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Mad Rock M5 Climbing Shoe

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    15 Reviews


    An all-around sender.

    The highly versatile Mad Rock M5 Climbing Shoe eats face climbs for breakfast, devours cracks for lunch, and gobbles up boulders for dinner. The M5 owes its versatility to Mad Rock's unique concave design that keeps your foot flat while crack climbing and curved when you're climbing overhanging routes and problems. An Arch Flex ensures a glove-like fit without any pressure points, and the Tek Flex upper provides a customizable fit by forming to the shape of your foot. Science Friction 3.0 rubber is Mad Rock's most durable rubber, and it still retains excellent friction. Mad Rock also equipped this shoe with a Power Upper for enhanced jamming and toe hooking, a 3D molded Torque Heel for superior traction while heel hooking, and a polycarbonate midsole that helps this shoe maintain its shape for many years.

    • Tek Flex upper
    • Two hook-and-loop straps
    • Concave toe profile
    • Polycarbonate midsole
    • Science Friction 3.0 rubber sole
    • Arch Flex fit
    • Power Upper
    • Torque Heel
    • Item #MRC000B

    Tech Specs

    Upper Material
    Tek Flex
    2 hook-and-loop straps
    Science Friction 3.0
    Asymmetrical Curvature
    Claimed Weight
    [single, size 9] 8.39 oz
    Recommended Use
    sport climbing, bouldering
    Manufacturer Warranty

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    One shoe to climb them all

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Don't want to buy multiple shoes for different climbing styles? Pick up a pair of these bad boys. The M5's will perform in the gym or outside. They have great edging capabilities and smear well too. They perform on overhangs or on slab, cracks or faces. Literally does it all and are also comfortable to wear all day long if you size them right.

    wonderful shoe, but absorbs max. stank

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    I love these shoes for their fit. Rubber's great, good shape, pretty durable so far. I've climbed in them at the gym a few times a week for several months, and they're still killin' it. The only thing is, they're really killin' my nose! ;) This is the last time I'll ever buy a shoe with a fabric interior. Never once had this issue with a leather interior shoe. Apart from that though, I love these shoes. I'm a size 10, and usually need wide shoes (I wear size 10 Keens daily), so i was surprised to find the size 10 fit me perfectly. just can't possibly air them out enough... seriously, they smell like cheese.

    Great shoes

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Weight: 170lbs

    Half the battle of finding a good shoe is finding something that fits the shape of your foot. I have fairly wide feet with a very steep arch. These fit perfect, I love the sole contouring, they were comfortable from the first wear. These edge well but are too bulky for cracks. The rubber is moderately grippy, work well outdoors but definitely not the stickiest compound on the market. The heel has some texture to it to stick hooks. The smelliness factor has not been an issue so far, better than synthetics I have used in the past. Overall, an amazing shoe especially for the price.

    The best fitting shoe for my foot.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 10
    • Height: 5'10"

    The M5 feels like it was custom made for my foot. There is zero dead space in the heel. Overall, it gives me a perfect and tight but not painful fit. This is the last gym shoe I will ever buy. I actually have two more pair on reserve. I have owned many five-ten, LaSportiva, Evolv, Boreal, and other brands...even Reebok (remember those?) and this shoe fits as well as any. The Madrock rubber is more than adequate for gym usage.
    Sizing: Over the years, I have moved away from the painful jamming into small shoes. I actually wear these .5 above my street shoe size. I could easily go with the 9.5 if I wanted to break them in and take a bit of discomfort.
    I have a relatively wide forefoot. If you do too...look at these shoes. For what it is worth, I have been climbing for more than 20 years.

    Not the right shoe for everyone

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: Runs small
    • Size Bought: 11.5
    • Height: 5'11"
    • Weight: 160lbs

    The shoe itself has awesome features and you could feel how grippy the sole was, also the slight down turn was nice, but man did it hurt my feet. I could only keep them on for about 5 minutes before I had to take them off. They run small but I dont feel like that was why they hurt so bad. The pain was only on both of my big toes right on top of them. After I would take them off id have two small indents on the top of my toes. I do seem to have long toes so im not sure if that had something to do with it. Of course I had to return them and this time im ordering something that has a softer toe box area so hopefully they wont dig in as much.

    Here's my thoughts.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 8
    • Height: 5'6"
    • Weight: 135lbs

    Fit: Street size....all the way. I'm an intermediate climber. All indoor, I climb up to v4's. My vans are size 8, I ordered 3 sizes from backcountry to try various sizes and the size 8 were very snug but not painful. If you want them more tight, go 1/2 down but I wouldn't go more.

