Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 46 total)
  • Climbing Shoes?
  • benz
    Member

    My good neighbour offered to take me to the local indoor climbing wall to assist with fitness, etc.

    So, after our 4th session, I am really enjoying it so time to buy rather than hire stuff. Harness, etc sorted, but fancy my own climbing shoes.

    So…given I do not intend venturing outside (although there is a bouldering area not far from us) anything in particular I should be considering?

    I’d prefer not to spend silly £’s and actually the Simond ones from Decathlon look ok…to my untrained eye that is.

    Thanks in advance.

    surfingobo
    Member

    I’m just waiting for a pair of Simond from decathlon to arrive. Not much help as I have no idea if they’re any good yet but I figured they were worth a punt for my use (4 or so times a year bouldering when we visit the in-laws.)

    Premier Icon martinhutch
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    Comfortable, cheap. Don’t follow any advice to buy them super tight. Likewise you don’t need downturned toes etc.

    Unless you’re already bouldering v6+, that is. 🙂

    Those Simonds look fine. Worth trying them on rather than just hitting the button, though.

    Premier Icon honeybadgerx
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    What size are you? Don’t really do much now so have a few pairs of 5.10’s kicking around.

    Absolute most important thing to get right it fit, far more so with climbing shoes than most other sports imo.

    Best thing to do if you’re a novice is go to a shop with a very wide range of options and ask them to assist. Get the wrong pair and you’ll either out climb them, out grow them, or find them super uncomfortable in no time. I tried on (and climbed in) a dozen or so pairs while I choose my current set.

    Premier Icon Yak
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    ^ re fit etc. But notwithstanding that – the simond brand seems fine. My kids have them and are happy enough.

    mashr
    Member

    Fit fit fit. Any hint of a pressure point and they’re not for you. Forget about looking for something you like the look of, just try on as many as you can

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Some good advice here, I can only echo what others have said. This is one thing that you cannot (or at least, should not) buy blind.

    Go to a dedicated climbing shop where someone properly trained and knowledgeable can assist you. Don’t be scared to try on every pair in the shop. Any pressure points, they’re the wrong shoe. If your toes are bent double like an Eastern European ballet dancer, they’re the wrong shoe. If they’re over a hundred quid, they’re the wrong shoe. If you can get them on wearing thick socks, they’re the wrong shoe. If they’re aggressively technical, they’re the wrong shoe.

    Consider, slip-lasted shoes may stretch a little over time, board-lasted ones will not.

    At some point someone will tell you that if they don’t hurt they’re too big. The best advice I can give you here is to hit them with a brick. By the time you’ve progressed into this sort of territory you’ll already know exactly what you’re buying, when you’re just starting out all this will do is make you never want to climb again.

    timb34
    Member

    Fit is really everything, except…

    The first time you put climbing shoes on, the feeling is going to be so different to “normal” shoes that you need to have quite an open mind – what feels weird and tight might actually be just right. Unfortunately you can’t really shortcircuit the experience you need for this, so it’s probably better to err on the side of comfort (what someone else said about pressure points is a good guide) and accept that you’ll maybe need to upgrade before your first pair have worn out.

    The other thing is that it’s really worth getting a pair that will reward and encourage good foot placement – clumpy stiff things will encourage you to ‘shudder’ slap the ball of your foot in the direction of the hold and lurch upwards. A decent pair will let you feel the difference, help you place and weight your feet properly and give you a chance to actually develop good footwork using different parts of the sole and edges. I don’t mean going all-in for a top-end pair, but there’s a world of difference between the cheapest Simond shoes and mid-range scarpa or sportiva shoes.

    Which reminds me – different brands tend to have their own specific shapes, so most people get on better with one or the other. Try on equivalent shoes from different brands to get an idea of what’s best for your foot.

    Oh, and I’d go for lace-ups or velcros for a first pair. Slippers are best later on, when you know what fits.

    I miss climbing.

    Premier Icon jam bo
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    i wore my five-ten guide tennies at the wall last time I went with my son.

    I was pleasantly surprised with how good they were on the wall for an approach shoe and useable elsewhere too..

    Premier Icon martinhutch
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    what feels weird and tight might actually be just right. Unfortunately you can’t really shortcircuit the experience you need for this, so it’s probably better to err on the side of comfort (what someone else said about pressure points is a good guide) and accept that you’ll maybe need to upgrade before your first pair have worn out.

    I think the key word is ‘snug’. You need your toes to be at or very near the end of the toe box, but if it hurts when you stand with pointed toes on a small hold and flex the shoe, that’s too tight for a beginner. This is especially true when climbing longer routes indoors or out. If they are fine at the beginning, but hurting after 25M of climbing, that’s no good, you really want all day (or at least all-session) comfort at this point.

