My first climb with the Lowa Rocket was at our local Asana climbing gym. I met up with a few friends who all instantly noticed my new shoes. “What the heck are those?” was the common thread as none of them had seen a Lowa brand shoe here in Boise. They all noticed the rubber on the top of the toe and were eager to try it on some of the more interesting inverted routes.
I let each of my buddies try out the shoe and they were universally impressed by how sensitive the shoe was without sacrificing edging performance. Given that my old shoes were a pair of fairly expensive 5.10 moccasins that I recently re-soled I was shocked at how comfortable the Rockets felt while still letting me hold surprisingly small edges. I credit this to the Vibram XS-Grip rubber and the medium/high aggressive profile of the shoes.
On a difficult (for me) inverted route that requires a toe hook that must be held for 2 moves the rubber on the top of the shoe felt like having an extra hand on the hold. After topping out one of my buddies asked to try the same route in the Rockets and exclaimed that he was going to buy a pair for his trip to the City of Rocks climbing area next week.
The only issues we could see with the Rockets that the relatively thin sole might need re-soling a bit sooner than normal, however, this is what contributes to the sensitivity so that’s a trade-off I am more than willing to make.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a high-performance shoe that doesn’t sacrifice performance the Lowa Rocket should be at the top of your list.