    Feel: VERY STIFF. I used to climb in Evolv Defy and those are like slippers. More feel to the climb. More like a 2nd skin. The m5's felt very plastic and stiff.

    Grip: First couple climbs I was slipping off holds. Very non-grippy feel. After that they have worn in and have been gripping just fine. So give it 1-2 climbs to wear away the hard plastic feel to the rubber

    Edge: I don't like the squared off edge to the toe. Maybe good for small ledges but weird for bouldering. I'd go with more a "no edge" shoe next time.

    Performance: now that they're worn in, they are working well. I am climbing good in them. But next time, something different.

    Comfort: I LOVE the bigger toe box. These size 8's are the same length as my Defy's in size 7 and my toes aren't squashed or bent. No calluses or discomfort. I can wear them the entire 2-3 hour session without discomfort. I LOVE that about these and for that alone, I'd recommend them.

    Size up

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: Runs small

    These shoes would be great if they didn't make my toes go numb. Definitely size up a half size (or maybe even a full size) from your street shoe size. I got 10.5 (my street shoe size) but probably need at least an 11. That's the problem with buying climbing shoes can't try them on. They're synthetic so they won't stretch (unlike leather).

    A great alternative to the Pontas

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    Have worn the Evolv pontas for a few years and this shoe for about 5 months. It is every bit as good and better because the rubber lasts longer

    Best shoe to date.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    The Mad Rock M5's are my favorite shoe to date. They have excellent performance on all types of rock from Valley slabs, Font slopers to Heuco roofs. Mad Rock continues to improve their product line every year and this is my favorite update to the line.

    The rubber is super sticky in cold and warm conditions and has good durability.

    Toe rubber is perfect for scummy toe hooks.

    The heel isn't extra bulky so it's easy to place and doesn't slide around a lot.

    2 Velcro straps make it easy to get in and out of while keeping the fit tight.

    Price can't be beat for the quality.

    All-Around Excellence

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer


    The M5 climbing shoe comfort characteristic is unmatched. I've used them for 100 foot pitch sport climbs and I'll keep them on the entire time during a climbing gym session just bouldering. The shoes are tight right out of the box, but it takes a day for me to stretch for the perfect fit.


    The M5's have an aggressive toe, perfect for overhung climbing. In addition, the edging is top notch. I've had success climbing slab, vertical, overhung and cave climbing. Also, I've been able to have trust in the shoes. I don't fear that my foot will slip off a foothold. The shoe is also great for toe-hooks. The rubber covering the top of the foot creates excellent friction and sticks really well.


    A steal.

    Hoping they stretch

    • Fit: Runs small

    i really enjoy climbing in these, the toe box fits my foot great and my heel sinks into the shoe perfectly. the sharp edges make sport climbing great on small foot holds. i live in FL so i haven't had the opportunity to try them out on real rock yet.

    however when i put the shoe on and strap in they're extremely tight. i usually wear a 10.5 in vans, 10 in reebok golf shoes and a 9.5's in evolv's, if i had followed the sizing chart for these i think they would have put me into something even smaller. im really hoping they stretch so i wont have to buy another shoe here in the next couple weeks. im going to try some methods to stretch them out other than just climbing in them. everything seems to be holding up great otherwise, i just wish i went with my gut and bought a 10 and not a 9.5

    Excellent Shoe

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: Runs small

    First off, unlike some of the other reviews, I could not size down at all with these shoes, I wear a 10.5 street size, and I ended up getting 11.5 in these shoes, and they fit just perfect. The toe is much more comfortable than something like Murias, however it feels jus as aggressive. The toe is perfect, and I like the sharp edges it has which allow for better control on tiny holds.

    Great shoe overall.

    Superb Edging Shoe

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    With my home crag being Mount Lemmon, AZ, I do a lot of climbing on vertical to slightly overhanging granite with tiny footholds. The M5's have been my go-to shoe for this style since their release and have performed impeccably. They act much like the Muira VS with a slightly different fit, but with toehook rubber as a bonus. I've sent up to 14a in this type of climbing with the M5's and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a high performance shoe for granite microedging.

    As sizing goes, I wear a 10-10.5 US Mens street shoe and I wear my M5's in a 9.5, but I could easily go down another half size to get even more precision. The last is quite comfortable and will conform to your foot, but not get baggy over time.

    Great Shoe!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    I'm VERY picky about my shoes and this is one of the best I've had so far. I needed something with a wider toe box, but wasn't flimsy and this fit perfect right out of the box. The only criticism is that the toe is starting to wear out faster than I would like. That being said, I beat my shes up and a regular basis in the gym.