Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Demon 2011 - Long Term Review
It's been 2 months since I've received the Demon 2011 in the mail. Having tried on the demo at the Winter OR, the excitement of anticipating for it to arrive at my doorstep was reaching boiling point. As you would've expect, the shoes went to work immediately upon arrival at the my local gym...The Front SLC.
Since Tanleng is recovering from her traumatic ankle injury, pretty much all of my climbing has been confined indoors. The crappy weather compounded this problem but hey...isn't that what SchidzoSpringnia's all about.
Anyway, the Demon felt much smaller than the outgoing model for the same size but I was sure a little breaking in will do the trick of softening it up. Initial trials out the box was assuring when it came to precision footwork due to the fit of the shoe. The fit was like a glove thanks to the new material used in the uppers of the toe box. Typical material by most manufacturers have been leather and synthetic codura to limit stretch. This new material is a compound made almost entirely of rubber, thus allowing the toe box to flex (hence the name Powerflex) over the knuckles of the toes, alleviating pain often associated with tight shoes.
The shoe is super downturned but the unique thing about it is that the shoe has been able to hold its original shape throughout these 3 months. Again, this is only possible due the introduction of a new midsole material...polycarbonate. Unlike most shoes with midsoles, the Demon possess a great balance between stiffness and flexibility due to the use of this polycarbonate concave midsole. Enough stiffness to stand on the smallest of jibs and enough flexibility to toe grab on the steepest of caves. The new feature on this shoe is the heel cup jointly developed with Dai Koyamada. The heel cup fits snuggly considering that my low volume heel and doesn't let off any bagginess, often associated with shoes made without molded heel cups. Here's a vid of Dai climbing Agartha V14 in a Demon prototype.
Prior to the Demon, I was a huge fan of the Super Locos and the Contacts. They were the only shoes I've worn on all my 5.14 sends but I'm sad to say that they have now been relegated to storage due to the phenomenal performance of the new Demon.
On the whole, this shoe pretty much does it all and it has been delivering since day one out of the box. Either that or I'm actually getting strong climbing in the gym this whole time...or maybe both.
And speaking of the gym, the Front's owner, Dustin Buckthal, and his crew of dedicated wall builders (Vertical Solutions), gym staff and phenomenal setters, have been hard at work organizing the FCC Semi-Pro Bouldering Series. The series consisted of 3 separate qualifiers in the Front SLC, Front Odgen, and Front Boise, with 10 competitors from each qualifier battling it out this Fri (Semi Finals) and Sat (Finals).
I managed to qualify for the Semis this Fri and here's the starting order based on qualifying results:
Looks like I've managed to put my dismal Spore climbing episode behind me and gotten my health back. Time to bring my A game this Fri and most important...my new kicks! It's been a real privilege representing the guys at Madrock cos these Mad hommies never stop innovating. And this latest performance shoe is a testament to advance technology applied to a product with great workmanship available to everyone at a reasonable price.