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Being a stiffy in a soft world
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By Zappatista
Jan 2, 2013
Book me, officer.

For a long while I was hooked on really soft shoes. Stiff to me was an Anasazi Velcro, I couldn't understand the board-lasted deal unless your whole concept was grinding out OWs all the time.

I've been changing my tune recently, though. Broke out some "too stiff" resoles that have been sitting around forever, and have been really getting psyched on them. I really had a thing at one point for the green Anasazi Mesa laceup with the fiberglass forefoot insert and the Dragon heel(not the current Verdes-these were discontinued several years ago), I'm digging the Pontas velcro with a C4 resole, but I know they just changed that design on me, as well, and the recycled rubber thing may be super greeny but that stuff skates on my like Katarina Witt in my teenage dreams.

Any reccommendations on stiff, asymetric shoes that are non-downturned and have good rubber and material quality? I know, I know, there are a million discontinued greats. I'm only concerned with stuff I can get without resorting to the black market, today. Bought a pair of Pontas Lace and that scheissenrubber has me bumming...

Thanks for any suggestions.


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By frankstoneline
Jan 2, 2013

My first experience with a stiff-ish shoe was the 5.10 galileo. Loved those things, I think they still make them (or they appear to be readily available via googlewebs). When sized a bit small the white anasazi lace ups are pretty stiff as well (though not fiberglass board stiff).

as an aside, you get my pm about those anasazi slippers? if you're willing to sell em, I'd buy em if they are in my size.


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By Unassigned User
Jan 2, 2013

i once made shoe plates out of metal to do a route


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By Dana Bartlett
From CT
Jan 2, 2013

How about Scarpa Vapor? Asymmetrical, very slight downturn, a bit stiffer than the shoes you have mentioned.


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By mikeinvt
Jan 2, 2013

i have five ten grandstones and they're not as stiff as I wish they were. i've heard that acopa jb's are stiff high tops although they are hard to find at a price i can afford.


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By Wyowhitewater
From Golden
Jan 2, 2013

5.10 Newtons just got a pair myself they are on the stiff side, I have found they work great for intermediates and face climbs with a lot of edging, only down fall is the size of the toe box rather large for small pockets and anything smaller than a finger sized crack. I can wear them all day with no pain and very little fatigue


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By A.Javi.Gecko
From San Diego, CA
Jan 2, 2013
V3, Castle Hill, NZ

Depending on your foot size, Scarpa Technos.The Scarpa website has closeout sizes up to 41 for $58 including shipping. They aren't the STIFFEST shoes but they're stiffer than Pontas (my last pair of shoes). I'll be trying them out on some San Diego granite (cracks+blank slabs) tomorrow and will give a performance update but IMO, they are really well made. I have a semi-wide forefoot and small heel so the heel-lock system is awesome for me. I wear a 42 street shoe and a 40.5 is perfect. Not super agressive/downturned but they should be fine unless you're climbing V-crazyhard.

Edit: Initial Tests Complete

Broke the Technos in a bit today with a short bouldering session. First, let me say that while the forefoot is stiffer than Evolv Pontas, the arch/heel is not. This made for pretty good edging but not as much support. Personally, I like it because it gives a bit more sensitivity in the back of the foot for smearing, jamming and liebacking. I wasn't too impressed by the XSGrip rubber on SoCal granite but I'll resolve judgement until I get a bit more used to the shoes. Since these shoes aren't downturned, I'm gonna get better at edging with the side and instep of my foot (as opposed to front-pointing all the time with my miuras) but my toes are much, much happier in foot/toe jams with their asymmetrical, low-profile toebox. They were able to handle a slightly overhanging face and slabs were a piece of cake. I can't wait to take these out on some long climbs!


