I'm looking to buy a pair of Scarpa Instincts and tried a few pairs on last night. I'm a 9.5 street shoe and was able to squeeze into the size 9 Instincts, although quite uncomfortably. I tried on the 10s as well, and they seemed about perfect. My question is, do the stretch much? If so not much point buying the 10s, am I better getting the 9s and manning up until they stretch a bit?
I have wide, flat feet and long toes and generally avoid overly crippling my feet, so I'm definitely not going below a 9.
I also have wide, flat feet, with long toes where my little toe is almost as long as my big toe, so a wide forefoot. I am a UK9, and wear a UK8 anasazi (but only because I can't get anything smaller past three smaller toes).
I have a pair of UK7.5 Instinct Laces, and I think they are half a size too big. UK7's would be suitable.I suggest that it may be that you're fitting them wrongly. You say you do not want to go below a 9, but there is no way that can fit you well. Whilst everyone's feet are different, I can get 7.5's on with bridgedale wool hiking socks on.
If I might be so bolt, I suggest to you that you try the smaller sizes. In my experience, heel rands will cram your toes into the end of a shoe whether or not you are the right size for it. All that happens if you go down sizes is NOT that you go further forward into the toe, but that your heel begins progressively to fill up the heel pocket (as in your foot moves relatively backwards in the shoe). This does have the effect of tightening the heel rand a little, but then the shoe fits you.
However, if you do not want your toes to be curled in a shoe at all, and want a flat foot profile, then it might be an idea to rethink the choice of shoe - maybe something like a 5.10 Galileo or Evolv Bandit might suit better as that has stiffness from the midsole, and doesn't require curled toes as much.
To answer your original question; it depends on your foot. My 7.5's are unlikely to stretch anywhere but across the arch where I overtighten them. If I got 7's I might get a fifth to a quarter of a size worth of stretch in the toebox, but it is mostly covered with rubber.
I only kept mine for about 3 months before selling but the toe box barely stretched at all because it's fully encased in rubber. I'd imagine the uppers would be capable of stretching as they're leather but I seem to remember that there was a cross-hatch pattern stitched in to reduce stretch.
In reply to RKernan: A 9 is def not small enough. I went from a 10 to an 8. The toe box gives where your small toes are. This is a shoe that's meant to have your toes curled. Dropping half a size isn't going to curl them enough for them to do their job or stay stiff.
If you fancy something less crippling maybe have a look at some vapours.
It's the knuckle on my middle two toes mainly. Any time I've tried climbing in a pair of shoes below a 9 (and have tried a few times) they have been rubbed raw and it's been quite painful. I can't wear any kind of socks with my 9.5 blue anasazi slippers (best shoe I've ever worn but unfortunately no longer made) as it's just too painful, But they're plenty downturned for me and have served me well up to 7a/E3.
I have no arches at all (and my orthotic insoles won't be much use in rock shoes) which might be why I get less give in shoes.
I do want my toes to be curled, and the Instincts are perfect in that respect - I already have a decent pair of flatter shoes (red anasazi moccasyms) which are great for smeary/slopey stuff.
Your toes will not be properly curled or the heel will not properly fit you in a size 9 instinct. A size 9 instinct on me would be as large as the leather brogues I wear to work.
If the knuckle of your toes is hurting because it is pressing against the top of the shoe, then it's best to stick to a shoe that doesn't cover the top of the toebox in rubber, because it will not stretch.
I'm not questioning your climbing ability, just being realistic.
What about vapours or miuras? They dont have rubber above the toe?
Interesting. Could well be the heel then, I'll try a couple of different pairs on at the wall this evening and see how I get on. Tried a pair of 5.10 Dragons, but they were just silly, and I'm getting a bit sick of 5.10s wearing out really quickly anyway.
Apologies, didn't mean my reply to come across that way - thanks for the advice!
Rock shoes is an area I've never experimented too much with, having only ventured onto the steeper stuff where it makes any difference relatively recently.
A good rock shoe will make a difference everywhere. With feet like ours, you won't get into any of the downturned five tens (save MAYBE arrowheads or quantums, even then).
As a 9.5, try on a 7.5 vapour and a 7.5 instinct, a 6.5 miura. make sure you stand on some holds and see how your toebox deforms.
For what it's worth, if you're looking for a steep shoe for sport and bouldering that you can take off inbetween short pitches, I would steer away from the laced instinct (even though it is cheap). The number one complaint I have about it is that the laces are like concrete. Great for tightening up all the way along (like a b3's lace locks), but absolutely horrific for slipping off. So consider the velcro version (same size or half up in instincts, same size or half down in vapours).
Lace ups definitely stretch, I thought I'd bought too tight the first time as I could hardly stand in them for more than a few minutes when new but 5 or 6 climbing sessions down the line and I can climb and wander about in them for up to an hour(My older pair I can wear all day now) As a guide, Im a size 10 street shoe and wear a 7.5 in an Instinct. or 44.5 street, 41.5 instinct...
In reply to RKernan: providing they fit you can size down in miuras a lot. The velcros are slightly wider. I tried some evolv geshidos earlier very briefly and they seem wide ish. Might be worth giving them a go as well if you get a chance.
