/ performance fit or too small

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david100 - on 07 Jan 2017
ok so i got some new anasazi in a 9 and my street size is a 10 after taking advice from shop staff and the internet. I tried them on in the shop in both 9 and 10 and the 10 though comfy felt quite floppy and bendy whereas the 9 was solid and precise. Now i find that when i use them at the bouldering wall i can only tolerate them on my feet for about 15 minutes or less and i have to switch back to my boreal size 10 jokers and rest my feet. This is affecting my flow. So do i persevere with the 9 in the hope that my feet or the shoe will adjust. do i try half a size up and lose some performance. Or do i accept that I will spend my life in 10 jokers and never use performance shoes.
zimpara - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100:

Performance fingers make you climb harder. Not performance shoes.
bouldery bits - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100:

I would stick it out for a few sessions.

Try wearing them round the house whe n you can.

Also, when at the wall put them on for 10 mins. Take off for 1 min and put them back on. Not sure why it works, but it does!
The Ex-Engineer - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100: Not sure what you end up doing at the wall but when bouldering I normally spend most of my time sitting on the mat resting between attempts or problems!

15 minutes sounds absolutely great to me for a performance shoe! Even a fairly long set of 4x4s won't take nearly that long.

However, I rarely need to put my good shoes on at the wall, especially bouldering. I spend pretty much my entire time wearing a super soft and comfy pair of Evolv Defy, it is only under sufferance (i.e. after flailing badly on something) that I'll consider putting my decent stiff lace-ups on.

Do your warm up stuff in your comfy shoes and then stick with the new ones for the rest of the time. Just get used to taking them off between attempts until they break in a bit.
david100 - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:

i need some of those as well. where do i buy them from.
Lord_ash2000 - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100:

The first few sessions you wear a new pair of boots you might struggle, but they will give a little bit after some use. It also depends on how the shoe fits you, some shoes I can barley keep my foot in but others (La spotiva solutions and 5.10 pinks) I can wear for 2 hours solid within a few sessions, yet for others I know its the other way around, depends on foot shape etc.

1 size down is normally about right for 5.10's, although different brands have radically different sizings, in La sportiva's I go from 9/9.5 street shoe down to a 7.5 and they fit great, in 5.10's I'm more like 8.5.
Luke90 on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100:

So 9 is a bit too tight and 10 is too loose. Would it be crazy to suggest the 9.5?!
ianstevens - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Luke90:
> So 9 is a bit too tight and 10 is too loose. Would it be crazy to suggest the 9.5?!

Or wait until they stretch out (which they will). Wear them on the sofa, wear them at your desk and if you can get your feet on the radiator to get them nice and sweaty that will also help*. You can also try wearing them in the shower to accelerate the process.

As the ex-engineer says, 15 mins is actually ok for performance shoes. You should be resting between efforts (either projecting or training), so just take your shoes off. They'll come good!

*I share an office, and this "may" be seen as an unpopular move ;)

Edited as autocorrect decided I wanted to say "safe", rather than "sofa".
Post edited at 11:09
slab_happy on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100:

>Now i find that when i use them at the bouldering wall i can only tolerate them on my feet for about 15 minutes or less

To second what other people have said -- that sounds pretty normal (good, even) for new shoes with a performance fit. Taking them off every five minutes would be normal for me with brand new shoes!

Your mileage may vary (and obviously some models of shoe stretch more than others), but for me, I've found that if I'm initially convinced that I've bought half a size too small, that often turns out to be perfect once the shoes have broken in. Give them a few sessions and see how it goes.

However, with performance shoes for bouldering, you should get used to taking them off a lot anyway, even once they've broken in. They shouldn't be painful, but they're never going to be comfortable. Get into the habit of taking them off regularly, whenever you're sitting around on the mat between attempts. Don't wait until it becomes excruciating; pulling them off often and giving your toes a quick wiggle before you put them back on again can make all the difference.
3leggeddog on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

I have climbed at my limit in comfy evolv defys. I think performance fit is a bit of a myth, I can't climb hard if my feet hurt, I take too much weight on my arms to relieve the pain. This is noticeable when wearing a new pair of defys for the first time, thankfully they wear in quickly.
L Gustavo - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100:

Nothing wrong with boreal jokers. I've climbed E4 in mine and never thought it was the shoes holding me back.
The idea we need to wear uncomfortably tight shoes to climb hard is misguided. I'd get myself a pair of comfy boots if I was in your position.
Robert Durran - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Gustavo:

> The idea we need to wear uncomfortably tight shoes to climb hard is misguided. I'd get myself a pair of comfy boots if I was in your position.

