Unlike a regular or a running shoe where you can either walk into to a store or buy online, purchase a climbing shoe is no small task. Regardless of the experience, a climber possesses, obtaining a shoe that fits is challenging. There are a lot of model and brands for different climbing types available in the market. some of these best rock climbing shoes might still not be right for you as finding a right fit is a tricky thing.
Most people, be it a beginner climbing indoors or an experienced climber, considers buying climbing shoes as the most challenging in picking climbing gear as per www.mec.com a leading retailer of rock climbing gear. To help you narrow and find the right shoe for your climbing, listed below are a few things to consider.
Shoe Fit: A comfortable and snug fit is needed so that one can wear it until the end of the climbing session. Even after a few wears, there should not be any gap between the shoe tip and your toe. That is called the performance fit. With this kind of tight fit, the toes will be curled a bit or slightly touching the tip of the shoe. The toes should be snugly fit into the shoe and not squeezed.
The shape of the shoe:
A flat shoe which is symmetrical is good if you are climbing in cracks or long distance routes. This type of shoe will have a flat surface meaning most of the sole will touch the surface and will only have a slight arc.
Curved shoes will have a more distinct arc and are asymmetrical. This shape helps in balance on small holds, using only your toes or the edge of your foot.
Hook Shaped shoes are also asymmetrical and will have a down-turned toe. This shapes helps to push your toes forward and throw more weight on your big toe. This type of shoe is helpful when you are climbing steep rocks.
Laces or Velcro: Laces are often recommended as they can be loosened or worn tight. For extended hours of climbing, you can wear it loose and hence relaxes your toes. But they are less convenient to take off and wear it back when you are moving from one route to another. They are also known to cause pain while using toe hooks.
Velcro: They are very easy to put on and take off. They offer excellent performance as well as comfort. If you are buying a Velcro shoe, make sure to purchase a snug fit as they can stretch after use. This type of shoe suits during aggressive climbing.
Apart from keeping the above things in mind, while buying shoes bear in mind the following:
Leather stretches as you wear, lined leather stretches less and synthetic ones do not change shape.
Beginners and those planning to climb long routes should opt for stiffer and flatter shoes.
Shoes with Velcro can be taken off and put on quickly when climbing.
Lace up shoes is good if you plan to undertake long route climbing.
Shoes should fit snugly but do not squeeze your toes.