/ Advice Please! Upgrading my Rock Shoes
I currently own one pair of rock shoes, only got back into climbing into December 2012, and i picked up a pair Boreal Joker Plus mainly for indoor bouldering and sport and they've done me fairly well but my grades improved and the shoes seem to be designed more for 'fun' grades and comfort over edging ability etc. Which has been showing more and more recently.
My personal pros and cons of my current shoes:
*Rubbers ok, but seems very thick and insensitive. Can't 'feel' a foothold in them at all really.
*Edges of the sole are horrid, anything small and/or negative they love to pop off, The rubber seems to 'roll' on anything tiny.
*The toe 'point' has let me down so many times it sometimes effects my confidence in the shoe when i'm standing on some tiny things.
(i've compared them to a friends knackered 8 year old Red Chillis and breezed up things the Jokers struggled to stick on.)
*Fairly good shape around the heel, I have sticky out ankle bones and the shape in low enough to give them some space but the heel high enough (and covered in enough rubber) to make that part of the shoe still useful.
*Pretty comfortable for long sessions and low-ish grades/circuit training.
Sorry for the long ass post, but just trying to give some depth!
Basically i'm looking for a shoe thats a bit more 'sure' on small edges, and more of a 'performance' shoe i guess, I'm happy to keep my current pair for fun and circuit days, just after something for pushing the grades a little and more tailored towards the more 'thin' routes and problems.
Looking to spend £90-150, but also a bit skint for the next 6-9 months so after a solid pair and investment!
I've been considering the La Sportiva Katanas, Muiras and Pythons, Also the Tenyaya Masai & Ra, but thats only through research online and a single recommendation in person for each. Have tried a few pairs of Evolv shoes before but the heel seems to be huge on me and leaves why to much space.
Anyhow this post is way to long. Please help with some advice. Cheers.
My current shoes are crap, any advice for a good shoe for horrid tiny edges?
Oh if it helps i'm mainly climbing Limestone and Sandstone,thats the local stone mostly.
Just try on loads.
5.10 Whites are the definitive edging shoe.
Have a look at Scarpas. Good shoes, and well made. I'd choose between them or La Sportiva as long as they fitted.
Fit is the most important thing.
> Fit is the most important thing.
Agreed. I'm looking at getting them fitted in person just wondering if theres any great shoes i've over looked.
Think i've decided against a slipper, I seem to be getting into over hangs and things over F7a+ to give some idea of the bouldering i'm dealing with..
Is it possible i may need to look at 2 new pairs? 1 for bouldering and another for routes?
IMO boreal rubber is terrible. 5:10stealth is my favorite as it's as grippy as red chilli and evolve but more durable.vibram is pretty good too.
try red chillis' habenero lace ups- my OH has them and loves them. He has wide feet and his previous shoes were the boreal joker, which fit well, but the tow is a little round and the edging not great (as you have said), the habanero is still a great fit, but seems to solve all those other problems. It really does all come to personal preference and what fits/feels right.
Another point of note, is that after 6months of hard use (indoor and out) the red chillis are standing up great- and my OH's feet tend to eat shoes for breakfast- the jokers and scarpers he had before those were holey and useless with in 6 months.
sorry, that should say 'the toe is too rounded'
Scarpa and sportiva are my better shoes. So get my vote.
Most important is to get a shoe that fits *you*.
That said, I have experience with several of the shoes you'e considering, so I hope some of this helps.
Miura Laces: my favourite climbing shoe ever. Absolutely superb on edges & pockets; reasonably comfortable for a tight fitting performance shoe. If you want the definitive edging shoe, get these or Anasazi Whites, whichever fits you better.
(Miura VS feels quite different but I have only tried them on in the shop)
Katana Velcro: lousy durability, quickly lost all semblance of structure & support
Katana Laces: don't suit me. Wider last than the Miura and my foot feels like it is squirming about in them. Lots of people seem to like them: might be better for you if you have a broader foot. Seem more durable than the velcro.
Tenaya Ra: I bought these a bit bigger than my Miuras as a comfy shoe for alpine & multipitch. Only worn them for a couple of breaking-in sessions so far; initial impression they seem a bit insensitive.
Python: lovely bouldering slipper, absolutely the last thing you want to consider as an edging shoe
Thank you all for the advice so far, gives me a few things to consider later this week when i pop in a few places to try a few on. Cheers!
