Review by: musicman1586, 2006-08-27
Great shoe for what their intended for. Obviously not an all-around shoe, and if you grade it as such then you are placing an unfair expectation on it. That said, this is one of the most comfortable down-turned shoes I've ever worn. Just got back from a trip to Hueco with them, and I used them for pretty much everything I got on out there, even if they weren't necessary. I can definitely wear them for a good while, and the fit and performance is just as good as other comparable shoes without the pain. I could wear them for probably...20 min. at a time before I have to take them off. Heel hooks are good as well, if you pull too hard they will pop off, but mine stayed pretty much in place, just a little shifting even on heel hook intensive roof problems. I got them in my street size, which I highly recommend not to go smaller.
Year-long update: So I used my Argos for quite a while when I got them, then I basically only trad climbed for about a year, and then the past 4 months of so I've been bouldering alot more and want to offer my opinion now that I have alot more experience on various rock, using various shoes, etc. When sized as I have them sized (street shoe size, as Evolv suggests) the Argos are a great introduction to downturned shoes I think. They definitely aren't the most extreme on the market, but I personally prefer them most the time. The lining makes them feel good on the feet, and the toe box is down-turned, but not to the extreme, so I can pull with my feet really well but at the same time I climb lots of vertical stuff in them as well, in fact they work just as well for straight vertical (one of my favorite mediums) to slightly overhanging as they do for cave climbing. For up to V5-6 and 5.12s so far I really haven't needed anything else, I've been using the venoms because I got a good deal on them and I know I'll have shoes to resole sooner than later. So in summation of the good points, its a good vertical to overhanging shoe for those just getting into such types of shoes, it has a good curve to the toes to enable you to grab and pull with your feet, but they are damn comfortable as well, in route setting sessions in the gym I can leave them on for 20 min. or even more at times and only somewhat be bothered when I take them off.
So all the goods being said, what cons can I come up with? Well as I said, its not the most extreme down-turned shoe on the market (once again, sized to your street shoe size) I've worn or tried out lots of others, and there are definitely shoes out there that are more down-turned and I guess in a sense more precise (although personally I'm beginning to the think that the lack of pain is more of an aid to me than more "precise" shoes). Also the heel on real serious heel hooks does come over pretty easily, its one thing to place it and use it as a balance point, but when you actually have to pull with your heel to stay on, the heel does pop. That being said, I have an extremely narrow foot and heel, so that could be the problem. The other con I could point out is that these shoes are very soft, which some people have said is a problem for micro-edging, I've never found a problem edging in these, but it does take more toe strength since you don't have much of a midsole to help you out, on the flip side, they also smear pretty well, which is a rarity for DT shoes.
So in conclusion, the Argos have become some of my most favorite all around sport and bouldering shoes. They can climb vertical faces all the way to caves, they can edge, pull, smear, toe hook with ease, and work fine for some types of heel hooks. Hell, I've even done some easy 5.8 hand cracks in them. I know that their is higher-performance shoes on the market, but in all honesty I don't think I've surpassed these yet and they for sure can climb much harder than V6 or 5.12, I'm just not there yet, but it certainly hasn't been the shoes that have hindered me. So to anyone thinking about buying these, I would say their more than worth it for the price, even if you have some better shoes, save it for the crucial sends and use these for your gym shoes. Their a great way to start learning how to pull with your feet, but you'll also still be able to climb non-overhanging faces and problems, and finally to top it all off, they've been durable as hell for me, I used them for probably 3 months before my trad hiatus, and then I've been using them for the past 4 months with ALOT (30 hrs/week) of time spent in the gym resetting all the routes in our 8,500 sq ft gym, along with time spent out on course granite and steep polished limestone. A great all-around sport and bouldering shoe.