Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Projects, Part Deuce

I know you have all been waiting patiently for me to talk about my new kicks, the Projects. While I haven't gotten a bunch of days in with them, I have gotten enough to get a decent idea of what they are like. I'll have more to come as I use them more. So far I've been able to use them about 4 times. Twice indoors and twice on rock.

As far as fit goes, I like them but don't love them. I like the toe a lot and I like how chiseled it is. It grabs onto small holds really well and that, paired with the sensitivity is really nice. It really lets you pull. I don't like how the arch and midfoot don't suck up around my foot and the heel isn't perfect. It isn't bad though, just a little stiff and bulky feeling.

I don't like how the velcro closure fits my foot though. I wish the metal loop was a little smaller. It hits the top of my foot really weird and feels a lot like the old velcro Dragon and the Jet7's that I've tried on. The velcro strap tends to bunch up to one side of the metal loop anyways so I feel like they could make it a little smaller and it would work much better. In the velcro closure world I think the Solutions have the best closure system by far. Very well thought out and well executed.

And how did they perform? I like them, actually. The shape of the toe is nice and they toe down really effectively. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the sensitivity and how soft they were. I like it in certain situations, for sure. While they aren't a workhorse shoe there are definitely going to be times that I'll pull them out of the bag. Having not owned the Mantra's I didn't have a whole lot of experience with midsole-less shoes. It is definitely a different technique and style of climbing.

I do fear that they are going to stretch too much and also that they are going to lose their downturn fairly quickly. Without a midsole they don't have a whole lot of support and won't be able to keep their original shape all that well. While it isn't something I'm too worried about, it is something that I'll be watching. I'm definitely worried that they are going to stretch too much though. The leather is very soft and I definitely couldn't go any smaller with them.

Overall, I like them so far. More time will tell me if they were worth it or not, but right now they are a nice addition. My number one preference is still for the Testarossa and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

It's looking like rain this weekend so it seems like I'll have to wait a little bit for revenge on Chaos. My tips are finally starting to heal up and feel close to normal again. I'm so excited for the spring season!


  1. I am coming into town this weekend (Minnesota). you could try them at taylors falls if you would like (with me).


  2. Probably not this weekend as it's my birthday weekend but I'd love to get up there for sure. how long are you in the twin cities for?

  3. very curious about the rubber. please prattle on with direct comparisons to HF and xs grip. was just told that one 5.10 lover thinks the mystique is in fact stickier than HF by a noticable margin

  4. of course, nic could just send me a test pair for the great rubber challenge of 2009

  5. I'll try to get a post together this week. I was genuinely surprised how well they worked this past weekend. I haven't noticed a huge difference in rubber, but rather a lot of little things.

    I did almost put a hole in the outsole though.

    And Nic should just start donating shoes to our cause. On the double!