Review: Mad Rock Lotus Climbing Shoe

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Julie Ellison
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This story originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of our print edition.

Mad Rock Lotus

Performance

With full-on flexibility throughout the shoe and maximum sensitivity, the Lotus performs like a slipper, making it an excellent choice for steep terrain with small holds, competition climbing, and everything in between. Mad Rock nailed the fit with their ladies’ last that’s narrower through the length of the foot, especially in the heel, with a lower-volume profile. “Bam! The best fit ever—right out of the box,” one smitten user said. “No gaps, no uncomfortable pinching, no cramped toes, and no saggy heel!” A small piece of plastic is used as a minimalistic midsole, offering a small amount of support under the ball of your foot so your toes don’t have to do all the work but you don’t lose sensitivity. A single Velcro strap runs over the middle, but then zig-zags back over the very top to dial in fit, and a padded split tongue directly underneath allowed testers to crank it down without pain or discomfort. The split also makes it easier to pull on than other standard slippers. Testers lauded the rubber heel cup, which wraps the heel of the foot in one piece of stiff rubber, no saggy upper to stretch out, reducing performance. A pronounced strip of rubber runs right down the middle of the heel, offering security that one tester “trusted more for heel hooks.” If you’re used to more support and stability, it might take a while to maximize these super-softies. 

Profile

aggressive

Conclusion

If you love the fit and sensitivity of a snug slipper, but want slightly more support for toeing in on steeps, this is your shoe. Even the narrowest-footed ladies will get excited over the well-designed fit, and the perfect heel is unbeatable.

$119; madrockclimbing.com

Further Reading
Review: Our Top 11 Rock Climbing Shoes