Review - Mad Rock Weaver
Mad Rock Weaver Climbing Shoe. Comfortable, breathing material beginner's shoe. And oh, so, orange.
Once upon a time there was the Mad Rock Climbing Flash.
No, not actually Flash saviour of the universe, but a very cheap and comfortable climbing shoe and for a lot of people that was close enough. But then world grew up and moved on and Flash, alas, fizzled out.
Because Mad Rock Climbing kept the Flash shoe because of the feedback about foot comfort. The company worked the shape with a better performing shoe. Which is good news. Especially if you like orange. Because the modern incarnation of the Flash is the Weaver, and it's as orange as a prison inmate's wardrobe.
Gotta hope they don't issue the prisoners with Mad Rock Weavers though because they'd be over the walls in no time.
RIGHT FIT, RIGHT PRICE
Mad Rock Climbing calls the Weaver the comfiest shoe yet, which to be honest is not the adjective you normally expect for a climbing shoe. But Push Climbing Director Paul Massad jumps straight in there with both feet.
“I loved them...they are an amazing fit,” he glows. “And I have very wide feet. They have a huge toe box and a straight back so there's no dead space on the heel, which means I can fully utilize the strength for its friction. I've tried other shoes that hook better but then come off and these don't. They are cheap, and they are mega groovy.”
They are indeed very reasonably priced for a shoe of this quality, and the thinking behind them is far less aggressive than some of the more technical Mad Rock Climbing shoes like the Shark, for example. Where the Weaver really scores is that cross-woven upper above the toes, which gives your feet a chance to breathe and sweat a bit.
That’s something you will really appreciate if you happen to be (as we are) in Saigon.
“The new construction mesh is breathable and so sure, in the [rubber toe] box your toes will sweat but the shoes won't get damp ever which is fantastic,” adds Paul. “And if you deep water solo they will dry right away.”
You've got to believe Paul if he gets genuinely enthusiastic about a shoe in a high humidity environment because he knows what he's talking about here. “ … the Weaver the mesh means it takes the shape of your foot and time after time it goes back like a sock. Now that may slightly shorten the lifetime of the shoe but in terms of performance and comfort it is fantastic. Brilliant for beginners because you get all the fit, none of the hurt, and a perfect shoe from anywhere extreme beginner to amateur pro.”
Given how well it works in a tropical climate it's a good choice for outdoor work in these parts and the thick rubber toe will work well, although the heel is less chunky so it's more a shoe for the tippy toe specialist than for edging. Other shoes like the Vertika distinguish themselves with a much thicker back better suited for bouldering and hooking. It's true that you don't get that purchase on the Weaver, but as a genuinely comfortable shoe with breathability and forefoot purchase this is a seriously well priced shoe for the beginner with ambitions. Or the more experienced climbers spending enough time on the verticals that they value comfort over more extreme performance.
Or perhaps people who just really like orange.
Pros: Comfort A bit more comfort. Breathable even in seriously humid conditions, quick drying and very reasonably priced. And orange
Cons: Not the most aggressive shoe for bouldering and some doubts over its heel hooking suitability. Also orange.