which is to your credit) of some advertisers' products doesn't trump true editorial impartiality, nor does it counteract the fact that you don't review products made by manufacturers who don't advertise on your site (correct me if I'm wrong on that -  you don't include them in your group roundups?).  If you're only reviewing products against those made by other who are made by other advertisers I can't see how that's fair.

13
In reply to Iamgregp:

Just to recap: we're a rock climbing website staffed by a handful of people. Whilst I respect what you're trying to get, and applaud the cause you are trying to champion, it's worth bearing that in mind to keep things in context.

In terms of not reviewing products for brands that don't advertise on site, we do from time to time, but the main reason we don't is one of time and resource. We all put in a lot of hours into the site, but we also like to spend time with our families, friends, and - very occasionally - go out climbing without having to think about whether or not we've got a product to review. Personally, I don't think that's too much to ask and I suspect the vast majority of site users would support us in that stance.

asteclaru 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

Let's be honest: no one writes impartial reviews. Even outdoorgearlabs, who claim to buy every single thing they test out of their own pocket are not impartial: I've found discrepancies in some of their reviews which showed bias towards certain brands over others.

Especially with things like shoes, where fit is probably the most important factor, every reviewer will be biased towards a certain brand or model.

Every single time I've bought a product because of glowing reviews I ended up being disappointed, so I just don't read them anymore, but buy what I think would be best instead. It's not that hard to make an informed purchase on your own if you're not completely new to buying gear and spend a little time to research your options.

And to be on topic, I've just received a pair of the UP Lace model.

Hopefully they will be replacing my 5.10 Anasazi Pink as my main climbing shoes. I haven't climbed in them yet, but I already like them better than the Anasazi: build quality just seems a lot better, they're a tiny bit wider so they fit me better and the heel is a lot more snug, which means that for the first time ever I might actually be able to do heel-hooks (on every single shoe I've had before the heel was just too baggy).

Size wise, it seems that I'm UK8.5 in both the Anasazi and the UP Lace. I've also tried the UP Lace in UK8 (too tight - foot went to sleep after a few minutes of wearing them) and UK9 was very comfy, but not as snug as I would have liked.

Iamgregp 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I get where you're coming from and appreciate that you're a small team, and that you all work very hard, and as, a regular visitor to your site I appreciate what you all do.  Probably too many people are quick to criticise (I'm talking about myself here), and rarely praise what you do (still me).

That said, as the biggest (I'd imagine) climbing site in the uk and given that you do understand what I'm getting at it might be worth thinking about what you can do, and if you can address this concern within your means?

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Iamgregp 26 Jun 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

I'm sorry I don't agree that nobody does.  I'm sure there are independent sites, bloggers and YouTubers out there who are impartial.  And if there weren't wouldn't this be a good time to strive to be so?

I agree with you on shoe reviews though, I don't really read them either to be honest!  You can be super keen on something then when you finally try a pair on find that they're totally the wrong shape for your foot.

I've always wanted a pair of Anasazis but just can't wear them, they destroy my big toe!

9
In reply to Iamgregp:

> That said, as the biggest (I'd imagine) climbing site in the uk and given that you do understand what I'm getting at it might be worth thinking about what you can do, and if you can address this concern within your means?

Actually we are the biggest climbing and mountaineering site in the Europe and only Mountain Project (owned by a huge outdoor retailer) is bigger in the USA.

We have never set out to be an independent review site - we are a general magazine site that does reviews and pays for everything by selling advertising. The only site I am aware of that attempt to do reviews independent of advertising in the outdoor sector is http://www.outdoorgearlab.com . I have spoken with people who work for them and learned about their method of acquiring gear, reviewing it and funding the site, and it is indeed laudable.

But it is a completely different business model to UKC. Outdoorgearlab doesn't provide any of the other benefits we offer like news, articles, logbooks, photos, forums. They also don't accept any advertising. 

To do what you suggest we would have to turn our business model on its head and stop accepting advertising, and we are not going to do that since we don't really see it as a big problem. Advertisers respect us and are prepared to let us review their products knowing that they aren't guaranteed a good review. Most readers know this as well and are happy to take them on face value.

