An Amazing High-Top Climbing Shoe

Video Review: The Cypher Sentinel is an amazing high-top climbing shoe that provides all-day comfort and support on those long and daunting climbs. 

The Cypher Sentinel is your go-to shoe for trad climbing. On long routes with slabs, cracks, and micro edges, the Sentinel performs with comfort and precision. The shoe is built on a flat last with a stiff Vibram XS Grip sole, keeping your foot in a comfortable shape for jamming in cracks while also providing the stiffness needed to edge on the smallest footholds. The leather upper and synthetic liner cover the foot all the way up over the ankle and is lightly padded just where you need it, providing protection and comfort without compromising your sensitivity and connection to the rock. Known as a “jack-of-all-trades”, the Sentinel performs extraordinarily on all rock types, such as granite, sandstone, limestone, and basalt. 

During the 2014 climbing season, I was able to experience the Sentinel’s performance and comfort in areas such as Yosemite, the Tetons, City of Rocks, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Moab, and on Devil’s Castle. Normally, I wear a size nine street shoe and I found that a size nine Sentinel provides the prefect fit when climbing splitter cracks. For the routes that require more edging and technical footwork, I like to wear the Sentinel in an eight-and-a-half. 

The time saving benefit of such a comfortable shoe is being able to keep it on for the whole day. On the long alpine routes in the Tetons and while jugging in my aiders on The Nose, I don’t have to take my shoes off mid-route to let my feet breathe and stretch. 

With such great ankle coverage and support, I praise the Sentinels every time I jam my feet into the hand and fist sized cracks of City of Rocks and Moab. With the Sentinels, I no longer have to worry about bloody ankles when climbing the wider stuff.

In conclusion, the Cypher Sentinel is a phenomenal shoe for splitter crack climbing, multi-pitch routes, big-wall free-climbing, and high-alpine trad routes. With the Sentinels, you’ll experience comfort, protection, and performance. The Sentinel is the most affordable shoe I’ve found of this kind, retailing at $130 and you can buy them directly from Cypher on their website at

Check out my article about the benefits of high-top climbing shoes.