Something to consider-
If the heel is too baggy, go down a size. The heel randing that wraps your achillies will happily cram your toes forward in any shoe of any reasonable size, such that the toes feel crunched even if the shoes too big. Sizing down very often only results in pushing your heel backwards into the heel pocket, and your toes dont get much more crushed.
That said, for wide feet with a wide toebox, scarpa. For wide with a narrow, 5.10 or miuras, for narrow other sportiva and evolv. Dont worry too much about edging vs downturned - dave mac says its all margnal and we can all benefit from some downtrn, even as grit slab climbers.
The Anasazi's seem to be the most recommended, also happen to be in stock around here at the moment! One of the local shops currently has the VCS and the Lace ups in stock, and also the Tenyaya Masai,which one person has suggested as an almost comfy-er Anasazi.. Anyone else tried them?
Also anyone tried the 5.10 Blackwing?
I'm after a bouldering show also and seems the local shop has a stock of these with £50 off at the moment so can pick up a pair for about £60.. A quick scan if independent reviews seems to suggest they are kind of like a velcro Dragon with a tighter heel..
'bouldering shoe' not 'show'. Pardon me.
Just to throw in a couple of curve balls:
First, you mentioned looking for sensitivity, the most sensitive shoe i've used is the La Sportiva Speedster... takes a little getting used to as there's no edges on the shoe, but that actually promotes a really natural style of footwork once you do.
Second, I just got a pair of Wild Climb Panteras... if you can find these in the UK I think they are a really good balance of technical but comfortable edging shoe. It's got a lot of rubber on the toe though, so definitely geared towards longevity over sensitivity
Tried 5.10 Anasazi whites, the VCS, the Verde, the new Stoneland and the Blackwing.
Whites and VCS: crippling fold on the lower three toes, no support whatsoever on the big toe.
Verde: Slightly wider toebox but still sod all support on the big toe/point.
Stoneland: Just bloody weird. toes at an odd angle compared to the way it holds the rest of your foot, almost like its trying to bend your foot sideways in the middle. Also one shoe of a pair had a forward facing toe point, the other it was basically on the side of the big toe? These are new on the shelves last week apparently if noones heard of them yet.
Blackwing: Best fit of the lot, could imagine it being good if they had a half size smaller,which they don't. If they did £60 would be a bargain, at £115 everywhere else not so sure.
Tenyaya Masai: Seems to be basically a clone of the 5.10 whites but with the older 5.10 style heel, fit for me is just as bad as the shoes they are mimicking.
La Spotiva Katana lace ups: odd fit again, tight in the wrong places, unsupportive where i need it.
Scarpa Vapour V XSG2: Seemed like a winner until 3 mins of the instore wall gave me a groove in my achilles so badly they still hurt now 2 hours later. A long session in them could be crippling.
Evolv Geshido SC: Strangely after my previous experience with Evolvs, Another potential winner, but have to wait till they get a 8.5 in, 8s where impossible to even get my foot into, 9s left a little to much space on the big toe, apart from that could be a great fit. Going back later in the week when the shop gets a few half sizes sent down.
So seems 5.10s or anything that copies their lasts is out, But there is a shop nearby that stocks some Red Chillis and other Evolvs so going to go check them out tomorrow. Any recommendations for any of their models or even any makes i may have over looked?
Sounds like you need to send your feet back to the maker and ask for another pair.
Try the red chillis and the evolves, though I have always found them too rounded in the toe. If going for a velcro, try getting obes that fit really really well without being done up, or ones with three straps rather than 2, it will give you more control over the fitting of them. Also, when you find 'the pair' keep them on for while- some issues don't show up in the 2mins you get in them. And of course, make sure you try on both shoes (I kid you not, one shop told m it wasn't policy to try on both, needless to say I din't buy!)
> Try the red chillis and the evolves, though I have always found them too rounded in the toe.
Those Geshidos one seemed to be ok, if the half size gets my big toe in there snugly they could be a contender, even though they look a little like a japanese concept car covered in snot. Considering giving the Shamans a go, although they are so hideous I might be sick down the wall everytime i look at my feet.
> some issues don't show up in the 2mins you get in them.
That was the problem with the Scarpas, felt great on, but a few moves on the wall in the shop and my tendons were almost cut through.
>make sure you try on both shoes.
They are pretty good at that shop, the two guys that do the fittings won't let you think about buying a pair until you've had a go shifting your weight around in them on a few holds.
