The holy grail of shoe design is, of course, a flip flop that comfortably climbs 5.10. I wouldn’t be surprised if the mad docs at Mad Rock are working on just that, but in the meantime they’ve given us the Fanatic approach shoe.
If you’re looking for a hiking shoe that climbs look at Mad Rock’s Frenzy. If you’re looking for a climbing shoe that hikes, the Fanatic is your tool. The laces cinch up snug to the toes, and the burly tongue is leather reinforced to let you really crank ’em down tight. The toe box is rubberized and is more comfortable than any straight rock shoe for camming in cracks, and even the heel is serrated rubber for light hooking duty.
It’s stiff enough for serious slabbing and easier edging, and the arches are cut just enough to straddle an etrier if big wall aid is your fetish. A mild lug system built out of sticky #5 Mad Rubber makes short work of scrambles. Overall the Fanatic will get you there and back again, and crush most grades up to 5.10+ without having to resort to your dance shoes.