Take a step into your second pair of climbers.
Your first pair of climbers sure are comfy, but they don't really hack it now that your climbing prowess jumped from "beginner" to "intermediate" this past season. Although you aren't quite ready to squish your toes in shoes that are as downturned as they are uncomfortable, the Red Chili Women's Fusion VCR Climbing Shoe maintains comfort while offering a bit more aggression than flat, beginner shoes. Versatile for climbing gyms, boulder fields, and crags, the Fusion features Vibram's XS Grip rubber for long-lasting traction on slabs, edges, subtle overhangs, and a variety of different styles of climbing.
- Comfy climbing shoe with a step toward difficult routes and problems
- Moderately downturned profile provides an intermediate performance
- Vibram XS Grip rubber sole for reliable traction on slabs and smears
- Stiff Powerflex midsole with shock absorbing Impact Zone
- Full leather upper and footbed stretches half to full sizes
- Ultra Grip toepatch enhances toe-hooking
- Q & A
Flimsy, Unlike Spirit VCR
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
This shoe's sole has begun to separate from the rand with only two climbs in the bouldering gym. I don't smear much either, and am light on my feet. They may even be defective. I used some shoe goo to shore them up, but am really disappointed.
As far as the fit, I am a true street shoe size five, and the 4.5 is comfortable - but like a weirdo, I prefer them with socks - so maybe go a whole size down for an aggressive fit.
They are barely downturned, still sort of beginner shoes.
The toe patch is awesome!
However, because of the sole, I am only giving this shoe two stars.
Good choice for intermediate shoe
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Picked these out as my second ever pair of climbing shoes because I wanted a little more performance without getting into the world of extreme downturned/asymmetrical shoes. I've been using them for a couple of weeks now and so far I'm pretty happy with them. They are *very* moderate, it's really only a slight downturn, but the split sole does change the way the shoe reacts to standing on tiny toeholds. The stiffer and slightly pointed toe definitely makes edging much easier, on the other hand smearing has been a little more difficult. Haven't put them through the wringer quite yet but I've found heel hooking is easier as well.
Fit-wise I ended up choosing a half size down from my street shoe size and find them pretty comfortable now that they are breaking in. I have a slightly wide toebox and a slightly high arch, so people with low volume feet might even be able to handle a full size down if they wanted a really tight fit.