Mad Rock Frenzy Lace-Up, $79
- Steep rock: 1 Star
- Face climbing: 3 Star
- Long routes: 5 Star
- Upper: Leather, lined
- Rubber: Mad Rubber #5 (forefoot);
- Mad Rubber #3 (heel)
Mad Rock has revitalized the rock-shoe market with innovative designs, and its wholesale-like prices have forced other manufacturers to drop their rates in turn. Sturdy, supremely comfortable and surprisingly nimble, the Frenzy is sure to be a headache for its competitors. It boasts a host of great features, including a speedy lacing system, plush padding around the upper edge of the heel cup, and an anti-microbial X-Static lining that helps prevent the shoe from smelling like Gorgonzola cheese. With full rands, a firm sole and flat last, this shoe will dance through talus and tear up cracks, yet the upper and the fit are smart enough to give the Frenzy a respectable level of chutzpah and feel. (The Frenzy is also available in a Velcro version with a padded heel for $89.)
+ Great value. Best wide-crack, adventure-climbing and long-route shoe.
- Fess up—you like the smell of sweaty feet.
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