I swear my next post will be more relevant to training/injuries, but as I just joined the Mad Rock family, I figured I’d do a little review. First, obviously I’m biased, but I’m not writing this review because I feel obligated to, nor did I just randomly choose to join Mad Rock. It’s because I LOVE their shoes!
I’ve pretty much never been satisfied with any climbing shoes I’ve worn, so instead of resoling, I’d typically buy a different shoe. In doing so I’ve sampled most of the big name shoe models
Continuing on from the picture above, I’ve also worn 5.10 Arrowheads, 5.10 Hornets, 5.10 Black Teams, in that order. After all those I’ve finally found a shoe that I’m completely happy with: The Mad Rock Shark 2.0. For this review, I’ll mostly be focusing on the Sharks, comparing them to the previous shoe I was wearing the 5.10 Teams, and because I just got them recently, I’m going to throw in the Mad Rock Redlines.
I’m a boulderer so obviously I’m always going to look for an aggressive shoe. All three have an aggressive toe.
The Sharks’ toe doesn’t look as aggressive as the Teams’, but the Arch Flex causes the shoe to really suck into your foot creating a more comfortable yet just as high performing shoe. And the 3D concave sole provides exceptional edging. One thing that really impressed me with the Sharks is their sensitivity. While wearing 5.10, I always gravitated to their Mystique rubber because I liked the sensitivity of soft rubber. Although the Sharks aren’t quite as soft as Mystique, they’re right up there.
The large rubber toe cover always makes any toe hook feel bomber. The 3D molded full cup heel includes a full strip of rubber running down it. This ridge really locks in side-on heel hooks. The Sharks really are my perfect all around shoe; they edge, toe, hook, and even smear with ease. The Redlines are talons, making them my go-to for steep, steep overhang where I need to really dig down to create body tension.
The Sharks are the only shoes that have EVER fit my heel. They truly fit like a glove. You can see how terribly the Teams fit my heel. Compare the first picture to the second, where I’m pushing in the massive deadspace (this space really encompasses the whole heel). I’ve heard 5.10 did this intentionally so the heel would smush and create more surface area, but for me it just feels insecure.
The Teams are pretty extreme, but that’s about how every pair of shoes I’ve worn have felt. Now let’s look at the Sharks.
Nothin’. Where are all the ghosts going to go, ’cause there’s no dead space here! (Sorry for that). The Redlines’ heel fits me equally as well, plus they get a gold star for somehow being the most aggressive and yet plush feeling shoes I’ve worn.
They’re fully lined and that elastic strap holds down the tongue nice and snug. They feel like tight socks. Well until you walk in them then you remember how down turned they are…
I know a lot of people tend to overlook Mad Rock, but I encourage you all to take a second look!