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Climbing Shoes

Mad Rock Loco

With space-disco styling, and the most ferociously down-turned last I've seen, this shoe is not for the fainthearted.

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Mad Rock Loco, $90

  • Steep rock: 4.5 Star
  • Face climbing: 2 Star
  • Long routes: 1 Star
  • Upper: Synthetic, lined
  • Rubber: Mad Rubber 2.5-4.5mm

With space-disco styling—and the most ferociously down-turned last I’ve seen—this shoe is not for the fainthearted. Like last year’s Mad Rock Hooker, the Loco features a rubberized upper toe and aggressively serrated rubber heel cup, making these shoes easily the grabbiest I’ve used for toe scums and heel hooks. The Loco also has a ridged dual-thickness sole, the ridge of which really hooks when you’re pawing at jibs or small edges on overhanging walls. Beware, though: This style of sole can get quickly chewed up when you stand on your feet on rough rock like granite, so it’s more of a specialized steep-rock tool. The Loco’s uppers are impregnated with anti-microbial, odor-fighting X-Static fibers—a boon because this synthetic shoe is a sweatbox. Mad Rock shoes fit close to your regular street-shoe size.

+ The best-priced steep-rock shoe.

– Synthetic uppers are hard to break in; toe is a bit blunt.