Mad Rock Maniac, $60
Overall grade: B
; gym training
Moderately asymmetric; medium width and volume throughout
Built on the same last as Mad Rock’s popular Flash, the unlined synthetic Maniac is a good shoe for entry-level climbers looking for a model that will take them from their first days in the gym to pushing themselves on harder routes and problems outside. “This should be considered a performance shoe for moderate climbers and training/performance shoe for advanced climbers,” says Mad Rock’s Joe Garland.
“It’s a good shoe for moderate bouldering and sport climbing, up to 5.11 or so,” agreed one tester. The Maniac offers a solid balance between edging and smearing, and delivers good sensitivity, a bonus for developing climbers who need to gain a feel for intricate footwork.
The Maniac does have a noticeable problem, however. The aggressive heel cup that’s the desirable hallmark of Mad Rock’s higher-performance shoes is out of place on the Maniac. Because it’s a slipper meant for the moderate market, folks won’t be sizing it as tight as a high-end model. That looser fit combined with the stepped heel cup makes it pretty easy to pop the shoe’s heel off your foot. Mad Rock does supply a removable Velcro strap, but it’s not at all effective for keeping the heel on.
Mad Rock: 503.797.1952,
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