/ Multiple pairs of shoes???

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Mike505 on 10 Aug 2017

Whenever I research climbing shoes the forums always seem to turn up people who have 3 or 4 pairs for various different styles. Whilst I'll agree it can be useful to have a couple of different shoes. Personally I have no preference for rock type and train indoors so usually have a pair for 'best' and another for training. Even then I use my twice resoled Miura VS's for just about everything up to E3 (my top onsight grade) be it edging on slate, smearing on grit or on steep limestone they seem more than adequate.
I guess at the upper limits every bit helps but when you're average climber states they own so many pairs, are they just conning themselves and emulating the professionals or buying what manufactures tell them they need i.e this shoe uses xs grip and will be suitable for 'insert randomly generated style here'.

That's another thing I'm sure I read somewhere that xs grip makes no difference one you weigh more than 8.5 stone so why stick it to larger sized high end shoes is it just a marketing ploy?
Rant over.
Post edited at 07:39
4
buxtoncoffeelover - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike505:

I'm a very average/mediocre climber with lots of pairs of shoes! I'm not conning myself, emulating the pros or buying anything that is advertised.
I've got a larger pair that I can wear with warm socks for winter climbing; a comfy pair that I can wear all day on multipitch routes; a couple of pairs with holes in for indoors (& in case I ever go deep water soloing!); my 'normal' everyday/everycrag shoe & a supertight (uncomfortable! but easing in now) downturned pair that I got for limestone sport (& maybe they help a tiny bit). All of them have been purchased cheaply (in sales of old stock, Decathlon own-brand/Simond), often cheaper than a resoling.
Add to that my trainers, lightweight summer boots (both Decathlon), ancient Scarpa B2 & newly acquired B3s, 'reef' sandals & clip-in cycling shoes to complete my outdoor pursuit footwear!
I do only own 2 pairs of shoes though - one black (weddings, funerals etc, 20 years old) & one brown (10 years old, sale junk from TKMaxx). I hate wearing shoes!!
joe.91 - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike505:

Super tight shoes for bouldering, which include a soft downturn for steep stuff and a stiff edging shoe for vert stuff.

Then just the trad shoes, but i want a stiffer bigger pair for the alps/multipitch. 35 pitches on Westridge killed my feet in my normal trad shoes. Ouch.
Mike505 on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to buxtoncoffeelover:

Thanks for the balanced reply and a perspective I didn't consider, while you have several pairs it doesn't seem to be because you've paid attention too much attention to marketing jargon but more down to being a well rounded climber. I suppose I was trying to question whether or not the average climber really needs specific shoes for different styles e.g bouldering, sport, trad, indoor, however I guess I may have been targeting a minority/ stereotype with my question.
Mike505 on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to joe.91:

Looking at your profile I think you may qualify to be counted as a fair way above and beyond the average climber....
cb294 - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike505:

Guess you are barking up the wrong tree here. I am a rather average climber, but own an old pair of super tight 5.10s that I only ever wear in Frankenjura and other limestone sport, my regular pair of cragging shoes, and a wide pair for long multipitch stuff when I expect to keep my hiking socks on.

Also there are a bunch of other pairs in various state of disrepair somewhere at the back of my gear cupboard, typically in need of a resole that never happened because I got a new pair in a sale somewhere.

Now my four pairs of B3 boots, THAT is something my wife starts complaining about....

CB
SDM on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike505:

If you are mostly doing trad at those levels, a reasonable all round shoe like the Miura VS will be fine for everything. I can't think of a trad route I have done up to E3 where shoes would have made much difference.

If you are regularly trying moves at your physical/technical limit, you will often encounter moves that you can either only do with a certain type of shoe or that are at least a lot easier with a certain type of shoe.

For probably 90% of my climbing, the shoes I wear make very little difference. But then if I try to stand up on that tiny peak lime edge in a pair of soft shoes or try tenuous grit smear in my edging shoes, I'll get nowhere.

There are plenty of heel or toe hooks where a change of shoe can make a move go from impossible for me to not that hard.

If I tried to wear my tightest bouldering shoes for a multipitch, I'd be done by about the second pitch. Equally, if I wore my comfy warmup/all day shoes for some limit bouldering, I'd get nowhere.

If I was better, I could climb these problems in suboptimal shoes. If I made do with just one pair of shoes, I could just accept that things at my limit would feel harder and some of them would become too hard for me.

If you think rubber/shoe type doesn't make a difference, go find a tiny edge that you can barely use in a soft shoe and then try again in a stiff shoe. Or find a tenuous grit rockover that is just about doable with a soft shoe, then see if you can still do it with a really stiff shoe. The difference can be night and day.

Regarding the cost, it costs me no more to keep my current 6 pairs of shoes on rotation than it would to use the same pair for everything as each pair lasts 6 times as long. The initial outlay is higher but longterm, it costs the same. It also means that when a pair needs replacing or resoling, I don't have to rush out and buy an overpriced pair, I can always wait until I can get a bargain.

