Like for training, have two pair, leather rules
Review by: jermanimal, 2009-10-26
These are not 5 star shoes. They actually fit me a lot better then they look, considering all the rubber on the toes. I have two pair, one 9 and one 8.5. The larger are a nice comfy pair that I use in the gym and fit like sippers. They took only a few days to break in. They were pretty stiff out of the box and felt like rubber blocks. They softened up a lot and are more sensitive now. The concave was really tight on little toes, but after a few routes it started to soften.
I have been using all synthetic shoes for a while and getting a low stretch shoe, with leather is amazing. Leather is total luxury. Absorbs sweat, doesn't sink...much. Leather doesn't slip in the shoe as much and has better sensitivity. I am a fan to say the least.
The new mad rubber is interesting...to me it feels a lot like Stealth HF. Sticky, crazy sticky, but with the trade of off not edging very well and wearing quickly. Only used indoors so I can't account for rock use, but on plastic they never slip out. I am amazed that I can smear at all with them, because of down turn and ledge on for foot, but it works ok. I have a feeling they wouldn't do well in hot weather, at 70 degrees in gym they pick up dog hair like a lint roller.
As for the tighter pair, I use for steep bouldering. They are freaking great. Soft and powerful, they fit my feet well or better then other shoes from five ten and la sportiva. It is weird at first to use the dual thickness rubber, but I have learned to love it, center is nice and soft like a well, well worn shoe, but tons of edge still...plus the little edge grabs on to little features with tenacity. Nice powerful toe, not very pointed...climb more like optimus then pontas. When I sized down the heel cup got a little smaller, actually the worst part of the shoe, if I had my druthers I would have the rubber come up higher in the heel.