These days rock shoes seem to be getting softer and softer, making the quest to find a supportive trad shoe increasingly tough. The Generator and its mid-cut companion buck that trend in a big way, says Rob Greenwood, combining all-day comfort with an impressive level of performance. It's fair to say he loves them.
I recently bought the Mid (I was fed up of sacrificing ankle blood to the climbing gods) and have tried it on Peak limestone and Yorkshire grit and they're brilliant. Can stand all day on the tiniest limestone edge and never felt insecure smearing on a gritstone slab. Foot jamming is a joy - I jammed my way all the way up a limestone crack just because I could.
I got the Generator mid because the TC Pro didn’t fit. They’re absolutely fantastic. I wore them in the Dolomites on long multipitches with little to no discomfort. They also deliver great performance on a wide range of different rock types and, like Yorkie Old Git says, they are brilliant for crack climbing
Sorry for the delayed reply, I missed this back when you initially posted it.
> 1. Did the midsole breakdown or soften in your time with the boot
It definitely gives a bit, but not to the extend that it's presented an issue with performance, so whilst it has become softer I haven't found that this has had a significant (or particularly noticable) impact on its edging ability.
> 2. Could this be considered a successor to the 5:10 Blanco (asking for two friends!)
I'm probably not the best person to ask, as I was never a fan of the Blanco, but it ticks a similar set of boxes (albeit with incomparable build quality).
> 3. In what ways is the women’s version different?
Way stiffer and more volume in the toe box so not quite as good for thinner cracks.
I haven't properly broken mine in yet so only had a chance to use them on the woody at the wall (which is obviously not intended use for them) but I think once they break in they'll be pretty good as all rounders.
Strangely enough, I haven't found them particularly wide fitting (I do have wide feet) nor do I feel the heel is narrow. Annoyingly, the soles below the arch have got some extra rubber on them that don't hug the arch of my foot when cranked tight so leave some dead space around the heel. I went down a full EU size but fear I could've gone another half again to get a better fit.
I think most of these issues should sort themselves out once they've broken in and flattened out a little but thought it worth mentioning.
I've heard from a couple of climbing shops that prices for existing and new rock shoes are expected to be hiked in the next financial year, inflation and a weak pound means that some shoes will be touching on £180.