> Sounds like you need to send your feet back to the maker and ask for another pair.
quote of the day from the fitter was "Sure you don't just want me to glue some bits of old tire to some clogs for you?"
bought a pair of boreals out of the bargain bucket (can't remember which ones.. but they're slip ons and are yellow) and i can't stand them.. can't break them in.. they feel like i've put them on the wrong feet ( as in the left shoe on the right foor and vice versa)
infact i almost let a student at the wall borrow them as her toes were sticking out of hers ..they were that worn out... she would benefit and so would i as i'd get them broken in *evil grin*.. pity they were too small for her
What are they like compared to the katanas? A couple of people have suggested the Muiras are a similar fit but narrower, the Katanas were to wide but not a bad heel, problem i had was toes being crushed towards the little toe and loose towards the big toe.
Boreals seem to have the only last that fits! Bt i'm keen to get shot of them tbh, well...
...Anyone know if you can get Boreal joker plus's resoled with stealth? :P
it's a shame the vapours don't fit you
don't give up on scarpa
try the boostics and all of the variants of the instinct
I have what sounds like the same feet as you - all of my toes are long so that anything small enough to cripple the big toe is impossible for the smaller three toes. A chisel like toe profile that isn't very asymmetric. It is also a high volume foot. I wear instinct laces. There is some Achilles pain, but in the end it's not all that bad. I size my scarpas 1.5-2 down from uk street.
The only other shoes I could find that came close to fitting were miura laces (again, too asymmetric) and boreal kryptos
> it's a shame the vapours don't fit you
Agreed, they seemed like a nice shoe but the achilles pain was way to much after a matter of mins.
I've got square toes pretty much, foot hasn't got a huge volume so my problem seems to be any extra space for my toes makes the mid loose, not great.
I'm ff down to dicks climbing tomorrow, hes stocking all the 5.10s i haven't tried so far plus a lot more brands i haven't wedged my boats into yet so fingers crossed!
heard the muira VS feels very different and you can't get them to fit as well around the toes like you can with the lace ups..
find the muiras quick to break in... maybe wear three or four times and they are then comfy.. but not a shoe i wouldn't be takien off between picthes or routes.. but i'm not after a mega comfy wear all day shoe as i'm doing alot of sports climbing nowadays
i find the muira good for limestone, i like them for edging and when worm a bit more fine for smearing
the rubber doesn't last ages ... maybe 8 months.. climbing 3-4 (sometimes 5) times a week
.. but they are worth it..
i don't use the women specific ones (they didn't have any available when i bought them) .. i have no problems with achilles tendon using the blokes ones.
i am size 5ish in street shoe and wear size 3.5 muiras, when broken in my toes are crimped but not uncomfortably so, they never feel like they've got too baggy even after the rubber's worn out
Also for abit more katana lace ups are super comfy and can handle pretty much any rock. 5.10 Anasazi are also as versatile, they are great for Gritstone aswell.
Hope this helps mate!
If its something they can do i'm seriously considering it, not that i think boreals are good shoes,it just seems the only Lasts that fit my foot i can find in the UK are either Boreals or the Evolv Geshido!
5.10 Dragons fitted my toes but i could carry a weeks shopping home in the bag in the heel even with going a few sizes under, and theres a couple of Scarpas that fitted great apart from the unlined 10mm of heel between the ankle pulls is just high enough to tear into my achilles. Such a shame that such a tiny part of the design makes an otherwise perfect shoe something that would ruin me in 20 mins. :/
So seems like the Evolvs it is and also getting my Boreals resoled as a back up.
Thanks for all the advice ladies and gentlemen, its been a long experience of stuffing my feet into various tiny shoes that really don't fit the past few days! :)
I found the dying-your-feet-orange thing eased off after a few weeks
Elsewhere on the site
The usual suspects and dark horses have been in play across Scotland over the rock season of 2014. One of the main... Read more
The Lakpa Rita and Kriti Tech jackets are a pair of shell products from the Sherpa Adventure Gear brand – the... Read more
Last year, Finn McCann wrote an article about climbing El Capitan with his terminally ill father Seamus, who had been... Read more
Save £20 when you buy a Petzl Elios Helmet!! The Petzl Elios helmet (2013 Version) is tough & durable,... Read more
Urban climber James Kingston will be on stage at all UK screenings to answer questions about his remarkable film... Read more