/ Rounded toecap climbing shoes

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asteclaru - on 10 Oct 2017
Hi all. I'm after a bit of advice again.

I've just recently started climbing (indoors). At the moment I'm using some Boreal Joker shoes (last year's model, not the new ones). They fit me rather well, being snug but not painful, so I'm happy with the overall fit and performance, apart from the 'pointy' toe design.

The issue is that my big toe is not longer than my other ones (it's actually shorter than the one next to it) so my feet are rather 'round', if that makes any sense. Because of this, the 'pointy' bit of the Jokers isn't 'filled in', so it just bends and generally 'flaps' about when standing on my toes, which makes it much harder to stand on smaller holds than if the entire toe box was filled.

Any recommendations for beginner's climbing shoes with a round toe box? Also, any particularly good shops in London that would have a larger selection of shoes for me to try on (as with everything else, I find the selection available in the usual suspects like Cotswold or Snow and Rock very poor)?

Many thanks in advance

Andrei



oldie - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:
Might be worth searching for threads about bunions as sufferers share the same problem inasmuch as there can be an empty space in the shoe as it has to accommodate the protrusion. ( "/ Feet beyond help?!" is a recent one.)
Last time I needed a more unusual shoe in London I found the Mile End wall shop OK, but somewhere like Outside in Hathersage would probably be better.
HoffTTM - on 10 Oct 2017

Have a look in Cold Mountain Kit on Tower Bridge Road, probably about half a mile south of the bridge. If you end up liking something make sure they give you the website price and not the shop price. Ellis Brigham carry a decent selection as well but the prices are rubbish.
Post edited at 20:37
Harry Ellis - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

Red Chilli Sausalito might fit the bill (and the foot)
Tomtom - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

Evolve royale, off the top of my head
syv_k - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

That foot shape is called Morton’s Toe, so you can try using that as a search term.
asteclaru - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to syv_k:

Thanks for this. I had no idea there was a name for it. That's what I'm dealing with, albeit a very mild case of it.

Makes searching for similar threads so much easier
Jenny C on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to syv_k:

Yes not at all unusual as a foot shape, generally less a-symmetric shoes will offer a better fit but as always worth rock shoes it comes down to getting lots until you find the best fit.


Martin Bennett - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

I have the same thing. The most comfortable shoes I ever found were Five.ten Spire, but they're not made any more. Same goes for the Five.ten Newton, also comfortable for me. Best I know that's available now is Five.ten Anasazi Guide. In an asymmetrical shoe I've got on best with La Sportiva Katana. Incidentally I've used all of these on climbs up to E2/5c/F6b.
Big Lee - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

A square toe box shape isn't necessarily going to offer any more/less length beyond the big toe. If I were you then I'd experiment with shoes that intentionally try to flex the big toe slightly. In your case it's going to do this a little less aggressively, so might still feel like a comfortable beginner fit. Any shoe that allows your big toe to sit completely flat is probably always going to create space beyond the big toe. Don't know where you live, but I'd try and find a climbing wall shop or more specialised climbing shop to get good advice and be prepared to try every possible shoe on.
oldie - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

Presumably stiffer shoes would minimize the effect of empty toe space.
asteclaru - on 13 Oct 2017

Thanks for the suggestions so far.

What I forgot to mention is that my feet are also really wide for their length, which makes finding any type of shoe to fit me well really hard

I've tried the Scarpa Helix last night, which the guy in the shop at the Castle said was the only one they had for people with Morton's Toe.

My street shoe size is 9, so I first tried the size 8 which was so narrow that I couldn't even get it on my foot.

I managed to cram my foot into a size 9, but the shoe was too long, so I had even more dead space in the toebox than in my Jokers

I'll be spending my weekend trawling the outdoors shops in London; hopefully something will turn up
Post edited at 10:20
HeMa on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

Ocun at least lists the toe-shape of their shoes on their webpage.
e.g. Crest series has so-called Creek toe shape.
http://www.ocun.com/en/products/climbing-shoes/crest-qc.html

Usually high perf shoes have a more egyptian/big toe oriented last. (e.g. the Oxi http://www.ocun.com/en/products/climbing-shoes/oxis.html)

And I beleive this is a general trend. So lookin' at beginners or all-day shoes.
Jenny C on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

For wide (and very narrow) feet lace ups are usually more adjustable than velcro, especially if they lace down to the toe.

