Review by: overlord, 2006-05-29
These shoes are just great. I mean it.
I have received a pair for beta testing from brian. Not for free offcourse, but that was money well spent. Seriously, i wouldve payed 130$ for these shoes if i think about it now. Even without the great customer service. And now for the review.
After receiving the package and ripping it open with trembling hands my initial impression was that theyre really well made. All the glued and stitched parts are really solid and i will be really shocked if they last less than one resole before they start showing serious sings of wear. Then after threading the laces i put them on. And was completely blown away by the fit. Brians size reccomendation was spot on. They were(are) perfect. Just tight enough, but not painfull, NO dead space in the heelcup or anywhere else.
And now for the important part. Climbing. When i got home, I went to our woody to give them the first test run. At first the rubber seemed to be a bit less sticky, but i used a soft metal brush to get the oxidized layer of and it improoved greatly. Still a bit less sticky than c4, but it doesnt really matter. You wont really notice it. The shoes are super precise and edge exceptionally well. They turn the smallest footchips into wide stair. Litelary. I could stand on anything.
Then finally the season started. And after about 10 climbs (not routes, mind you :P that was 3 routes) I was really happy with their performance. They have everything you need for an overhanging climb. After climbing for some time in Stingers and trying Testarosas and Mirages for a few routes, Talons are at least twice as good. They suck on everything less than vertical, but that was expected (smearing is a real PITA, as is usually the case with downturned shoes). However, when things start to overhang they really shine. Theyre super precise and you can really stand on anything, no matter how small (and thus increase your footwork options a lot). Even smearing suprisingly improves a bit when things go beyond vertical.
Now for the bad stuff. I dont really have much to say here, its more like some improvement suggestions. I would prefer an injection molded heel for even better heelhooking (dont get me wrong, the current one works just fine, but it could be improoved) and theres a lot of black (rubber all over the place) which will probably make the a bit hot when climbing in the sun (i have only used them in the shade of a cave so far, so thats only a speculation). But like i said, those are just two things that i would improve to make the shoes even better. Dont get me wrong, heelhooking works like a charm. Precise fit and no dead spaces make wonders. I wrote this paragraph because i believe that every thing can be improved and that no criticism should be just positive, so i just HAD to find something. And thats it.
And now for the conclusion. If youre in the market for some agressive shoes, take a LONG look at Talons. Theyre really good. Of those 10 outside climbs at least two involved some skidding and scratching (first tries) and the soes dont show any sign of wear whatsoever, so even though i havent used them for long, i suspect that they will last a while. So even though im not 100% sure about the durability, i reccomend them wholeheartedly. Theres just nothing wrong with them, everything is as its supposed to be. IMHO these are the perfect agressive shoes. And, when the pair that i have ventures into shoe havens, I will definitely get a second.
As a bonus you get excellent custumer service and andvice. And thats a really important thing in my book. 5 out of 5. Because they deserve it.