Lowa X-Boulder ReviewMarch 26, 2014
- Great fit and support for long routes
- Great edging shoe
- Clunky Velcro closure doesn’t add anything to shoe
- Too stiff
The Lowa X-Boulder is one of the stiffest performance climbing shoes tested, with a lot of support from heel to toe. Heavier climbers may benefit from that stiffness, but lighter climbers will have trouble feeling tiny footholds and standing on them confidently. The fit is medium-wide, and really comfortable, with little dead space in the heel and arch. The Velcro closure atop the foot helps suck the dead space out of the arch a little bit, but seems over-built and too clunky to be worth it.
A solid, stiff edge gave a lot of support for long sport climbs. The shoe was too stiff, however, to really feel the tiniest edges.
Way too stiff to be a great smearing shoe, the X-Boulder demands pushing into smears with way more force than other, softer shoes require.
I could get the X-Boulder’s pointed toe box into pockets most of the time, but due to the stiffness of the shoe, had trouble feeling if I was really in there or not.
A large swath of rubber atop the foot makes this an exceptional toe-hooking shoe, while the suction-cup fit of the heel dispatched heel hooks expertly.
The X-Boulder delivers a great fit for medium to wide feet, with no dead space and no crunched toes.
The Velcro closure atop the foot helps suck the dead space out of the arch a little bit, but seems over-built and too clunky to be worth it. Plus, it made the shoe hotter than it needed to be. I ended up cutting the giant Velcro piece off the shoe, which made it easier to take on and off.
For being one of the most expensive climbing shoes on the market, the X-Boulder didn’t live up to my performance expectations.