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Topic - Shoe issue - old model from a gym best fit

OneLifeOneHeart - on 10 Nov 2012
Hi everyone,

I have done some scrambles, topropes and bouldered both indoors and outdoors. Altogether I believe I am progressing well, even though my greatest challenge is that I have to fight against gravity: I am quite overweight and am working on loosing fat as well.

Yet, I am ready to invest in my own gear, and my next savings could go for some decent rock climbing shoes.

Issue: My normal shoe size is 9 and a half. So far I have used my instructors' Boreal Joker, size 9, which were incredibly tight, difficult to wear and uncomfortable but I managed to climb a bit anyway...

I went to a few shops and the shoe models they made me try (Boreal Joker, pro, Scarpa Helix, sizes 9 and 9 and a half) almost caused tears for the excruciating pain!! It felt like my "foot-palms" could rip apart any moment and most of the pain was on the knuckle of my big toe. Yes, the knuckle, not the tip.

The salespeople were trying to tell me I might have some problem with my feet and maybe should give up climbing (I don't like mentioning names but... Ellis Brigham store in London).

However, today I went to a new indoor wall and hired some shoes... they had only La Sportiva Tarantula models of various sizes.
Size 9 and a half was... too big!
Size 9 was ok but I still had too much toespace.
Only size 8 gave me the "climbing foot position" with the slightly bent toes and it was surprisingly comfortable too! I climbed for about 4 hours in them and I could easily walk around the place without any pain whatsoever.

So I was wondering what could be the cause:
were those shoes comfortable just because they were used and a bit worn out, which is why even a size 8 fit so well on me?
Will all new shoes be painful at the beginning but later feel better?

How then can I understand in the shop which shoe will fit me best?
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