From an indepth study of foot morphology and the way in which the foot is used during the various phases of rock climbing, on holds of different shapes and sizes, La Sportiva has devised the revolutionary "No-Edge" concept: a construction method that allows for the elimination of "edges" on the sole of the shoe giving a more fluid, precise and harmonious climb. The No-edge concept stems from three core concepts: sensitivity, uniform pressure and adaptability.
In reply to UKC Gear: Not sure how effective they would be on your typical tiny square cut edges on e.g. slate. Would be happy to be proved wrong and even happier if they sent me a free pair to test on some thin slate slabs!
From the feedback I've had from friends that have bought them for font trips they are incredible shoes, but the thinner layer of rubber simply has to mean that they will wear out quicker than standard edges.
Fortunately they seem sensible enough not to mess around with the Miura like they do with the rest of their range! Every time i buy a Sportiva shoe and like it they take it off the market when I try to buy them again. Company with too many designers needing employment... but they do make great shoes!
In reply to ian Ll-J: The thinking was that a sharp squared edge actually stopped the tip of the shoe from fully engaging a micro edge as found on slate, for example. Understood the concept but it felt wrong to chop a new shoe and anyway, was too poor to experiment.
In reply to UKC Gear: The first no edge climbing shoes were a Heinz Mariacher design from 1998. They were called the Mantra and they were virtually identical to the models now in production. The Mantras were only out for one year and because the sales were dismal they were changed to have a regular sole and edge becoming the Mantra S.
There is clearly nothing new in the design or the concept, which is 15 years old. In that sense this review is very misleading. It was badly received in 1998 because for the no edge concept to really work the rubber has to be very thin, so the shoes wear out at a rate that makes them unaffordable. If you make the rubber thicker then they simply dont work.
It seems unlikely that bringing back this concept now will have a different result than it did in 1998.
In reply to UKC Gear: I've had 2 pairs of these shoes, a tight pair and a comfy pair that are now on their first resole and they are amazing on limestone and steeper granite. When new the toe does take a little time to wear in and adapt to as the profile is more rounded than for example Testarossas or Solutions but now well worn in, they are very precise and sensitive on everything from smears to small edges. They may not however stand up to the sharp micro edges found on hard slate routes.
In reply to Carney:
I would second this,very comfy fantastic sensitivity not brilliant for grabbing footholds and turning the outside non-edge on them but other aspects of the shoe compensate for this.Have used them on long routes at Montsant and on polished limestone...superb for this.Would not use on long vertical edgy stuff though.
My only concern is they are stretching a little around the soft/velcro middle
I took them half a size larger.The heel is not quite as snug as when the shoes were new.
Bought for 109 euro in A-V-campeur so about £100 in todays terms.
> ...a comfy pair that are now on their first resole and they are amazing on limestone and steeper granite.
How did they do the resole? Did they just cut-back and slap a new sheet of rubber on the bottom of the shoe as normal or something more fancy with the fold of rubber that goes over the top of the toes?
In reply to UKC Gear: I had them done at a specialist resoler here in france who has access to the specific replacement piece direct from La Sportiva. As I bought them very tight (3 sizes under street shoe size) they were even better after a resole than when new. They are brilliant on limestone slabs as well and have now made my other shoes (Testarossas, Anazazis) kind of redundant!
In reply to UKC Gear: How stiff is the shoe? If the lack of edgemakes it really flexible then would that make it really tiring to climb in, especially on small holds, because of having to use your muscles to keep your foot srtaight?
In reply to UKC Gear: The shoe is very soft except for a little stiffness on the toe itself. It does take some adaptation as you can't really edge in the traditional sense. I climb mostly on limestone and my own climbing style tends towards smearing with a dropped heel position on almost everything including small edges so the rounded edge of the shoe works well for me and allows me to 'paste' into holds and features. Even with a classic edging shoe they always feel better once I've rounded off the edges anyway. After buying my first pair I realized that it is important to size these really tight as they stretch a lot. I fact I bought my 2nd pair so tight that I thought I'd made a mistake until after a resole by which time the shoe was a perfect fit. I'm just about to send them off for their 2nd and perhaps final resole.
> (In reply to UKC Gear)
> And I'm sure I read that they can't be resoled. Not good at the current prices.
Just a myth, I've resoled a few pairs of them now, both Futuras and Speedsters, with good feedback.
I can do them edgeless or put a traditional edge back on. So if you like the fit but don't get on with the edgelessness you can go back - and the rubber is pretty thin so by the time they are worn in you will probably be ready for a resole anyway
In reply to UKC Gear:
We're trying to ask our team members to send us through their thoughts on No-Edge/Futura and Speedsters to help answer some of the points raised.
Neil Gresham is first to reply. You can read his thoughts on use and wear over on our FB page here: http://on.fb.me/13wIA0d or pasted in below.
Obviously Neil and our other team members are sponsored by La Sportiva but we encourage honest feedback and always include any negative points if included in the original.
We do run shoe demo's up and down the country and with a wide range of models, not just No-Edge, so keep your eyes peeled at your local wall or on the events tab of our Facebook page.
"When it comes to selecting rock shoes, it is tempting to stick to the things that we know and understand. When La Sportiva introduced the world's first down-turned rock shoe: 'The Mirage' in 1996, it is bizarre to recall that most people dismissed it as a gimmick that would never catch on!
In my opinion, 'No-Edge' technology (which features on the Speedster and Futura models) represents a similar breakthrough, and is the only real development in rock shoe design within the last decade.
No-Edge has caused me to re-assess my entire approach to climbing footwear. Initially I pigeon-holed it as purely for training, but I’ve now realised that shoes with No-Edge perform better in a surprising number of crag situations. The climbing style afforded is incredibly intuitive, allowing you to use your feet in the same way as your hands, yet with considerably more support and power. When climbing, you can feel absolutely everything, which gives you the option of re-adjusting a foot before it pops. The profile of the rubber adapts to the contours of the climbing surface, rather than 'sitting' on top, enabling the user to gain an unsurpassed contact.
When you go back to normal shoes with edges after using No-Edge, it literally feels like your toes are numb!
The key to the success of the design is the combination of the No-Edge toe profile with a highly-sprung rand and tensioned arch. This means that the shoes can offer a high level of support and don’t deform on edging moves.
I would recommend No-Edge for any bouldering situation and also for all steep sport routes; however, for long routes on slabs or vertical walls, a shoe with a stiffer and flatter sole would be preferable (I don't use them on slate!)
I can understand why people would be suspicious of No-Edge as it is so counter-intuitive to buy a pair of shoes that look like they've already been worn out! But believe me, there really is no comparison.
Not only do they perform like nothing else, but they last incredibly. I am now convinced that No-Edge shoes are more durable, simply because the wear is spread over a greater surface area and there is less shear-stress on the rubber.
No-Edge technology really does open the door to new possibilities. Try them and you will be amazed!"
I'd piggy-back on Neil's status to say much the same thing; I've had a pair of Speedsters for about a year, and they're hardly showing any wear on the rubber bar scuffs and scratches. Whether it's down to the no-edge thing, or being used most on steep routes where I'm less inclined to scrape my feet, or just cos my footwork has gotten better, is hard to say. But they have lasted better than I expected, and they do feel very sensitive. I'm well up for getting another pair when the time comes