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Socks with climbing shoes

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Do people wear socks with their shoes? Vote like for socks and dislike for no socks, also feel free to add comments as to why you prefer either method! 

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 Gav_92 26 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

No socks 

Used to wear them then got smaller shoes and now don't although considering wearing a thin pair with my anasazi pinks as they smell abit so tend to hang in the garage 

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In reply to dinodinosaur:

Socks. Don't care what you think.

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 Basemetal 26 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Outdoor or in? single or multipitch? I'd always wear socks for big route trad, for comfort and ankle  protection.

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 marktrik 26 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

No socks.

Simply, u can feel the shoe better, more sensitive. However, after a mad bouldering session they do sweat.... 

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In reply to dinodinosaur:

Thin socks are more comfy plus wick sweat so keep your shoes clean. They also don't affect my climbing grade. 

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In reply to dinodinosaur:

Socks because I like to look deceptively pro.

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 TomPearce63 26 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Socks normally

Feet get too sweaty otherwise. Will occasionally go sock less when trying something hard 

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 brianjcooper 26 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Socks.

As December at Stanage is bloody cold!

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In reply to dinodinosaur:

Over or under?

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 Tom V 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Socks. And the same with sandals, obviously. I don't like rubber and flesh in contact.

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In reply to dinodinosaur:

Socks.   Less smell and less chance of getting athletes foot or a fungal infection on your toenail.

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 SenzuBean 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Avid sock wearer, but I'm absolutely gutted that I can't find the good socks anymore. I used to wear very thin, non-stretchy, form-fitting Nike running socks. But they've stopped making them as far as I can tell, so my stockpile has to last until I can find an alternative. I don't like wearing stretchy socks as I can feel them 'give' slightly and bunch up.

Benefits of socks:
- Climbing shoes simply don't smell at all.
- Easier to put climbing shoes on when feet are sweaty.
- More comfortable when you put on approach shoes (e.g. at long belays, walking between climbs) - just keep the socks on (or else you need to keep putting socks on and off).
- Ever so slightly protect ankles in cracks etc.

Negatives of socks:
- None, you're wrong
 

Post edited at 01:41
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In reply to SenzuBean:

Next sells really thin cotton socks that work well.

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 john arran 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

If I'm climbing somewhere high altitude and cold, I'll consider wearing slightly bigger shoes with socks, just so I can feel my feet. At all other times I see no advantage whatsoever in compromising the amount of feeling and precision of placement I can achieve through my shoes. But I've never had any problem with smelly shoes, so it's hard to see any advantage at all to socks in temperate conditions.

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 deepsoup 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

> Vote like for socks and dislike for no socks

Turned 'em off - can't vote, see the results.  You can create a proper poll on here now you know.. 

Anyway - I'm another sock wearer.  People say you can feel more without but I get a Reynauds thing going on and when my feet are cold I feel nothing but a kind of dull pain from my dead toes.  Conversely when it's hot and sweaty, mostly what I feel from my shoes without socks is how slimy it's getting in there. 

Can it really be true that a millimeter or so of freshly washed cotton added to the rubber/leather/board/whatever between my toes and the rock seriously compromises 'sensitivity'?  Dunno, maybe.  Doesn't really bother me anyway, I'll never climb anything like the grades that were put up in Firés and chunky white terry sports socks, nor even in Joe Brown's Woolies pumps.

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 mrphilipoldham 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Socks all the time. Great fun bimbling up a HVS in my normal shoes too, while some nearby wannabe is struggling on a HS, sockless in some trendy downturned nonsense

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 Offwidth 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

I don't use the buttons but I started climbing just accepting sock use was problematic and as I had issues was persuaded by a wise and able climber to try them and never looked back. My shoes used to stink, after a while they slipped in use because of a slimy gunge that built up and as such I needed to wear them tighter than I wanted and wash them quite often (and they didn't last so long); the midges ate my ankles, and nettles, brambles and gorse were a pain. I tried socks, found I climbed marginally better with them indoors and out, and all my other problems went away.

These days I'm not interested in performance so it's a no brainer in any case. I have bunions partly from foolishness in my earlier climbing, I think being in pain prevents development of relaxed good footwork and I worry for the future of young feet.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/climbing-shoes-is-pain-insane

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 Rick Graham 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

I use cut down socks unless it is very hot.

Cut the toe section plus a bit off and slit the heel. Get maximum performance ,cosy and protected ankles.

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In reply to Rick Graham:

Wow, stealth socks. I like your style, all the sensitivity of sockless, yet maintaining standards. 

Hats off. 

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In reply to dinodinosaur:

I have very narrow feet and find a really thin pair of v short ankle socks helps

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 Rob Parsons 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Wow, stealth socks.

'Crotchless' socks might be a better description. Nice.

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 Myfyr Tomos 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Red wool. Topped by tweed plus-fours.

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 brianjcooper 27 Jul 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Over or under?

