Mad Rock Drone LV Review: My Favorite Bouldering Shoes || Barelyboulders
But i sort of want to talk about what i specifically really like about the shoe and sort of things that as i’ve worn them, for i guess like half a year that i’ve noticed maybe bother me a little but um. Before i start, i will say this is my favorite shoe that i’ve worn so far um, which is only three um but anyway. So these are the low volume ones which again, if you um sort of read the description, it just means it’s a little more narrower in the toe box than the high volume so that’s for a little tighter fit. If you think you have narrow shoes – and the heel i mean – is also a little more snug, so yeah, but that’s pretty self explanatory um again, some like general features of these shoes is the uh super large toe patch, which is great for obviously toe hooking um. You can see like that rubber is taking up almost like the front half of the shoe. This works outdoors and indoors it’s, just super sticky and you don’t have to be very precise, which i love so now. The other part that people want to know about is the heel, which i think is one of the features that really attracted me to this shoe. It has a really round sort of molded heel, but which is nice. Is it has this lip here? You can see this is a really good angle.
It has like that extra little bit of rubber that wraps around so when you’re heel hooking, you can be really precise, it’s almost like cheating but um. I don’t know i think it’s really great i’ve, never felt more secure when i’m trying to do a tow hook, which, especially when you start going outdoors and just starting they’re, starting to do harder, climbs harder grades. This is super important. Other parts of the shoe is the bottom. Sole is one continuous piece that goes. You know from the the toe box back to the heel in other shoes, it’s split up it’s, one part in the front, one part in the back, so it makes it a little more flexible. I would say after these have been worn. It does have some flex, but not as much as maybe other high performance shoes. I don’t mind that, because i like a stiffer shoe, i think it just um i’m more comfortable with that and it sort of helps for durability. I’M gon na get into the features of this shoe, but this pair is, as you can see, it’s really worn here you can see on the toe it’s already started to sort of peel right here, so that’s not good. So again, the rubber is sort of starting to peel um, but other than that. Actually it’s like pretty pretty uh, pretty durable. You can see how dirty it is. No, you can’t, because it’s too dark, but it should be yellow in there and it’s like black anyway.
We’Re gon na switch these to my new pair just so it’s a little nicer to look at ta da good as new transformed um, but actually i bought the high volume ones um because they’re on sale, but i wanted to try it and um it’ll, be you Know just a little nicer to look at as i do the review and i’ll get into why i bought the high volume ones a little later, as well so um, but the features and basically the shoe, is exactly the same. What attracted me to the low volume shoe in the beginning was: i was going from the scarpa instincts, which were my first um. I guess like more aggressive, uh bouldering shoe and i sized those a little larger um initially, just because that’s you know i was new to that whole thing and after like six to eight months, i got i had a lot of slippage in the heel and i Got like the the heel squeakies, you know when you step down, so i wanted to get a shoe that looked to be more snug and had a really tight heel and that’s. What attracted me to the low volume ones, because i read that they were. You know a little narrower uh, now more narrow in the toe box and also in the heel. The closure is one single uh, velcro wrap what’s nice is, you can wrap it in the front or in the back.
Another nice feature is this sort of like very soft stretchy sock um like interior, so again it’s easy to pull on, and you just pull that right over and it’s uh. It feels really comfortable um. I think it’s supposed to be pretty breathable, but my feet actually are like really they smell terrible i’m. Not gon na lie so uh. It doesn’t really make a difference to me, but this is nice because it’s super soft um and then so you have these two uh loops so that you can pull it on your heel easily, which is really nice all right. So i’ve talked about the you know. The toe hooking, the heel or the heel hooking all that good stuff. The closure um the stiffness again hard shoe uh, not super flexible out of the box, but i like that i’m doing a lot i’m doing a lot of outdoor climbing so i’d, rather have a stiffer shoe than not um, so the rubber, obviously it’ll. Last, a little longer, um i’m gon na talk and i’m gon na, like pretty candidly talk about things that have given me issues that i didn’t expect. So i guess the first thing is a little disclaimer, the low volume shoes which i’m wearing. I think i could have gone a half size up so that’s the first thing uh. I still really have to struggle sometimes to get them on if it’s, cold um. However, once i have them on for like a good 30 minutes, they sort of slip on and off, but that isn’t without some uh faults issues.
