When Boreal introduced the Ninja it was the first-ever slipper style climbing shoe. Since then, the comfortable and pliable slipper style shoe has evolved and become a staple shoe for all types of climbers. So when Boreal introduced their all new updated version of the original slipper we had to get our hands on a pair to try.
The new Ninja shares few similarities with the original. The new shoe features 4 to 4.5mm (depending on shoe size) of Boreal’s Zenith Ultra rubber. The rubber is adequately sticky when compared to other brands, but supremely sensitive underfoot. The sensitivity is great for judging friction on volumes or pawing around on bad footholds.
The heel fit my narrow heel well and stayed in place during heel hooks where the rubber’s sensitivity was also welcome.
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For a slipper, this shoe hugged my narrow foot quite well. Boreal’s wrap rand tech did a good job of supporting my foot when putting power down on small holds, while the comfortable synthetic and elasticized upper snugged everything in place. The synthetic upper has a soft and comfortable feel next to your skin, but won’t stretch very much, so size appropriately.
The toe is covered in a thin 1mm layer of rubber to help with toe hooks. The rubber is quite sticky, but also very thin. Some climbers will want a thicker layer of rubber for crack climbing.
Overall, the Ninja is a very comfortable and sensitive slipper. The downturned profile makes it good for steep and overhanging boulders as well as sport routes, while it is still soft enough to smear with confidence on volumes and slabs. I wouldn’t reach for the Ninja when it comes to edging specifically, but they will certainly be in my gym and steep sport climbing kit on heavy rotation.