If you are new to rock climbing you are probably facing a lot of question all the gear you need for it, and one piece of that gear are the shoes you are going to use. You need to know the size, where to look for them, how much money should you spend on them etc…
Rock climbing shoes are really important and do not be afraid to spend a lot of time searching for the right fit for you. Here are a few tips on how to do it and what to look for:
Try and Try and Try before You Buy
Getting the right fit when you shop for your first ever rock climbing shoes is the toughest thing. That being said, you should absolutely avoid online shopping the first time you get them. You might easily end up spending a small fortune, only to discover the shoes you bought are not a good fit.
Head to a specialized shop, which will likely have a well-educated staff that will be able to help you with your choice. Don’t hesitate to try on as many different pairs as you need before you find the right one.
Don’t Buy from Just any Shop
As mentioned before, go straight to a specialized store. These shops will have a large variety of brands, makes and models for you to choose from. And in all likelihood, the first time you buy a pair, will probably be the longest one. And having a well-educated staff that will be there to answer all your question is crucial. These shops will also help you measure your feet correctly.
Don’t Get a Smaller Size
The chance is you will get this advice from someone that has some experience in rock climbing, but it’s essentially a bad advice. The reason some people opt for one size smaller shoes is that they will allow them to stand on a smaller hold. What they don’t tell you is that this can get extremely painful and lead to unwanted consequences. You need to get the right fit and allow your feet to breathe properly.
If you wish to enjoy your climbing, always go for the shoes that feel most comfortable. Comfort is key. There are certain models from some brands that are able to stretch over time, but only lightly – half a size at most.
Knowing if They Are the Right Fit
There are a few things that can help you decide whether the shoes you are about to get are the right fit. They should have a good snug fit all over your feet. There shouldn’t be any air pockets or baggy parts inside.
A nice fit will not require you to pull the laces completely in order to tighten them. Or if they are a Velcro model, you shouldn’t need to pull it to the maximum. This means they are too big for your feet.
Another thing to check is how they fit around the ankles. Having the ankles free and comfortable is crucial, and a proper fit would not dig into your ankles.
It takes a long time to get that first perfect pair of rock climbing shoes, but you need to patient if you wish to enjoy the activity. Otherwise, you will just feel uncomfortable and develop negative feelings towards rock climbing.