Lowa Red Eagle VCR ReviewSeptember 1, 2015
- Plentiful Rubber
- Anti-microbial lining
- Extremely wide fit
- Clunky at first
- Bulky toe box
Finally there’s a shoe that allows testers with high-volume feet to fully cinch down the Velcro. The wide, asymmetric and slightly downturned last of the Lowa Red Eagle fits fatty feet better than most shoes on the market. And really, the most important criterion for any climbing shoe is the fit. Climbers with narrow to normal-width feet need to size them tight. The elastic beneath the Velcro straps will help snug your foot, though the bottom Velcro is too high on the shoe for toe adjustment.
Don’t let its aggressive look fool you—the Red Eagle VCR is an all-around shoe that can handle pretty much any angle. The downturn of this shoe comes more from its high arch than from a truly downturned toe, which means plenty of rubber contacts the rock while smearing slabs. And yet it’s flexible and dexterous enough to grab, hook and scum on the steeps. My heel almost “clicks” into the shoe for precise, sensitive hooking. The high rand and toe patch offer rubber wherever you want for tricky roof sequences and World Cup-style bouldering. The Achilles Heel, as it were, of this shoe is its bulky toe box, which doesn’t fit where most other shoes can. They’re hard to stuff into small “innies,” whether pockets or thin cracks. For fat feet, this is one of the more comfy rock shoes while narrow feet will likely find these baggy feeling. Size these babies up and they’ll be great for moderate multi-pitch climbs.
A stiff midsole and hard rubber make for a solid edging shoe. As long as your feet fill the volume of the toe box you’ve got a good platform to stand on.
Extra thick rubber makes smearing feel bomber. And because the toe isn’t too downturned, most of the sole contacts the rock while padding up slabs.
Out of the box the Red Eagle VCR feels clunky with such a thick sole. Sensitivity increases with wear.
A high rand and generous toe top rubber make for excellent jamming. Add to that a comfy, high-volume forefoot and you’ve got a shoe you can use on all but the thinnest cracks.
The Vibram XS Edge rubber is awesome—it’s just so thick (combined with the stiff midsole) it’s hard to feel what you’re standing on.
The upside of the thick, insensitive toe rubber is that it will last a long time. And the stiff midsole should withstand a couple resoles. The Red Eagle VCR is a great, all-around shoe for its price.