Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Few questions about climbing shoes

Post climbing gear-related questions, offer advice. For classifieds, please use that forum.
 

Few questions about climbing shoes

Postby mambwe » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:58 pm

I'm in the market for my first pair of rock climbing shoes. I am new to climbing so they will be used in an indoor gym for now. Eventually I would like to try some easy routes in the Gunks in NY.

1) What is better laces or velcro?
2) Socks or no socks? I've been renting, so I wear socks, but it seems it would be more comfortable without.
3) Any brand or model that I should look out for? I use La Sportiva mountaineering boots, so I was going to stick with those. Any particular model that is good?


I don't need the best pair of shoes.

Thanks
mambwe

 
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:30 pm
Location: New York, New York, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Re: Few questions about climbing shoes

Postby divnamite » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:00 pm

1) Doesn't matter. Fit is the most important thing.
2) Depends on if you climb early in the spring and late in the fall, but in general, no socks.
3) Doesn't matter. Fit is the most important thing.

Some people want them tight (without cutting off circulation) because that gives them the mental edge on routes because they can trust the shoes. If you are a trad beginner, comfort is more important because as a beginner, you will move slowly, spend more time at the anchor.
User Avatar
divnamite

 
Posts: 493
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:32 am
Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Thanked: 4 times in 4 posts

Re: Few questions about climbing shoes

Postby E_Rolls » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:28 pm

If the shoes are unlined (100% leather) get them very tight... slightly uncomfortable. They will stretch and if you get a comfy fit they'll fit like bags after awhile. If they are lined they won't stretch much at all so buy them snug but not too tight. Brand and type are mostly personal preference. Also get a cheap pair as your beginning footwork will most likely tear them up pretty fast. I have an old pair of unlined shoes that stretched quite a bit and now I use them with socks on long chilly days.
User Avatar
E_Rolls

 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:12 pm
Location: Custer, South Dakota, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Few questions about climbing shoes

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:21 pm

I agree with pertty much everything that's been said. I would like to add that shoes come in both slip lasted and board lasted versions. For gym and sport climbing I prefer slip lasted shoes (with velcro closures, easy on and off between routes). Slip lasted shoes have a softer sole and tend to climb steep, footwork intensive type routes better.

For trad, mulitpitch, crack, and alpine rock routes I prefer board lasted shoes (in lace ups). The board makes a stiffer shoe and is more supportive in cracks and on long routes. The best of these I have found is the La Sportiva Kaukulator - no longer made. High tops protect the ankles in cracks, board lasted makes it easier to edge, and the chisled toe fits into narrow cracks well.

As Dow said, La Sportiva and Scarpa are industry leaders, but 5.10 makes the stickiest rubber, but their shoes fit more like the boxes they came in, in my experience.
User Avatar
ExcitableBoy

 
Posts: 2940
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:33 am
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Thanked: 441 times in 316 posts

Re: Few questions about climbing shoes

Postby JHH60 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:27 pm

A specific suggestion in addition to what others have already said - consider getting a straight toed unlined lace up leather shoe like the Sportiva Mythos (or similar from other manufacturers). Buy tight as they will stretch, as other have noted (Howling tight? I wear a 43.5 Sportiva Trango S Evo and 44 Sportiva Nepal, and size 40.5 Mythos stretch out enough that they are very comfortable for all-day outside wear. My size 40.5 Muiras, which are lined, have not stretched quite so much and are still quite tight). Leather molds to your feet, holds up well, and doesn't seem to be as likely to stink after multiple sweaty gym sessions as synthetic shoes. As a new climber, the added sensitivity/precision of a more aggressive bent toed shoe is probably not so important to you yet. Once your footwork improves to the point where more aggressive, technical shoes will make a difference, you can start looking at those, but your old straight toed shoes (which will have been stretched to the point where they are comfortable) will still serve you well for outdoor trad and alpine climbing, where all day comfort is important.
Last edited by JHH60 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User Avatar
JHH60

 
Posts: 1172
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:59 pm
Location: Belmont, California, United States
Thanked: 94 times in 78 posts

Re: Few questions about climbing shoes

Postby blazin » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:41 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:I would like to add that shoes come in both slip lasted and board lasted versions.

