Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
BEST FOR: Steep bouldering and sport climbing and edging at your limit
Based on first impressions and initial use we’re really impressed by these aggressive and technical Boreal shoes, available in both men’s and women’s versions. The uniquely sculpted toe rand produces a very aggressive shape without your toes needing to suffer for it. Instead, the shoe supports your toes and allows you to edge on the smallest of features without hesitation. Boreal’s own Zenith Pro rubber is really sticky and adds confidence when edging on barely-there ridges.
The fit feels spacious at first, and would be great for those with wide feet, but the three-strap closure system functions more like a lace-system and ensures a snug fit, even for narrow feet. The upper of the three straps is particularly effective as it grabs Boreal’s proprietary Wrap Rand, helping to drive the foot into the molded heel extremely well.
The microfiber upper, integrated tongue and lining make for a smooth, comfortable fit while the anti-deformation midsole forms a very deliberate shape that seems unlikely to flatten over time, suggesting that the secure and precise fit will not change considerably with use.
A good rule of thumb for these shoes would be to size a half size down from your street shoe; those seeking a tighter or looser fit can adjust from there. The Dharmas would be perfect for anything from steep overhangs to off-vertical technical face climbing: go looking for small edges and they’ll be able to show you what’s really available.