Verdict from 3 experts and 38 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • The Boreal Joker is immensely comfortable, according to almost everyone who has reviewed it.
  • In terms of grip, this remarkable rock climbing shoe does not disappoint, say some users who have tried it.
  • Less than a handful of those who have climbed in the Joker consider the shoe a highly recommendable product for beginners.
  • This astonishing Boreal rock shoe is worth the buy, based on a small number of reports.
  • Its overall fit is spot-on, says a user who has sent projects in it numerous times.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The Joker’s pointed front end rolls on tiny holds, one climber who has purchased the shoe claims.
  • An expert finds the interior of his pair of Boreal Joker climbing shoes a bit slippery whenever his feet are sweaty.

Bottom line

Climbing fanatics who wish to send problems in heaps of comfort might want to give the Boreal Joker a try. Those who would give this beginner-friendly rock shoe a chance can also expect to scale challenging pitches with superior surface traction.

This climbing piece, however, might be considered a disappointment by senders who prefer to tiptoe their way to the top. Nevertheless, the Joker is a purchase-worthy Boreal offering, all thanks to its merits equally worthy of the climb.

Tip: see the best climbing shoes.

Good to know

  • The Boreal Joker is a rock climbing shoe designed to provide wearers with as much comfort as possible. It has enhanced sensitivity thanks to its slip-lasted construction.
  • It is built with IRS (Integrated Rand System). This piece of technology puts a sturdy rand around the base of the upper to prevent the shoe from deforming. The tough construction of this rand also improves the shoe’s overall durability.
  • This versatile rock shoe has been refreshed to respond to the demands of the modern climber. The following points will put into perspective the things that make it different from its former self.
  • The updated Joker now comes with the Zenith Quattro outsole for slip and skid resistance. It replaces the original version’s FS-Quattro outsole.
  • It is still imbued with CHS or Cushioned Heel System. That said, it has been reworked to grant wearers additional cushioning underfoot, especially around the heel.
  • Boreal engineers redesigned the Joker to give it a modern look. This design choice is mostly seen in the upper, where the use of vibrant colors is pretty evident.
  • The refreshed Joker is now built around a revamped last. This leaves the rock shoe with a more slender profile than the old model’s.

Downturn. The Boreal Joker is practically a downturn-less product, making it a neutral rock climbing shoe. The flatness of this shoe enables users to gain more purchase when smearing. Kicks of this type promise extended comfort on multi-pitch routes.

Applications. Boreal designers engineered the Joker as a bouldering rock shoe. It comes with a set of components that make it capable of scaling cracks and other slot-type features. Climbers may use it both indoors and outdoors.

The Boreal Joker is a low-cut shoe designed for both male and female rock climbers. The men’s version is built around a type of last that provides a slimmer fit. The women’s pair, on the other hand, is engineered on a low-profile last that doubles down on comfort. Both variants have a straight (symmetric) profile. Owners are given the liberty to adjust its fit to their preference via the shoe’s Velcro closure.

Midsole. The Joker’s ample supply of underfoot support comes from its adequately rigid midsole unit. It promises enough flexibility without contorting out of shape, thanks to its anti-deformation construction.

Outsole. With the Joker’s Zenith Quattro outsole—a component developed exclusively by Boreal—senders can ascend their favorite wall or rock with enough sticking power. Its entirety is made of a kind of rubber that grants improved grip on edges, especially smaller, trickier ones. It can be anywhere between 4 mm and 4.55 mm in thickness, depending on the size of the shoe selected.

This neutral rock climbing shoe from Boreal encloses the foot in its part split leather, part microfiber low-top upper. It has a 3D-printed liner called Air Net which makes the shoe sufficiently breathable. A grippy rand reinforces its lower perimeter, offering not only abrasion protection but also extra lateral climbing security. At its heel is an EVA patch (part of the CHS technology) that provides additional underfoot cushioning and shock absorption.

Two adjustable Velcro straps make up the Boreal Joker’s fit management system. Also coming in twos are the climbing shoe’s heel pull loops.

The Joker and the Joker Plus are two of Boreal’s high-quality neutral climbing kicks. Choosing between the two offerings can be hard and confusing, especially since they are similar in a handful of areas. Avoid the unnecessary dilemma by poring through their differences listed below.

Price tag. Between the two climb-centric products, the Joker is the budget-friendlier rock shoe. Yes, it is approximately $20 cheaper than the Boreal Joker Plus.

Weight. In this round, the Joker Plus takes the cake by being lighter than the Joker by roughly 20 g.

Utility. The Boreal Joker is engineered mainly for bouldering. It has a kind of build that allows it to deal with fissures efficiently. The Joker Plus, on the other hand, is ideal for trad climbing. It is engineered to be capable of scaling vertical faces.


How Boreal Joker ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 26% neutral climbing shoes
All neutral climbing shoes
Bottom 20% Boreal climbing shoes
All Boreal climbing shoes
Bottom 20% indoor climbing shoes
All indoor climbing shoes


The current trend of Boreal Joker.
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