Astroman climbing shoe review
Verified Buyer Reviewed by Chuck from New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, 2016
I was intrigued by these high-top retro-style shoes and was in the market for a comfortable shoe that I might wear all day. As my street shoe size is 43 I felt safe in ordering a 42 1/2. After climbing in them a few times and taking them for walks around the block to break them in I think it's going to be a long time (if ever) before they will be all-day comfortable. I would suggest prospective buyers buy their street shoe size in this product as I think it runs small. The workmanship is very high quality. The tongue is made of two soft flaps that meet in the middle like curtain and overlap when you pull the laces tight. Seems like a good design and is comfortable. The shoe is lined with a smooth leather-like material that feels very comfortable. The shape is traditional (no down-pointing toe as in some high-performance rock shoes) and seems to fit a natural-shaped foot. The sole is definitely stiff in the toe-to-heel direction and is extremely stiff in the direction across the ball of the foot. This probably adds to their edging performance. Beneath the instep there seems to be a shank of steel that is absolutely unbendable. This shank does not extend into the ball of the foot region. Nevertheless, I feel a kind of springiness when I climb in these shoes. If you are used to a soft shoe, like the Sportiva Mythos or the Evolv Defy, these shoes will definitely take some getting used to or rather you may have to train a new set of climbing skills. They transmit much less feeling from the foothold to your foot. Nonetheless these shoes feel exceptionally sticky. You put them on a hold and they stay there, even if you might not feel them staying there. I have used them mostly for face climbing so far and sent a 5.12 I haven't climbed in 20 years! Coincidence?...I don't know. I can't comment on their performance in cracks though I would anticipate that given their high top and stiffness they would be comfortable and well performing especially in wider cracks that can be so painful on the feet. I am anticipating that in about a year these might have softened and stretched enough that they'll be among my favorite shoes.