Cypher Zero Review

March 26, 2014
Cypher Zero
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
73
Edging
7
Smearing
6
Sensitivity
6
Cracks
3
Rubber
5
Value
6

The Good

  • Inexpensive
  • Aggressive down-turned toe for steep pockets and edging
  • Semi-soft last yields great sensitivity

The Bad

  • Velcro closure system is uncomfortable and poorly designed
  • Rubber not as sticky as other brands
  • Lots of dead space in heel
THE VERDICT

The Cypher is the cheapest high-performance shoe I tested this spring, and it looks like it will be a great precision edging machine. It provides a ton of toe power on the steepest routes and its semi-soft last provided a lot of sensitivity to feel tiny edges and clasp my feet down onto little fins of rock. The closure system is placed too far down the shoe to be useful (the top of your foot bulges out uncomfortably) and I found the heel too high volume, leaving me with a lot of dead space and compromising heel-hooking performance.

FULL REVIEW

Edging
This soft shoe comes with an aggressively downturned toe that provided a ton of sensitivity, which was great on steep edging routes and boulder problems. The lack of arch support, however, left the shoe feeling a little baggy and compromised toe power.

Smearing
With great sensitivity, the Cypher Zero made it easy to press into glassy dishes of rock. However, the rubber wasn’t as sticky as others on the market.

Pockets
A narrow and pointed toe helped me find pockets and stand into them with just my big toe.

Heel/Toe Hooking
A higher volume, baggy heel made heel hooking quite challenging. The lack of a patch of rubber atop the foot also made toe hooking difficult.

Comfort
For being so aggressively downturned, this shoe is surprisingly comfortable in the toe box. However, the closure system failed to protect the top of my foot.

Value/Longevity
The Cypher Zero deserves props for coming to market at such a great value, but the design gaffs in the shoe make even $110 feel pricey.

 


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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$110.00
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