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 little to no similarities with the original other than the name. The new shoe features 4 to 4.5mm (depending on size) Boreal Zenith Ultra rubber. The rubber is adequately sticky when compared to other brands, but supremely sensitive under foot.
The sensitivity is great for judging friction on volumes or pawing around on bad foot holds. I have a narrow heel, but the Ninja fit 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. I only toe-hooked in the gym, which worked great, but you might want a thicker layer of rubber for aggressive toe-hooking or caming on sharp rock.
Overall, the Ninja is a very comfortable and sensitive slipper. The down-turned profile makes them good for steep and overhanging boulders, as well as sport routes, while still being 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 bag and on heavy rotation.