    Going to a climbing-wall attached shop can help because they’ll often let you pull onto the bouldering wall to check, or at least somewhere with a small edge you can step up onto – a skirting board is fine.

    Remember that if they stretch a bit, it’s not the end of the world – wearing a thin sock underneath is not verboten, as long as you can still feel where your toes are going a bit.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
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    velcro ones are nice as you can slip them off quicker when the pain really hits. Snug is best. Enjoy!

    Buying climbing shoes is an absolute minefield. We are now at the point of 4 different pairs for different needs.

    Don’t ever take anyone else’s word for what is good and isn’t good in terms of fit unless you intend to cut their feet off and sew them on yourself. Everyone’s feet are different and even the same brand and model shoes can be different when you change sizes. It’s an absolute nightmare. Trust me, even if you stay with on particular brand, they have ranges built on different lasts and you find one fits and the other is a nightmare.

    If you are a beginner then I would suggest something based entirely on comfort and fit. It doesn’t have to be technical or expensive. At similar stage I think my daughter was climbing in croc branded shoes but her next ones were the Scarpa velocity. Not sure whether they are still available but the next ones have been her go to shoe for the last 5yrs and they are the Scarpa Vapour V. I think they are just bordering on technical shoes but soften up to be extremely comfortable.

    Tbh the best advice I can give is to look at the schedules posters at your local walls and look for demo days. We make a point as much as possible to use these. Try the shoes for an hour. They will be well worn in and give you the correct feedback on fit, comfort and support. I have seen La Sportiva, Scarpa, Tenaya, evolve amongst others having demo days recently

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    Comfortable, cheap. Don’t follow any advice to buy them super tight. Likewise you don’t need downturned toes etc.

    Yep, mine have space for a pair of socks 🙂 I don’t climb high enough grades to need to bind my feet into a shoe six sizes smaller than I normally wear.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
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    Yep, mine have space for a pair of socks 🙂

    don’t be that dad at the climbing wall*

    *kidding, wear what you like, but most don’t wear socks IYGAS

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    i wore my five-ten guide tennies at the wall last time I went with my son.

    I was pleasantly surprised with how good they were on the wall for an approach shoe and useable elsewhere too..

    It’s probably the same stuff on the soles as their climbing shoes, or very similar.

    [EDIT: it is, I’ve just checked.]

    Any pressure points, they’re the wrong sho

    Whilst I agree with the general consensus that you shouldn’t get them too small, this comment is bobbins. You will get some pressure points, which is fine, but if the pressure point actually causes discomfort then they are indeed too small.

    All shoes stretch, unlined ones stretch more than lined ones.

    What seems like acceptable pain in the shop after two minutes may feel unacceptable after an hour climbing.

    Some shoes are designed to have bent toes, some not. I prefer the flat ones.

    Don’t get something too clunky, or learn to climb in approach shoes. You’ll develop shit technique.

    I sweat loads so use thin socks.

    I generally have three or four pairs of shoes on rotation. One about to fall apart, one very comfy that I can use for a full day climbing. Then a new pair which are great for slabs or small holds but I couldn’t bear to wear for more than 15 minutes.

    Then of course a few old pairs for Deep Water Soloing.

    Premier Icon mmannerr
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    Latest greatest climbing shoes seem to have super deep heel cups for hooking. Made it easier to buy as only model in the shop fitted well.

    Premier Icon scuttler
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    Any comfy climbing shoes will help you progress. I’m guessing there’s a whole load of strength, conditioning and technique you’ll need to develop before outgrowing the limitations of a modest pair of comfortable shoes. At which point you’ll be only too happy to spend more on a whole stack of next level gear. No different to getting into mountain biking in that respect.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
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    Go Outdoors used to have a decent range (circa 9 years ago when I last bought some) and I would echo those saying try them on. I tried loads and ended up with some Red Chilli ones in the same size as my shoes. Brother in law, who was buying at the same time, ended up with some size 11 and he’s 10 in normal footwear.

    Premier Icon Jerm
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    I’d go for ones you can slip off for belaying and drink breaks. I used to have some elasticated ones that were fantastic for that (Boreal Ninja). I now have some Climb X ones which are great for climbing (and cheap too) but I do wish I could take them off without the faff. Maybe I’ve just got soft.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    ^^ Yeah. I might wear my 5-10 Anasazi instruments of torture more if they had a Velcro closure.

    That said, a beginner shouldn’t be wearing shoes that they feel the need to take off whilst belaying indoors.

