climbingtrackworld – advice on new shoes

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  • climbingtrackworld – advice on new shoes
  • Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    When I bought my first shoes I followed the advice in the shop to buy a pair 126 sizes too small and just suffer.

    After a few years of having painful toes, I then bought a pair that fit comfortably over a pair of socks and enjoyed climbing so much more, esp big multi-pitch routes. So I can’t smear on E7 slabs, but I don’t really care.

    Premier Icon BoomBip
    Subscriber

    Boreal Jokers? Definitely at the ‘comfy slipper’/all day end of the scale rather than ‘claw-footed tech scalpels’ but the people I know who wear them do rate them. As I say though, they’re not the most technical shoe out there if that’s a factor.

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    the guy in the shop tried that 12 years back when i bought my first set. I laughed and bought my normal shoe size instead.

    peterfile
    Member

    Footflaps +1

    If you’re busting out moves at high grades indoors you might want something which is tight/aggressive, but for outdoor I’d just go for something you’re comfortable being in all day.

    On a 4+ pitch climb I probably spend less than 20% of my time actually climbing, the rest is constructing belays, belaying, faffing about on route etc. I’ve climbed Severe in my Nepals, so I don’t think I’d gain much benefit from a tighter rock shoe, I don’t climb anywhere near hard enough to “need” that extra.

    That said, if you’re climbing E9 on 12m gritstone routes, you’ll probably want something different to me!

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    @boombip – i’m not the most technical climber so they could be along the right lines. Thanks

    peterfile
    Member

    I’ve got Jokers, they are definitely a wear all day shoe. Mine are needing replaced and ill be buying another pair…

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    I’m just getting back into it and climb indoor at the moment. Mostly around the E2 (E3 at a push). Aiming to get outdoors again over the summer

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    just worked out i can get the jokers for £46 from cotswold using some discounts i have… trip there tomorrow lunchtime to try them on i think

    ianv
    Member

    Five 10 Anasazi in your normal shoe size. Really like them, like an old ninja but better rubber.

    The jokers are fairly clumpy.

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    hey folks who finger the odd rock face

    I’m after new shoes and need a bit of advice on which brands might be best suited.
    I currently have an old set of red chilli’s but i’m getting horrendous cramp in my toes. My index toes are a little bit longer than my big toes so they end up feeling really wedged in and i lose feeling after a bit.

    Are there any shoe manufacturers who are more generous with the toe space?

    timb34
    Member

    My index toes are a little bit longer than my big toes

    People with feet like this tend to get on better with the more symmetric shaped shoes like Boreal, Evolv and some of the Scarpa ones. FiveTen and La Sportiva tend to have a more asymmetric shape that focuses power on the big toe.

    Best bet is to go to a shop, work out what sort of shoe you want to match your normal climbing (steep/slabby, hard/easy, bouldering/long routes) and then try on that type of shoe from different makes. Shape is the most important thing.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    if your foot was the right shape then

    However no idea, fit is good, where do you live? Find a good shop and try on everything. Last time I had to choose I think I had Andy Kirkpatrick and Arlie Anderson in there to advise but that was Outside in Hathersage and a long time ago.

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    @timb34

    i just spent my lunch in cotswold and have bought the jokers. I tried on a few other pairs as well but the jokers felt just right.
    thanks for the advice people (and cotswold for the discount 😀 )

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Really, the only advice worth a jot here is “go and try some on.”

    The last time I bought a pair, I did loads of research online, then found that what I was going to buy just didn’t fit in any size. Tried on every pair in the shop practically, and ended up buying something that I’d never even considered prior to that.

    The “x sizes too small” and “if it doesn’t hurt then they’re too big” adages get trotted out a lot and whilst there’s a grain of truth in it, it’s often very poor advice (and doubly so if you’re just starting out). By the time you’re in a position to benefit from a highly aggressive technical shoe you’ll have a very good idea of exactly what you want, and until then the only thing an uncomfortable shoe is going to do is put you off climbing.

