So Ill Are Sick!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I’m at the stage in my climbing that I need specific shoes for a specific purpose. Right now I’m mostly bouldering in the gym. My shoe journey started with Evolv Defy’s, then TC Pros (40.5), Futuras (39.5), Tenaya Masai (M8.0/40.75), Iati (M7.5/40), Inti (M8.0/40.75), and most recently, the Oasi LV (M7.5/40). I love Tenaya shoes (see my reviews but note they are snapshots in time and my opinions have evolved). Since I just switched from Oasi LVs to these Street LVs, I’ll compare them. My Street LVs are size M8.0/41 (like my street shoes).
Comfort: Climbing shoes are not comfortable. The only pairs I’ve put on that I thought I could actually wear on concrete were TC Pros and the Masai, probably because they are flat. That said, I did have that Cinderella feeling when I put on the Street LVs. No air gaps even though my toes are slightly curled. Arches feel wrapped. Heel is secure but not constricted by the slingshot. Shoe is soft and stiff in the right spots. Definitely more downturned than the Oasi, which. I can probably wear longer; I have to give my feet a break after 1-2 routes with the Streets. I’m okay with that. That said, landing on the pads hurts more unless I remember to roll. But that could also just be my age.
Toe box: My toes dig into the very front, which is good when edging, but definitely requires trim nails. Toe tips feel some hot spots, but not enough to bother me. Power seems driven to the inner edge of the big toe, but they don’t compromise use of my other toes on dime edges. When I flex my toes, I can bend the shoe, and they feel more precise than the Oasi. The Oasi has a slightly stiffer toe box so my toes have a little room to slide around inside, but once my feet sweat, the Oasi conform better. The Oasi are also slightly more asymmetrical than the Street LVs, which might explain why I fit the Streets better.
Heel: The heel on the Oasi pops off slightly when I extend my toes because the slingshot is high. The Streets don’t do this as much, and the back of the heel hugs my feet better. So for me, heel hooking is better with the Street LVs.
Rubber: Much stickier on the Street LVs. I don’t know what that Dark Matter is, but it works better than Vibram XS. This is most noticeable to me when I am stemming on a tiny crimp that’s just beyond my leg span. I can more easily stick a nub with just the tips of my toes. I also feel better smearing with the Streets, even though they are more downturned. There is also more rubber on the top of the toes in the Streets, which make them better for toe hooking.
Convenience: Streets are easier to pull on and off. The Draxtor system on the Oasi take some getting used to, but I still like the two strap system on the Streets – they are in the right place and really pull the shoes into a glove-like fit. I also think Streets are lower volume than the Oasi, based upon the amount of wrinkling I see when I tighten the Oasi.
Construction: I’ve heard a lot of complaints about So Ill construction; however, my first pair of Oasi de-lammed after a month, and Trango had to replace them. I have not had any issues with the Streets besides the typical popped stitch. I climb about 3 times a week for 1-2 hour sessions. Quality seems fine so far.
Conclusion: The Oasi LVs are great shoes and the best aggressive shoes from Tenaya for low volume feet, but the Street LVs are just a better fit because of the slightly lower volume, strap placements, and lower heel band. Though I’ve only used the Oasi outdoors, I don’t doubt the Streets would perform well. I’ll probably stick with these for a while and I recommend giving them a try.
PS Both are horrible in the cracks.