"Performance" boots can be both tight and comfortable if they fit your feet. I am lucky in that Anasazis fit my feet like gloves after a few sessions breaking them in (building up from about 5 mins warm up initially). They then perform at their best while being perfectly acceptably comfortable. I go half a size up for long or easier routes.

The Ex-Engineer - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to 3leggeddog: I've climbed in Defys for about ten years including Right Wall (E5 6a), The American Direct (ED1) and pretty much everything in Hard Rock. They are easily good enough for most things, although there is definitely a stage, especially on really thin limestone routes (e.g. High Tor E4s and hard, vertical sport routes) where something much stiffer is needed.

I've not spent more than 45 on shoes in the last decade and generally find a new pair on sale or an almost unused second-hand well before my existing pairs are all worn out.

However, the most popular shoe at my local wall seems to be Sportiva Solutions, so loads of people are perfectly happy to pay 100+ per pair.



tingle - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100:

Try wear them as much as possible, only on my second pair of shoes but my second pair were really tight in the shop and now they have a little crease in because I have to tighten them so much.
zimpara - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100:

>Performance fingers make you climb harder. Not performance shoes.

How the f*ck do I have 13 dislikes for that...
Woolly on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:


> >Performance fingers make you climb harder. Not performance shoes.

> How the f*ck do I have 13 dislikes for that...

Have you read Dave Macleod's book "9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes" because the answer is in there?
Duncan Campbell - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:

Because good footwork is paramount to good performance. This means shoes that are tight, fit your feet and your preferred level of stiffness/downturn etc according to what you are climbing.

Yes strong fingers also help but good technique should come first.
zimpara - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Woolly:

> Have you read Dave Macleod's book "9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes" because the answer is in there?

Are you asking me something or telling me something?
brianjcooper on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100:
This question seems to be regularly posted and always receives contrasting viewpoints.

My own view is, get a pair that fit you comfortably without being 'floppy'. Try several manufacturers as not all shoes
fit the same. As an example I use a pair of Joker 10's on the wall and Miura laces 9.5's outdoors.

YES! Maybe get a half size bigger as not all shoes stretch. It can depend on what fabric/leather they are made of, and the pain of uncomfortable shoes will distract you from performing well.

How do I know? I've got trashed feet from years of shoe horning my feet into too tight shoes. And feet swell
in hot environments.

Good luck
Post edited at 14:13
wbo - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:

Both I suspect.

To the OP - give it a few sessions when you worn them, sweated into them and stretched them and I think you'll be okey dokey. I don't buy shoes that are super tight either but yours sound ok.

Si dH - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100:

If you can wear them for 15 minutes on your first session with them I'd say they are about perfect unless you want to only climb whole day easy trad. They'll almost certainly loosen up a little and conform to your feet after a few visits.
JayPee630 - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:
> >Performance fingers make you climb harder. Not performance shoes.

> How the f*ck do I have 13 dislikes for that...

Cos you constantly post macho and ill informed drivel on here?
Post edited at 14:43
Timmd on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to david100:
After coming across talk of climbers having toe joints fused on here, and experiencing twinges in my toe joints the day after using my tighter fitting shoes, I decided there's more important things than tight climbing shoes and now accept the limitations of comfier shoes.

It's probably party due to having dodgy elbows which means I can't climb as hard as I used to, but healthy toes are more important than being able to stand on anything, given the possibility of dodgy toe joints in the future. I like going walking too much.

Just for another perspective as it were...
Post edited at 15:12
Woolly on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:

> Performance fingers make you climb harder. Not performance shoes.

That's why you think gritstone VDiff's feel like 6a


zimpara - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Woolly:

Haha piss off wolly ;)
Robert Durran - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Duncan Campbell:

> Because good footwork is paramount to good performance.

A couple used to go to my local wall wearing T-shirts which said "Technique is for weak climbers". They were laughably shit climbers.


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