Mad Rock Hooker-Zip rock shoes

Unless you’ve crawled under a rock, it's hard to escape all the buzz about Mad Rock, the "new" shoe company that entered the market last year.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Hooker-Zip.jpg

Unless you've crawled under a rock, it's hard to escape all the buzz about Mad Rock, the "new" shoe company that entered the market last year. We use new in quotes because the shoes come from the same factories that once made Five Tens. Mad Rock's long history in rock shoe production is evident in the Hooker-Zip.

By anyone's definition, the Hooker-Zip is a high performance rock shoe that is well built and climbs great. It's best suited for a low volume, narrow to medium width foot; the sizing system is similar to Five Ten's (buy your street shoe or a half size smaller) rather than the Euro brands.

There isn't anything revolutionary about the design of the Hooker-Zip, although there are some interesting tweaks. The rubber is at least the equal of Five Ten's venerable C4, against which all others are compared (often unfavorably).

The dual-density rubber in the forefoot doesn't appreciably affect climbing performance although the internal lip is sometimes useful for pulling in on a nubbin. Similarly, ridges on the heel cup may on occasion prove handy for heel hooks, and ridges over the toes can sometimes help on overhangs. These features are more about looking different than improving performance.

Although encasing the forefoot in rubber prevents the leather from stretching, the trade-off is very sweaty feet since the vent holes can only do so much. Also, the black top makes them uncomfortably hot in the sun; choose the Mugen, which has a white upper, for a multi-pitch trad shoe.

To listen to all the hype about rubber and other features, our tester was expecting to climb a full grade harder just by pulling them on. In actuality, they made no difference whatsoever in his climbing ability.

What the $90 Hooker-Zip does admirably is equal the performance of shoes that sell for $50 more and THAT is the real revolution. With Mad Rock offering good quality at a low price, and Montrail entering the market in a couple months, other shoe companies need to re-evaluate their business model.

SNEWS Rating: 4 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $90
For more information:www.madrockshoes.com

Related

LawReviewThumb.gif

Mad Rock, Climb X settle legal battle

A nearly 15-month legal tussle between climbing brands Mad Rock and Climb X has reached a settlement with each side claiming a win. The settlement, which was accepted by the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Nov. 29, 2011, dismisses Mad Rock’s claims against ...read more

madrock_logo.jpg

Garland exits Mad Rock citing internal differences

In a Jan. 11 news release sent to SNEWS®, Joe Garland announced his departure from Mad Rock with a headline that said, “Garland announces split with Mad Rock Climbing. Founding partner departs, citing internal differences.” While Garland is, in fact, no longer employed at Mad ...read more

ClimbX_MadRock-2010-thumb.jpg

Did you hear?…Mad Rock files lawsuit against Climb X

Nelson Sports, parent company of Mad Rock, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit on Sept. 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Climb X and Joe Garland.  The Mad Rock (madrockclimbing.com) lawsuit includes 12 complaints against Climb X ...read more

OR Summer Market -- Shoes made for climbing

As we discussed in the GearTrends Summer Outdoor magazine, rock shoes are a hot topic of conversation in the climbing world these days. Unfortunately, the discussion is less about features and performance and more about the soap opera atmosphere and discounting. Here's a brief ...read more

Duofoldjacket.gif

Duofold Half-Zip Jacket

As you might imagine, we have a lot of jacket choices at our fingertips at SNEWS® headquarters on any given day – testing and reviewing is a non-stop event. And we are acutely aware that while some reviewed jackets might become favorites on the performance front (ending up with ...read more

ClimbingFootwear_Scarpa_InstinctVS.jpg

Comfortable climbers: More rock shoes adding comfort to performance

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and ...read more

Mountain Mama Teams with Mad Rock on First Maternity Harness

Ontario, California (August 8, 2012) – Mountain Mama and Mad Rock Climbing unveiled the world's first harness for pregnant climbers at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012. Called Mountain Mama by Mad Rock, the full-body adjustable harness was created with an eye for comfort and ...read more

Teva_Sunkosi2.jpg

Teva Sunkosi 2 water shoe

As a concept, water shoes are a fine idea. But we've suffered painful scrapes and blisters from poorly designed amphibious footwear, and frowned over many models that didn't dry as quickly as advertised. But Teva's Sunkosi 2 performed well, and proved to be exceptionally ...read more

sportif_aquadilla.jpg

Sportif Aquadilla Zip Tank

As a part of Sportif's Outdoor Series, the company for spring/summer '01 introduced the Aquadilla Zip shirt in three sleeve lengths -- short, sleeveless, and (available in July) long. All are a micro-polyester performance moisture-management fabric. We tested the tank and were ...read more