The Patagonia Cragmaster is designed for approaching crags, bouldering and moderate climbs. To that end it weighs in at a respectable 954g (pair, size 11), so it feels quite nimble on the foot. The upper is made of leather with two nice large rubber rands for durability. But there is no waterproof lining, and water would easily enter this shoe from around the tongue, so it is best kept away from wet ground. The lacing extends down to the toes to allow a more precise feel when used for climbing as well as giving the shoe shelf appeal to climbers. Underfoot you get a dedicated climbing sole made from sticky rubber with very shallow lugs and no heel breast. This is great on rock, but it provides minimal grip on wet grass slopes so when approaching crags it’s not as versatile as other approach shoes. There is very little stiffness in the Patagonia Cragmaster’s sole either, so again it feels more like a rock shoe than an approach shoe as your feet are going to have to work pretty hard negotiating boulder terrain. There’s a good wedge of cushioning in the heel, though, so when walking along hard, level paths this is reasonably comfortable. Other shoes are better for approaching crags but once on rock the shoe is reasonable. So it’s more of a one-activity shoe than a multi-activity shoe.
Upper material nubuck leather
Waterproof lining none
Sole unit Vibram Idro Grip New Boulder
Men’s sizes 7-15
Women’s sizes 5-11
Weight 954g (pair, size 11)
The Patagonia Cragmaster is designed for bouldering and moderate climbs, and on that terrain it is reasonably good; but its performance is not so great once you step onto any other terrain.
Overall rating 3
Review by Graham Thompson
Just missed out on being in Trail magazine May 2014