climbing shoes losing grip – what to do?

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  • climbing shoes losing grip – what to do?
  • Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    Hey folks,

    I have a pair of Boreal Jokers which recommended on here, very comfy and previously a pretty decent amount of grip.
    Recently I’ve found the grip level dropping and my feet have been slipping off which can get a bit freaky if you’re on a balancy bouldering problem

    What’s my best course of action to revitalise them? They’re only for months old and have only been used indoors (so far)

    holster
    Member

    Not sure if you’ve tried this, and sounds gross, but I spit on mine, and rub it right in…Makes the rubber more sticky.

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    i’ve seen someone do that and i was wondering why…

    i’ll give it a shot

    Dales_rider
    Member

    Maybe you have got stronger and you are pulling your self up so much your feet aren’t sticking any more.

    tazzymtb
    Member

    Wash the soles with some fairy liquid and warm water..the rubber pores get clogged with chalk and cack, particularly on indoor walls. Towel dry and rub your thumb on it to check the squeak. Spit and a bar towel is the rough and ready version.

    wukfit
    Member

    5.10 do a stealth rubber paint

    http://www.theleedswallshop.co.uk/510-five-ten-stealth-rubber-glue-kit-511-p.asp

    find their stealth sole good on my freeriders ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    Maybe you have got stronger and you are pulling your self up so much your feet aren’t sticking any more.

    I actually went the other way and have learned how to use my feet more when climbing so the slippy feet is really disconcerting!
    I am a lot stronger than before though… thanks climbing ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll give them a clean when i get home tonight and see how it goes, i don’t want to be having to go down the stealth rubber route when they’re still pretty new and previously gave me a good level of grip

    boblo
    Member

    Rub em together to warm them up before trying harder problems. They’ve probably ‘lost grip’ as the ambient has gone down in the last few weeks…

    Brown
    Member

    It’s more likely to be the hold than your shoe. Give that a brush, or just pay more attention to your feet on the move in question.

    (Provided you’ve given the soles a quick squeak before pulling on, of course.)

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    It’s more likely to be the hold than your shoe. Give that a brush, or just pay more attention to your feet on the move in question.

    Ok i’ll give every single hold and wall (for smears) on the problem a brush before i start it. I’ll jump right on that

    As i indicated above (obviously not clearly enough) I do pay a lot of attention to foot placement, so that’s why I’m asking about how to look after my shoes and get that grip back

    ianv
    Member

    The sticky rubber will have got coated/impregnated with chalk, give them a scrub and they should return to before. Spit works as well.

    hammyuk
    Member

    As does a squirt of medical alcohol and a naked flame…..

    Brown
    Member

    Ok i’ll give every single hold and wall (for smears) on the problem a brush before i start it. I’ll jump right on that

    You’re climbing indoors, right? It’s probably busy at the mo? And the holds are getting dirty and greasy? So if you’re slipping off a particular hold, yes, you may need to give it a quick brush.

    I’m not suggesting you don’t have good footwork. If the holds are greasy you often have to pay way more attention than you’d expect to a particular move. I get caught out by this ALL the time.

    stevepitch
    Member

    How old are your shoes? Has the edge gone? You say your footwork is good are you climbing higher graded routes which require you to get your toe on more aggressively? You’ll prob find it’s not the shoes (although a bit of spit won’t hurt) but the fact you’re attempting higher grades and your footwork isn’t actually there for those grades hence slipping off. Are you finding the issues on all routes or just v3/4/5 and above?

    And Brown + 1, depending on how often your routes are set you will find that holds become incredibly polished hence the need for a brush. My local wall is busy and come the end of the month some of the crimps and smaller footholds are lethal due to the chalk and worn rubber.

    McHamish
    Member

    Have you tried getting bitten by a spider?

    (sorry I have nothing constructive to add to the forum today)

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    if you decide you need new ones dont waste yer cash on new shoes if you like the ones you have, get them resoled at llanberis resoles. If youre a newbie climber then chances are the edges have gone so a resole would help. I went through the edges on my first shoes in 6 months as I learnt.

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    I’m finding the issue on all routes and not a particular hold.
    Shoes aren’t old (see above)
    I climb at three different walls (rokt, hudds wall, leeds wall) and do give them a quick brush if required because of how busy it is recently

    Hang on a bit,..i’ve got the answer somewhere…

    stevepitch
    Member

    What grade do you climb at?

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    The spit technique really does work.