There speaks a climber who knows how to climb on wet rock. 

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In reply to Rick Graham:

Could you offer some advice please. 

I am looking to adapt my colourful cool dude euro kecks to maintain the special powers bestowed upon all middle aged men by my Ron Hills. How should I proceed? 

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 Rick Graham 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Could you offer some advice please. 

> I am looking to adapt my colourful cool dude euro kecks to maintain the special powers bestowed upon all middle aged men by my Ron Hills. How should I proceed? 

Priority numero uno is to choose some trousers that 

Restrict your movement .

That only hang properly when not wearing a harness. With said harness on will ride up your legs exposing half your calves.

Have multiple pockets that get in the way of your leg loops and also interfere with your gear loops and racking. Said pockets should enable the carrying of mobile phone car keys and wallet , and facilitate either losing or damageing them.

The fly on the trousers should be designed as impossible to use when wearing a harness.

Zips on pockets  should be as chunky as possible to maximise bodily damage when climbing off widths and reduce any friction on the rock.

The material used to make the trousers should be selected to stick to the skin in hot weather further reducing the freedom of movement. It should also gain the consistancy of blotting paper after the briefest rain shower. It should disintergrate within ten metres of any rough  rock like granite or gritstone and rip if it snags on any sharp limestone.

Have I missed anything?

Edit, just realised I did not really answer the question . Wear them to the pub and use something more practical on the crag. 

Post edited at 11:51
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In reply to dinodinosaur:

No socks, but I'm toying with reconsidering if I can find something that works (aren't visible in use, obviously).  If I can start wearing a helmet nothing is unthinkable!

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In reply to Rick Graham:

> Have I missed anything?

Only the special self opening fly that manufacturers insist on installing. 

Cutting out the crotch might help.  

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 Sean Kelly 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Rick Graham:

How could you miss bell-bottoms to hide all sight of foot placements. Had a bad time on Cloggy back in the '70s when they were derigour for any serious climber!

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 downsouth 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Yes, I wear thin trainer socks.  Socks you can see are not a good look though.   Reasons are that rock shoes stay sweet smelling plus I find the socks somehow prevent my toes from becoming rubbed and sore.  I guess if you are in the higher grades higher performance might be able to be achieved from not having socks but that's not where I am. 

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 Jimbo C 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Mostly no socks, but if it's a really cold day and I'm going to be jamming my feet in cracks, I might then leave my socks on. 

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 jdh90 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Used to wear no socks, cos thats wot the pros do innit.  Get better performance out yer shoes, stand on stuff better!

I was also entertained by just how pungent an odour my shoes developed and would encourage the unsuspecting to "take a whiff of this".

However, my friends and significant other started to refuse to be in the same room, vehicle, 10m radius outside on a windy day as them.  Boot bananas added a wonderful floral dimension, rather than fully eradicating the smell.  The pong also infected my chalk and would revolt anyone who took a dip from me.

I then bought some fancy expensive shoes, but the heels gave me blisters so I started wearing socks.

I now climb with socks and punter decathlon shoes (the velcro ones, size and a half down) and advocate such behaviour to others.  I climb no worse than I did with fancy shoes and sockless, my wallet and personal relationships are healthier.  Being weak, poor technique and not training enough/losing some weight limits my performance more than my footwear choices. (6b indoor, up at proper grades I expect it starts to matter!)

I still havent managed to exorcise the smell from my chalk bag.

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 Offwidth 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Ha! I've been wearing a he!met outdoor bouldering for well over a decade now, unless it's benign lowball with a great landing or I have several spotters I trust. I decided this after one too many near misses pinging off and my head just missing something that might have ended me. To keep the fashion police annoyed I even have a stretched beanie that fits over it.

About 15 years back I was dancing along a curb on a cold winter day with my hands in my pockets in Fort Bill, after viewing a great local winter climbing forecast in the climbing shop. I tripped and hit the curb in a line from my head to my ribs. I was in A&E there for 2 days for observation with a suspected radial skull fracture.

Putting fashion above risk and comfort seems just daft to me and as I scientist I don't get why I managed to get fooled into these dumb practices in the first place.

Post edited at 13:50
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 Rob Parsons 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> About 15 years back I was dancing along a curb on a cold winter day with my hands in my pockets in Fort Bill, after viewing a great local winter climbing forecast in the climbing shop. I tripped and hit the curb in a line from my head to my ribs. I was in A&E there for 2 days for observation with a suspected radial skull fracture.

> Putting fashion above risk and comfort seems just daft to me ...

So you now routinely wear a helmet when going shopping, right?

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 Rick Graham 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

The logical conclusion , looking at the MRT statistics , is that all hill users should wear helmets.

( pointed out to me by Blyth Wright, RIP, head of sais at the time)

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 Rob Parsons 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Rick Graham:

> The logical conclusion , looking at the MRT statistics , is that all hill users should wear helmets.