    One other thing on that subject; different shoes stretch different amounts. A slip lasted shoe will stretch half a size or so, maybe more; a board lasted shoe won’t stretch very much at all. I made this mistake with a pair of 5-10 Anasazi – fantastic shoe (as someone else mentioned earlier, and Mike’s just posted a pic of), but utter bloody agony as I bought too small thinking they’d stretch out.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    I love my La Sportiva Cliff 5’s – but I have a different foot shape than you OP. I find them comfortable for an extended period of time and didn’t size down…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    yep right size works, had 5 pairs of those before moving on to the new white ones. got a pair of the slippers 1 size too small and wore them 3 times before flogging on

    Edukator
    Member

    Boréal Firés. 😉

    I’m intrigued by the E2/E3 indoor comment. Surely if it’s indoor it’s not dangerous or sustained. If it’s not even a little bit dangerous then the most it can be is HVS.

    lemonysam
    Member

    If it’s not even a little bit dangerous then the most it can be is HVS.

    You don’t know how grading works.

    Edukator
    Member

    I used to, and boulders just get a technical grade. If they’re boulder problems with a bit of a drop they get a low grade. If there are crash mats, bolts and top ropes I don’t see that a route merits a grade.

    Examples from Stanage; the plantation boulders just get technical grades but Suzanne gets HVS 6a because you could hurt yourself if you fell badly. Chameleon gets E3, 5c because by the time you find the gear placement you can see from the ground just pulls through you have made a move you can’t reverse and have the option of jumping onto a very nasty landing or going for the top.

    Indoor should only get technical grades.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
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    Lemonysam my thoughts exactly HVS4b anyone?

    Edukator
    Member

    HVS4b would be a route with no gear placements, enough height to kill yourself and 4b moves. Not the sort of thing you’ll find on a climbing wall.

    elliptic
    Member

    If there are crash mats, bolts and top ropes I don’t see that a route merits a grade.

    🙄 Indoor climbing doesn’t necessarily mean bouldering or toproping, there are 25m indoor lead walls to climb at these days grandad.

    What *is* unusual is applying E grades to indoor routes, most walls (and people climbing at them) would use sport grades for routes and Font or V grades for bouldering.

    So just translate “E2 indoors” to something around 6a+/6b sport grade, and we’re good to go, yep?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I don’t really think it’s worth arguing about.

    Outdoor climbing, indoor climbing, bouldering etc are all graded differently as a) they present different challenges due to having to account for exposure (or not) and such, and b) no two organisations / countries can agree on anything.

    However, if someone says they’re climbing (for example) HVS’s indoors, whilst it’s an incorrect term it’s still fairly readily obvious as to what they mean.

    Premier Icon BoomBip
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    Cougar +1

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    So just translate “E2 indoors” to something around 6a+/6b sport grade, and we’re good to go, yep?

    That’s what I was trying to say in essence, yes. (-:

    lemonysam
    Member

    I don’t really think it’s worth arguing about.

    Fair point, anyway I’m off to get stuck into some nice safe HVSs:

    elliptic
    Member

    Back on topic, that’s Wolfie on SR wearing Firés with socks! #thosewerethedays

    CaptJon
    Member

    spawnofyorkshire – Member
    hey folks who finger the odd rock face

    I’m after new shoes and need a bit of advice on which brands might be best suited.
    I currently have an old set of red chilli’s but i’m getting horrendous cramp in my toes. My index toes are a little bit longer than my big toes so they end up feeling really wedged in and i lose feeling after a bit.

    Are there any shoe manufacturers who are more generous with the toe space?

    I had a similar toe issue with Red Chili Durangos. I bought a pair of Scarpa Reflex and they are so much more comfortable – they are an 11 when i usually take a 12. The size 12 Durangos went to a mate who is a size 9 normally.

    peterfile
    Member

    However, if someone says they’re climbing (for example) HVS’s indoors, whilst it’s an incorrect term it’s still fairly readily obvious as to what they mean.

    I don’t think it is obvious at all.

    The adjectival part of the grade (e.g. HVS) denotes how sustained/strenuous it is, along with how well it is protected.

    The adjectival part has no relevance in indoor climbing, hence it only gets a technical grade (e.g. 4b).

    I climb 6a or 6b (on a good day!) indoors, but I don’t think I’ve ever led a trad route which has above a 5a technical grade, it would most likely be way above my ability.

    That said, the UK system for grading isn’t exactly known for it’s clarity!

    Edukator
    Member

    So if I’ve correctly understood, English walls use French sport grades and if you assume that English technical grades are roughly the same as French bouldering grades and a full grade harder than French rock grades, a French sport 6a+/6b would be English 5a which if it were safe would be S or VS rather than E2.

