Gear Review: The Red Chili Spirit Lady VCR
Review by Jessica Barilone
Brand: Red Chili
Model: Spirit Lady VCR
Retail Price: $80-$125
Specs as advertised:
- 3 VCR (hook and loop) straps for adjustment
- Twin tongue for easy opening and easy in / out
- Synthetic upper to keep shape and size of the shoe
- leather footbed for comfort and nonslip positioning of the foot
- Impact Zone EVA cushioning under the heel
- Red Chili RX 2 rubber 4,2 mm
Comfortable after full day of climbing.
Lacks outdoor durability.
I bought my first pair of Spirit Ladies at the beginning of the indoor season last fall. I broke them in quite easily and found that they were extremely comfortable, molding well to my feet. They were precise enough for indoor holds and maintained some rigidity. When spring came around, they faired well for a week of multi-pitch on granite and regular sport climbing on limestone. However, it wasn’t before long (two months of climbing outdoors regularly, 2-3 days/week) until my big toe broke on through to the other side. In order to by-pass the wait for having them re-soled I opted to buy a second pair in hopes to last the remainder of the outdoor season. Unfortunately, to my dismay, my big toe made its second appearance after another 2-months of sport climbing outside. The second pair was eaten by grit stone and plenty more pitches on limestone. These shoes seem like they would be ideal as multi-pitch shoes as they can be comfortably worn for a full 8 hours of climbing with no discomfort. However, the toe of the shoe is quite soft and appears to get gnawed off quickly by the rocks.
The bottom line:
The Spirit Lady is a comfortable entry level-shoe but doesn’t hold up to consistent outdoor mileage, these shoes are better suited for the gym.