It sounds like you're getting some advice that's going to seriously knacker your feet here!
I'm a 9.5/10 street and have always worn Miuras in a 42 and that's with my toes fully curled up (I also have long toes, with my second toe being slightly longer than my big toe though). What you'll find on here is some massive jumps between people's street shoe size and climbing shoe size and that's because everyone's feet are so different. It's obvious that someone who is UK10 street but has short toes and a high instep is going to wear smaller climbing shoes than someone with no instep and long toes. For that reason I'd urge you to trust your instincts (no pun intended) and go with what feels right for you, you can always downsize on your next pair.
Bunching your toes up in the toebox will give more support to your toes and can be helpful which edging on very small footholds but for the most part for steep ground you're much better with a slightly softer shoe that you can grab and pull the footholds with. Also, with a downturned shoe your feet can actually be reasonably flat in the toebox whilst your forefoot is extended but when you flex the forefoot, the toes will scrunch up slightly.
I'd recommend you to go as small as you can without actual pain being caused to the toe joints, skin soreness from rubbing on the top of your toes is fine because callouses will form eventually but any sharp stabbing pains are a no-no. Also make sure that you don't get any pain when actually standing on footholds, not just when they're on your feet. Good luck.
Tried on a few shoes last night with interesting result. An 8 Miura was the smallest I could manage before crippling myself, and a 9 Vapor. No way I could even get into any Instinct smaller than 9 without catastrophic toe pain!
Youīre obviously not used to climbingshoes that curl your toes that much. Donīt buy an instinct if you canīt handle the pain in the toes.
If you canīt fit instincts the same size as vapors or any other scarpa shoe they wonīt be good climbing shoes.
A high end shoe like the instinct will blow if you buy them to big just because you want `em.
A tight sized Mythos will do a better job than a poor fitting instinct. People who buy shoes because they look fancy and then size em up till they can bear the pain should overthink their shoe choice.
I canīt wear most of those bouldery shoes like instincts or solutions etc. myself because i canīt take the pain they are causing me. But iīm happy with anything more moderate like vapors and also climb 8a+ in them so what the F-word.
Shoes are all the same. If they fit you (and your climbing style) you will be happy. But if your toes hurt, your climbing will suck. If you donīt use your feet because putting weight on your toes hurt you will develop an awful technique.
Oh man. .
Most of the shoes i know from this list i canīt downsize anything near their recommendation. I mean 2 UK-Sizes Down in a Pontas? You gotta be kidding me.
Not without amputation. Because everbody knows Pontas stretch like hell...
Also sizing down in a 5.10 Blackwing will only lead to toes that are pressed over the edge of the shoe. so you will never step into pockets again because your toerand is one inch further than the actual sole.
I watched alex honnold last week in a gym where they shot a video. He had to pull the velcros of his miuras so much it looked like he upsized in those shoes. Long story short. He flashed several 7B with shoes that looked so big even i would buy them smaller.
Anyone who listens to the linked chart. Have fun with your hallux valgus operation...
In reply to kingofthering: I must be a proper wierdo then, because I wear all my various shoes even smaller than chart recommends.... I'm a 43 1/2 or so in street shoes and wear my Instinct Lace in 39.5, Miura in 39, Five Ten in 7 or 6.5 etc. Hum.
In reply to kingofthering:
I agree about shoe sizing, it seems to be a bit different for everyone and has someone else said if it's killing you to use your feet properly then you're not going to climb well at all.
I have Instinct lace-ups and they are the best shoes I have ever worn. You have to do it yourself to see how small an edge you can stand on and the rubber is really quite sticky. They do take quite a time to wear in, I am a UK9 street shoe to UK8 Instinct and my first pair is still tight after about a year. At first I use the plastic in the box to wrap my foot in as it makes your feet go into the shoe really easily and you can see if the heel cup fits properly around your heel as this has to be snug.
In reply to RKernan: If its not to late i would add that I bought instinct lace ups about 2 months ago.I used them for a month solidly in spain recently.I sized them a half size up from katanas(36.5) but the same as speedster's but a full size up from testerossa's.they stillneeded plastic bags when I tried them in the shop.
Brands and makes seem to vary according to foot shape. Instinct laces that i have feel like they have stretched a bit but NOT that much.They seem to perform very similarly to Katana velcros but are a bit stiffer and with a downturn but not an extreme one.
I would experiment with the different sizing.
They took a bit of time to break in feeling very stiff at first.In the end I got them as a higher performing shoe to katana velcros and on the routes I did this is how they felt.
If they turn into a bagged out version of this i would be suprised.
> (In reply to kingofthering) I must be a proper wierdo then, because I wear all my various shoes even smaller than chart recommends.... I'm a 43 1/2 or so in street shoes and wear my Instinct Lace in 39.5, Miura in 39, Five Ten in 7 or 6.5 etc. Hum.
> > Also those real thin grocery bags are the business when trying new shoes on.
The thing is though, that the kind of people who are using plastic bags to be able to squeeze their new shoes on have such a differnt idea of what constitutes tight/correct to folk like the OP as to make comparison / suggestion almost pointless.