Get them thight!
Review by: ghisino, 2008-10-31
Nice "neutral" and versatile shoe for mid to wide feet, ideally suited for those who have the big toe as long as the 2nd or slightly longer.
got my first pair after moving close to fontainebleau, since its one of the few shoes on the market who fit my heel decently (I have a narrow and low heel compared to my wide fat forefoot). At the same time I was looking for edging performance : a lot of mid-grade problems here need a shoe that does well on sharp micro-crimpers called "grattons".
Third criterium of choice was comfort : might sound strange but I like a more comfortable shoe for bouldering than for rope climbing - comfortable in the sense of being berable for several minutes albeit taken crazy small.
These felt very precise on some test footholds in the shop, and really helping the foot-they transfer quite a lot of pressure from your toes to under the arch, even if they are not an absolutely stiff shoe.
heel precision is another big plus, if you fill it up well : good rubber, stiff, very precise on small features, not slipping from your foot.
Comfort is high as expected : they are not far from a "natural" foot shape, so they don't put a lot of pressure on fingernails and such.
biggest raccomendation, take em really small.
A size that feels "right" in the shop turns out to be a gym or alpine-climb shoe after 4 or 5 sessions, and you will soon get a second, smaller pair.
A size that you have trouble getting in when new, will soon stretch in a nice way to the point that you can easily stand them for 20 minutes or bouldering or a 30-meters pitch, and at the same time are very stable on forefoot and heel. Just take time to climb some easy stuff or walk in them at home.
Heat and humidity accelerate the stretch a lot, so gym climbing will help, as well as putting them on just after getting out of a warm shower.
As others said they stretch in volume but not lenghtwise : expect a more aggressive foot position when broken in than when new, with your toes slightly scrunched instead of flat.
It is really nice for bouldering or sport climbing, maybe less for finger cracks.
Also expect them to become quite softer than in the beginning-nothing bad or extreme if sized correctly, just don't be scared that you won't be able to smear with them.
only downside is some durability issues, it is fairly easy to damage whatever part of the shoe you use repeatedely (trying the same heelhook or toehook move over and over is a typical case). Not a shoe that will last forever.