...
The best of these I have found is the La Sportiva Kaukulator - no longer made.


Are ANY board lasted climbing shoes still made? The only ones I know of are the Boreal Ballet Golds. I see this as one of the clearest testaments to the increasing sport- and gym-ification of climbing.
User Avatar
blazin

 
Posts: 287
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:02 pm
Location: Washington, DC
Thanked: 17 times in 11 posts

Re: Few questions about climbing shoes

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:48 pm

blazin wrote:
ExcitableBoy wrote:I would like to add that shoes come in both slip lasted and board lasted versions.

...
The best of these I have found is the La Sportiva Kaukulator - no longer made.


Are ANY board lasted climbing shoes still made? The only ones I know of are the Boreal Ballet Golds. I see this as one of the clearest testaments to the increasing sport- and gym-ification of climbing.

Good question. A quick search of a couple of climbing store web sites revealed no board lasted shoes.
User Avatar
ExcitableBoy

 
Posts: 2940
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:33 am
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Thanked: 441 times in 316 posts

Re: Few questions about climbing shoes

Postby divnamite » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:39 pm

Dow Williams wrote:For the record...I am against wearing climbing shoes uncomfortably tight until you are leading 5.11 on up outdoors....which excludes 99% of the folks who think they know what they are talking about. So many REI and the like retail clerks do a big disservice to folks just getting into climbing....it won't make you better....if anything it will affect your performance negatively....particularly outdoors...where it counts. Keep in mind just because somebody has a retail clerk job at an outdoor shop does not mean they really have much experience climbing outdoors. Sometimes yes, most of the time no. How many folks have I heard climbing 5.7-5.9 complaining about their feet....wanting to remove their shoes at the belay, etc....ridiculous really.

This is very true. However, I climbed with enough new climbers that a lot of times, tight shoes are what they need. A lot of new climbers simply don't trust their feet, they feel the need to to have tighter shoes in order to give them more sensitivity to smearing and edging. While more experience climbers would laugh at that, most new climbers simple don't have that body awareness of what will stay on the rock. Just like when you first started skiing, you tighten your buckles just a little bit when you standing at the top of the black diamond run. I believe you should have a pair of comfortable and snug shoes, but if a tighter pair shoes give you that little extra boost in trusting your feet, go for it. Taking shoes on and off after a couple of pitches aren't that big of a deal at your local crag, especially with the endless selection of velcro shoes out there.
OP, since you are going to the gunks, Rock and Snow store should help you out. They have decent selection of shoes. EMS in NYC is also decent. I know both stores don't push hard on tight shoes.
User Avatar
divnamite

 
Posts: 493
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:32 am
Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Thanked: 4 times in 4 posts

Re: Few questions about climbing shoes

Postby JHH60 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:54 pm

Dow Williams wrote:For the record...I am against wearing climbing shoes uncomfortably tight until you are leading 5.11 on up outdoors....which excludes 99% of the folks who think they know what they are talking about. So many REI and the like retail clerks do a big disservice to folks just getting into climbing....it won't make you better....if anything it will affect your performance negatively....particularly outdoors...where it counts. Keep in mind just because somebody has a retail clerk job at an outdoor shop does not mean they really have much experience climbing outdoors. Sometimes yes, most of the time no. How many folks have I heard climbing 5.7-5.9 complaining about their feet....wanting to remove their shoes at the belay, etc....ridiculous really.


Is the key point here is "wearing" vs. "buying" ? Several of us suggested the OP buy shoes tight (*if* he buys unlined leather) since then, by the time he's ready to move from the gym to the outdoors, they will have stretched to the point where they are comfortable and not tight. I completely agree with your point (and would defer to you anyway as I'm not a 5.11+ trad leader) and don't wear tight shoes outdoors myself for exactly that reason.
User Avatar
JHH60

 
Posts: 1172
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:59 pm
Location: Belmont, California, United States
Thanked: 94 times in 78 posts


Return to Gear

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.