They finally came, my new shoes. Madrock Demons 2011.
I have waited for these shoes my whole life, the perfect shoe. Madrock always did have an awesome toe, but the heel used to give me trouble. Not so much the ribs which I liked, more the shape of my foot and the heel cup did not get along.
Well, I am happy to say the new heel design is perfect, it is molded like the La Sportiva Solution but sticks and fits way better.
I was also surprised at the new toe box. For the first time I have ever encountered, in any shoe the center of the sole seems to be cupped, which removes the air gap formed when your toes curl up, in a down turned shoe. To be honest, I never noticed this as an issue, until all of a sudden it is gone. With this new sole there is no air gap in the toe box and it has the effect of sucking the shoe upwards against your foot. This effectively locks your foot in, without the shoes needing to be as tight as they would need to be otherwise. This means you can size them larger, be more comfortable and still have great performance and yes...you can now smear with a down turned shoe!
The other feature I love is the sharp edge on the toe. Too many companies are rounding off the edge of their shoes(read Solution). This does not really matter when you are on steep terrain, as the holds tend to be larger, but on slabs or vertical problems it reduces edging ability, which for a comp climber who needs versitility, is horrible. The Demons are sharp as a knife and climb vertical routes like no ones business.
It also appears that there is a new rubber being used, I will have to ask the guys at Madrock about this to be sure, but it worked really well and addressed the issues they had last year with sticky, but too soft rubber, which made edging hard. Whatever it is, it works well for both smearing and edging.
I compared the new Demons with my previous favorite shoe, the old Demons and first night out, they out-performed my old tried and true got-to-shoes in all categories.
I like everything about them, the look, the feel and the performance, for me this is the best shoe ever made. Now I have no more excuses, other then old age?