/ climbing shoes without the crush - any recomendations?

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flopsicle - on 19 Feb 2013
I'm looking to upgrade a very comfy pair of evolve royales. I'd love a more tecnical shoe but after trying a shopworth of climbing shoes all hurt like hell unless so large as to be less functional than the snug royales.

It might be me being a wimp or it could be that the top joint on one of my big toes no longer bends after breaking it into 5 bits 20 years ago! Either way, the scrunched toe thing hurts enough that realistically i'd be pulling to lift weight off my foot rather than using the shoe to use my foot better - bit pointless!

So other than my entry slippers, has anyone ever foumd an upgrade worth having without the toe crimp?
The Ex-Engineer - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to flopsicle: From what I can remember, the Royales are an extremely stiff and fairly traditional shoe. The closest shoe in the Evolv range was probably the Evolv Quest AF which again were an extremely stiff shoe. Unfortunately, I think both have now been discontinued.

Evolv now don't seem to have anything similar in their range - I couldn't find ANY particularly stiff shoes last time I checked their website. My general perception is that pattern is also repeated across other manufacturers as stiff shoes seem to have massively fallen out of favour.

I am not sure exactly what to recommend, but you can take heart that it is not you being awkward and it is far more likely due to the industry-wide trend to more 'technical' and softer/tighter fitting shoes.
AlanLittle - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

A lot depends on your foot shape. I have La Sportiva Mantises as my comfy multi pitch shoe for a while and was quite happy with them. A bit clunky & insensitive but they worked ok. Had them two euro sizes down from my street shoe size and could wear them on all day alpine rock routes without pain.

A lot of Americans seem to rate the Sportiva TC Pro, the "TC" being Tommy Caldwell and the shoe being designed for climbing hard big walls in Yosemite, so has to be good performance without being crippling. Expensive & not that widely distributed in Europe though.
CurlyStevo - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to flopsicle:
have you tried red chili sausalito or scarpa thunder ?
AlanLittle - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Scarpa Thunder could be a good tip. They are what the staff at my very good local climbing shop recommended to my wife when she was looking for a comfy multipitch shoe.
Strachan on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to flopsicle:
I have a pair of Edelrid Hurricanes. They're comfortable without being really tight, and still great to climb in. I can climb all day in them quite happily, and use them for bouldering too. They're definitely worth a look.
Strachan on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Strachan:
Although for the first couple of months they made a farting noise every step whenever I walked in them...
neuromancer - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

>anything similar in their range - I couldn't find ANY particularly stiff shoes

If my evolv bandits were much stiffer they'd have a B rating.
flopsicle - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to flopsicle:

Thanks lots!

I didn't write down each of the many shoes I tried on yesterday so I've googled the image of the suggestions to see if they were amongst the ones I tried.

The La Sportiva Mantises, definitely didn't try these. Looking at the pics they seem to have the deep toe box which I was advised yesterday is placed to accommodate 'crimped' up toes. I would like try them on though.

The red chili sausalito, I think I may have tried these and liked them more than some of the others but if they are the pair I think they are the advice I got was that the pair I had on looked huge on the basis of how much they could flex when standing on the 'trying on wall', also the heel felt loose. That said they were still significantly shorter than the royales and still crossed from discomfort to pain.

Scarpa thunder, Didn't try these but would love to, the pics look really promising. Are they an upgrade from the Rayale's? My Royale's are in good nick bar the edge having completely gone.

Edelrid Hurricanes, didn't try but would really like to!

In reply to neuromancer: Eh?? I only got back into climbing in October so am a bit of a know nowt!

My toes still hurt after my day trip to try on shoes yesterday. I do feel a bit sad about it and even guilty for wanting to 'have my cake and eat it'. I haven't thought about my toe for donkey's years till yesterday, it's been the way it is for so long and generally doesn't hurt. I looked at it last night and while I can get some bend in the top joint if I use my hands to do it, on it's own it doesn't bend, even physically bending it it doesn't bend like the other one. As I've nothing to compare what I feel in the tight shoes with I'm not going to know if it's the toe or my being a total baby.

I did keep thinking that if I get frustrated enough with the Royales on little features then I'll cope with the hurty, but as soon as I stepped up onto the teeny weeny bolt on at the shop I just thought I'd be chucking money away, that in reality, even if I forced myself I'd spend the whole time climbing trying to avoid my toes!

What do people think about other features such as downward pointing toes? Asymmetry? Pointed toe ends? Would the lack of crush render other techy bits useless?
flopsicle - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to flopsicle:

Just thought. When trying on the shoes I could cope with all of them walking about, it was the step onto a teeny feature using the tip of the shoe that caused a very sharp burning pain.

Not sure if that makes any difference or not.
Styx - on 20 Feb 2013
Five Ten are releasing a new range for 2013, called "Stonelands" in lace, velcro and slipper. They are supposedly a performance shoe with a flat toe box. Initial impressions are very positive from those who've tried them. They should be in the shops around Spring time.