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By shotwell
Jan 3, 2013

I don't know any majorly stiff shoes that aren't downturned anymore and I've been shopping for them for a couple of years. If you're willing to try something new the Katana Lace and Scarpa Feroce are both quite stiff and only slightly downturned. I've worn both in a pretty tight fit for everything from slabs to steeps. I've also worn the Katana Lace bigger for cracks. The Feroce is the best stiff shoe I've worn, fwiw.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jan 3, 2013
El Chorro

Another vote for the Galileo. I have two sizes, one for cracks and trad, the smaller one for thin sport. They are the perfect balance if you ask me, and the heel is better than the Anasazi.

PS I also have a pair of old Pontas Velcro resoled with Five Ten rubber and love them for sport climbs, especially limestone.


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By slim
Administrator
Jan 3, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

i think the galileo is the best in this area. similar to an anasazi, but stiffer and has better edgin power. definitely stiffer than the katana, and definitely better for pure edging.


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Jan 3, 2013
Bucky

Hey Killis,

My history of shoe use is very similar to you, i.e. I used to use predominantly soft shoes. But over the years I have been steadily moving more and more towards stiff shoes. It started with the La Sportiva Viper, which is a slipper, but is fairly stiff (for comparison, it is stiffer than the Anasazi velcro or Sportiva Katana or Muiras). However I have recently moved on to using the Anasazi Blanco which is very stiff (not Boreal Ace stiff, but still very quite stiff by most standards). I climb a lot of thin, techy granite and I absolutely love the Blanco for this kind of climbing. At first they don't smear super well, but after they break in a bit, I can smear and stand on damn near anything for as long as I want. I find this to be super helpful when trying to onsight near my limit because I can stand on dime edges indefinitely while I figure sequences out; with a softer shoe, the clock is ticking because a softer rubber shoe will eventually start to googe off of the hold. Now when I go back to anything softer, I find myself thinking that I am climbing in sloppy soft shoes. I guess if you are into more steep style climbing then the Blancos are probably not the best bet, but on a 12+ vert and slab, they really shine.


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Jan 3, 2013
Bucky

slim wrote:
i think the galileo is the best in this area. similar to an anasazi, but stiffer and has better edgin power. definitely stiffer than the katana, and definitely better for pure edging.


Have you climbed in both the Anasazi Blanco and the Galileo? If so, what is your take on the differences?


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By Weston L
From Summerlin, NV
Jan 3, 2013
Me at the good rest on Doggie Do

Big fan of stiff shoes here. TC Pros are nice and versatile, got 'em before they got incredibly popular so was able to find them on sale for ~$100 2 1/2-3 years ago. Lucked out. I second the Scarpa Technos, great shoes...I've used them from your home court (red rock) to the valley and back on everything. Great shoe, I have wide feet and they sucked for me at first...factory rubber is typical Vibram garbage, once resoled with 5.10 and once they broke in enough to fit my foot, I've been a happy fella since. The Grandstones are another great shoe, with great factory rubber...not QUITE as stiff as roadkill, but stiff enough. The only drawback is the bulbous toebox...


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By slim
Administrator
Jan 3, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

J. Albers wrote:
Have you climbed in both the Anasazi Blanco and the Galileo? If so, what is your take on the differences?


haven't climbed in the blancos - i am also curious to hear a comparison.


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By frankstoneline
Jan 3, 2013

J. Albers wrote:
Have you climbed in both the Anasazi Blanco and the Galileo? If so, what is your take on the differences?


It's been a while since I climbed in either, so take this outlook with a grain of salt.

First: my pairs of each were sized differently, with my galileo's feeling about a half size bigger than my anasazi blanco'. Despite being bigger I felt they edged comparably, and felt about on par in terms of stiffness, however the galileo's were much more comfortable for long pitches and such. My feeling was that if sized similarly (meaning fit on the foot, not actual size), the galileo's would be slightly stiffer.


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Jan 3, 2013

Anasazi Blanco. Love em.

