/ First Bouldering shoe???

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bigbadsquare on 13 Jun 2012 - 5ad64edc.bb.sky.com
Just recently got into indoor bouldering, rent shoes at the moment. im looking for advice on an allround shoe that will still be ok as i hopefully improve. they are not cheap as you know so need as much advice as possible. Cant afford to waste the £££££'s
Dangerous Dave 123 - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare: Get the one that fits the best.
bouldery bits - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to Dangerous Dave 123:
> (In reply to bigbadsquare) Get the one that fits the best.

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.
Fluvial - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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
bigbadsquare on 14 Jun 2012 - host81-138-112-161.in-addr.btopenworld.com
In reply to bouldery bits:

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.


Durbs on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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.
Eagle River - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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:

Paul Twomey on 14 Jun 2012
Good advice from Eagle River - always go and try shoes on to make sure the fit is right for you. Every different type of shoe is built on a unique last, and it's important that you get a shape that suits your foot.
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.
Papa Lazarus on 14 Jun 2012 - rockrun1-adsl.demon.co.uk
In reply to bigbadsquare:

I like Evolve Talons, they work well and are pretty hardwearing.
Fluvial - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to Papa Lazarus:

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!!
derryclimbs - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to fozmeister:

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.
Kieran_John - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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!
bigbadsquare on 14 Jun 2012 - host81-138-112-161.in-addr.btopenworld.com
In reply to Durbs: Well went to Go outdoors tried the Evolv Defy but seemed a bit loose, proceeded to try every pair on they had but settled on a pair of Evolv Bandits that fit really snug and look good too. a tenner more than the Defy but they feel more solid.

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?

Eagle River - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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.
Gazlynn - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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.

good luck


derryclimbs - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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!

bigbadsquare on 14 Jun 2012 - 5ad64edc.bb.sky.com
In reply to derryclimbs: In the absence of massive massive guns, i had better work on my technique ;)

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.
Dangerous Dave 123 - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare: They should stretch out a bit, but it won't be a massive amount. And your feet will get used to it to a point, if after a while you still get pain, write them off as a costly mistake, sell them on and try a half size, or even a full size bigger.
And Climb on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare: If they aren't crushing your little toes then it's fine. Take them off between climbs to let your feet chill out a bit. They will break in and if you're coming from climbing centre rented shoes then it can take a while for your feet to 'adjust'.
bigbadsquare on 14 Jun 2012 - 5ad64edc.bb.sky.com
In reply to And Climb: Not my little toes its the big toes that are taking a beating, will stick with them for a while but if not its into the classifieds they go.
Kieran_John - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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.
Dangerous Dave 123 - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to Kieran_John: Well in my experience they do stretch, just not as much as others, and they will go back to their original size if left for a long enough time.
Fluvial - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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
markez on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare: Take the shoes off at regular intervals before they get painful. If you have a chat at the wall, take them off too. I'd expect your current shoes will get better in this regard. Put another way, my current pair were painful as soon as they were on and are now very comfortable - I don't recommend painful shoes btw.

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.
Blackgoby - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare: I have been doing a bit of research trying to decide what to buy next. Mad Rock Flash seem to be rated well for performance and value for money, but might wear a bit quicker than more expensive shoes. This is based on the reviews I have read - not personal experience.
ADHD on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare: evolve are ok, can be pretty cheap
cha1n on 16 Jun 2012
In reply to markez:

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.
Tangerine_Kingdom - on 16 Jun 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare: Fit is by far the most important aspect to look out for in a shoe. Don't get bogged down by models of shoe, they all have sticky rubber but if you don't use your feet (ie. transfer force through your feet down onto the hold) not even the stickiest shoe in the world will keep your feet on.

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!
Chris Duddy on 03 Jul 2012 - host86-139-128-84.range86-139.btcentralplus.com
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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.
DAVE_BRAIN on 10 Jul 2012 - cpc4-newc15-2-0-cust982.gate.cable.virginmedia.com
This is a great thread, I took up bouldering as a cheap sport... The romantic idea that a chalk bag and a pair of shoes would be enough...

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!
Flat4matt on 16 Jul 2012 - host81-159-168-172.range81-159.btcentralplus.com
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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!
unknownclimber6 - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to bigbadsquare:

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!!!
chers - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6: I have the new pontas...wicked shoes but smell like something has crawled in them and died!!

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