The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
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Scarpa Vision V: One shoe for all types of crags
Posted on: August 24, 2006
I admit it. I'm a shoe whore. When it comes to cragging, certain climbs require a very specific shoes. Currently my cragging quiver consists of about five shoes (that I can remember off the top of my head). Shoes range from super tight sporty edging shoes to finger-crack shoes to quick on-and-off bouldering shoes. I now have one shoe for just about everything. When I first tried out the Vision V at Blacktail Butte outside of Jackson I was a little skeptical. I felt a little weak but that is probably because I climbed too many moderates in the Bugaboos the two weeks before. The sole is a little flexier than my usual limestone face shoes but the sticky Megabyte rubber provides excellent friction on the sharp tiny feet of Blacktail. Moving on from Jackson, I had to guide a climbing road trip for several teenage climbing proteges throughout Colorado. These teens are getting on hard 5.10s to 5.12s and I needed a shoe that was up to snuff. The Vision V shoes came out at Shelf Road and were narrow enough for small finger pockets on my leaver-biner rescue mission on No Passion For Fashion at the Menses Prow. Their next debut came in Penitente Canyon. At this point I knew that they could climb face but what about thin cracks? Sheer Lunacy has a key thin toe jam right after the first bolt that would be a great test.
The narrow toe of this shoe worked incredibly well and I felt super solid through that move. The toe also works great for toe hooks. The next couple of moves that guard the chains involve intricate smears, foot cross throughs, and tiny pocket placements to a couple finger locks. Needless to say, the shoe performed really well. Feeling a little cocky with the new shoes, I decided to test my ability on Sheer Strength. It has tons of really tiny feet as well as delicate heel hooks around an arete. The heel felt bomber although my onsight attempt did not. A botch of sequence and I was off. A couple more laps and the sequence was wired. Overall, I think that these shoes are excellent for all types of cragging (although wider handcracks might be a little painful with the flexy sole). The shoe will fit those best with narrow feet. The one strap Velcro closure system is super secure and very convenient if you are taking your shoes on and off. Too bad for shoe whores though, now you only need one pair of shoes.
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