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Built to Stand on Nothing – Ocún’s Ozone

From boards to edges, and slabs to overhangs, the Ocún Ozone does it all by pairing a stiff platform with Vibram friction

Anze Peharc climbs boulder in Ocun Ozone Climbing Shoes

It’s almost a secret. Despite its impregnable performance, the Ocún Ozone remained hidden from most climbers as one of the world’s premier bouldering shoes. No longer. By taking their patented 3-force design, Vibram’s XS Grip rubber, and one of the best heels on the market, Ocún’s Ozone has become a fantastic all-round bouldering shoe.

The Ocún Ozone

Its Focus

To begin, the Ocún Ozone is not a specialist. Although it is best utilized as a bouldering shoe, it does not try to excel at any particular style of bouldering. Instead, it takes the discipline as a whole, and builds itself to interact with that discipline. The mild asymmetry is accentuated by the sticky rubber, making an otherwise stiff bouldering shoe supple in an overhang.

A dimple underneath the tip of the toe allows the Ozone to pull on the more classically in-cut grips of overhanging climbing, while the rounded flare of the rubbers edge, increases the shoe’s ability to stick to grips when a foot is shot out to catch a hold. It also increases the shoe’s ability to stand and rock on more subtle foot holds or volumes by retaining the contact patch as it stands.

Despite these overhang-excelling standards, the forefoot is stiff, making edging easy. When paired with the tensioning band and the aforementioned qualities, the Ozone can place power and friction through an overhang or on a slab with consistency. This reliability is a necessary feature of a performance climbing shoe as it allows the user to trust the shoe between foot movements.

3-Force System

This tensioning system is unique to Ocún and keeps the foot from rotating. On an edging monster, such as this, removing foot rotation is an asset. The downside is that the shoe resists deformation when pulling with the groin. This issue is mitigated by the friction of the rubber, and the rounding of the outside edge, but it is worth underscoring that the 3-force system provides precision more than adaptability.

It squeezes the foot tightly and then asks the climber to use the specificity of the toe to make progress up the wall. If you seek a generalist, the Mantra is a better way to go.


The limited range of the toe patch does affect the toe-hooking to an extent, but the still generous patch is more than capable of easing the climber through most toe-hook intensive experiences. It sticks well, and pairs structure and stick to provide a consistent performance. It hooks about as well as the La Sportiva Theory.

While it’s toe-hooks well, the heel sets it apart. As one of the best heels on the market, it masters cams, hooks and rock overs. The heel offers power, precision, comfort, and consistency, making it easy to trust. Whether you sit on your heel in an overhang or while mantling over a slab, few heels will earn the same trust as the Ozone 30 feet off the deck. It provides enough structure to resist deformation and enough softness to bite.


The cross-foot portion of the patented 3 Force System squeezes the forefoot in a flexible and adaptive way. Wider foot climbers will want to take the shoes off between boulder problems, at first, but after the first session, the shoes become all day climbing work horses.

Size one European size larger than your Scarpa size. If the shoe still feels to narrow, a higher volume model also exists, as shown below.

Ocún Ozone HV climbs a crack in the forest
Ocún Ozone HV

The Construction

This 100% vegan climbing shoe is composed of a few pieces of synthetic materials. The relatively simple design of the shoe offers a soft synthetic insole to produce a comfortable all day climbing machine. The large heel tabs make removing the shoe easy, while the robust Velcro straps slide through metal clips. These clips are stitched into a tough fabric set further in the shoe.

Purchase the Ocún Ozone here.