    Premier Icon stevious
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    At some point someone will tell you that if they don’t hurt they’re too big. The best advice I can give you here is to hit them with a brick.

    I wish I’d have known this when I started climbing, as I was persuaded to buy some very tight shoes when I was still learning. When I managed to afford a new pair that actually fit me I almost cried with joy (and managed to improve hugely as a result).

    So yes, try some on if you can.

    Premier Icon timbog160
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    @jerm – wow boreal ninjas – now that takes me back! Last time I took my lad to the wall there was much cooing from the staff at my ‘old school’ scarpas – they are the newest pair I have!!!

    Premier Icon martinhutch
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    Last time I took my lad to the wall there was much cooing from the staff at my ‘old school’ scarpas – they are the newest pair I have!!!

    I should dig out my Firé Classics to give them a laugh.

    olddog
    Member

    Much good advice above. For beginners, snug – toes and heel to the ends of the shoue – but not painful. This is why you need to try on as different feet fit different shoes.

    You also need a fairly basic shape, not very asymmetrical or downturned at the toe.

    Go outdoors can have a reasonable choice of beginners shoes. Lots of beginners and improvers. At my local bouldering gym use climb X or la sportiva Tarantula which are on offer in Go Outdoors.

    Try lots of pairs on – you will be amazed at the difference in fit and sizing.

    Premier Icon riklegge
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    As a rep for a climbing shoe brand…

    Some good advice above, definitely worth trying them on. Depending on where you are, you might find various brands running boot demo events at your local wall, this gives you the chance to try on and climb in different models. As others have said, what feels okay in the shop might feel painful after a while.

    I’ve seen lots of people using those Decathlon shoes, they seem a good way for people to get into the sport without being too costly. Once you have climbed for a while it’s likely you will want to upgrade / get a closer fit / higher performance shoe anyway.

    mashr
    Member

    Whilst I agree with the general consensus that you shouldn’t get them too small, this comment is bobbins

    of you think about it for a minute you’ll realise that people are talking about sore bits, not just gentle pressure

    Premier Icon Kamakazie
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    Everything has been said above.
    Snug is a great way to describe what you should be looking for.

    Roomy toe box can ruin a shoe even for a beginner (heel less so).

    rsl1
    Member

    I went to go outdoors a year ago and tried on every pair below £100. Went with Boreal joker plus despite some concern the heel would rub (they fitted best in every other way). Still going strong a year later and the heel bedded in nicely. Yet to feel limited at v4 boulder 6c ropes (my 85kg will always trump the shoes…) They’re fine outside too

    That said, a beginner shouldn’t be wearing shoes that they feel the need to take off whilst belaying indoors.

    Disagree. The shoes are for climbing in. You should optimise them for climbing, not for belaying.

    natrix
    Member

    Having found a pair that fit me well, I get them re-soled when needed as that model is now discontinued. Better that than trying on lots of new shoes.

    Something to bear in mind in the future………..

    Premier Icon martinhutch
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    Disagree. The shoes are for climbing in. You should optimise them for climbing, not for belaying.

    If they are sufficiently uncomfortable that you can’t last a session without taking them off, whether you’re climbing or not, then they are probably too tight for a beginner. The whole point is that they can be optimised for lower grade climbing without causing any pain over a few hours. Once you get into the mid V grades, the kind of precision you get from tighter, more technical shoes does help. Not much advantage below that, though.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    ^^ precisely my point, thank you.

    Premier Icon stever
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    I should dig out my Firé Classics to give them a laugh.

    I’ve got some Fires in the loft I’ll dig out for the same reason. Someone turned up in a pair of original EBs recently. Kudos!

    Premier Icon martinhutch
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    These were my weapon of choice in the late 80s.

    Asolo Runout. Two sizes too small. Bloody agony brilliant.

    Premier Icon chickenman
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    I remember forcing on size 41.5 Boreal Lasers onto my size 43 feet. Must have suffered this for a least a year before deciding 42 was small enough. A multi pitch Scottish mountain crag climb would mean taking the shoes off at belays (thick socks were carried for this event) and descents down scree gullies were in bare feet. 5.10 Anasazis had the same sensitivity as the Lasers but with more support so they didn’t have to be quite so neat round the toe.

    Premier Icon scuttler
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    Back to the old skool

    Never got any bolder than Dream of White Horses but holy shit that was a great day out.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
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    Never got any bolder than Dream of White Horses but holy shit that was a great day out.

    Such a good route. I got to lead the two main traverse pitches.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    *hides his ancient Scarpa’s back in the cupboard*

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