Now I know what Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters felt like trying to cram their feet into the undersized glass slipper. Straight out of the box, the Scarpa Techno X climbing shoe is so painfully tight that I thought I’d grabbed the wrong size. But once I got off the ground and started climbing, I found a useful shoe that does it all really well. The bi-tension randing pushes power toward the toe while reducing overall tension. The Vibram XS Edge sole and microsuede upper combine to make a durable climber that works from vertical, technical sport climbs to trad routes with cracks and slabs. Now the only thing ugly is my climbing, but that can improve. $155; scarpa.com.