Instantly comfortable, vegan-friendly climbing shoes for beginner climbers and those tackling long-routes
Multi-pitch climbers, tired of enduring toe-crushing shoes for the sake of performance, will love the Ocun Strike QC’s. These neutral climbing shoes are also ideal for beginner climbers who can enjoy the benefits of almost slipper-like comfort and long-lasting rubber soles. An all-rounder climbing shoe that offers precision climbing without the associated price tag (and pain factor!).
Ocun Strike QC: The stats
|Type of shoe:||Neutral|
|Best for:||Beginners, indoor climbing, bouldering and long days on the rock|
|Weight:||NEED TO WEIGH per pair (UK size 5)|
|Other info:||Vegan friendly|
Features of the Ocun Strike QC climbing shoes
SoleThe 4mm medium strength sole is made from Ocun’s CAT (Climbing Adhesion Technology) Rubber 1.1. This is one of two types of rubber compound developed by Ocun and is designed to be durable and long-lasting with high abrasion resistance. Though not as high friction as CAT 1.5 (softer, extremely adhesive but less durable), CAT 1.1 still sits in the High Friction category and offers very good stickiness for beginner to intermediate climbers.
Together with the sole of the Strike QC’s, the upper fabric and components are all vegan-friendly. The main upper fabric is made of synthetic microfiber that looks and feels like suede.
Pull on tabs
There are two large loops of webbing on the heels that fit one or two fingers in. These tabs make slipping in and out of the shoes a breeze, no matter how sweaty your toes get!
Two adjustable velcro straps secure the shoes closed independently of each other to allow for a very snug fit, should you choose. The straps sit over a very nicely padded tongue that only opens up on one side.
The flat profile of these shoes means that there is no downturn at the toes, resulting in a more friendly fit. The rubber rand extends over the top of the toe for protection in cracks and control when toe hooking.
The rubber of the sole extends around the back of the heel and a little way up towards the Achilles to provide good structure. However, the sides of the heel are constructed of a much softer faux leather fabric to give a relaxed and comfortable fit in this area.
Ocun Strike QC review
I’m always a little wary of climbing shoes that feel great from the very first wear. But equally, I never stop moaning and groaning whenever I wear new shoes that need breaking in. As well as it being an uncomfortable and painful experience, it’s also just plain boring for everyone involved!
So I had mixed feelings when I first put my feet into the Ocun Strike QC’s. Instant comfort was most certainly very welcome. But at the back of my mind I couldn’t help feeling a little bit dubious about their performance. I reminded myself that the Strike’s are not high performance shoes but are designed for beginners and improvers and those with a penchant for long multi-pitch routes.
I am neither a beginner climber nor do I generally spend more than half an hour on the rock in one sitting.
So, as an intermediate level sport climber who enjoys bouldering and a spot of adventure climbing (that’s what I call low level trad climbing that is more like scrambling!), do these shoes work for me?
The short answer is yes.
Here’s why the Ocun Strike QC climbing shoes work for me:
The CAT rubber soles are better than I expected in terms of grip and stickiness. I’m certainly feeling more confident on slab climbs and trusting my feet more than ever before. Admittedly, it took a little wear for the toes to soften ever so slightly and it seems that the more I wear them the more I trust them. I also really love that the soles are designed to last. At the level I mostly climb at, I’m more than happy to sacrifice a little stickiness for something that will last me longer, especially when they’re this comfortable.
Did I mention how comfortable these shoes are? SO comfortable. Sure, the nature of neutral shoes means that your feet are in a much more natural position than when crammed into aggressive shoes. Plus, the shoes are slightly on the wide side making my feet feel instantly more at home. However, the fabrics and design of the upper shoe also hugely adds to their overall comfort. The tongue is luxuriously padded and the edging around the ankle is supple and soft. Add to that the super cosy microfiber fabric on the insides and the relaxed-fit heel, and you’ve got yourself a climbing shoe that really is bordering on slipper-like.
The shoes fit true to size in length, but may be a little on the wide side for those with very narrow feet. That said, the straps have a large range of adjustability without adding creases to the upper fabric when strapped very tightly.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the high comfort factor is all these shoes have going for them. That is absolutely not the case. I happily climb almost anything is them, and more often than not, choose them above more aggressive, performance shoes.
First up, the two velcro straps means that a very tight fit laterally across the feet can be achieved. Really crank them down and you can add a significant amount of sensitivity and responsiveness through the mid section of the shoe, which is fairly firm. It also draws the heel down to eliminate any bagginess through the sides of the heel that may have previously been present. Again, more feel and sensitivity resulting in more solid and confident heel hooking.
Secondly, and as previously mentioned, the grip is most certainly better than expected. For beginner climbers this is a huge plus as it promotes a trusting relationship between head and feet, which in turn helps improve footwork right from day one. But this is not just exclusive to beginner climbers. There are many intermediate climbers (I’m pointing at me right now!) who could learn a thing or two about proper footwork and the value of trusting one’s feet. The Strike’s are giving me a right old schooling!
The combo of high comfort and decent performance means that there are very few scenarios in which I would choose to climb in other shoes. They’re ideal for working bouldering problems when you don’t want to have to take your shoes off after every effort. I also love wearing them at the gym as I often don’t need to take them off between climbings. And their durability and comfort makes them highly suited to short walk outs from the top of the crag without bare-footing it on rough terrain.
What I don’t love so much about the Strike’s
In all honesty, there is little to dislike about these shoes when you consider what and who they are designed for.
Those wanting ultra sticky soles and super high levels of responsiveness for performance climbing shouldn’t even be considering a shoe like this. And if they do, then yes, the Strike’s will disappoint.
The Ocun Strike QC climbing shoes are an extremely comfortable yet highly fitted option for beginner climbers who will benefit from excellent grip without having to deal with painful toes. However, these are also superbly durable shoes that are suitable for all-round climbing from long multi-pitch routes to top-roping in the gym, and everything in between.
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Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.