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Climbing Shoes

Boreal Ninja

A worthy homage to it’s 34-year-old predecessor, the new Boreal Ninja is a good addition to the quiver.

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MSRP: $120

The first-ever company to release a performance slipper back in 1985, Boreal is back now with a newly designed take on that same shoe: the Ninja.

This is actually the first Boreal shoe I’ve ever worn, and thus far I’ve quite enjoyed it. Built on the same last as the Boreal Satori, the Ninja shoe is exactly what you want out of a slipper—easy to put on while still snug and soft, with a nice contoured fit. The tongue’s elasticity allows for a quick break-in, and you don’t need to worry about throwing out your back while getting it on for the first few sessions. 

[Also Read First Look: Boreal Dharma]

The Ninja’s mid-sole boasts two different types of rubber—one for friction, and one for support, molding to your foot’s arch while maintaining that downward angle you look for in an aggressive shoe. The heel cup is properly rounded with no edge strip, which happens to fit my mid-volume heel perfectly, and ensures easy transitions in and out of heel-hooks.

The shoe edges and smears particularly well. I found the Ninja to be highly capable on steep sport climbs and in the gym. It has a wide-high-volume toe-box, and the toe rubber is thin, which allows for high sensitivity. The rand is entirely one piece, which ensures durability and protection against early delamination.

The Ninjas—made of synthetic materials—stretch minimally compared to leather shoes. I found that sizing down a half size did the trick.

The Ninja retails at $120, which is significantly more affordable than many high-performance shoes on the market these days. A worthy homage to it’s 34-year-old predecessor, the new Boreal Ninja is a good addition to the quiver. 


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Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.