Women’s Hottie $79.95
The Mad Rock Hottie, soft, sexy and flexible, was the most comfortable of the women’s shoes. With its padded cuff and dual external pull tabs, this shoe slid on and off smoothly. The SupaSuede leather and absence of rubber on the arch and instep gives the shoe a super flexy feel. I could contort my foot into any position, which is key for thin cracks. The Hottie is lighter, more supple and more form-fitting than the other models. The Hottie also has some extras: Ribbed rubber on the heel grabs onto mini edges or bumpy surfaces, and a dual-density sole has a thicker layer of sticky rubber around the edges of the shoe for stiffness, making this a prime edging boot. The bulbous heel cup design, however, did not fit narrow or small feet, a drawback that could be addressed by the addition of a tensioned rand. The Hottie has three padded, Velcro straps that help cinch the shoe down for optimal fit. Overall, this high-end shoe is well built, comfortable, and a top performer on boulders and in thin cracks. I wouldn’t jam them into Indian Creek’s wide Jane Fonda’s Total Body Workout (5.11b), but I’d use them almost anyplace else. Mad Rock: madrockclimbing.com.