I get a much better fit in them than a Galileo (despite getting a perfect fit in a regular anasazi velcro...which is maybe my most used shoe). For difficult edging, where I want a very precise fit with no gaps, it's the best thing for my foot. I think I'd prefer Onyxx on them for pure edging performance and a little better durability (they come with C4, which can be less than ideal for hot weather edging, or durability on sharp JT rock), but 99% of the time I'd never notice the difference and welcome the C4 for being a little better all-around.

I think they also climb a little stiffer than the Galileo because you can lock your foot into place (i.e. no bagging, gaps, etc) with the lacing. So the midsole might not actually be any stiffer, but it climbs feels stiffer in practice, IME.

I really wanted the Galileo to work for me, because getting in and out of tight, full lace shoes is kind of a PITA, but they weren' for me. YMMV.

If you have a sportiva foot, ignore all I said.


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Jan 3, 2013
Bucky

Will S wrote:
Anasazi Blanco. Love em. If you have a sportiva foot, ignore all I said.


Thanks for the post Will, its useful to hear a first-hand comparison to the Galileo.

I do have a "Sportiva foot," but even so I find the Blanco to perform far beyond any Sportiva shoe I have ever owned for technical edging. I guess it just shows how great of shoe the Blanco is for vert climbing.


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By Zappatista
Jan 3, 2013
Book me, officer.

Funny to see how similar many of the suggestions were. I'm actually wearing out a pair of the V2s (anasazi blanco) right now, hence the pondering on what to get next. Had a pair of the Galileos, despite being heinously uncomfortable for my foot shape, they were my first and unfortunately not my last experience with Onyxx rubber-does not work worth shit on small edges in the heat, failed on 2 seperate hard routes with THIIIIN feet that presented no problems in a pair of C4 Anasazis in similar conditions a few days later.

I tried the Tenayas, their laceup is WAAAY more comfortable than the V2s. Only problem is that they were Mad Rock Flash-ish soft. Am probably going to pick up a pair of the RAs, a bit stiffer, I got a really good vibe from the shoes in general, they seem comfortable enough to try out and see if they can toe hard.

Back in the day, I've used some Scarpas, Boreals, etc. They always seemed like "almost but not quite" shoes. The reccommendations on the Scarpa Vapor, Technos, Feroce, and Katana Lace are all worth looking into, thanks guys. The Grandstones and Newtons don't seem like a high-performance shoe to me, the asymmetric shape means a lot to me, I own TC Pros and think the worst thing about them is the toe contact point being over the second toe, the Mythos type round toe really doesn't work with my foot shape at all, and the JBs are getting use for OW only, can't guarantee I can find more pairs now that Acopa's defunct.

And Frank, I didn't reply because the shoes aren't even in your size ballpark, bro. 8.5s, they barely go on my feet. You were looking for something in the 11s, I thought-and I posted that they were not your size when I responded to your forum post.

Maybe I'll try a larger size in the V2s, anyone tried these with a thin sock and kept the precision? My main problem with them is that they dig into my heels, that and the extreme toe cram...

Just spitballin'..


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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Jan 3, 2013

Maybe the problem is you guys are losing flexibility with age.

My shoe choice for edging is pretty simple, although not always intuitive from the ground: if the route benefits more w/ high stepping (close to hip height or higher) or more smedging than pure edging, then it's down-turned sport shoes. If it benefits more w/ tip-toeing (to gain reach), then it's stiff shoes -> I wear either Scarpa mago or Acopa legend (or TC pro if I had a pair), unless the route also has non-trivial tight hands or thinner crack sections, then I wear Katana lace.


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By Zappatista
Jan 3, 2013
Book me, officer.

Flexibility is not the issue-I can lick my own taint.

Want pics?

Before anyone starts salivating, that was a joke.

The whole thing really stems from the types of routes I've been getting on-really long, techy pitches with small, small edges. Once the foot sweating starts, I've found some of my favorite shoes start buckling on the tiny stuff. The V2s climb insanely hard, but feel like someone's driving a tack into my achilles before I pull the laces tight.

