/ Trad climbing is killing my feet.

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Rachel Slater - on 17 Jun 2014
My feet have been hurting a lot lately and I'm pretty sure it's from wearing climbing shoes. They aren't too small as I can fit thick socks inside them but they are tight on the sides and its the bones on the inside of my feet which ache. They hurt when I'm climbing and when I'm not. Six weeks ago I returned from a long sport climbing trip, during which they were fine because I climbed routes fast so my shoes weren't actually on for very long despite climbing most days. However, since I've been mostly trad climbing since I've been back, my shoes are on for a lot longer on each day and now they are hurting so much I almost don't want to go climbing.

I've also been on a couple runs lately which I'm sure hasn't helped, I can't run more than 5 miles without my feet killing. I've wanted to run more but I think my feet hurting during and after just doesn't make it worth it.

I've looked into buying wider climbing shoes but they don't fit my heel and there usually aren't any sizes small enough anyway.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this or have any tips on what I can do to stop/prevent the pain without climbing less? Thanks.
Nick Russell on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

> Has anyone else experienced anything like this or have any tips on what I can do to stop/prevent the pain without climbing less? Thanks.

Not experienced it myself, but apparently you're not the only one.
http://www.davemacleod.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/foot-training.html
top cat - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

climb in big boots..perfect for trad!
alex - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

Google Morton's Neuroma. Sounds like it could be that?
Mr Lopez - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

> I've looked into buying wider climbing shoes but they don't fit my heel and there usually aren't any sizes small enough anyway.

Keep looking... Having a quick look at your photos you are wearing 5.10's (narrow and synthetic. i.e. non-stretchy) A wider shoe made out of leather should sort you out. Sportiva are wider than 5.10, and Scarpa even more so. If the shoes are unlined they'll be even more comfortable when broken in.

Fwiw i can't wear 5.10's because they cripple me, but can wear Scarpas all day and some of the wider or stretchier Sportivas like Miura VS and Cobras.
Anoetic - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

Hi

Undo your shoes and pull the heals out at the belays, it will help you in the short term & give your feet a rest.
CurlyStevo - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

I agree (with you) your shoes are too narrow - keep trying different models until you find ones that fit.
CurlyStevo - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to alex:

> Google Morton's Neuroma. Sounds like it could be that?

doesn't sound like that as the pain is on the sides of her feet.
jkarran - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I agree (with you) your shoes are too narrow - keep trying different models until you find ones that fit.

It's also possible given they can be worn over thick socks that they're not actually providing much support to the foot.

I get lots of foot pain these days, I guess it's climbing related, climbing certainly exacerbates it. Very soft shoes make the toe pain worse but other than that the foot pain is relatively constant whichever type and brand of shoes I wear.

jk
Lord of Starkness - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

Modern rock shoes have got a lot to answer for. I never suffered discomfort on long trad routes back in the old days when EB's, Asolo Canyons, Boreal Fire's and Kamet Joshua Trees were the footwear of choice. The trend to lightweight high performance shoes worn without socks - whilst great for pushing grades does little for foot comfort.
CurlyStevo - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to jkarran:
Where is your foot pain?

I get two types:
- Big toe joint where it meets my foot is easily tweaked, it's made worse by tight shoes. Very stiff loose shoes help. I suspect it may be going slowly arthritic over time but it definitely goes through phases.
- Ball of foot / nerve pain, this can tend towards Morton's Neuroma but I've never had that full blown. This is partly because I have very high arches, I help prevent this by moving my feet around on uncomfortable foots holds and not taking too long on slab climbs. Also I put gel insole in to my stiff boots. Avoiding mountain boots with very flat shaped insides (like nepal extremes) helps me.
Post edited at 13:52
CurlyStevo - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Lord of Starkness:

I agree board lasted shoes maybe less technical but they tend to be less harsh on the feet too.
Duncan Campbell - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

Hey Rach,

if you can fit socks on in your rock shoes maybe they aren't tight enough to give your feet good support/maybe the shoes you wear are too soft?

If it's an inside ache then that sounds to me (a complete non-expert) that the muscles inside your feet are aching??

The only time I have had pain in my feet was after walking around San Francisco all day in flip-flops - by the end of the day my feet were in agony and continued to be so for a good while after. I think this was basically because my feet weren't used to sustained activity with no support. The only time my feet didn't hurt was in stiff climbing shoes!

Maybe try and get a stiffer pair of boots??

Have fun in North Wales,

Dunc
LeeWood - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Lord of Starkness:

> Modern rock shoes have got a lot to answer for.

here here. I still climb in scarpa superatz, often at a harder grade than amazed critics, who are desperately westling their shoes off at the stances. bring comfort back into climbing !!!

jkarran - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> Where is your foot pain?
> I get two types:

Me too.

> - Big toe joint where it meets my foot is easily tweaked, it's made worse by tight shoes. Very stiff loose shoes help. I suspect it may be going slowly arthritic over time but it definitely goes through phases.

Word for word what I would have said about my toes.

> - Ball of foot / nerve pain...

Much more generalised foot pain with a feeling like bruising in the ball of the foot and heel plus I also get a tense ache in the arch/lower sides of the foot.

Infrequently I go through flare-ups of plantar ligament pain around the heel with the occasional random stab for no discernible reason even when it's not flared up.

To be honest I think I'm probably just a bit of a softie ruined by years at a desk. Even standing on hard surfaces in comfy shoes for more than a couple of hours has me desperately scanning around for a seat to relieve the pressure on my soles. Concerts and the like are a nightmare :(

jk
Gordon Stainforth - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

> Has anyone else experienced anything like this

Are you joking? Welcome to the real world of climbing :)
Bulls Crack - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

Yes same here [-( Sport shoes and longer time spent on routes = painful feet. You'll just have to find a suitable boot
Bulls Crack - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

You could of course just go round retro-bolting everything - problem solved!
Rachel Slater - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

I normally wear Evolvs (not 5.10) and I always take the heal out at belays.

Curly Stevo, The pain is mostly where the big toe meets the foot, not the ball of the foot and definitely not Mortonís neuroma from the looks of it.

Jkarren & Duncan, I donít think the shoes are too big as I canít wear them with socks when itís hot and no where Iíve seen sells smaller anyway. I guess they might be too soft, the rubber is getting a little thin but Iím worried a stiffer pair would put more pressure on the sides of my feet.

It sounds like I should just buy some different shoes although Iím really reluctant to do so when my current ones fit really nicely and generally havenít caused any problems until now, when Iíve been trad climbing most days.
CurlyStevo - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

OK I think Arrans pain and certainly my own is on the top of the joint. If yours is to the side, could it be a bunion?

I think you should consider going to the doctors?
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jkarran - on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to Rachel Slater:

Evolves are generally *very* soft, I used Defys for years and loved them for this, I still have a pair of the female fit version for occasional use but my feet are no longer strong enough to climb hard in shoes that soft.

Being big-toe joint pain it sounds to me very much like you need a more supportive shoe for all the standing around on your toes that trad climbing entails.

If you can get socks in your current shoes your feet can move around in them without socks, the fact you're in the smallest size they do doesn't mean they're not too big thought they may not be. Even without that slop in the fit you'll find Evolves much less supportive than something like a 5:10 Green.

jk
Simos on 17 Jun 2014
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I have a bunion slowly but surely forming on one foot, pretty sure climbing is to blame. If to the side as mentioned it could definitely be that..l

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