Due to the variety of shoes available to climbers, the task of picking the right shoe can be a formidable task even for veterans of this exhilarating sport. After all, there is a lot riding on how a climber’s shoes perform. That alone distinguishes them from street shoes which can be purchased for mere aesthetic reasons. In order to help you make a wise selection of what is probably your most important piece of equipment as a rock climber, we at Apex Ex rock climbing in Denver Colorado would like to help you with these tips from the experts.
- Do your research: There are almost as many stores and sites selling climbing shoes as there are types of shoes to be sold. To help make the task easier, survey people you know who already climb or ask your instructor which store or shoes he/she recommends.
- Know your size requirements: Above all else climbing shoes should fit snugly but not uncomfortably. Know the size of your street shoes and start there for a general guide but try on several types of shoes to get a sense of their fit. (You will in all likelihood have to size up or down from your street shoe size as climbing shoes are unique and have their own sizing system.)
- Decide on what type of climbing you will be doing: Will you be boulder or sport climbing, traditional or crack climbing or will you restrict yourself to the local rock climbing facility? Generally speaking tougher, steeper grades require a down-turned, performance-type fit shoe. Determine your needs before you purchase a pair of climbing shoes.
- Determine climbing shoe closures: There are basically three kinds of climbing shoe closures: lace-up, Velcro, and slipper. Each has its advantages. Lace up shoes, for example, are easier to adjust by simply cinching up or loosening the strings. On the other hand, Velcro and slipper shoes are easier to remove quickly if the need arises.
- Consider shape in addition to size: Some of your choices here include flat, slightly down-turned and aggressively down-turned. Flat shoes are extremely versatile in the circumstances for which they can be used. Slightly down-turned shoes perform well in steep cracks and vertical face routes. Lastly, aggressively down-turned shoes perform best on sustained overhangs.
Yes, choosing the right shoe can be a daunting task but it is necessary in order to get the most out of this sport. Whether you are at a local gym or rock climbing near Denver, the right pair of shoes can mean the difference between achieving your goals or simply failing. They can also mean the difference between injury and a safe climb. Supplement your research by asking our instructors any questions you may have about shoes, backpacks, ropes or any other equipment you may need.