You do need to take time when fitting to slacken off the laces properly and then gradually tension round your foot as you tighten them from the toe up. Much more faf than velcro but worth it if it means the shoes fit you properly.
thebigfriendlymoose - on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

I would not get too fixated on round toe-cap rockshoes - try everything. My own feet are wide and I have a pronounced Morten's toes but I find that asymmetric "performance" shoes give the best snug yet comfortable fit - Miura VSs and Scarpa VSs are my current favourites.
asteclaru - on 13 Oct 2017
In reply to HeMa:

Those Ocun Crest look like they would work rather well. If I can't find anything in the shops this weekend I'll be ordering a pair of these.

Thank you very much for suggesting it.
asteclaru - on 14 Oct 2017

Tried a few shoes today.

First ones I've tried were the Red Chilli Spirit VCR. Although they did have a rounded toebox, the fit was terrible. In a size 8, I could barely put them on (because of the narrow last) and they were really long, creating a lot of dead space at the front, so no good.

Then, the Evolv Spark in a size 8 which were bearable width wise, but there were still a few gaps at the front and trying to edge/stand on my big toe hurt a lot. The heel was also very loose.

The last, and the ones that fit me best so far were the 5.10 Anasazi Lace (the pink ones). In size 8, they were unbearable trying to edge/stand on my big toe, but 8.5 and 9 were pretty good and pretty much the same fit : I would say the fit on my left foot was almost perfect, with no gaps whatsoever, but on my right foot they did have a bit, albeit not a lot, of extra space at the front.

I did want to try the La Sportiva Tarantula as well, which looks like it could work with the shape of my feet, but I couldn't find my size at the stores I've been to.

Few more questions :

If I can't find anything better, I'm thinking that the Anasazi would be the best fit for my feet. Will they stretch at all, so should I get the smaller 8.5 or even 8, or should I just go for the size 9 (since out of the box it fits pretty much the same as the 8.5)?

Also, is it normal to feel like your toes (especially the little one) have blisters on them when you're wearing climbing shoes (that's what the Anasazis felt like)? I would be willing to put up with the pain if it meant that I can stand on smaller holds, but I also don't want to damage my feet.
Post edited at 18:35
Big Lee - on 14 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

The Anasazis are a synthetic upper and you'll get close to zero stretch out of them. To be honest, if you're already considering stretching them before you've bought them then they don't sound the shoe for you. I'd keep searching. If you're in London then the Mile End shop is good for climbing shoes.

If you're looking for a comfortable shoe that's good for edging then I'd try and find a pair of TC-Pros to try on. They were intended for just this.
1
thebigfriendlymoose - on 14 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:
> Also, is it normal to feel like your toes (especially the little one) have blisters on them when you're wearing climbing shoes (that's what the Anasazis felt like)? I would be willing to put up with the pain if it meant that I can stand on smaller holds, but I also don't want to damage my feet.

Similarly, I am currently trying on a pair of trousers that are sufficiently snug that I am losing consciousness and pissing blood due to kidney damage, should I keep wearing them? I suspect they might be a little tight but would be willing to put up with the pain as they make me look slim........arrggghh gasp....................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............
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asteclaru - on 15 Oct 2017
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose:

I take it that's not normal then? How should they feel? Could this not be due to me never having worn tight shoes before? Kind of like how your feet get battered the first few times you wear rigid boots, but after a while you get used to it?

Manufacturers simply don't cater to people with wide feet. If I go big enough to not have ANY hot spots, then they're too long and I have lots of dead space at the front. I always have to compromise on the ones that fit best, even if the fit is still pretty poor.
Jenny C on 15 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

> If I can't find anything better, I'm thinking that the Anasazi would be the best fit for my feet. Will they stretch at all, so should I get the smaller 8.5 or even 8, or should I just go for the size 9 (since out of the box it fits pretty much the same as the 8.5)?

All rock shoes will streatch to some degree, unlined leather by the most. If you do misjudge this you can compensate by wearing a thin pair of socks, so whilst I would recommend getting them uncomfortably snug if in doubt I would probably err to the larger pair.