Biggest downside is the size of bag I need to take to the crag...
drgrange - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to buxtoncoffeelover:
You're such a diva Nik
Post edited at 09:26
buxtoncoffeelover - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to drgrange:

I've got flippers for diving!!
MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to cb294:


> Now my four pairs of B3 boots, THAT is something my wife starts complaining about....

I meet your four pairs of B3 boots and raise you four pairs of ski touring boots.

I do regard both sets as a life time supply and insurance against not finding size 50 boots ever again.
paul__in_sheffield - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike505:

Hi there, quite a lot to go at here. I always have lots of pairs of shoes which I've settled on through empirical testing rather than the glossy bobbins from manufacturers.

So, always XS Edge unless there's a very good reason (Sportiva Testarossas are XS grip but fit my feet better than anything else, so they get worn out and resoled in Edge).
Scrap Instinct Velcro newish for hard stuff; old, worn in, comfy and resoled for punter UK bouldering, Font Circuits and holiday bolt clipping. Instinct Laces for projects and anything that doesn't require wearing them a lot (can't walk in them).
Scarpa Stix for slabby grit, these get resoled in Edge for bouldering eventually.
Trash pair for 4x4s and circuits at the wall.

When I used to climb trad, one pair of EBs got me up most stuff, however my usual top grade was English 6a and occasional 6b if I got lucky, which means that now I boulder virtually exclusively, I need all the help I can get!

Mrs P_in_S swears by 5.10 Stealth rubber, but I hate the shoes so I'm going to experiment resoling an old pair of Stix in it to see how it goes.

So there you go, shoes to do different jobs from 1 day to 1 minute and in different places. I've found a rubber that works for me purely through use.
btw, Mrs P supervised an Engineering Design Masters project which analysed the differences between Edge and Grip ( experimental rig, different rock surfaces, force plates, strain gauges etc.) The outcome identified 65kg as the lowest useful body weight for Edge, any lower and Grip performs better across the board. There is also a temperature effect which moves this around. Interestingly, not the rock temperature but the temp of the foot. So if you've naturally cold feet in grit season, the body weight to switch to grip is higher than 65kg. This research hasn't been published, but I think I've got the main facts right.

Paul
cb294 - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

I bow to you, my master and Lord of the Boot Cabinet!

CB
taddersandbadger - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to SDM:

I am definitely a bit of a shoe hoarder, having found one or two types that I really get along with, I have 2 sizes (comfy all day trad and tighter sport size) of each and one or two spare replacement pairs waiting in reserve to replace the current ones when worn out. These are then resolved once or twice and used as indoor wallies.
The reserves / replacements are usually bought secondhand at significantly reduced prices, often on UKC
jon on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> I meet your four pairs of B3 boots and raise you four pairs of ski touring boots.

Spring snow, powder, crust and wind-pack, I assume?
Mike505 on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:
Interesting point on the 65kg as that puts it at about 10 stone rather than the 8 1/2 I thought it was. Unfortunately I haven't weighed below that since 17 and have warm sweaty feet (lovely) so will be sticking (no pun intended) with xs edge.
Post edited at 11:01
bouldery bits - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike505:

5.10 Moccs

5.10 Galileos (need resoling)

5.10 Quantums (original, not the new rubbish ones(

5.10 Dragons x 2

Scarpa stix

La Sportiva Solutions


And what mate?

I punt harder than a Cambridge post grad. Shoes make me feel good about myself, like a 30 something spinster.

Leave the shoes out of it.

(I'd have muiras too, If they'd fit me properly)
Post edited at 11:05
paul__in_sheffield - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike505:

Mrs P is well below 65kg and has very cold feet even in summer. She had an issue with Edge behaving like roller skates when she wore them, hence her preference for Grip and Stealth C4
Big Lee - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike505:

I've used separate shoes in the past for different styles but now I just use TC Pros for everything. I've actually increased my hardest grades in all disciplines with them and they've also been the most comfortable shoes that I've owned. Ability to edge is definitely not my limiting factor. In conclusion I think I used a lot of shoes in the past that were less than ideal for my feet/style/ability and so needed multiple pairs to cover all bases.
dilatory - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

That's interesting. So at 68kg with poor circulation in my feet I'm not buying into marketing bumf by believing my edge are like skates and grip are much better after all!
planetmarshall on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike505:
Pair of Miuras for outside, pair of Scarpa Vapours for inside.

I have a couple of other standbys (5.10 guides for long multipitch, Instinct Velcros for sport) that don't get used much.

I think I'm more likely to get multiple pairs of the same shoe (Miuras) rather than multiple different shoes, as I find them to be a good general purpose trad shoe.
Post edited at 12:54

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