Testing out the Mutant and Silex from Boreal: two great but very different options for climbers of varying skill levels and types of climbing
MUTANT CLIMBING SHOES
The trusted shoe for higher grade climbers from Boreal, are appropriately named the Mutant.
Uncompromising: complete feel, edging and support until the last hold. The upper is designed for climbers that use a lot of toe-hooking by implementing Friction Skin coating, which adds friction to the top of the shoe. This coating is durable, flexible and thin, with the idea of acting like a second skin and still allowing the upper to mold around the contours of the toes. This results in excellent toe-hooking ability without compromising the comfort and sensitivity of the shoe. The heel is also designed to have good feel, especially for heel hooking.
They are highly asymmetric and downturned to optimally position the foot on overhangs. They provide traction on both slabs and overhangs, and assist with leg lifts. Despite their shape, the three members of our test team, all confirmed that the Mutant are more comfortable than other shoes designed for similar climbs.
The sole is constructed with Zenith, which is a unique high performance rubber compound developed by Boreal. It provides outstanding friction and excellent hold on small edges. Zenith also performs well in both hot and cold weather. We think these are ideal climbing shoes for the winter because while other soles harden and lose grip, this sole remains intact and unaffected. The Zenith sole is featured on Borealâ€™s highest performance rock shoe models.
The Velcro closure is common in climbing shoes designed for harder routes where climbers often constantly take them on and off. The Mutant is great for this as it acts like a slip-on with Velcro and reinforced heel.
Conclusion: a great shoe for high grade boulder and rock climbers. In our opinion, the Mutant should be considered with the other top end shoes, currently on the market.
SILEX CLIMBING SHOE
Unlike the Mutant, the Silex are for beginner-intermediate climbers, long routes, and bouldering. Ideal for climbers looking for additional support on edges, as these are more rigid and less sensitive (stiff midsole), but still offer precision.
They are made using a premium quality split leather and Lorica upper with a highly abrasion resistant mesh and an integrated padded tongue. It also features a PU Air Net lining for ventilation and comfort, and an adhesive, durable, high performance Boreal FS-QUATTRO rubber sole.
They perfectly serve their purpose, without any noticeable drop in performance. They are also quite comfortable. Due to all these characteristics, they can be recommended for beginner-intermediate climbers looking for some extra assistance getting to that next level.