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Gear Review

5 5

Excels at everything

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Update after ~2 years of very frequent use: The front of the sole has begun to peel back, and the sole is almost worn through. I have used these shoes more or less 3-5 times/week in the summer, mostly on boulders and face-scrambling, but occasionally in cracks. The stitching is coming out and the rand is cracking and peeling off on the sides. I'd say I've abused them a lot (I put 100 miles on them in the last 2 months alone) and these issues are to be expected. They held up far longer than comparable approach shoes or hiking boots used similarly and have performed much better. I have (this summer) been backpacking (8-16 mile days) in these and have yet to get a blister, which amazes me. To be brief, I'll try to glue them, but if they are actually done, I'm buying a new pair without hesitation.

I'm a geomorphologist who works in a lot of high gradient bedrock streams, so I need to be able to keep a good footing while taking measurements or climb up/rappel down the occasional waterfall. I have been using approach shoes, but these seem to be much more tailored for river work. They drain very well and the rubber on these is exactly what I expect from c4: superb stickiness. The neoprene uppers won't dry fast, but that's obviously to be expected. The footbed that comes with the shoe is perforated, so that drains nicely. I wear these with some 3mm neoprene socks and did not have to change from my usual street shoe size (13). They are a bit stiffer than I usually like for my approach shoes, but that's a reasonable tradeoff for reducing a lot of the foot fatigue that usually accompanies walking on cobbles all day. The straps are very stiff, making them a bit tough to get tight, but that's really not an issue for me. I wear them a bit loose and have not experienced any hot spots yet. The upside of the heavy straps is that I feel they will take some serious abuse, along with almost any other part of this very well made shoe.