To intelligently talk about climbing shoes and provide you with information that helps you learn about a product and make an educated purchase, I rely on two important foundations.
First, I have been rock climbing for a decade. Over that time, I’ve made a career as a climbing guide. Not to mention trying more climbing shoes than I care to think about. From my personal experience as an avid rock climber and climbing guide, I’ve learned a lot about different climbing shoes and their special features, including the Up Mocc. At this point, I’ve owned two pairs of Up Moccs.
In addition to my experience experimenting with various shoes on various terrain types, indoors and out, I’ve scoured the internet to learn about all the dirty details and understand the perspectives of both shoe manufacturers and other high-quality climbing shoe reviewers.
You can use soft, supple, sensitive slip-on climbing shoes like the Unparallel Up Mocc in virtually any terrain, from thin cracks to boulder problems.
However, I particularly think this climbing shoe excels in a traditional climbing setting, on slabby terrain and cracks. The slipper fit makes them comfy for longer days and makes it easy to pull your heels out if you need a break. The soft midsole and RH rubber sole excel at smearing. The shoe’s leather upper, low profile and VD rubber toe patch help the climbing shoe perform well in cracks, especially thin cracks.
In addition, I really like the Up Mocc for gym climbing. In particular, they are great for casual days and warming up. Plus, because of the slipper design, these shoes fit great, and you can wear them comfortably all session and not feel the need to take them off in between efforts.
The Up Mocc is not thought of as an edging shoe. However, it does feature Unparallel’s RH rubber compound in the outsole. Their RH rubber is known for its stickiness and ability to perform well on edges.
In all reality, because the Up Mocc is so soft and supple, your ability to edge in the shoe will depend greatly on your technique and toe strength. If your feet are accustomed to climbing in soft shoes and you’ve built a strong foundation of strength and edging technique, you’ll be okay.
Nonetheless, if you trade out the Up Mocc for one of Unparallel’s more well-known edging shoes and stand on the same edge, you’ll feel that the Up Mocc is less supportive and stable.
On the other hand, the Up Moccs excel in the smearing department. For example, the Up Moccs feel like you are stepping on glue when you smear granite or indoor volumes.
That’s because Unparall’s RH rubber truly is a super sticky compound that loves to adhere to surfaces. The Up Moccs also feature a flat or neutral profile. In other words, they don’t have any downturn. The neutral profile allows you to paste the entirety of the outsole onto your climbing surface to maximize friction.
For those reasons, the Up Mocc feels at home on low-angle and slabby terrain. In particular, they feel wonderful on gritty and crystal-bound granite. But they can also stick to smoother yet still grippy sandstone.
Heel & Toe performance
Despite being slippers, the Up Moccs have a tensioned heel. The tensioned heel does help provide some stability and support while edging and helps the shoe retain its shape over time. However, the heel cup of the Up Mocc is not explicitly designed for heel hooking.
Heel hooking in Up Moccs is possible, but it feels insecure. For example, the shoe can even slip off your heel on particularly aggressive or technical hooks. This is especially problematic if you size the Up Moccs to fit your feet comfortably. You could probably get better heel hooking performance if you sized down substantially, but then you’re losing comfort.
Up Moccs are better at toe hooking. They feature a rubber toe patch made with Unparallel’s VD rubber compound. The VD rubber toe patch is very sticky and sensitive, enhancing toe hooking performance. The rubber toe patch also adds some protection and friction while crack climbing. With that being said, I did experience some durability issues with my first pair of Up Moccs in the toe patch. After some crack climbing, a section of the toe patch began to delaminate. Later on, I bought a second pair and have not had that issue.
Steep Terrain & Overhangs
Thanks to the Up Mocc’s versatility, it’s possible to climb with them in steep terrain and overhung boulder problems. However, this is not the terrain that they excel in. That’s because they do not have a downturned profile. They are also only moderately asymmetrical. The lack of a downturned profile and asymmetrical shape limits the shoe’s ability to perform in overhangs.
Climbing overhanging boulder problems or sport routes in Up Moccs requires better technique and more attention to pressing down through your legs and toes to stay on and avoid cutting your feet. Essentially, you have to deploy better technique and work harder to keep your feet on small holds in an overhang because the shoe isn’t helping the situation with a downturned, talon-like shape.
The Up Mocc is a very sensitive climbing shoe. The shoe’s sensitivity is a product of a couple of different factors. First off, the Up Moccs have a soft midsole. The soft midsole allows for a lot of flexibility, which is typically a counterpart to sensitivity. Next, the RH rubber in the outsole– it’s only 4.22 millimeters thick, which means your feet are closer to the rock, making it easier to feel the features. If you are not used to this, your feet may feel sore after using Up Moccs.
Lastly, the unlined leather upper is thin, allowing your feet to feel much more. And there’s no additional closure system like laces or Velcro on top of your foot. The sensitivity in the upper really comes into play while foot and toe jamming on crack climbs. Unfortunately, sometimes jamming your feet in Up Moccs is painful, but then again, that’s when you know the jam is good.
Slipper climbing shoes are well-known for being super comfortable. The same goes for the Up Mocc. Up Moccs are the comfiest if you size them similarly to your street shoes. Or maybe a half-size smaller than your street shoe size.
Whatever size you decide on, understand that the leather will stretch. If you start out with a small, snug size, they may stretch and be perfect. On the other hand, be careful not to size them too big because after wearing them for a while, the soft leather may stretch too much, and you’ll lose performance.
Another reason why Up Moccs are so comfortable is because of their neutral profile. They just fit better straight out of the box than other shoes and don’t require as much of a break-in period as a stiffer shoe might.
Value for Money
Uparallel’s Up Moccs are one of the market’s most affordable slipper-fit climbing shoes. Come to think of it– all of Unparallel’s climbing shoes are more economical than those of other manufacturers.
The main reason why the Up Moccs are so affordable is because they truly are simple shoes. They don’t have a lot of the features that make combing shoes more expensive, like complicated closure systems or proprietary technology. However, that doesn’t mean that they have a bad build quality.
The Up Mocc’s simple design lends itself to durability– there’s not much that can break. The leather material is high-quality and robust, the ecstatic closure system is durable, and the shoe’s edges wear slowly and evenly. Ultimately, if you’ve been looking for a comfy slip-on climbing shoe but don’t want to break the bank, the Up Moccs are hard to beat.
|Unparallel Up Mocc
|Lining/ Upper Material
|Unlined liner upper
|1 (1 = soft, 5 = rigid)
|539 g per pair