by Morgan Cvetkovic-Jones
Stiff and precise yet wonderfully comfortable, the EB Red is a true all-rounder that stands out in EB’s range as the most versatile shoe they offer.
Coming from the company that created the world’s first widely recognised climbing shoe, EB’s esteemed history resonates through the Red with precision, providing unrivalled performance to suit every climber. But, does that include you? Read on to find out.
Red Red Climb
Nailing the essentials, the EB Red weaves uncompromising performance into one of the most accessible and superbly comfortable climbing shoe packages I’ve ever experienced. In today’s market of soft, floppy slippers, the Red stands out with a rather traditional set of features, prioritising classic edging performance and precision over the volume jumping status quo. Being a bit of a small edge enthusiast, I immediately felt right at home in the Red with its stiff, full length sole and asymmetrical profile providing a solid foundation of technical abilities. But, the added presence of the impressive Flex5 technology in the toe box is pivotal, stiffening this area of the shoe whilst allowing the middle of the sole to remain slightly softer, boosting sensitivity and enabling fantastic foot flexibility for hooking. Perhaps the most important aspect of this technology is the fact it keeps the Red current, ensuring it’s able to deal with the changing demands of the modern climber. The Red is the ultimate Jack of all terrains, from the bouldering gym to the real rock where the Red’s premium attributes really come into their own – especially on the tenuous footholds down at my local limestone crags.
Fit and Feel
So, the Red boasts all the hallmarks of a technical beast but what truly defines this shoe is its fit, feel and appeal. EB’s antibacterial EVO Microfibre is plush right out of the box and, in combination with the efficient dual strap closure system, made it extremely easy to dial in a perfect fit and wear the Red for prolonged periods of time. I downsized 2.5 EU sizes in the Red to maximise the performance elements of the shoe but, 2 sizes down would have been sufficient with the Red’s low volume profile eliminating much of the dead space – a lower volume design doesn’t necessarily exclude those with higher volume feet, it may just take a little longer to break the Red in. Although this shoe will suit a range of climbers, the Red (along with its female engineered equivalent, the Black Opium) is perhaps best suited to the intermediate climber looking to upgrade from their first pair of shoes. The level of comfort is unusual in a shoe that will perform so consistently across a range of climbing disciplines, styles and terrains, making the transition from beginner’s to performance shoe more accessible and enjoyable.
Oh, and one more thing, the Red is entirely Vegan – ace!
The Daytona Statement
Anything French usually comes with a few bold design statements and quirks, like cheese with holes in or cars made from wood - their climbing shoes are no different. EB’s statement of intent comes in their own, super sticky Daytona rubber and, on the Red, you get a lot of it – 5mm to be precise! This might seem like a lot but this thicker platform provides the perfect supportive base for edging and will allow newer climbers to refine their footwork without having to put their hand back in their pocket for a new pair of shoes.
The French revolution strikes again in the form of the Red, perhaps the most versatile and accessible shoe on the market. A traditional style with EB’s sophisticated design language sprinkled throughout, the Red is a true shoe of the people, perfect for any venture into the vertical. I won’t be taking them off anytime soon. Vive la Rouge!
Check out the Eb Red in action below.