So one issue is um the toe box. It is narrower, so it does feel like it’s cramming. My toes especially my pinky toe um again, this is all for the low volume uh that’s. Why i bought these. I want to try it out so yeah a little narrow on the toe box um as advertised, but i thought i would break the sh that part of the shoe in never really did, and then this is something i didn’t expect, but the heel compared to the Instincts which i used to wear it comes up a little higher on my achilles than i’m used to and uh so i’m talking about like this part right here, so it it actually sort of pinches my achilles uh when i was out of the box, it was Super uncomfortable and now it’s, fine, but i’ve noticed i sort of get like a little callus or blisters right on the back of the upper part of the heel and i think that’s from like slipping in my foot. You know and it’s rubbing against this part. So much and again that might all be because i’m wearing the low volume, shoes and they’re a little tighter, a little snugger. However, that is sort of a sacrifice that maybe you want to make for a higher performance again. I’Ve never felt more secure in the shoes that i’m wearing now they’re super snug on any type of foot placement. But it is a little unfortunate that i still have discomfort after, like six to eight months of wearing in the uh, the pinky like toe in my toe box and the achilles part of my heel.
Um. Another, like small thing, is on the loops to put your toe in, i mean to get slide your heel in the way it’s constructed is they’re sort of stitched onto the outside. Just on the exterior i’ve noticed in my scarf shoes and las verteva shoes, the the loops are actually sort of sandwiched or the shoe is sandwiched in between the loops, so it’s stitched here and stitched here uh, i think that’s just obviously that’s how they manufacture it. But it does feel like all that, pulling that you’re doing to get your healing. You know it sort of affects the integrity of that uh connection between these loops. So you know you might notice that it might start to fray it’s, not really a big deal, but i just noticed that compared to scarpa and las verteva, the way they sort of make these loops are is maybe less less strong. I don’t know it’s more less efficient, um and yeah, and then so these i am going to try out pretty soon because my low volume ones are super worn here they are again yeah here’s the low volumes let’s, compare it high volume, low volume, oh sizing, that’s, A big thing that everyone wants to know so um, and i mean i wanted to know this when i was getting it uh compared to my street shoe compared to other shoes. I wear a street shoe nine and a half comparing converse vans, adidas ultra boost those are all nine and a half.
I think that’s a good good way to compare stuff people should know like what shoe you’re wearing but yeah anyway. This is the us9, the mad rock low volumes. If i had to buy this again, i think i would size up because of what i said: the heel and the toe box they’re narrow. For a reason, this is low volume but more narrow than i actually want or expected. If i was going for super high performance – and i use these very specifically, for you know the hardest projects – nine yeah – fine – i would do it but um yeah that’s. This is the sizing nine low volume high volumes. I got a. What did i get us eight and a half so because they’re high volume, um uh, you know a little a little wider. I went for a little tighter. I was reading that online, so i sized it a half size down from the low volumes. This is a nine eight and a half. I wear a nine and a half street shoe. I did try these out. I did try these on right out of the box when they were brand new, i mean they still are, and it actually already felt better like this. I had a lot of trouble getting on this sort of slipped in. I didn’t really need the plastic and i could already feel that without breaking it in my toe, they felt a lot. My toes felt a lot more comfortable.
They weren’t really squished, but they were still you know. Like pointed down, so i can get precise, edging um. How can i compare this to my other shoes, uh, the scarpa instincts i wore the orange ones. Those were also a nine, i believe, that’s important, because i actually think i sized those up a little. I should have gotten those into an in an eight and a half after, like maybe six months, they were really loose and actually, when i first tried them on, even without really breaking them in. I had like the heel, farty noises, so that’s, comparing them to my scarpas, comparing them to the la sportiva katanas i um don’t do this. I got my katanas in a seven and a half which is like not the right move again after you wear them. They sort of fit, but i think i should have gotten an eight and it would have been perfect um again: low volumes, eight and a half, no low volumes, nine high volumes, eight and a half street shoe nine and a half. I know that wasn’t the most technical review, but i would consider that a really honest review of how i felt about these shoes after six ish, seven months of wearing them, primarily bouldering um and honestly, i really love them. And yes, i did get these because everyone in the eric carlston bouldering crew wears mad rock that’s. The reason i got scarpa’s because of magnus midbow that’s.
The same reason that i am going to be buying and reviewing a pair of unparalleled shoes in the next month or two because bouldering bobat um i’m, not gon na lie that’s. How i choose my shoes that’s? Okay, so i hope you guys enjoyed. I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you want to see more shoe reviews, maybe comparing them to my other shoes.