/ First Bouldering shoe???
Dave is right!
find something comfy and cheap.
As a beginner I trashed loads of shoes from poor footwork. Like first cars, cheap is best.
Agreed - A couple I've had that were comfy and the fit was good (For me) were Evolv Defy and Scarpa Vantage - both well priced and good starter to intermediate shoe
What do you call cheap??? No shoes ive seen i would consider cheap, do you mean the £65.00 ish pairs? or are their cheaper pairs about that ive not seen anywhere.
As everyone else has said - cheap (Less than £80? £70?) and comfy.
Your first pair will be trashed by dragging your toe over everything, poor edging and general sloppy-ness.
Whilst there is an argument that performance shoes will teach you better footwork, I'd say the flip-side would be entry-level shoes will force you to think about your feet more.
You won't want anything super-aggressive, but could probably get away with pretty-tight velcro/slipper versions as you can take them off between attempts.
Basically the first pair of shoes you get you'll most likely wear through pretty quickly as most people, when starting out, have poor footwork. So there's no reason to look at any of the high end performance shoes that are currently around £100.
Fit is everything though. If you get them too big and floppy you'll not develop confidence in your footwork because as you improve you'll start to use smaller footholds which big shoes will just slip off.
So get to a shop and try some on and try and favour shoes with a bit of stiffness and a snug fit (where your toes are pushed to the front of the shoe, a little bunched up but not painfully so). If you get velcro shoes they're easier to slip on and off between problems so they don't get smelly.
Some good deals at Go Outdoors but the stock they hold varies from store to store:
Decathalon have their own branded stuff (SIMOND) and other decent priced shoes:
Shoes do generally stretch, some more than others, but you do not want to cripple yourself.
Snug without pain is important for a first shoe, anyone who tells you to buy something 2 sizes too small can pay for your pediatrist in coming years.
Lots of walls have shoe demos - for example we have a Scarpa shoe demo at TCA Glasgow today, where you can go and try different models in a real climbing situation. Otherwise an experienced retailer with a wide selection is your best bet.
I like Evolve Talons, they work well and are pretty hardwearing.
For a beginner? Too agressive in my opinion but a nice shoe.
There is no such thing as a cheap shoe only degrees of cost. £65 should be considered cheap £100 more top end
Evolv tend to be better/ more conpetitively priced whilst 5.10 less so but the FIT is by far the most important - if you don't get on with them then climbing becomes hard work. go to shops and try them on!!
I got a really cheap pair of Red Chilli Habernero's for £30 at the outdoor show last January! will definitely be going back again next year for more cheap and quality kit... That's what happens when you can buy straight from the wholesaler.
try some on, see what's comfy and then if you want to save a bit of cash have a look online. Eg banana fingers currently have some clearance shoes for £45. I burned through my first few with dreadful footwork, note my footwork is merely "poor" I've splashed out a little more!
Thanks for all the advice , my next question is you all keep mentioning poor footwork , as im self teaching as I go along how do I know if my footwork is good or bad and how do I improve if I have no idea regarding footwork. Are there any books or sites that illustrate good / bad technique?
Neil Gresham did two "MasterClass" DVDs. People are often selling them second hand on here so you could keep an eye out. They cover the basic techniques for different angled walls but you could do a lot worse than simply watching others who climb harder than you at the wall.
Climbers are mostly a friendly bunch so if you can't do something ask someone else how they did it and they're likely to help you out.
A good choice with the bandits (in my punterish opinion)
Have a look at a book The Self Coached climber it comes with a dvd too.
Also the Neil Gresham Masterclass DVDs are good. If money is tight only get the first one.
the 3 P's of good footwork for beginners: Position, Place, Push.
Look at the position/hold you want to get your foot on to so that you can make a deliberate move to it (and not just scrape around til it sticks on something).
Aim to place your toe/edge/heel on there first time, to avoid wasting time, energy and your expensive rubber.
Get your centre of gravity sorted (a whole nother thread) and push off from it to support your weight.
This is something simple that I was taught very early in my climbing and it helped greatly in using my feet effectively rather than relying on my massive massive guns!
also may have made a schoolboy error on my shoes after 30 mins of climbing toes in agony, after 90 mins hell. they were a snug fit but maybe 1 size up would have been better.
Unfortunately, according to elsewhere:
[QUOTE]Like most Evolv shoes, the Bandit is synthetic, so it will not stretch out with wear. If you buy a pair, you should size them accordingly.[/QUOTE]
So I wouldn't hope for a massive stretch in your shoes. Your toes might shrink though, sounds odd but mine have done, my street shoe is now a size lower.
Wear them round the house so your feet get used to them. I've been told sitting in warm water works but not sure about that. Reckon you just get a wet bum
This happened with a 5.10 Anasazi's I had ended up flogging them for a loss of £40 but hell they were agony. Your first pair should fit like a glove not a vice
Some mention of tutorial books & dvd's: I'd say don't bother. You are climbing at a bouldering wall; just look around and see what others are doing. If you're lucky you might get someone watching what you're doing now too.
There are books I think are a good read farther down the line if you plateau.
Some good and bad advice there.
Get the books. I'd read the self coached climber before I'd ever stepped foot inside of a climbing wall. I bit strange? Perhaps, but I have progressed quickly because of it and have never gone through lots of climbing shoes due to bad technique. It's much easier to form good, new habits than it is to break old, bad ones.
Regarding your shoes, some rubbing on the knuckles of your toes is normal if you've sized them small but any pain in the joints is a no, no.
As I said, model of shoe doesn't really matter. I have a pair of La Sportiva Arco's (so old it's no longer in production) which lasted me 4 years before a hole appeared on the toe and midsole, and even now they get me up 7a+ and V6/7. It's generally never the shoe, always the climber (especially if you're new to it)! I will say this though, if you can climb hard in an awful shoe and really learn how to use it (eg. how to heel hook with the abscence of a proper heel fit), you'll really appreciate your next shoe with a better everything.
So whatever you buy for your first shoe, make it comfortable!
I may cause a bit of a cafuffle here but my 1st shoes where Mad Rock Flash with the velcro and I still have them (resoled) as a back up pair. They were £35 and I used them in, out and touring.
A few of my mates who have just started bough the same ones and seem happy.
My first go at renting shoes and bouldering was a 3hour 30mins one, there was blisters on blisters and the hire shoes were soaked... I didn't have much money at the time and couldn't afford a decent set of shoes, nor could I face stinking up another rental pair so I ebayed a pair of boreal jokers for £20, they were mint condition, some guy had bought them with a faddist mentality... Knowing what I know now I would say it was a massive fluke that they fit, maybe a half size too big but theyve treated me well. If your on a budget do check eBay, bargains to be had!
Ive got the evolv quest AF's. Theyre like my vivobarefoot shoes, just not as light and bendy lol! Theyre soooo comfy yet toes are packed in tight and get a good feel.
Have a word with exengineer on here, i got mine from him for a bargain 45posted he does have other models in different sizes instock or at least he did a month or so ago.
The girlfriend has got defys and they seem a good shoe(go outdoors) seem to be the cheapest i came across!
the old version of evolv pontas?
nice fit i found, good for edging, rubber is pretty sticky and they are pretty hardwearing i found plus you can get them for about £50 now that the new version is out :)
only down side is they will absoulutely stink!!! and i mean really bad!!!
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