In the mean time, you could try the Five Ten Newtons, they've officially been discontinued but you can get them from Rock & Run for cheaps. The Newtons are a very stiff, slightly asymmetrical shoe. I badly injured my foot last year and ended up with a severely broken toe and persistent nerve damage. Once the break healed I still couldn't wear my regular climbing shoes as it was mind blowingly painful, the Newtons however with their flat toe box and stiff sole were fine. I managed to climb as hard as ever in them (6c lead / v4 bouldering).
victim of mathematics - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to flopsicle:

I don't really get this 'performance shoe' malarkey.

Different shoes might be designed for different things (smearing, edging, crack climbing, overhanging pockety limestone), but basically if they fit, they'll perform vastly better at everything. A 'performance shoe' that doesn't fit, will perform much worse than a 'non-technical' shoe that does.

I have ridiculous shaped feet and so wear aggressive, downturned shoes designed for overhanging sport climbing, because they fit my feet. Last year I mostly used them for smearing on grit slabs and they were great.
knighty - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to flopsicle:

What size are you flopsicle? I'm just about to return a pair of Edelrid Hurricanes I bought from Rock n Run size 8.5 UK because although a lovely fit lengthways, were slightly too narrow for my size 9/9.5 hobbit feet.

Let me know if you are interested. They were only 40 btw (But sold out now)
flopsicle - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to knighty: My Royales are 41.5, my 'normal' shoe size is a ladies 7, ie 40. Those sound a bit big!

My toes are right up against the ends of the royales, enough that cliiping nails below the toe end makes a difference!

The Newtons look and sound ACE! I've found 1 outlet with my climbing size (41.5), if, of course my size is my size. I'm nervous buying online due to the climbing shoes all being such erratic lengths, yesterday one shoe that was a whole size larger was considerably shorter than another brand.

I found 5:10's were shorter but they may have made the Newton longer.

Sizing climbing shoes sucks!
Styx - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to flopsicle:
> (In reply to knighty) My Royales are 41.5, my 'normal' shoe size is a ladies 7, ie 40. Those sound a bit big!
>
> My toes are right up against the ends of the royales, enough that cliiping nails below the toe end makes a difference!
>
> The Newtons look and sound ACE! I've found 1 outlet with my climbing size (41.5), if, of course my size is my size. I'm nervous buying online due to the climbing shoes all being such erratic lengths, yesterday one shoe that was a whole size larger was considerably shorter than another brand.
>
> I found 5:10's were shorter but they may have made the Newton longer.
>
> Sizing climbing shoes sucks!

My Newtons are the same as my street shoe size (i.e. 42), they're probably a bit too big honestly, I could have gone for a half size down but it's no big deal with laces as you can crank them down (or loosen) where needed.
flopsicle - on 20 Feb 2013
Needlesports (only ones near the size) are currently holding pairs of Newton's next to the evolve royale to assist with fit.

Reading reviews and going by appearance while yesterday is still fresh in my mind, these are a pair I want to try, even if doing so just leads to mailing them back. I've got all my fingers and toes crossed that there's a contender Newton in Cumbria looking to head south for some fun!
Styx - on 20 Feb 2013
Joe Brown have quite a few sizes in stock as well: http://www.joe-brown.com/outdoor-equipment/510_newton
flopsicle - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Styx:

It looks like they do but when you add to basket all you get is a notice saying they will let you know when more come in stock!

Needlesports got back to me and said that the Newton's 42.5 was the same length as my Royale's 41.5. That feels really scary as my street shoes are 40!

Not sure whether to order 42's or 42.5? I will be ordering though, really, really want now.
flopsicle - on 20 Feb 2013
OOPS! may have got that wrong about Joe Brown's...
flopsicle - on 21 Feb 2013
I ordered to 42.5s and feel irrationally guilty for avoiding squash! I can't get my head round the size and rang them back to double check. My E Royale 41.5's are significantly shorter than my merrel barefoot size 40 trainers - not exactly a clumpy shoe, I'm normally bog standard 40 for street shoes. Two assistants have now both said the 42.5 are the exact same length as the 41.5 royales but they sound HUGE!

The shop assistant at needle sports was a size 7 (40) and tried a pair on, initially she felt the size 40 Newtons were the best fit - I can't even imagine getting my feet into something so much smaller then my current climbing shoes.

Granted I did proper smash my toe 2 decades ago (dropped a belfast sink on it, cracked the sink, broke 2 toe bones, top into 5 pieces, second split in 2 lengthways). But I went back to working in a physical job 2 days later and apart from this and it not bending it has never bothered me. I forgot all about it! I'm still a bit disbelieving it could make so much difference and equally disbelieving that if it isn't that other climbers will except so much pain, I'm not what anyone would call a wimp usually.

Me mind's been proper boggled!
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flopsicle - on 24 Feb 2013
....and then I wore them to the wall, I'd still have bought them, they still felt 'better' but, well just but.

So this morning I went car booting, as I do every sunday and have done for 6 years, only ever once in all that time have I seen rock shoes. You've probably guessed - a pair of red chili spirits, my size, 1! Bought them as I may as well as not and the ******'s fit better than the Newtons!!

All in all I'm now reshod for 66, could have been worse and I have a new pair of Newton's to sell.

But 1 day, 1 day - for the love of god, there was one day in it!

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