The original Ninja was truly revolutionary, being the first ever 'slip lasted' rock shoe. It's hard to put this into perspective given the plethora of choice we have these days, but it really was ground breaking. As such, the Ninja was the go-to shoe for many of that era's greatest climbers: Jackie Goddoffe, Jerry Moffatt, and John Bachar.
The Ninja is undoubtedly a specialist bouldering and indoor/competition shoe, but in those environments it's a highly fun shoe to climb in, being simultaneously comfortable, technical and sensitive. If you're looking for something that fits those criteria then the Ninja will take you everywhere from circuits to projects.
I can't say how it compares to other brands but I've been using a selection of the latest Boreal models during the last year or so and the Ninjas have emerged as a clear favourite for me for everyday use. The only thing they seem to share in common with the original Ninja is the fact that there's no laces or velcro, as the heel stays on magnificently well while heelhooking and they're very precise on small edges and toe pockets.
What is the sizing like John?
> What is the sizing like John?
Not sure it's a good idea to rely on my ideas of sizing. I'm a 7.5/8 street shoe and my Ninjas are 6.5, which is about as small as I'd comfortably be able to squeeze into. Another half size bigger would still climb pretty well for me.
That's really interesting given I'm also 7.5 - 8 street shoe. So to clarify 6.5 for very snug, 7 still pretty good but not as crippling? (Don't worry, I wouldn't buy without trying, but if I need to order a couple of pairs online and then return one this has been really helpful, thanks.)
To be fair I haven't tried any 7s but based on how the 6.5s feel I'm sure I'd be happy enough wearing 7s for a large proportion of my climbing.
I'm really keen on them they are a great shoe, one size down from Street size is good for me rather one and a half as per Scarpa and sportiva
I normally like brand new shoes from the other 2 brands but the boreals actually felt much better after 7/8 sessions
They only stretch a little I found and are still perfect even though they are almost through now
Awesome heel, toe rubber/tension across the top of the foot etc but I wouldn't be buying them for edging 😂😂
Is anyone who bought these able to say how much they softened up and how quickly?
I got them last week and in total I've maybe had them on an hour or so over a couple of sessions and they feel absolutely brutal on my toes.
Despite all advice to size down 1/2 or even a full size, I went with my usual street shoe UK9, and they are pretty excruciating for my toes. I can't imagine how sizing down would have felt.
Can anyone reassure me?? Thanks.
I've been wearing mine for several months now, for anything beyond warm-up level. While quite painfully tight at first, they soon became wonderfully snug, but haven't stretched any further in the ensuing months, so they still feel like top performance shoes even though I've had loads of wear out of them. I'd certainly be keen to replace them with the same again when they finally wear out.
"Painfully tight to wonderfully snug" is exactly what I needed to hear, John! - many thanks!
If you fancy getting a pair to stock for later, gooutdoors currently have them down to £70.
I'm a street size 7.5 ish. I got 6.5 Ninjas, tried them out at home, bottled it on size so swapped them for a 7. I can now wear them for 40 - 45 minutes easily, but they are still snug and precise, and a great complement to my other stiffer shoes.
My experience was that it was difficult to get my foot in, but once they were on they weren't painful, so there's the potential - if it is your toes that are hurting - then they could be a little on the small side.
Not sure if you've seen the review I wrote, but maybe check that out if you haven't as there's a whole load more detail in there: https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/footwear/rock_shoes/boreal_ninja-11833
As an update (which won't be weekly, don't worry). I used them again yesterday, switching between them and my knackered lace-ups and the ninjas felt much much better by the end of the session compared to the one a few days earlier.
No unbearable toe pain, still very snug, but they really seemed to be softening up where I needed them to without losing the feeling of precision.
Thanks again to John for the reassurance.
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