Five ten are renowned for inconsistent sizing (I have worn 7.5s which were smaller than 6.5s - same model both straight out of the box!). So concentrate on the foot of the pair on your feet not the comparable label on the box, infact sometimes it is worth asking to try several pairs in the same size to get the best fit.

> Also, is it normal to feel like your toes (especially the little one) have blisters on them when you're wearing climbing shoes (that's what the Anasazis felt like)?

That doesn't sound good. If you are unused to sit shoes they will feel wierd, but feelings like they have blistered in the shop isn't going to get any better after a couple of hours climbing.

slab_happy on 15 Oct 2017
In reply to Jenny C:

> Five ten are renowned for inconsistent sizing (I have worn 7.5s which were smaller than 6.5s - same model both straight out of the box!). So concentrate on the foot of the pair on your feet not the comparable label on the box, infact sometimes it is worth asking to try several pairs in the same size to get the best fit.

Seconding this fervently.
slab_happy on 15 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

It's tricky because (for situations where you can take them off after each pitch/route, not all-day wear), you probably want to aim for "uncomfortable but not painful". Which is subjective and hard to define, and there's inevitably going to be some trial and error in working it out for you.

Your toes should be curled and touching the end of the shoe, minimizing the dead space as much as possible; you shouldn't feel like you could comfortably go for a walk in them. And ideally you want them to feel equally tight all over, without particular "hot spots" where it's much worse.

If you've never worn tight climbing shoes before, it is an adjustment. But actual pain is bad (and tends to be bad for your footwork, in my experience -- it's no good being able to stand on small holds if you're flinching away from doing so because it hurts).

FWIW, in my experience synthetic uppers don't stretch enough to change the size, but they will give a bit and mould to the shape of your foot, so there is still a bit of a break-in period.

> In size 8, they were unbearable trying to edge/stand on my big toe

Definitely don't get size 8, then!

But an "almost perfect" fit in size 8.5 sounds pretty good. Worth trying some others as well, to see if there's anything better, but they could be ones to return to (bearing in mind what Jenny C said about Five Ten's inconsistent sizing ...).
HeMa on 15 Oct 2017
In reply to Jenny C:

> Five ten are renowned for inconsistent sizing (I have worn 7.5s which were smaller than 6.5s - same model both straight out of the box!).

Strange, as from experience of buying a few shors a year 5.10 is the only brand where I can safely buy my streetshoe size and always be bang on. Sure different models/ranges have different sizing (Teams & Dragons are a lot tighter than Moccasyms), but thats because they are for different uses. Dragons and Teams fit about the same. Anazasi VCS about the same as pinks and so on.

George.D - on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

I have tried many shoes due to similar issues and, for what it's worth, the best solution I have found is the La Sportiva Mythos - I use them now for everything from gym to trad and rarely feel I need to use a more aggressively profiled shoe (generally overhangs/bouldering or hard redpoints).

Everyone's needs will be different and depend on a number of factors, including foot shape, climbing style (overhang/bouldering/trad etc), grade and expectations (wear them all day/session or take them off regularly). Try as many shoes as possible and hope you find the answer.
asteclaru - on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to George.D:

The Mythos seems to be a recurring name in my search.

The only issue is that there doesn't seem to be any shops carrying them in the UK, let alone London. How is the sizing relative to your street shoe size?
sxrxg - on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

They seem to have been discontinued however the Evolv Prime SC had a rounded toe box and were specifically mentioned in reviews as being suitable for people with Morton's toe - https://rockrun.com/blogs/the-flash-rock-run-blog/evolv-prime-sc-review . You might be able to pick a pair up from somewhere that has some old stock left...

Antony Mariani - on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

I've got very wide forefoot (but not Morton's toe) and struggle to find climbing shoes that fit. The last few pairs I have gone for La Sportiva Tarantula. They are wide, the Velcro gives good adjustability and they stretch a lot. That means they can be purchased very snug and then they stretch, within reason, to your foot shape over a wear in period. They are not technical at all, but IMHO a good fit is more important - but then I don't climb hard anyway.
George.D - on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

I go half a size down from street size, but I would play around with sizes
thebigfriendlymoose - on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to George.D:

> I go half a size down from street size, but I would play around with sizes

Probably wise to try before you buy. I have never worn the Mythos myself, but for all of Sportiva's models I have tried (Katana, Miura, Miura VS, Venom , Python, Futura, Genius, Testerossa), I found that 3 to 3.5 sizes below street was best (street: 46, rockshoe:43/42.5). And, I am not alone in finding that Sportiva rockshoes generally have to be significantly downsized from street. I admit that I like a "perfomance fit", but a 2-3 euro size downsize is typical in my friends' experience - Sportivas are notorious for running large and stretching.