If you know of a review on UKC that you don't trust then please let us know and we can look at it.

Thanks for your feedback.

Alan

Post edited at 16:01
galpinos 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Actually we are the biggest climbing and mountaineering site in the Europe and only Mountain Review (owned by a huge outdoor retailer) is bigger in the USA.

Mountain Project?

In reply to galpinos:

> Mountain Project?

Sorry that is what I meant. Now corrected

Presley Whippet 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> If you know of a review on UKC that you don't trust then please let us know and we can look at it.

> Thanks for your feedback.

> Alan

The reviews I can trust, once I have added my own advertiser adjustment. 

My issue is with some of the product release articles/advertorials. These can cover some very dodgy ground, straying into woo and snake oil. I realise ukc is not a scientific journal but a little technical dilligence would not go amiss here.

Massively off topic for the shoes but you did ask. 

1
flaneur 26 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

We all know UP shoes have parallels with the 5.10 range of a few years ago: Regulus has certain similarities to the hiangle, Sirius will feel familiar to dragon wearers. There have been several five ten anasazi lace-ups of varying stiffness over the years, which one does the Lace-up most resemble? To put it another way, if Blancos are a 10, old pinks 7, verdes 5 and bare feet 0, how do UP Lace-ups rate on the stiff-o-meter?

1
Iamgregp 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Thanks for your reply, however (apologies if I wasn't clear on this) I'm not suggested that your reviews are dishonest or untrustworthy, so there's no need to defend the site on that front.

My issue is that you rarely review products that aren't produced by advertisers, therefore your reviews (particularly in group tests) are only comparing each product to a subset of what is available.   

I don't agree that including some more products not from advertisers in reviews like this would mean completely changing your business model.

I'm not trying to discredit you, and am not claiming that you're dishonest, I just think that you could do a little better on this front, and it would please moody tw*ts like myself!

Apologies for being rude in my first post.

Post edited at 16:49
1
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> My issue is with some of the product release articles/advertorials. These can cover some very dodgy ground, straying into woo and snake oil. I realise ukc is not a scientific journal but a little technical dilligence would not go amiss here.

Well these are only edited for spelling and typos by us. That is part of the deal we have with the advertisers and it is essentially the space that they pay for. By far the best way to respond to these is on the accompanying thread and point out the short comings. We do this before publishing to an extent but we don't question their claims. If something dubious is claimed in an advertorial piece, we would only question that in our editorial review. We have always been very strict about this line between advertorial and editorial.

> Massively off topic for the shoes but you did ask. 

No problem, glad for the feedback.

Alan

Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to flaneur:

> To put it another way, if Blancos are a 10, old pinks 7, verdes 5 and bare feet 0, how do UP Lace-ups rate on the stiff-o-meter?

I'm told that the answer is 8 or 8.5, though that is not from personal testing of them (not got a pair yet).

In reply to Iamgregp:

> My issue is that you rarely review products that aren't produced by advertisers, therefore your reviews (particularly in group tests) are only comparing each product to a subset of what is available.

Ok but, with the exception of Decathlon products, I am pretty sure that we cover most of the bases with the main products.

What are you missing here that is readily available in the UK (except for maybe a Simond rope)? - https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/climbing/ropes/half_ropes_for_uk_trad-10960

Or here - https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/climbing/harnesses/lightweight_sport_climbing_harnesses-11798

Yes, it is not be absolutely everything, but it is pretty good. It may only be what you describe as a subset, but it is 'a 90% of what is available' subset, and I doubt outdoorgearlab covers much more than that. To be fair outdoorgearlab category groups are much broader than ours - ie. they cover 'ropes' we cover fewer 'lightweight sport ropes',  but more ropes overall if you also include our 'half ropes for UK trad'.

As stated, we do occasionally include non-advertiser products but not often. We have to prioritise those that we have an active relationship with and, if we don't have a relationship with someone, then we are unlikely to know what their latest products are anyway since they don't tell us. We don't have the time and resources to go out and track this stuff down. If you want that sort of comprehensive coverage, then UKC isn't the place you are going to find it, ever, but I doubt outdoorgearlab is either and, if they can't do it, then no-one can. Curiously one of the hardest things we have to do is actually get the products delivered on a timescale that allows us to review items together.

