Mad Rock Splash

I originally had to order these shoes as an exchange from the Mad Rock Outlet store for a pair that did not fit my girlfriend. I figured that for 50 bucks, they'd at least be decent gym shoes.

The good news is, the shoes are surprisingly good, especially considering the price. They are made of a synthetic material that provides for a lot of stretch, thus making the shoe really comfortable for all day wear. (I ordered a half size down from my shoes size, and this was perfect. I'm an 11; ordered a 10.5 mens.) The synthetic material is also the biggest downside of this shoe, however. It does not breath well, and by the end of a long day in them, they can be a bit soggy. I had this same problem with a pair of Mad Rock Flashes, too.

So far, I feel these climb better than the Flashes. I've done a few v5s in them and don't feel like they slowed me down at all. In fact, they are pretty sensitive, which is a good option on some problems/routes. Just don't expect them to have high-performance edging. I break out the Sportiva Miura VS for those times. But lately, I've been climbing most of the day in the Splashes and saving the rubber on my more expensive Miuras for when I really need them.

Bottom line: Good shoe for the price (only $50)--great for beginner to mid-range boulderers and sportsters, and probably a decent multipitch trad shoe thanks to the comfort. Just be aware that they aren't rally high performance and will make your feet sweat on hot days. Some sizes are already selling out from the Mad Rock outlet store online.

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