Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2 - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight yet durable, great climbing ability
Cons: Low profile, stiff midsole
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Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2 - Women's
|Price||$107.93 at REI|
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|Pros||Lightweight yet durable, great climbing ability||Lightweight, great climbing ability, comfortable||Durable, stiff, great climbing ability||Supportive, comfortable, durable||Comfortable, supportive, inexpensive|
|Cons||Low profile, stiff midsole||Not as durable as some||Lacks cushion, expensive||Heavier, moderate climbing ability||Heavy, poor climbing performance|
|Bottom Line||A low-profile shoe designed with climbing ability over comfort in mind||This is an all-around awesome shoe with excellent climbing performance and a comfortable, lightweight design||These shoes are confidence-inspiring, durable, and designed for alpine scrambles and other rugged missions||If you're heading into the alpine or big walls, this durable and supportive model is well-suited for your endeavors||An awesome budget option that covers the needs of most climbers, especially equipped for hiking comfort and long-term durability|
|Rating Categories||Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2||La Sportiva TX2 - W...||La Sportiva TX Guide||La Sportiva TX4 - W...||La Sportiva Boulder X|
|Climbing Ability (35%)|
|Hiking Comfort (25%)|
|Weight & Packability (20%)|
|Specs||Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2||La Sportiva TX2 - W...||La Sportiva TX Guide||La Sportiva TX4 - W...||La Sportiva Boulder X|
|Weight per Pair (in oz)||19.6 oz||16.8 oz||21.5 oz||21.0 oz||28.6 oz|
|Sole Rubber||Vibram Megagrip||Vibram MegaGrip||Vibram Mega-Grip||Vibram MegaGrip||Vibram Idro-Grip V-Smear|
|Upper||60% nylon, 40% polyethylene mesh||Polyester mesh||Synthetic||Leather||Suede|
|Midsole||TPU chassis||Traverse Lite||dual-density compressed EVA, TPU Torsion Shank||Traverse Injection MIMIlex||2mm polypropylene, 2mm LaSpEVA|
Our Analysis and Test Results
A stiff midsole makes these shoes great for scrambling, crack climbing, and precision foot moves in talus, but unfortunately makes for a board-like feel on trails and long approaches.
These shoes excel in the climbing department. Their stiff midsole, Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsole, and lateral stability make for a great climbing platform. The lacing system is designed such that it can be snugged up all the way from the toes to the ankle — much like a climbing shoe. The ability to fine-tune the fit makes these shoes a great option for scrambling. The tapered toe box makes for a precision climbing machine. Additionally, the stiffness of the midsole and the durable, nylon and mesh uppers make the Konseal FL 2 feel solid in easy cracks.
The qualities that make the Konseal FL 2 a great shoe for scrambling and climbing are the same qualities that make these shoes less-than-ideal for hiking. We found the stiff platform and flat midsole to lack the support needed for all-day hiking comfort. The low ankle height also came into play in this metric and didn't provide enough lateral support to feel solid hiking on variable terrain. Additionally, the stiffness mentioned above also meant that the forefoot lacked flexibility and felt like a board against the bottom of the foot. The combination of the low-profile ankle and the stiffness of the midsole give these shoes a unique fit that seems to cater more toward scrambling than to long days on the trail.
The TPU chassis plus the 4mm Ortholite footbed give the Konseal FL 2 a solid base for heavy loads. The stiffness underfoot on the Konseal makes them a great option for scrambling, heavy loads, and even standing in ladders on a wall. That said, all this stiffness and support makes them fall short in terms of comfort since the design lacks padding or cushion.
Weight and Packability
With a measured weight of 1.22 pounds or 19.6 ounces (size US Women's 7), the Konseal FL 2 is among the lighter shoes in this review. Their narrow profile makes them sleek and packable — easy to clip to a harness. Because these shoes are such great climbers and lack the cushion for long hikes, they work great as an on-route shoe. They will nail tricky down climbs and descents and aren't too heavy when clipped to a harness.
These unique and techy shoes, like most products from Arc'teryx, are not exactly a steal. The Konseal FL 2 are fairly expensive, but are also well made and thoughtfully designed—which is to be expected of most Arc'teryx products. The uppers, though not leather, are impressively abrasion resistant and the rubber toe cap adds protection and an extra layer of durability to the front of the shoe. Their durability adds to their value, as they seem like they may last longer than some of the flimsier models we've tested.
The Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2 are durable and well designed, with a stiff midsole and a toe box designed for precision. The abrasion-resistant nylon upper and wrap-around rubber rand stabilized and protected our feet in rocky terrain while the sticky rubber soles and overall stiffness made for a solid climbing shoe. We were not as impressed with the all-day hiking comfort of these shoes and wouldn't recommend them for long approaches. They don't provide much room for the feet to swell and don't fit a wide foot very well. In the end, the Konseal FL 2 felt like a great option for specific situations but lacked the all-around performance of some of the other shoes in this review.
— Jane Jackson
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