/ Help! Rock shoe stretching?
I've used them for in total about 20 hours (8-10 weeks, 2/3hrs a week) and they've eased a bit, but I just need a tiny bit more room out of them... Does anyone have any tips? I've heard anything from microwaves, to hot showers, to steaming them over a kettle. Can anyone recommend anything that works?
Worst case is I cut my losses and admit that buying the last pair in the shop for £40 was a bad idea. It was a good bargain at the time!
When you get this type of pain it's time to sell up and accept you made a mistake. If the shoe is going to fit you it should only take a few weeks before they fit well.
I've gone through quite a few pairs of shoes on the quest for the perfect shoe and am currently selling a pair because they didn't work out. I prefer to use the shoes for a few weeks before making a decision on if I'll keep them as I think it's impossible to know in the shop. Anyway, I'm rambling on. Just sell up, you'll make your money back at that price.
I've just done this with some new shoes myself, and it works.
I put my latest pair in the oven for a couple of minutes at about 100 degrees C. They came out very pliable so I put them on over a thin pair of socks and let them cool. Now they fit great. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it though, try and get them right the 1st time ;)
I've just had a hot shower in them (weird experience!) and was going to leave them on to re-shape a little. I got bored and it hurt a bit so I took them off to dry. I'll hang them up overnight on a broom handle and see what happens.
Thanks for the tips, I'll report back soon! Any other suggestions welcome. (Does anyone want any Edelrid Reptiles in beautiful green, UK size 8.5, very little wear? Freshly washed and in the box! Can supply pictures. £40 + p&p)
You could try using shoe trees a bit like these....
I've a pair of rock shoes that are slightly too small and storing them with shoetrees inserted really helps for fit and comfort. Makes me look like a grandad at the crag though, not cool!
I no longer buy boots smaller than my feet because I like compfort.
However on one occasion, I bought a pair of boots that needed some serious breaking in. I solved the issue by making plastercast moulds of my feet. The moulds were then left in the boots for days at a time.
Bottom line, this worked for me, especially when I heated the rubber with a hairdryer.
1) build your own bouldering wall in your garage to ensure you can spend the maximal amount of time possible climbing, more climbing = more breaking in. You can do it ten minute bursts and take the shoes off in between. This worked for me with my latest 5:10 Teams. I already had the home wall, it's not like I built it just to break the shoes in, but you get my drift?
2) endure the pain
3) take pain killers and endure the pain.
I guess my salient point is that it's time spent climbing that wears them in, they'll mould to your feet a bit, so arbitrary stretching may proove fruitless.
Also, I noticed that for me, i have to put them on just right; have to wiggle my toe into the box, press on one side to give space for the outside of my foot to get comfy. After figuring that out everything was a lot comfier.
As already stated before, there's not much you can do about length if too short. You can stretch depth or width within reason but not length as you are limited by the rand. I'm lucky enough to have a shoe stretcher at work. I've always had problems with toe depth. A heat gun is needed to soften the rubber sections over the toes before putting the shoe of the stretcher as the stretcher olone will not perminantly deform the rubber. I've bought a pair before that were too short in length to tolerate and there is no alternative other than buy a bigger pair and cut your losses.
It could be worth talking to Feet First in Chesterfield about that. A few years ago they stretched a pair of mine that were too narrow for the princely sum of three quid. :O) There are also sprays you can get that 'ease' the leather and make it more likely to stretch. (Don't suppose they have any effect on synthetics though.)
I have a feeling that professional stretching machines are designed to stretch the width more than the length though, not sure.
I don't know if I have unusually long big toes, or if I'm unusually intolerant of having that big-toe knuckle bent, but I always find new shoes hurt my big toe the way the OP describes. If I buy shoes big enough that they don't compress my big toe at all they're *way* too sloppy everywhere else.
I've tried all the tricks recommended so far, but always ended up just having to endure until the shoes (or my feet) break in.
My last pair I think I really did buy too small though. Ow! Ow! OW!
After weeks of wearing the shoes for five minutes and giving up, I decided I'm just too big a wuss to endure that much, so I used a lump of beech and some bits and bobs from by shed to make something medieval and bring the pain back to the shoes. ;O)
They're specifically modelled on my feet (with a slightly exaggerated big toe). It took flippin ages to get them right, but totally worth it. Put them in the shoe, then use the spanner to crank out the length until the shoes beg for mercy!
My Red Chilli Spirits seem to have stretched, so much so that I end up with a lot of loose material/rubber over the top of teh foot and toe area.
I'm not sure if it's happened because they have got wet, but wouldn't expect that to have such a dramatic affect. They were "comfortably tight" when I bought them.
Elsewhere on the site
A product review by James Turnbull. James Turnbull at Outside recently took the new Osprey Mutant 38 on a rigorous test in the... Read more
2014 has been a bumper year for climbing publications. Here's a few of the ones that we have either read, or ones that we... Read more
WINTERFEST 2014 at Outside in Hathersage 6th and 7th December 2014 Outside's ever popular Winterfest event is back... Read more
Nick Livesey discovered the mountains of Snowdonia over a decade ago and finally moved there a year and a half ago, quitting a... Read more
Skiing Baffin’s couloirs has been on my to do list ever since I saw Andrew McLean and Brad Barlage’s inspirational... Read more