Thursday, April 16, 2009

Projects, Part Tres

I've gotten some good time in the Projects, both in the gym and on the real rocks, and they're growing on me. There are still one or two things that I dislike and wish Five Ten would change, but overall I really like them. It seems that each time I take them out I like them more. It's a nice trend.

I've definitely become accustomed to the sensitivity of the shoe and it's changed how I climb a little bit. For starters, I tend to switch between shoes more than I have in the past. I've always done that a little bit, but with the Projects it has taken on a new level. The amount of sensitivity that you get with the shoes is somewhat astounding and allows you to feel absolutely everything. It takes a while to get used to, for sure. They are definitely becoming a "go to" shoe for me in many cases. They are pretty perfectly suited next to the Testarossas and they complement each other very, very well.

As for the rubber, which a couple people have asked about, I'm not sure I see a ton of difference between any of the high performance rubbers. So much of how a shoe works is dependent on the shape and stiffness of a shoe. It would be interesting to get the Projects resoled in 2mm XS Grip and see what the difference would be. From what I've seen though, there isn't a huge difference between Mystique and other rubbers I've used. However, the Projects do seem to stick to mediocre footholds better than many other shoes I've used. I believe this is due to the sensitivity of the shoe, though, rather than the rubber.

So, what don't I like?? Well, they have a very narrow last for starters. The toe box is extremely low volume and I can see this shoe not fitting many people with wide feet. They feel better as they've stretched but I do think that they could widen the shoe to make it a more universal fit. They fit me fairly well so I don't seem to mind too much, really. I also don't like that the tongue of the shoe is really short. Minor complaint but it just sort of fits odd. Feels like a ballet slipper.....not that I'd know what one felt like, but I can assume.

The main problem that I have with the Projects is the Velcro system they've used. Velcro is a pretty basic thing and I'm not sure how they managed to not get it right. What happens on both of my shoes, and maybe this is an anomaly, is that the velcro straps bunch up and move to one end of the metal "D" ring. As a result the metal ring moves around and hits the top of my foot weird. Maybe I'm the only one that has this happen but it's something that's easily fixed. Just use a similar system as the Anasazi Velcro and it'd be a non issue.

And thanks to Katie for sending me a picture from our trip that tells the story better than I could

Both the fit and the tongue are minor issues and I don't really care about them. I feel pretty strongly that the Velcro could be greatly improved and the shoe would be better for it.

I'll be sure to post up a couple more of these reviews as durability starts to come into play. I've noticed normal wear and tear so far and nothing bad except that some of the rand has started to delaminate a little bit. Not a big deal though.

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