Friday, August 10, 2012

No! You Can't Have Them! ...Not Yet

Two weeks ago I got a message from Tristan cryptically asking me if I'd fit into a size 6 shoe. I was worried it would be a tight fit but still was excited to see what present would be awaiting me. The result was a new Mad Rock shoe, the Shark. The first thing I did was go tingly with excitement; they finally did it: they made a really awesome looking shoe.

Shaking out

 But the look wasn't what impressed me; the upper of the shoe is covered in thin rand rubber and is ultra soft is sticky, kinda like the Five Ten Team, just thinner rubber. I was intrigued to say the least. I slid them on and did a 25 with tricky footing for the first climb of the shoes. They didn't slip or falter, not once. Ok, maybe these are cool.

Setting up for the crux

Next climb was on the Violent Streak project (8b+ish). What impressed me most was that the shoes stuck to every smear (both on the bottom and the top of the shoe) and was able to edge really well out of the box. The previous week I was using other shoes on the proj and I was struggling to stand in one of the voids/corners in the crux. No problem with these guys. They are soft and supple and form fit instantly. Impressed is definitely an understatement.

Sticking the setup move in the Violent Streak crux, note the horrible foothold on the right

The crux iron cross on Violent Streak

Last weekend and yesterday I got on to my nemesis at Chosspile: the Shadowfax Project (hard 8b+ min). To my amazement, I could do all the moves in the crux for the first time in over a year. There are two contributing factors to this: firstly I'm feeling very very strong at the moment. New training programs have been helpful to the core and fingers. Secondly, these shoes stick like glue! I'm simply amazed at how well they toe hook in the crux.

Watch this space for more!!!

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