Summary

We spent 7.3 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what climbers think:

5 reasons to buy

  • Many So iLL Free Range reviews tell of the rock shoe’s relentless grip performance.
  • Comfort-wise, this piece of footwear is incredible, according to a decent number of purchasers.
  • This rock climbing shoe is a beautiful product, say several of those who have bought it.
  • Based on a handful of reports, sensitivity is one of the Free Range’s strongest suits.
  • The lightness of this climb-centric shoe is quite remarkable, say a couple of users.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The So iLL Free Range may be too expensive for some buyers.
  • An owner finds the heel of this climbing shoe a bit too roomy.

Bottom line

Relentlessly grippy and amazingly sensitive—this is a very fitting description for the Free Range. It may also be described as an astonishingly comfortable shoe with matching great looks to boot.

That being said, this climb-focused offering comes with a couple of misfires, the more shocking of which would have to be its rather steep asking price. Nevertheless, the Free Range has enough going for it to make converts out of those who have yet to try anything from the So iLL brand.

Facts

Construction: Slip lasted
Closure: Velcro
Fit: Performance fit
Downturn: Aggressive
Environment: Indoor, Outdoor
Material: Synthetic
Lining: Lined
Last Shape: Asymmetric
Level: Intermediate
Stiffness: Medium stiff
Top: Low
Use: Bouldering, Sport, Trad
Price: $150
Brand: So iLL
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are climbers, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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96 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

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-The So iLL Free Range is designed for those looking to up their climbing game, especially where edges are involved. Its engineers gave it a broader rubber coverage and a tensioned heel rand for extra technical precision.

-This shoe comes with a tongue lined with thick padding for extra cushioning. What promises enough surface adhesion in this So iLL piece, on the other hand, is the Dark Matter outsole.

Downturn. The Free Range is part of So iLL’s aggressively downturned rock climbing shoes. Its semi-stiff beak-like toe zone allows the foot to gain purchase on projections, whether big or small, with enhanced efficiency. Shoes with this type of downturn are suitable for single-pitch projects.

Applications. This indoor-slash-outdoor rock shoe is built for bouldering, sport routes, and trad ascents. So iLL engineers made it mainly for intermediate climbers.

So iLL’s Free Range is a low-top unisex climbing shoe. For a comfy fit, female senders are advised to go down a full size from their sneaker shoe size. On the other hand, men—especially those who take on higher-level climbs—may need to order half a size up for precision.

The Free Range is crafted on an asymmetric last, which means the foot is expected to bend inward within its confines. Its lined synthetic upper might stretch slightly with use. The shoe’s Velcro closure gives wearers the ability to achieve a customized lockdown in it. This closure system has double the attach points, allowing for two modes of fit, at least.

Midsole. The Free Range comes with a fishhook midsole for improved support underfoot. It is designed thin yet sturdy to give the climber additional edging precision.

Outsole. A military-grade rubber outsole called Dark Matter is what supplies sufficient traction in the So iLL Free Range climbing shoe. It is a full-length construction, with its rear end encroaching the heel part of the upper for additional heel-hooking grip.

The Free Range’s low-cut main shell is purely synthetic. Thanks to its highly padded tongue and cotton liner, its interior is extra comfy. Attached securely to its heel are a pair of pull loops for ease of access. Its high-contact areas, which include the forefoot, midfoot, and heel sections, are with ample randing to provide enough friction on the wall or rock. Its toe box is also reinforced with a rand for added grip in hooking scenarios.

Its closure system consists of an adjustable strap built with hook-and-loop fasteners. It has two attach points instead of just one. The sturdy buckle through which the strap is set is made of a material akin to hard plastic.

Comparison