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Reviews by aerili (3)

Finesse (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.00/5 Average Rating : 4.00/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Harnesses: Women's Harnesses

My introduction to women-specific harnesses 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: aerili, 2008-05-11

and I'm sold. I doubt I'll be switching over to anything that is not a Misty Mountain women's harness any time soon.

I got tired of wearing my so-called "unisex" Petzl Corax--the leg loops always cut into me in the wrong places, the waist belt bruised my hips and back after long/frequent semi-hanging belays, the gear loops sucked, etc. It was my first harness, so I resolved that my next one would be a woman-specific harness.

I have a classic hourglass shape and Misty makes harnesses that fit the female anatomy well. The waist belt always sits at the right place and the leg loops never move around or hurt me like the Corax did. It's much more comfortable to hang in, as well. (We all know "unisex" harnesses were really developed on male body dimensions anyway.)

I use the haul loop all the time to carry my shoes and windbreaker during multi-pitch outings (freeing up gear loop space for things like...gear!), and I like the snapping leg loop attachment in back that allows one to drop the back of the harness when nature calls.

Did I mention Misty's huge and excellent gear loops? If you rack on your harness sometimes or always, these are the most accommodating I've used or seen available.

Lastly, I like it when gear manufacturers use distinctive, attractive, feminine colors for women's products--like what you see in the Finesse.

The only drawbacks about the Finesse (to me) are: I got used to the always-double-backed buckles on the Corax, and I do miss that feature. Also, I wonder why Misty gives the guys two additional gear loops on their Cadillac and Titan harnesses and they do not feature the same thing on either of their women's harnesses?? Otherwise, I can't find many faults with the Finesse.

Elektra (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.29/5 Average Rating : 4.29/5

In: Gear: Shoes: Climbing Shoes: Women's Climbing Shoes

My new trad shoe 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: aerili, 2008-04-25

People seem to wear these shoes for sport and bouldering primarily; I find them far too soft for edging and such but was stoked to find they smear well and jam in cracks painlessly.

Unlike my other evolv shoes, I too sized these about 1/2 down from my street shoe size.

I noticed recently (now that the weather is getting warm again in Ariz) that they ARE a bit more uncomfortable to wear in hot weather on multiple pitches vs a non-synthetic shoe (I suppose they breathe less and therefore my feet also swell more in them).

Word to the wise: I have hard-to-fit feet and evolvs are one of the few brands that seem to make women's shoes across the board that fit me well. So in my experience, evolvs might fit you well if you have:
1) feet on the narrower side
2) but you require a higher volume toe box (i.e. the toe box has more depth than a lot of other shoes--so if a lot of other brands hurt your toes, these might feel better to you, although I find the rear foot to fit narrow feet well)
3) most asymmetrical shoes hurt your feet. Evolvs aren't cut as aggressively in the asym department as others, so that + the taller toe box help to offset the pain

Athena (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.25/5 Average Rating : 4.25/5

In: Gear: Shoes: Climbing Shoes: Women's Climbing Shoes

Narrow, flexible foot? Try this shoe. 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: aerili, 2007-04-12

I have a symmetrical foot that is very hard to fit in the majority of women's sport shoes. They are either too wide (esp. in rear foot) or too asymmetrically cut and painful for me. This shoe takes care of both issues.
It is just supportive enough but not overly stiff, it edges exceptionally well, and the padded heel makes heel hooking painless and aggressive. An added bonus from evolv is that they will split size their shoes for an extra $30-35 (something I found I needed to do after buying these shoes). evolv's customer service is also out of this world stupendous!
Athenas should be sized the same as your street shoe size.
They are excellent on sport routes but forget about wearing them for anything that requires smearing or jamming (I had to wear them once on a 5.10 trad pitch b/c the holes in my trad shoes blew out even larger on the previous pitch, and I was falling all over the place in the Athenas, plus they are super painful to jam in cracks...duh).
The rubber seems to be equivalent to La Sportiva and def much better than Scarpa (the only other rubber I have climbed on).