As the temperatures began to drop in Eldorado, Colorado last October, I was fortunate enough to sneak away for several solo bouldering sessions. For years, I have been greatly blessed to boulder in this canyon. The solitude, the struggles, every inch gained has been a personal memento.
My bent is to wake well before the break of dawn, stuff my pockets full of Kale and to hike into bouldering area’s wearing a headtorch. Long ago, I learned the benefits of a quiet approach. As I cross the river, I hear the clear waters washing stone, the caaw of a lone raven, and a light wind brushing against sandstone high upon the ridge. When I reach my spot, I find a flat rock to sit on, straighten my spine and I try to absorb fragments of my environment. For a solid hour, I meditate and focus on breathing deep and slow, my pulse drops into the low 40’s. Since I’m not the most powerful climber, I’ve learned that awareness transfers directly to foot movement, rhythm and momentum.
I had read about the Sportiva – Futura’s, held them in the palm of my hands, and had talked to other climbers about their performance as a Bouldering and Sport climbing shoe. The word was that the Futura was extremely soft and sensitive although it demanded more attention to balance and footwork. One climber told me that the ‘No Edge’ design was odd and that he felt that he was climbing in a well-worn rock shoe.
Right from the get-go, I noticed that the Futura offered a suction-like fit. After a few warm-up laps, I find that the ‘No Edge’ design in fact edges quite well. For me, climbing in the Futura felt as if my toes were close to the rock and this allowed me to edge on even the thinnest of micro edges. Smearing on vertical or slightly less than, proved solid, as the surface area of the toe-box is soft and rounded. Sportiva’s ‘Fast Lacing System’ is really cool; yanking down on the single strap allows a lock-down fit throughout the important areas of the foot. One of my projects for the day was a 150-foot traverse. This route put my arms, legs, core and the Future to the test. I found that the ‘3mm Vibram XS2’ rubber worked extremely well in the cold, the ability to edge was 90% solid as was the sensitivity, and use in pockets.
Overall I have to give the Futura a big thumbs up!
Reviewer: Lou Renner, International Mountain and Climbing Guide for 30 years and Contributing MyClimb Writer