/ Rock shoes - Braking in a pair

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ethan109 on 28 Jan 2013
I have just got a pair of Evolv Pontas 2. I have big size 14 feet but got these in an 11.5. These are the first pair of proper uncomfy shoes I've had. My old pair were Scarpa thunders size 12, which slip of smaller holds. This probably sounds like a stupid question but it is really hard to know how tight too tight is. When I climbed in them for the first time at the wall today. I was in agony and actually struggled to stand on small holds in them, mainly because the knuckles of my toes are jammed right up against the top of the shoe fabric, leaving my skin around that area red with slight dents in them once I've taken the shoes off. What I want to know is will they brake in and get a bit more comfy. Is this a common problem when wearing a new pair of rock shoes geared more towards performance then comfort and does it get any easier?

Any advice appreciated.

Jep_uk - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to ethan109:

I had a pair of them, never climbed in them though, as they went back to the shop as the pain in my toe from them was unbearable. The odd thing was I tried a smaller pair and they didn't seem as painful, however I only tried them on for a few minutes. I can't believe you are in shoes that are 2.5 sizes smaller, I'm not surprised they are painful.

I believe leather shoes stretch and break in a bit more than synthetic uppers. I ended up going for some Boreal Jokers as they were far more comfortable, which whilst they were my first pair of shoes I thought that was the most important factor.

For my next pair I would like a more technical / performance style shoe, but I won't be going for a pair which are too painful still.

Zebdi - on 29 Jan 2013
Synthetic shoes like 5.10 and Evolv don't stretch much. You should go for your street size or perhaps a bit smaller. But don't expect them to stretch. It's quite the opposite with La Sportiva (or most of leather shoes) shoes. I have a pair of Katanas that're 4 sizes smaller than my street size and they feel quite comfy after 4 months of use ;)
Neil Williams - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to ethan109:

I could never get on with super-tight shoes - yes, they did make me climb better, but I didn't enjoy it. So I'd rather climb 6a in looser shoes and not be in pain, than 6b in tighter ones and be in pain.

Each to their own of course, but 11.5 if you are size 14 sounds a bit extreme!

Jamie B - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to ethan109:

Don't persevere with them, you'll just reduce the money you get when you give up and sell them.
aldo56 - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to ethan109: I'm a size 10 street shoe and bought a size 10 Pontas. At first i thought they were a bit tight but i soon grew used to it, i found that tighteneing the velcro right up helped. If I was buying again i'd likely go for a size 10.5.

From my experience, I'd imagine your ones are way too tight!
GridNorth - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to ethan109: I'm not trying to put you down but at the grades you are climbing, according to your profile, you do not need tight fitting "performance" shoes that are several sizes smaller than your normal shoe size. In fact I'm not convinced that anyone does. If my shoes are too tight I find myself thinking about the pain rather than tidy footwork. Half a size down should be more than enough to allow for any stretching in lined shoes and perhaps 1 full size down for unlined shoes. 14 to 11.5 is waaaaay too much and I would have thought it unlikely that they will stretch that much. You should also go for the fit rather than the advertised sizing as this can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For what it's worth my Evolve Pontas wore out quicker than any other shoe that I have owned.
parberoo - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to ethan109:
I had to come seeking similar advice when i got my 5.10 Teams.
I got them at street shoe size and they've been pretty hideous. Same reason of having my toe knuckles rammed into the toe box.
I dont get to climb much but over the course of a month and a bit they're starting to get useful. I still dont like falling on my feet in them as the toe bend hurts most but I've gone from taking them off every 10 minutes to having them on for most of the session, up to 3 hours. As mentioned previously, tightening the velcro up a lot, illogically, does seem to help, as does sitting with my heels out for a bit.
I know nothing of Evolve sizing but you do ultimately have to make a call as to whether they can or will be able to stretch enough for you to put up with them.
More-On - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to ethan109: I use evolv as their shape fits my foot, but to get a comfy fit for the long mountain routes I prefer I have to go up 0.5 size from my street shoe size. Also, to echo the above, they will not stretch. I'd sell them now...
Chuckinpomgolia - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to ethan109:
The most important thing is fit. They should be tight, snug fit without pain. They'll be uncomforable that is for sure. If you get a shoe that is right shape for your foot you will be able to go down to the right size for that shoe for you.
Having said that I buy Boreal Jokes in a size 8 which are a little painful for the first 1/2 dozen or so sessions (not notice-able while climbing). After that they are perfect, I can even belay in them. That is coming from a street shoe of size 11.
Go to a good rock shop who have staff who know how fit shoes. If you are in London try the folks at Mile End.
robbo99 - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to ethan109: never really understood why people think climbing shoes should be painful by default; getting the right shape for your foot is the most important thing.

Only reason i can see for buying a shoe that's too small is if its only 'slightly' too small to account for the expansion of leather and such.

The guys at The Reach in south east london are great when it comes to shoe fitting
Siderunner - on 29 Jan 2013
Sell em and get these, much better for the old heel-and-toe:

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