The new Defy vs the older Defy VTR:
This new model is still very comfortable like the previous model but possibly a bit of a loose fit. Our current tester/reviewer could curl up his toes in the shoe right out-of-the-box, but, that said, everyone's feet are different. So, if ordering and your foot is a bit smaller than average and/or you want a tighter fitting shoe for more extreme levels of difficulty then consider sizing the shoe 1/2 size down (but don't blame us if they are too small and tight). Since they could be a bit of a loose fit maybe consider trying them on at a local retailer first before ordering.
While this climbing shoe is ideal for beginner or budget-conscious climbers, it works in nearly any application, except maybe your hardest micro-edging redpoint where a stiffer-soled shoe would be better. Other shoes will do specific tasks better (like edging) but this shoe does nearly everything adequately and at a great price. For top-roping, bouldering and most sport and gym climbing it works very good. We found the other popular shoes with a similar pointy toe design and Velcro closures to be close contenders. The similar yet slightly more supportive and less expensive Mad Rock Flash 2.0 did a little better on edging and small pockets and we would choose that shoe over the defy for most outdoor use. If you have an unlimited budget or climb at higher levels, get the also similar yet more stiff and precise, but nearly twice as expensive, Five Ten Anasazi VCS.
View our complete Climbing Shoe Review to see how this product compared to others.