    If in doubt go and have a go at Flying Buttress Direct on Stanage which used to be HVS, 5b, and is now given E1. Then pop over to the Verdon and do ULA which gets French 6a (a bit more if you manage to do it without ever pulling on gear). When you get back from those two we’ll repeat the discussion about giving anything more than a technical grade for the hardest move to anything indoors.

    ianv
    Member

    I climb 6a or 6b (on a good day!) indoors, but I don’t think I’ve ever led a trad route which has above a 5a technical grade, it would most likely be way above my ability.

    French grades are about the overall difficulty of getting up so you might get a long sustained route with easy moves graded the same as a short route with much harder moves. Climbing wall routes tend to be more sustained in nature and as such will usually have very positive holds, on a cliff this might be different and I am pretty sure I have climbed 6a/b (technical moves) on French 6b/+. I have also climbed 8as with no move harder than 6a but steep and sustained. Bouldering grades are just an extension of this as the difficulty is squeezed into even fewer moves.

    English technical grades are roughly the same as French bouldering grades

    No way.

    Edukator
    Member

    So which is harder according to you? 6b in the plantation or or 6b in Fontainebleau? I reckon they’re about the same.

    ULA is 6a with plenty of 6a moves in most of the six rope lengths. It’s not given 8a, it’s given 6a.

    Left wall on the Cromlech is E2. Can you really compare the commitment, difficulty and risk of Left wall with anything on a climbing wall? I think not hence my initial comment that E grades are inappropriate and meaningless for indoor.

    If the OP does do Left Wall I suggest some properly painful shoes as the footwork is sometimes a bit thin.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    The adjectival part of the grade (e.g. HVS) denotes how sustained/strenuous it is, along with how well it is protected.

    IIRC, when I was learning, the adjectival part of the grade was the only part of the grade and encompassed everything. I don’t remember ever seeing something referred to as “HVS 5b”, it was just HVS. I’ll concede though that it’s entirely possible that I’m misremembering or just never noticed. Is it a relatively new thing?

    Also, doesn’t “5b” in that context simply refer to the crux move and has no bearing on the rest of the climb? Again, entirely possible that I’m misremembering, it’s a bloody minefield and I’m very rusty.

    Regardless, point still stands. People climbing E6 outdoors aren’t going to be struggling indoors on a 3+. So a) it’s fairly obvious roughly what is meant, given that it’s subjective and woolly anyway, and b) it’s really not worth arguing about. So I’m not going to any more.

    Premier Icon BoomBip
    Subscriber

    When you get back from those two we’ll repeat the discussion about giving anything more than a technical grade for the hardest move to anything indoors.

    Bet you’d be good company on a long route 🙄

    So the OP commits the heinous crime of referring to the adjectival rather than technical grade over indoor routes – so what? There’s a general parity between the two and it’s pretty obvious (if you’re not trolling) what he means.

    Either way, I hope he enjoys his new shoes 😀

    Edukator
    Member

    the adjectival rather than technical grade over indoor routes – so what? There’s a general parity between the two

    No there isn’t. E4, 5c is dangerous and E4, 6b isn’t. IIRC correctly wolfie in the pic above fell off an E4, 5c on Stanage, Old Friends, and hit the deck.

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    I would say La Sportiva Mythos – ace comfy shoes but still able to deal with resonably high grades – spanish 6cs no problem (shoes that it not the pilot).

    Premier Icon BoomBip
    Subscriber

    No there isn’t.

    So there are as many VS 5as as there are VS 4cs? No, in general most VSs are 4c as most HVSs are 5a – hence ‘general parity’

    And as for

    E4, 5c is dangerous and E4, 6b isn’t.

    that’s pure gold

    Edukator
    Member

    Well a typical E4, 5c on grit has a few RPs or a loosely fitting rock to protect hard moves with a long fall to the ground if they pull out. A typical E4, 6b has a friend or bomb proof rock just below the crux or you could jump off without breaking anything.

    If this general parity existed there would be no need for the two grading systems. I can think of examples of four different technical grades for most Es and five for E1.

    ianv
    Member

    So which is harder according to you? 6b in the plantation or or 6b in Fontainebleau? I reckon they’re about the same.

    Do you think a boulder problem like Gioia 8c+ has an 8c/9a move on it? Never 🙄

    Edukator
    Member

    I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question, unless it’s a rhetorical question, and even then I still don’t understand what you’re getting at.

    I boulder in France, I sometimes boulder in the UK, I find boulder problems with the same grade on them of similar difficultly. I must be expressing myself badly so will see if Google can help.

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