3/19/2014

Cypher Zero Climbing Shoe


It's always a treat to open up my mailbox and see the latest issue of Rock and Ice magazine sitting there, begging me to procrastinate everything important so that I can look through its pages.



Amongst the pages of vertical literature and photography, I found the review that Dave Pegg did about the new Cypher Zero climbing shoe. I was stoked to see that he enjoyed the shoes as much as I have. In fact, this is what he said about the first time he strapped them on:
“The first time I climbed in the Zero I experienced a phenomenon I've never heard before. Its soles squeaked, like sneakers on a basketball court. This come-to-Jesus moment gave me unquestioning and eternal faith in the stickiness of Enigma HP.”
Read the full review here.

First impressions are important. My first impression of the Cypher Zero was on a 5.13a that I have been projecting in American Fork. Having already fallen in love with the Cypher Code, I was anxious to try out the Zero on the overhung terrain of side-pulls and crimps that this route dished out. I mean, that’s the kind of stuff for which the shoe was made.

Benjamin Eaton sporting the Cypher Zero on Teardrop 5.13a.
Photo by Michael Portanda. Visit his website at MichaelPortandaPhotography.com.

As I dispatched onto the route, I was able to make the following observations about the Zero’s construction and performance.

Construction
  • Crisscross Velcro closure system: Instead of having two parallel straps of Velcro, the Zero uses a crisscross system that helped provide a more custom fit to my foot.
  • Synthetic upper and cotton liner: Synthetic shoes are all the rage these days. They breathe well and they don’t stretch too much.
  • Ventilation holes: My feet sweat a lot. So the mini-perforations on the shoe’s upper really played to my liking. 
  • Aggressive asymmetric shape: Pointy and curved. That’s what my feet looked like in these shoes.
  • Flexible downturned last: Even though the shoe held my foot in a curved shape, it allowed my foot to flex and smear on the nasty slab section.
  • Enigma HP rubber: Cypher’s very own rubber, which has proven its stickiness and durability over the last year.

Performance
  • Flexible and sensitive: The Zero allowed my foot to flex and the rubber allowed my toes to feel more of the rock.
  • Mastered various forms of footwork: The pointy toe worked great on the pockets and small jibs, as well as on slabs and edges.
  • Provided great traction: With the Zero on my feet, I felt just as confident as I have while wearing other shoes with different rubber on the same route. 
  • Got the job done: Even though I didn’t get the send that day, the Zero allowed me to make some improvements on the route. Giving me hope that I’ll send it soon. 

In the end, I am very impressed with the Cypher Zero and can’t wait to strap them on for the other projects I have in the queue. If you are looking for a solid pair of aggressive shoes for hard sport climbing and bouldering, I recommend the Zero. Check them out on CypherClimbing.com.

Photo by Michael Portanda. Visit his website at MichaelPortandaPhotography.com.

Note: Cypher will now be manufacturing the Zero with Vibram XS Grip rubber

Liberty Mountain is the wholesale distributor of Cypher climbing equipment. Contact Liberty Mountain Sales Team to become a Cypher dealer today.

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