The UKC team of Alan James, Mick Ryan, Sarah Stirling and Jack Geldard spent four days at The Outdoor Show recently, finding out what new gear is in the pipeline. Most of the gear we videoed will be available next Spring.
Other news items in this series:
There are lots of new shoes in this video report, from rock boots to mountain boots, with a few funky approach shoes in the middle. I can't mention them all, but everything we videoed had some cool and interesting features.
So what caught my eye? The Cruzer approach shoe from Evolv looked great, amazingly lightweight (you can't tell from the video below, but they were very light), perhaps perfect for carrying up routes on the back of your harness, and only £55.
The 'no edge technology' from La Sportiva looked suitably futuristic - is it good or bad to have no edge? I wasn't sure, that is until I watched Alan Carne on the upper slab of the run-out 8a+ Carte Blanche at Ceuse last week. He was in the Futura rockshoes, and he loved them, they sort of suck around the foot like a sock. Ideal for those routes where you want to really feel the rock through the shoes. Be interesting to see how the gritstone climbers of Sheffield take to these I think.
Five Ten have come out with a new range, and it's always interesting to see what these guys are up to. They've made the slipper the stiff shoe in the new range, and the lace-up the soft shoe. Will that work? They seem to think so. It may not sound that radical, but it is actually quite a major change from most conventional rock shoe designs.
Obviously there's more rock shoes too - the Boreal shoes were looking very smart, as were the Scarpa range, but what stood out to me from Scarpa was how light the new Rebel Carbon summer alpine boots are. They look set to be a very popular B2 boot.
Silvia Vidal did a great job of showing us the Arwa boots from Boreal, these are technical mountaineering boots, again very light, but what interested me was that they had reduced the volume around the heel, which is great for those climbers (like me) who get heel-lift in their boots.
Stefan Glowacz and the team at Red Chili have brought out a new slipper, it looks great for bouldering and indoor training, and it's always good to see different brands, and we were all impressed by the quality of the Tenaya range - check out the video below to see their shoes.
A few other things...
Edelrid have redeveloped their rock shoe line for 2013, with the Cyclone at the top of the range. Uses 2-Tension heel straps to secure the foot and transmit power to the toe and a quick lace system similar to that used on many running shoes. All Edelrid shoes now use their own E-Grip compound: the Cyclone uses the newly developed E-Grip Plus variant.
Patagonia's original Cragmaster approach shoe now offers 'air conditioning' for warm climate cragging, with a breathable and durable air mesh upper. It's also 'vegan-friendly'. Other features: to-the-toe lacing, and Vibram Idrogrip New Boulder climbing rubber.