Who should buy the Mad Rock Drifter

The Mad Rock Drifter has enough convincing qualities to woo in climbers unfamiliar with the brand. It is a solid option if you:

  • Prefer a climbing shoe that makes ascents as pleasant and reassuring as possible
  • Prefer a climbing shoe that provides sufficient forefoot traction and underfoot slip resistance, respectively.

Mad Rock Drifter logo

Mad Rock Drifter's profile

Downturn. The Drifter is one of Mad Rock’s neutral climbing shoes. Since it is practically a downturn-less piece of footwear, it is ideal for climbs where smearing is hugely required. Neutral rock climbing shoes are designed for multi-pitch projects.

Mad Rock Drifter profile

Applications. Sport routes, bouldering, and trad are the types of climbs for which the beginner-friendly Mad Rock Drifter is built. Its set of components grants climbing competency in slots and cracks. It is for both indoor and outdoor use.


Mad Rock’s Drifter is a low-cut shoe engineered especially for male climbers. The foot is expected to contort inward in it as its interior has a slight asymmetry or curve. With time and regular use, its leather upper will stretch. Mad Rock engineers gave the shoe a 3D-molded rearfoot reinforcement for a more intimate fit around the heel. The Drifter’s two-strap closure provides lockdown personalization.

Mad Rock Drifter fit

Provides slip and skid resistance

The Drifter from Mad Rock grants its wearers ample slip and skid resistance with its Science Friction 3.0 outsole. Its overall thickness is 3.8 mm. This sticky rubber component is exclusively produced in the United States.

Mad Rock Drifter outsole

Lasting durability and abrasion-resistant

A 1.8-mm thick midsole is what gives users improved support in the Drifter. It is made of polyester, a synthetic material characterized by lightness, lasting durability, and abrasion resistance.

Mad Rock Drifter midsole

Easy to wear

The Mad Rock Drifter climbing shoe encloses the foot in its full-grain leather upper. It comes built with a liner made of polyester. Access to and from its plush confines is a relatively swift affair thanks to the shoe’s duo of synthetic pull loops.

Mad Rock Drifter loop

Excellent rearfoot support and heel-hooking friction

Covering its bottom section (midfoot + forefoot) for improved climbing security is the Science Friction R2 rubber rand. Its heel zone also comes with the same reinforcement for extra rearfoot support and heel-hooking friction.

Mad Rock Drifter upper

Secure lockdown

Rounding out all things upper in the Mad Rock Drifter is the gear’s Velcro closure. It uses two adjustable hook-and-loop straps to rein in the foot and keep it in place.

Mad Rock Drifter upper strap

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 223g
Closure: Velcro
Fit: Comfort fit
Downturn: Neutral
Environment: Indoor, Outdoor
Material: Leather
Lining: Lined

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Teddy Dondanville
Teddy Dondanville

Teddy is a professionally trained Apprentice Rock Guide with the American Mountain Guides Association and a Wilderness First Responder with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Besides guiding outdoor rock climbing, Teddy also has years of experience in route setting and coaching climbing indoors. Through his guiding, route setting, and coaching, Teddy has experimented with climbing shoes for over a decade.