    Fond memories of summer evenings at Dumbarton Rock (where the basalt has all the friction of tiles after an oil spill…)

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    The other possible explanation is that they’ve just reset the circuit of problems you’ve been trying. Holds fresh out of the dishwasher have a soapy texture that takes a few days of use to disappear.

    But normally, a bit of spit and polish can improve things no end.

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    V5/V6 bouldering
    6A-ish top-roping (mainly bouldering at the moment though)

    looking to get into lead-climbing at some point when my mate gets chance to teach us all properly

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Brillo/scotch pad?

    Used to work a treat to roughen up HP inkjet printer rollers when they wouldn’t pick up paper, similar principal ๐Ÿ™‚

    stevepitch
    Member

    Blimey V5/6 is a good level have you been climbing a long time, I climb at a v4 / 5 depending on where I go, you must climb pretty regularly. IMHO if you’re at that level I would be looking at a more aggressive shoe as a lot of routes require better edging / getting your toe on / smearing etc and the boreal jokers really are an entry level shoe, maybe keep them for routes and treat yourself to an early Xmas pressie ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon mugsys_m8
    Subscriber

    Listen to the Master…. (if that reference means anything to anyone…)

    …come on arms do your stuff….

    Anyway. Squeak test them after cleaning with meths*. You’ve not been reading your copy of ‘Fawcwett on Rock’ have you…

    *might be bad for modern rubber as this advice is 80’s disclaimer

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    @stevepitch – It depends on the problem as to how successful i am at the v5/6’s! Ones requiring lots of hanging around off my arms don’t suit me as i’m 14.5st (not one of those shirtless posers!)
    Loving the climbing though and have been going at least once per week since march. My GF and friends are well into it as well and are always at least one grade higher than me at anytime!
    There is a shout for more aggressive shoes, but some of the stuff i’ve seen being done by folks wearing jokers indoors leads me to believe the shoes ain’t holding me back!

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    I knew a guy who could solo E4s in deck shoes. Doesn’t mean that I felt ashamed to put on rock shoes to try similar routes.

    You might be surprised how much more weight you could get off your arms on steeper ground with a more aggressive shoe. V5/6 is a reasonably decent level.

    stevepitch
    Member

    Shoes won’t necessarily hold you back but it’s always handy to have an advantage ๐Ÿ˜‰ me personally when I changed from jokers I was amazed at actually how bad my foot work was where I previously thought it was ok, with a more aggressive shoe I could get my toe on and actually feel a lot more and realised I wasn’t as accurate with my feet as I could have been.

    Best people to ask really would be your missus and mates as they see you climb we can only speculate (and make jibes as above) about how best to help. I personally think it’s not your shoes but technique and the fact you’re climbing at a fair grade which requires better application of foot placement however as you said, your finding the issue on all routes so it’s hard to assess. Yeah cleaning your shoes is all very well and good but I climb 2 / 3 times a week now I never clean my shoes and I’m starting to get holes in the toes and the edge is wearing just means I have to press harder and ensure my toes in a good place. You could resole your shoes but general consensus is it’s a bit pap so the last avenue is new shoes, considering the cost of mtb kit ยฃ80 on a pair of climbing shoes is nothing so why not treat yourself.

    All in my opinion of course

    ianv
    Member

    V5/V6 bouldering

    You could probably benefit from some decent shoes at that grade, Jokers are comfy beginner shoes. The fact that others are getting up the problems in them might be because they have a better Power/Weight ratio rather than because the boots are fine.

    You should also try going to City Bloc and the Depot (both Leeds) as the bouldering is way better than any of your usual walls. I thought Rokt was awful, possibly the worst wall I have ever been to.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    I can vouch for the excellence of the Depot…as can my poor elbow at the moment.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    +1 for what people are saying.

    A new pair of shoes that are more aggressive might be a nice treat but they arent the answer to getting the next grade. Really good climbers seem able to climb in any shoes, but every little helps. I love my Dragons having started in Anasazis and they are more aggressive and I think are helping me with my footwork, I can be much more precise. Of course it could all be in my head but climbing is a lot about whats in your head ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon stever
    Subscriber

    There was a brilliant thread on ukc about what grade shoes make a difference http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=563443 Some good advice and lots of faux internet anger. I’d give the shoes a clean, wear the old one’s out and then look at something closer fitting ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    @stever – that thread is brilliant, just like STW but bitching about climbing shoes and grades

    I’m gonna take your advice on cleaning and giving them another crack. I will also look for something a bit more aggressive when i can afford it and then keep the jokers for next year when i plan to get outside

    thank you all for the advice ๐Ÿ™‚

Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)

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