Tips to help you discover the perfect fit in a climbing shoe
If you have any experience in rock climbing, then you know the difference that your equipment can make. Using poorly manufactured or badly designed gear can put you at a significant disadvantage. Your climbing shoes are a part of your equipment, and if you’ve chosen the wrong ones or if you’re wearing the wrong fit, then you’re only holding yourself back.
While trying on a pair of shoes in a store is a good first step, there is a great deal more knowledge that you can put into your decision. Use the following tips to help you along the way:
• Quality is worth the price – Though everybody wants to save money, remember that the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best value. Find a good solid pair of rock climbing shoes from a brand with a good reputation and you’ll be able to continue successfully using your footwear for many years.
Use several resources to your advantage. Do some research online using both professional and customer review sites. If you’re shopping at a good mountain gear shop, you should also speak with some of the experts who work there.
• Pay attention to the fit – Remember that rock climbing means that you will be using your feet in many ways and the shoe will need to fit and feel comfortable in every one of them. Try out the shoes for comfort and support. Don’t just walk around on the floor. Many shops provide rocks and samples of uneven terrain that will give you a better idea of the performance of the shoe.
Pay attention to the way that the shoe stretches to accommodate the needs of your foot during the climb. If you aren’t sure of the comfort and fit, keep shopping until you find one with which you can feel confident.
• Know your climbing type – Different types of climbing will require a different rock climbing shoe. Ask yourself whether you’ll be climbing in the gym, up faces, bouldering, in cracks, off-widths, or another form. The experts at the store may be able to guide you toward a pair that is best suited to the type of climbing you want to do.
If you are just getting started in rock climbing or you want to use the same shoes for several types of climbing, try an all-day comfort style shoe as it is the most versatile. It works well for novice through intermediate levels and for climbing both indoor and outdoor. If you are a more experienced climber, you will likely need several types of climbing shoes.
• Find the shoe then the discounts – Once you know what type of shoe you want, then you can comparison shop to try to find the lowest possible price.
You can also wait until the change in season so that you can try to find a discount on previous models as the newest ones come into the stores. Buying last season’s model can help you save a significant amount of money without sacrificing quality. The only downside is that if any new performance features have been added – and not just a new color or appearance – then it will not be included in the model you purchase.
• Wear climbing shoes only for that sport – Preserve your rock climbing shoes and lengthen their lives by wearing them only for climbing and not for other sports or everyday use. This will keep them at their top performance for the longest period of time.