J. had it pretty dialed in terms of the type of routes I'm into, though not on granite, for the most part. Ever get any info from your bolting buddy for me, btw, J? Still shopping...


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Jan 3, 2013
Bucky

reboot wrote:
Maybe the problem is you guys are losing flexibility with age. My shoe choice for edging is pretty simple, although not always intuitive from the ground: if the route benefits more w/ high stepping (close to hip height or higher) or more smedging than pure edging, then it's down-turned sport shoes. If it benefits more w/ tip-toeing (to gain reach), then it's stiff shoes -> I wear either Scarpa mago or Acopa legend (or TC pro if I had a pair), unless the route also has non-trivial tight hands or thinner crack sections, then I wear Katana lace.



Yeah, flexibility ain't the problem. I can one-up Killis because I can lick my taint while high stepping above my head. Really.

Smedging or edging, it doesn't matter, both are easier in stiff, non-downturned shoes IMHO. And from what I understand, I am not the only dingus who wears stiffness for vert and slab. Want proof? Go ask one of the Tuolumne regulars about their opinion on stiff versus soft for long slab routes. Or better yet, go try and climb some multi-pitch smedge fests up in Tuolumne in downturned soft shoes and you will know the definition of foot pain.

And Killis (or anyone else), do you know if Tenaya makes a shoe that is equivalent to the Blanco? I noticed that they have some lace-up shoes, but I can't tell from the product description what shoes they are comparable to.

....also, I will try to PM you tonight about the hardware Killis.

Smarty Ports/Shants wrote:
The V2s climb insanely hard, but feel like someone's driving a tack into my achilles before I pull the laces tight.


I experience this problem until the Blanco's are broken in too (even after). I saw a post somewhere (MP or someone's blog?) where they fixed this by cutting out part of the slingshot rand...they essentially removed the section connecting the bottom of the foot to the achilles. Anyone seen this post and want to post a link?


EDIT: I found the link, see here:
www.mountainproject.com/v/510-shoe-modification-/107123129


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By dnoB ekiM
Jan 4, 2013
Wonderstuff

Smarty Ports/Shants wrote:
I've used some Scarpas, Boreals, etc. They always seemed like "almost but not quite" shoes.


The newest series of Scarpas (Instinct, Vapor, Boostic, Feroce) are NOTHING like the old-school Scarpas (5+ years ago). They have a new shoe designer (from Sportiva) and have actually improved on any shoe made by Sportiva (IMHO).

I still love soft shoes and the Instinct is honestly the best shoe (by a large margin) that I have ever had, and I have tried them all.

I think you should check out the Vapor! A slightly stiffer Muira VS is what I see them as. Too stiff for me for most of the routes I like, but it might be exactly what you are looking for.

I find that most people have feet that either fit the Scarpa/Sportiva design or the 5.10/Evolv design. So if you have feet that favor the 5.10 "shape" the Vapor may not be ideal.

I find all the 5.10's and Evolvs hurt my feet considerably more than Sportiva/Scarpa. For MANY years, I found that the Cobra (talk about soft!) was my Red Rock shoe of choice and the Muira was my stiffer alternative (charleston, etc.).

However, after discovering the Instinct, it is my choice for anything beyond the warm-ups. It is soft/sensitive (I like the feedback of feeling the holds) and yet still capable of precision edging. I actually still like a good worn-out pair of Cobras for warm-ups and smearing climbs in red rocks. The Instinct does not smear as well as Cobras but is ideal on all most every other type of climb.

The Vapor is pretty stiff and seems to be Scarpa's answer (a better one?) to the stiff shoe concept that has been previously mastered (for sportiva shaped feet) by the Muira and Muira VS.

Again, if you have a 5.10 shaped foot...I can't help you. I wore Anasazi's and Pontas for a couple of years...and I could climb well in them, but they always hurt! Sportiva/Scarpas always fit me better. I have sworn by the Cobra/Muira quiver for years, but now I am a Scarpa fan....particularly the Instinct! I hope they never "redesign" (i.e. screw up) this shoe.