Alan

Iamgregp 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Why are you asking a question, but then, for a reason I’m unaware of, caveating that my answer can’t be the most obvious and glaring omission?

I’m happy to have a fair, frank and respectful discussion on this issue but if you’re going to say what you do and don’t want to hear in my answers then, with respect, I’ll move on.

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Presley Whippet 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Thanks for that. I understand your editorial policy but I do not think it reflects well on you. 

Climbers (or at least my peer group) are generally a shrewd and educated bunch who deserve better. 

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Southvillain 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Thanks for that. I understand your editorial policy but I do not think it reflects well on you. 

> Climbers (or at least my peer group) are generally a shrewd and educated bunch who deserve better. 


Better how? Gear press releases are clearly labelled as such. If you want to find a review of a product not featured on UKC then google it - they're usually out there somewhere. Unless you want to start paying to access UKC to allow it to buy non-freebies to review you're stuck with the ad-funded model. And, IMHO, it does a great job given its resources. I doubt many of us who use and value it would work for what I suspect it pays...

wbo 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet: in what way does it not reflect well?   The UKC policy is transparent and we'll described - it might not do exactly what you want, but it doesn't claim too. 

TobyA 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> and - very occasionally - go out climbing without having to think about whether or not we've got a product to review.

You do!?! Really!?!

I think everyone I climb/camp/walk with is now quite used to being asked "can you get a picture of me showing these shoes/harness/rucksack/etc." 

SDM 27 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

Given that these are effectively updates to classic five ten shoes, it would be useful to have a quick summary comparison with their predecessors, particularly for people who are used to the five ten range but aren't yet familiar with the UP range. Something like:

"Similar to to the mark 1 dragons but with a slightly wider fit, a redesigned heel, slightly stiffer and sized half a size smaller." 

TobyA 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

> My issue is that you rarely review products that aren't produced by advertisers, therefore your reviews (particularly in group tests) are only comparing each product to a subset of what is available.   

Having taken part in a fair number of the group tests now, you are absolutely correct. With the exception of a few very specialist bits of climbing gear maybe, it would be almost impossible to do that anyway, because there is just so much choice. We did B1-B2 all season boots earlier this year, and I think it was 6 different pairs from six different brands. That is absolutely only a subset of what is available. For brands like Sportiva and Scarpa it is only a subset of the boots in their own ranges that fit that "niche"! 

Then there is how long it takes to use things properly: I know I try to use everything enough I review in order to find out if it has any major problems that come to light (e.g. sole wear on these Sportiva boots https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/footwear/mountain_boots/la_sportiva_trango_tower_extreme_gtx-11846 ) but companies want their products reviewed during the relevant season, let alone year - and that makes the process more complicated. I've found that a week to two weeks of use lets you see major issues or strong points with gear - but I have a full time job, so that means a good couple of months of weekend usage. Last but one winter, the weather played along and that was easily done, this winter (for winter climbing equipment and clothing) it was actually quite hard to get out that much.

If Alan paid a bunch of people to just review gear, it could be done in a more comprehensive manner, but like he says that would have to be a totally different business model. Some years ago myself and a former UKC gear editor looked quite seriously at whether we could start a business doing exactly that, but we couldn't really see a way of making it work. Outdoor Gear Lab is very impressive in what they do, but even their reviews are very far from comprehensive, and obviously tilted towards US markets anyway. 

In reply to TobyA:

It was eight different pairs from eight different brands. The memory is still seared on me.

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/gear/footwear/mountain_boots/all_round_b1-b2_mountain_boots-11233

As you say Toby, getting sufficient appropriate use and still getting the review out in the right season is a mare at the best of times with these big group tests. More so with winter stuff of course. In the above case, eight boots was about as much as we could handle as a team, so I'd make no apologies for omitting any brands that we didn't already have a relationship with. There simply aren't enough hours in a day!