As I noted above, I suggest that you try everything, not just "beginners shoes". I have wide feet and a pronounced Morton's toe and find some precise shoes fit well - the "banana shaped" toe box of Scarpa VSs and Miuras fits around my feet toes nicely. Anasazi VS are another asymmetric favourite. The only shoes I cannot abide are very narrow - such as Anasazi Blancas and the old version of the Anasazi pinks (Hard Grit vintage) .
Stone Idle - on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:
And have a look at the Evolv Shaman. Wide and rounded.
MischaHY - on 18 Oct 2017
HeMa on 18 Oct 2017
In reply to MischaHY:


So not in UK (alpinetrek is after all a different webpage for the big german e-retailer BergFreunde).
Jamjar on 18 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

I've got quite large (although not painful) bunions on both feet and Outside at Hathersage recommended 5.10 Anasazi Guides. They lace up right to the end and have been very comfortable, and I've just bought my second pair as no velcro pairs that I tried on were any good.
MischaHY - on 18 Oct 2017
In reply to HeMa:

Doesn't mean you can't order them there ;)
HeMa on 18 Oct 2017
In reply to MischaHY:

True. I just remember someone mentioning that they can't seem to be able to find them in UK... And strictly speakin' BergFreunde is indeed not in UK.

That said, they're selection is rather good, competative prices and fast shippin'. All in all, I've yet to disappoint with the service they give.
asteclaru - on 18 Oct 2017
In reply to MischaHY:

Yes, I am aware that they can be found for sale on alpinetrek. What I don't want to do is have to return stuff to Germany in the likely situation that they don't fit me.

I'm going to a few more climbing walls and shops this week. Hopefully I'll find something suitable; if not, ordering the Mythos from Germany looks like my last resort
MischaHY - on 19 Oct 2017
In reply to HeMa:

> True. I just remember someone mentioning that they can't seem to be able to find them in UK... And strictly speakin' BergFreunde is indeed not in UK.

This is undeniably accurate.

MischaHY - on 19 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

Free returns softens the blow somewhat... ;)

https://www.alpinetrek.co.uk/return/
asteclaru - on 19 Oct 2017
In reply to MischaHY:

That must have changed in the last 24 hours. I looked yesterday and you had to pay for returns.

Anyway, I've been to a different climbing wall last night and they had a few shoe models that I hadn't seen in store and looked like they could work with my feet. The guy suggested that I try them before climbing (I looked at their selection at the end of my session) so I'm going back tomorrow to try on some shoes and do a bit of bouldering. Hopefully I'll find something suitable then.
oldie - on 27 Oct 2017
In reply to asteclaru:

> Any recommendations for beginner's climbing shoes with a round toe box? <

In case you haven't spotted it in today's UKC post: "Old Climbing Shoes - Resole or DIY repair?"
"...Shoo Goo.Costs £5, fills small holes nicely. It's not sticky rubber,.....I'd only consider it on much loved performance boots. For easy alpine- Get some comfy £30 boots second hand or from decathlon."
Then: "All my comfy boots are well worn in ones that also have a modified expanded toe box ( hacksaw and shoo goo required ) ....Turns a 30 minute boot into a 12 hour one for me..."

Might be of some use.

asteclaru - on 28 Oct 2017
I've ended up buying a pair of 5.10 Rogue VCS. I went for a size 8 (tried 8.5 as well, but oddly enough they felt smaller than the 8)

The fit is pretty good; not perfect (not as wide as I'd like so it's a bit of a squeeze), but there aren't any empty spaces and I can keep them on for about an hour before they start to be uncomfortable, at which point I take them off when belaying. They should also stretch a little, so I'm looking forward to that.

Thank you all for your help and suggestions. If the Rogues prove to not be the right choice for me I'll revisit some of the suggestions on this thread (I still want to try some Tarantulaces and get my hands on those Ocun and Mythos), but for now I think I've got it covered

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