I've never checked out the Feroce...maybe it is their Katana competitor? I never found a use for the Katana. I bought some Katana velcros and hated them. Just a flat scrappy shoe.

Boostic>Solution
InstinctS>Cobra/Python
Vapor>Muira/MuiraVS


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By frankstoneline
Jan 4, 2013

Smarty Ports/Shants wrote:
And Frank, I didn't reply because the shoes aren't even in your size ballpark, bro. 8.5s, they barely go on my feet. You were looking for something in the 11s, I thought-and I posted that they were not your size when I responded to your forum post.


I wasn't the OP, lookin for something in the ~9 size, just seein' if my PM's were working, I switched my email a while ago and they didnt seem to be going through for a bit.

As to the topic at hand, I definitely prefer the C4 to the onyx. Seems like if the pontas laces you mentioned having before fit your foot you might as well get em resoled with c4 and see how they do. I borrowed a pair from a friend a while ago and recall them being stiff as a board.


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By Zappatista
Jan 4, 2013
Book me, officer.

My bad, Frank-thought the you were the OP on the slipper thread; the OP was looking for 12s. Mine are 8.5s. they have holes in them and standard Anasazi funk, and need a resole. I'd look for someone who has a better condition pair, if I were you.


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By frankstoneline
Jan 4, 2013

Smarty Ports/Shants wrote:
My bad, Frank-thought the you were the OP on the slipper thread; the OP was looking for 12s. Mine are 8.5s. they have holes in them and standard Anasazi funk, and need a resole. I'd look for someone who has a better condition pair, if I were you.


ah no worries. I'll keep hunting.


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By shotwell
Jan 4, 2013

dnoB ekiM wrote:
The newest series of Scarpas (Instinct, Vapor, Boostic, Feroce) are NOTHING like the old-school Scarpas (5+ years ago). They have a new shoe designer (from Sportiva) and have actually improved on any shoe made by Sportiva (IMHO). I still love soft shoes and the Instinct is honestly the best shoe (by a large margin) that I have ever had, and I have tried them all. I think you should check out the Vapor! A slightly stiffer Muira VS is what I see them as. Too stiff for me for most of the routes I like, but it might be exactly what you are looking for. I find that most people have feet that either fit the Scarpa/Sportiva design or the 5.10/Evolv design. So if you have feet that favor the 5.10 "shape" the Vapor may not be ideal. I find all the 5.10's and Evolvs hurt my feet considerably more than Sportiva/Scarpa. For MANY years, I found that the Cobra (talk about soft!) was my Red Rock shoe of choice and the Muira was my stiffer alternative (charleston, etc.). However, after discovering the Instinct, it is my choice for anything beyond the warm-ups. It is soft/sensitive (I like the feedback of feeling the holds) and yet still capable of precision edging. I actually still like a good worn-out pair of Cobras for warm-ups and smearing climbs in red rocks. The Instinct does not smear as well as Cobras but is ideal on all most every other type of climb. The Vapor is pretty stiff and seems to be Scarpa's answer (a better one?) to the stiff shoe concept that has been previously mastered (for sportiva shaped feet) by the Muira and Muira VS. Again, if you have a 5.10 shaped foot...I can't help you. I wore Anasazi's and Pontas for a couple of years...and I could climb well in them, but they always hurt! Sportiva/Scarpas always fit me better. I have sworn by the Cobra/Muira quiver for years, but now I am a Scarpa fan....particularly the Instinct! I hope they never "redesign" (i.e. screw up) this shoe. I've never checked out the Feroce...maybe it is their Katana competitor? I never found a use for the Katana. I bought some Katana velcros and hated them. Just a flat scrappy shoe. Boostic>Solution InstinctS>Cobra/Python Vapor>Muira/MuiraVS


The Feroce is significantly stiffer than the Vapor. Also, the Katana is nothing like the Katana Lace. I agree that the regular Katana is nothing special or stiff.


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