Shoes for every climb

Climbing footwear ups performance for all challenges.

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show July 31 – Aug. 3. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

Whether your customers are jamming vertical sandstone cracks or smearing up a desperate granite slab, the latest climbing footwear focuses on high performance across a broad spectrum.

At the top are high-end models designed for those who need everything they can get out of their shoes, and then some. In the middle you’ve got shoes that just a few years ago would have been flagship models themselves, offering incredible performance and comfort for the price. And then there are some unique ideas coming together in the approach category that straddle the line between work and play.

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Climbers out there pushing themselves to new limits know it’s crucial to have the right tools for the job, and next season they’ll have several options to choose from. The TenayaOasi (MSRP $165) utilizes the Draxtor tightening system to aim for high comfort and good smearing abilities.

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The Scarpa Stix (MSRP $149) is a lightweight slipper that combines its X-tension rand system with synthetic leather, attempting to bring an experience that’s as close to climbing barefoot as possible. Evolv debuts the powerful and precise Nexxo (MSRP $145), its most sophisticated shoe yet and the pinnacle of the Sharma series. If your customer’s project happens to be a technical edging nightmare, the redesigned and resurrected Five Ten Anasazi Pink (MSRP $150), with a proprietary fish hook midsole for magnified power in the toe, might do the trick.

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When it comes to managing the stink from shoes that climbers are using day in, day out, La Sportiva provides a solution with uppers that are machine-washable. There are three models: the HydroGym lace-up (MSRP $109) and OxyGym velcro (MSRP $99), which are offered in both men’s and women’s versions, along with the NitroGym (MSRP $99), an indoor rental shoe. Female La Sportiva fans will be happy to see the Solution (MSRP $175) now is offered in a women’s version.

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For those interested in high performance for all-day adventures, the Five Ten Anasazi Guide (MSRP $145) takes the Anasazi last and a new 3-D molded heel cup for a secure, close fit and puts it all together into a package that’s ideal for long trad climbs. The Scarpa Techno X (MSRP $145) has been redesigned into an all-day workhorse, equally comfortable on a wide range of features, from splitter cracks to dime edges (available in men’s and women’s).

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The Evolv Addict SC (MSRP $115) offers the convenience of a slipper with performance to match any terrain you might encounter.

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Anyone who’s spent some serious time at the crag knows there is one essential you don’t want to show up without: crag footwear. For many, this is a pair of flip-flops or Sanuks, but Salewa is blurring the line between approach and casual with the Capsico (MSRP $110) sandal. It’ll easily handle most approaches, and once at the cliff, converts with a flip of the heel strap into a pair of comfy, slip-on shoes for between climbs.

If customers are looking for something a little sturdier, Five Ten has the Guide Tennie Mid (MSRP $140), which features a supportive mid-cut and the award-winning Stealth Mi6 rubber. The new last is more ergonomic, with a form-fitting shape for walking comfort and climbing power in this go anywhere, do anything shoe.