Saltic Bongos…

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Saltic Bongos…

Postby Chalk » Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:21 am

I’m looking at getting new climbing shoes, I have a pretty broad size 10.5 foot and will be honest – the Bongos fit like a glove! They just seen very soft in construction.

Has anybody got a pair and what’s you opinion, good, bad or otherwise?



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Postby Guy » Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:57 pm

Before I say about the shoes, be aware that I'm sponsored by RAM Mountaineering, which is the agent for Saltic shoes (amongst other things).

I have very broad feet and I've found that Saltic shoes fit very well. (What is odd is that they also fit narrow feet well??) I think that the softer uppers have a lot to do with the way that they fit.

In my opinion, the Bongos are the best shoes that Saltic have made and they are easily as good as any other shoe that I've worn.

The reality about climbing shoes is that the fit is the most important thing - as they all have sticky rubber.

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Postby Chalk » Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:19 pm

Thank man!

Well that kind of does it... I'll buy them! Let you know on monday how they climbed!



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Postby Chalk » Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:48 pm

For those who are interested - I got a pair of bongos and they fit like a glove! Highly recomended!

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Postby Brussel » Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:57 pm

Very soft so they are very sensitive. When damp from sweat they are a little looser than when dry. Rubber is very grippy. Edging is not as good as more rigid shoes, but different shoes for different styles of climbing. So far I have used 'em on trad, and sport and I am VERY happy with them. Certainly so far they are better than my madrock flahes

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Sticky rubber

Postby sceptic » Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:02 pm

I scored a pair of 5.10's given the raving everyone does about their stealth c4 rubber. They stick like mad now and are my favorite shoe, except they weren't so fantastic when I first got them. They were super slippery.

Just don't be too dissapointed if your shoes aren't great the first time - they might just need to get to grips with what you're going to put them through.

Danny P

Postby Danny P » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:28 am

If a shoe fits you well & comfortably it’s half the battle won. When looking at the rubber, the factors are stickiness and durability. As far as stickiness is concerned, it is difficult to compare the various brands without technical precision tools though Climbing Magazine recently verified Stealth’s claims to being the stickiest of the lot. Durability, however, is easier to gauge. Having stripped and resoled over 900 shoes, and having experimented with 3 brands (Vibram, Mad Rock, and Stealth) I have little doubt that Stealth is the most durable. Vibram is the easiest to work with as their sheets come pre buffed, and definitely my choice for randing rubber, but it simply isn’t as durable as Stealth.
As far as the Saltics are concerned, apart from stripping them I have not dealt much with the rubber (my initial requests from the supplier went unanswered). My impressions are that it is a very sticky rubber though a couple of clients have questioned its durability. Without watching them climb it is difficult to assess whether these individuals have a point or are just hard on their feet.
Regarding the Bongos in particular, initial reports from 3 climbers I know who are testing them have been very positive.
Happy climbing!

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Postby Mark » Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:34 am

2 questions, I am about to buy my second pair of shoes

1) My Bufo sharks have started to wear through, does the ruber get less \"sticky\" the closer you get to the shoe? it feels like it?

2) The Bufo uppers have stretched, as a result the side of my foot touched before the sole gets to edge properly (maybe this is why the rubber doesnt feel so sticky?) Somebody sais the Saltic uppers are soft? Am I going to have the same problem?


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Postby Guy » Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:32 pm

All shoes with natural leather uppers will stretch. A few years ago La Sportiva tried a man-made product, but they discontinued the shoes - so it obviously didn't work.

Look for shoes with non-stretch \"webbing\" stitched to the outside. These are to reduce stretching and are not merely fashion stripes. The Bongos have these non-stretch strips - the black strips over the front half.

Incidentally, I found the Bongos were quite stiff initially - which made them very good on edges, but less secure on smears.

Danny P

Postby Danny P » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:44 pm

As Guy mentioned, most shoes tend to stretch. Various companies have different methods to deal with this. However, if you buy a super tight fit something has to give – if the shoes are too well designed to stretch, they might start tearing in places.

As far as climbing on the side of your shoe is concerned, as the edges of the shoe gets worn there is simply less of an edge for you to climb on. Eventually climbers start climbing on their rands, resulting in the common holes that you see on the toe part of many shoes.

The loss of performance in the rubber as the shoe gets thinner is because you now have less support at the point where your shoe comes into contact with the rock / wall, not because the rubber has lost any of its stickiness.

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Its rather simple…

Postby Chalk » Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:59 am

If you are a first time buyer, you listen to the sales person (who in most cases climbs indoor walls with rockies because they have those hookies on them – genuine story).

As a second time round buyer, you slap the sales person and listen to your feet. I’ll phoned 2 resolers to ask them if they had worked on my brand of shoe and what was their impressions, I surfed the net, I read gear reports, and at the end of the day I still went with what felt right….

One thing I did notice – I had a pair of Boreal golds that “fitted” but where tight to start off with. When I had then resoled they changed from tight to monsters! So, possibly, if an unlined shoe stretches, you could have it resoled and it should fit tighter again?

Danny P

Postby Danny P » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:53 am

A resoled shoe will only feel tighter if the rand is stretched from side to side (over a last) in a \"sling\" type fashion. This results in the shoe \"shrinking\" inwards, and the climber having to streatch them outwards with their feet.

If only the toe part is resoled, no shrinking will take place.

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Postby mat » Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:16 pm

whatever you do dont buy saltic\\rammountain supplied products.posting a forum soon so read it and you will understand

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Postby arno » Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:04 am

I recently bought myself a pair of evolve \"defy\" (I think only city rock stock them). They have an entirely synthetic upper. I've had them for more than a month and they haven't shown any signs of stretching. I don't know how they measure up as far as performance goes, but they're super comfy even when really tight and have a bomber sole (rad edging).

Anyway, that's my 10c. You can give me change if you want.

God bless

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Postby Fred Fingers » Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:43 pm

Also got a pair of the Bongos. I find i get the best of both worlds in that they are pretty technical in shape and still damn comfy.i do agree that they feel a bit soft and my gut says these boys are for bouldering not gonna let them anywhere near six pitches of granite. boulder, boulder, boulder. love 'em!!!!

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