Review: Cypher Codex Climbing Shoe



When we were first asked to try out the Cypher Codex climbing shoe, we weren’t too familiar with the Cypher brand.  Based on their website, the U.S. based company makes a variety of climbing shoes, approach shoes and various climbing hardware.  The Codex was designed for steep climbing and thin edges, something I am very fond of thrashing my feet upon.  The 4.2mm Vibram XS Grip sole gives way to the stiff downturn shape of the shoe.  I’ve seen some of these styles of stiff downturn shoes hit the market lately and they seem to be a big hit.  The stiffness allows the climber to transfer power to their toe better by keeping the foot firmly in a downward position.

The Codex was tough to get on and felt like I was going to rip the pull loop off on the back heel, but it appears to be held firmly in place.  The sizing was accurate to my street shoe sizing for them to be firmly snug but not painful.  There is not much in terms of flexibility with this shoe, but the firmness of the rubber gave way to some flexibility after a longer period of use.  As mentioned, they worked well on the steep boulders but also worked well on more vertical terrain.

The edging of the Cypher Codex behaved exactly what it was billed to do.  I was only able to send the Farley problem called Dope (v8) while wearing these shoes.  The edge that you have to start on is slightly larger than a dime’s width, which gives the problem its grade.  The stiff edging of the Codex was perfect for the troublesome micro edges in my life.

Micro-edge starting foot of Dope (v8) at Farley

The stiff 4.2 mm rubber sole comes with a caveat: a lack of sensitivity.  If you need sensitivity for whatever you’re climbing, the Codex doesn’t provide much in that area.  I had some minor foot fumbling at times due to my lack of confidence it was in the right place for the move I was trying to execute.  This was, however, not a hindrance in terms of overall climbing performance.

Overall, the Codex impressed very well.  The shoe is ideal for the intermediate to advanced climber looking to push their boundary on thin edges and steep terrain. As with all terrain intended/specified shoes, they won’t be ideal for all climbing types.  If you’re a boulderer or steep sport climbing junkie, then these will work great.  Also, the Codex comes with a great price point.  Ringing in at $120 is a great deal when you consider the price point of most major brands with similar styles check out at about $170 or more.  If these shoes peak your interest, they can be bought on the Cypher website at

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