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Bowling Green Hiking Meetup Message Board › Fitting Climbing Shoes

Fitting Climbing Shoes

A former member
Post #: 44
This could easily turn into a lengthy article if I were to mention every factor concerning fitting and buying climbing shoes. So instead of writing about leathers, rubbers, rands, and brands, I'm just going to cover what I think will be most beneficial to someone buying his or her first pair of climbing shoes.

If you are new to the sport of rock climbing, climbing shoes will be one of the first investments you make. Here are some things to remember when choosing your shoes.

Unlined leather shoes will stretch a little and are usually cooler than lined shoes which will stretch less. Synthetic shoes generally will not stretch.

Currently there are three basic styles on the market: laces, hook & loop (Velcro), and slip-on.

Lace-up shoes: Pros

* better fit
* more ability to adjust snugness
* a tighter shoe can help reduce the swelling of a sprained ankle (it's true!)

Lace-up shoes: Cons

* takes more time to put on and take off
* some people step on longer laces, but you should just cut them if they are too long

Hook & Loop: Pros

* can be put on and taken off more quickly
* you can still adjust the tightness, just not as much as you can with laces

Hook & Loop: Cons

* sometimes the Velcro can wear out and become loose

Slip-on shoes: Pros

* very quick to get on and off
* no worries about snagging laces or Velcro closures

Slip-on shoes: Cons

* adjusting the fit is impossible
* not good for crack climbing

The most important factor when choosing your shoes is fit. It you're uncomfortable in your shoes, nothing else matters. A properly fitted shoe will ideally be touching every part of your foot. There will be no gaps at the heel or toes. In fact your toes should be just slightly curved when your shoe is fastened on your foot. Go to a gear store and try shoes on. If you don't have a store near by, then do all you can to "try before you buy." Don't buy shoes online unless you know for certain that you are getting shoes that will fit you. You can't trust the number on a shoe claiming it is a certain size. You must try them on your feet. And keep in mind that it is common for most people to have one foot that is slightly larger than the other one. Good luck.

Becknology Rock Climbing Guides
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