Choosing your future climbing shoe is sometimes part of the obstacle course. Alpinstore gives you some elements that will help you see a little more clearly.
There's a lot to be said for choosing a climbing shoe.
- A climbing shoe is uncomfortable: NOT STRONGLY
- Should it be bigger for more comfort: NO
- A soft rubber is more comfortable but wears out faster: FALSE
- A pair of slippers can be versatile: YES
- It's hard to have the most comfortable and high-performance slipper: TRUE
First of all, it is important to define your level, your practice (mountaineering, cliff, bouldering, bouldering, room...) and your expectations to find the best compromise. For example La Sportiva offers different boots adapted to your practice .
- the camber: It can be null, medium or strong. The more pronounced the camber of the shoe, the more the shoe is reserved for the climbing elite. In use, on slopes and on boulders, the shoe is cambered and flexible to allow you to push on holds and to work with grip or flat on volumes. Rigid climbing boots are perfect for beginners or indoor use to load on small holds with less foot and calf fatigue.
- Straight (or Symmetrical): of neutral shape, a rather central point (or even with a very slight asymmetry), often intended for beginners looking above all for comfort, and allows the use of all the toes. Best suited for Greek feet
- Asymmetrical: with a tip centred on the big toe (therefore off-centre). This toe being the strongest, it concentrates its technicality on a finer tip. Often less comfortable and less tolerant than a straight shoe. It is intended for a public of regular practitioners and offers a precision of support not negligible. For this, Scarpa's top-of-the-range climbing shoes will be perfect. These versatile and precise shoes are suitable for both performance and training. Best suited for Egyptian and Roman feet.
- Leather: very resistant, it relaxes more or less easily depending on the thickness and the presence or not of a lining. The more you choose a tight shoe, the more it will tend to adapt to the morphology of your foot. A period of discomfort that may last a little while.
- the synthetic: it relaxes only very little but will tend to soften.
Black Diamond even offers Vegan slippers with no animal origin to make the slipper!
- Elastic (or ballerinas): Generally very flexible and close to the foot, the system of ballerinas is based on compression and an elastic on the kick. It is thus necessary to anticipate the relaxation and to choose them very tight at the time of purchase. Some become very difficult to put on.
- Velcro: Developed to overcome the disadvantages of ballerinas, velcro shoes have an opening on the instep with two or three velcros like the Black Diamond Velcro shoes. Easy and quick to put on and take off and precise if the foot fills the general volume of the shoe.
- Laces : Often longer to put on and take off, lace-up shoes are the best fit for your foot, and are often the only alternative for people with thin feet.
Even if it is useless to blow your feet off to start, you shouldn't take your oversized slippers on the pretext of being comfortable. In general, a beginner will tend to opt for a shoe that fits in a city shoe or even one above, while an experienced climber will opt for one or two sizes below his or her own, depending on the model.
A shoe is properly fitted when it is properly tightened and there are no significant gaps between the foot and the shoe. Your foot should also be slightly compressed but without any painful pressure points, and your toes should be slightly curled up, then they will have more strength.
The choice of your shoe size will depend on your level but also on your practice. Indeed, when you go on a long route where it is difficult to remove your shoes at the relays, it is preferable to have a shoe that is less restrictive for your feet than a block where you can remove them between two attempts...