At risk of blowing our own trumpet, if anyone can find a more comprehensive, thorough and objective-as-possible real-world-use-based review of B1/B2 boots anywhere on the internet I'd be genuinely interested to see it. Likewise with any of our group tests really. At least I'd like to hope so.   

ianstevens 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

> It was eight different pairs from eight different brands. The memory is still seared on me.

> As you say Toby, getting sufficient appropriate use and still getting the review out in the right season is a mare at the best of times with these big group tests. More so with winter stuff of course. In the above case, eight boots was about as much as we could handle as a team, so I'd make no apologies for omitting any brands that we didn't already have a relationship with. There simply aren't enough hours in a day!

Sounds like you need more reviewers ;) I'm sure many, myself included, would happily take up the task...

> At risk of blowing our own trumpet, if anyone can find a more comprehensive, thorough and objective-as-possible real-world-use-based review of B1/B2 boots anywhere on the internet I'd be genuinely interested to see it. Likewise with any of our group tests really. At least I'd like to hope so.   

Indeed - the group reviews are generally excellent and unparalleled. Keep up the good work

Iamgregp 27 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

I keep hearing the lack of time and resource as being a factor and whilst I appreciate you mean to be very through with all reviews (which are very good) I can't imagine it would be difficult to source a group of experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy climbers who would happily assist with gear reviews for little or no money (you could start with Ian on this thread!).

Has this been considered at all?

10
In reply to Iamgregp:

In a word, yes!

We already have an extensive team of regular 'freelance' reviewers, in addition to official staff. We value them all very highly, because people with the necessary combination of skills and attributes to do a decent job (on time) are a small subset of those who might fancy giving it a go.

It's hard enough coordinating our existing team, sourcing the gear in timely fashion (believe it or not!), and processing the results to a reasonable time frame. I don't think we could realistically handle a bigger review team. And I'm not sure there'd be a great benefit in trying.

It would be literally an impossible task to review each and every possible product available for every one of our group tests, no matter how many people we had working on them. Though the occasional obvious choice is bound to slip through the net, we are largely happy with the level of coverage we already manage.

In reply to ianstevens:

Thanks Ian! Right, i'm off out to test some stoves...

Iamgregp 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Fair enough, I'll get back in my box and stop being such an annoying little shit then!

1
asteclaru 28 Jun 2019
In reply to flaneur:

I've just used my UP Lace for the first time last night. First impressions are really good.

Regarding stiffness: I don't know how the models you've mentioned compare, but compared to my Pink Anasazi (which I've bought about three months ago), they are a lot stiffer (I would say about 20% stiffer).

I've climbed for about 1.5 hours in them, and either they're starting to soften up a bit or I'm just getting used to them, but in the beginning I wasn't entirely sure that they would be a suitable all-round shoe for me as they were so stiff that it was really hard to smear (I never experienced this with the Pinks).

The only slight 'complaint' I have is that, even though the heel fits me better than the Pinks (much less baggy) and I had them laced tightly, the shoes felt like they would slide off my feet on a couple of occasions.

salimp2009 08 Jul 2019
In reply to The old James turnbull:

hi James

I finally got my Regulus that I ordered from outside.co.uk. The shoe is awesome overall ; the fit, the construction quality, the rubber is amazing. I size half size smaller than regular shoe size and used a plastic bag to get in . But even the first time the shoe so comfortable because inline textile is so nice.

I only have one question regarding the heal. It feels like there is a small pocket at the bottom of the heal. When you are on the ground your feet fits in to that pocket but when you are climbing and try to heel hook then your feet gets out of that pocket although that pockets provides a cushioning when you are heel hooking. I wonder if this is this normal for this shoe or should I go half size smaller next time. This problem is very similar old Fiveten Dragons. 

tom_in_edinburgh 09 Jul 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

I'd watch out for the Regulus Black shoes, they might be cursed.

asteclaru 09 Jul 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

Question for the folk who have used both the Lace and the Sirius - are you the same size in both? 

My UK8.5 Laces fit me pretty much perfectly, so I've ordered some Sirius in the same size, but I can't seem to be able to even get them on.


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