Not just hill users. All pedestrians - including all shoppers - should wear helmets whenever they are using their legs. And, preferably, a full-body airbag. Safety first!

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In reply to Offwidth:

> To keep the fashion police annoyed I even have a stretched beanie that fits over it.

Yep, I'm sure that has them in awe of your cool!

Let's not go overboard. I now have a helmet that I find tolerable and will wear if I remember and as I think appropriate.  Which does not include bouldering.  

Post edited at 15:11
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 alan moore 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

I find that socks help pad out all the air pockets inside the toe box of rock shoes. They also protect your Achilles from the heel cup.

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 Offwidth 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

If there was a significant risk of an uncontrolled fall from upto 6m, risking head injury, in my shopping I would be yes. I often try hard when I boulder and fall a lot.

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In reply to dinodinosaur:

No socks for me, but I sometimes get the brown, smelly, slippery slush in my feet, and watch the rubber role off those edges.

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 Offwidth 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I also respect the rights of others to disagree. Very important when it comes to the wearing of helmets.

On single pitch trad rock routes I've had less than one fall a year on average, I've had more risk from climber displaced rock or dropped gear... for me the daily risk of head injury in a fall when outdoor bouldering (especially when on my own) is quite simply way higher than for my trad climbing (but less than on alpine or winter routes due to falling rock or ice). Again, I'm rather bemused now that I ignored the evidence in front of my face (if you excuse the pun) for so long. That kerb taught me a hard lesson about small falls.

Post edited at 17:00
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 rony 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Ankle length nylons from M&S are the answer.

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 Dave Cundy 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Sean Kelly:

One of the lads in our club was talking about flares one day. He said they developed the knack of flicking their leg, just as they put their foot on a hold.  It served to move said flare out of the way, temporarily.

The pendulum seems to have swung the other way when Ron Hills came along.

As regards socks, i prefer climbing without.  If my feet might get cold, i put on ankle warmers (the bottom 6 inches of the legs from a long retired caving furry suit).

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 Trangia 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

I always wore socks

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In reply to dinodinosaur:

Sport climbing - no

roadside cragging- no

mountain routes-yes

winter mountain routes-yes

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 Kevster 27 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Depends how I feel:

Bimbly - thick socks

Crusty - long socks, maybe held up with a garter or old school running pants

Bouldering dude - no socks, no feet

Sport wad - no socks, maybe an ankle bracelet thingy

As a serious answer - if its cold or the rock is aggressive then socks make sense.

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 Andy Hardy 27 Jul 2020
In reply to downsouth:

> Yes, I wear thin trainer socks.  Socks you can see are not a good look though.   

Do you actually lose sleep worrying about this sort of nonsense?

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 LeeWood 28 Jul 2020
In reply to Kevster:

> As a serious answer - if its cold or the rock is aggressive then socks make sense.

Every once in a while I fail on routes of a particular character - and come away muttering about 'the devil's meat grater'

Full body armour would make sense if the rock is aggressive 😏

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 Offwidth 28 Jul 2020
In reply to LeeWood:

I remember the days when fleece or custom padded thick Ron hills gave added protection and knee friction, before stretch jeans became fashionable (even useful sometimes on boulder problems... Banana Finger springs to mind).

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In reply to dinodinosaur:

It’s all context, and how something is worn. Ron with EBs and long red socks rolled down or Jerry with white sports socks: cool. Socks, Ron Hills, full set breakfast, severes: not so much. Or belay glasses. 😂

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 AlanLittle 28 Jul 2020
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Do you actually miss jokes as obvious as that?

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 Lankyman 28 Jul 2020
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> It’s all context, and how something is worn. Ron with EBs and long red socks rolled down

This was the first 'look I actively tried to cultivate. Skimpy shiny running shorts as well. Add in a bubble perm/mullet hairstyle and dodgy moustache. Trouble is, you'd end up looking like a vintage porn actor. Ah well, you're only young once.

Post edited at 13:21
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 WaterMonkey 28 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

You're lucky if I wear socks to a wedding let alone climbing!

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In reply to dinodinosaur:

Socks forever....I find it incredibly anti social at a climbing or bouldering wall, when someone takes their shoes off, confined space, and absolutely stinks the place out....foul stench of rotting cheese, they must know how bad it is, with everybody shuffling away, or turning to retch into their chalkbag....

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 MisterPiggy 28 Jul 2020
In reply to dinodinosaur:

Socks.

When I started, I climbed in my usual trainers with two pairs of socks to stop them moving on my feet. I also tried climbing in bare feet. After a year or so I got some new fangled rock boots (this was the 80s) and chucked them after a few months. Sure, I climbed harder, but the pain in my feet - ouch. The advice back then was 'wear a size smaller than your shoes'. The pain spoiled utterly the days on the rock.

So back to climbing in trainers and growing forearms like Popeye cos of treacherous feet.

Since approach shoes have been around, I've climbed harder and with joy and happy feet. And socks.

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