/ Morton’s Toe
I’ve been climbing for just over four years and have ALWAYS been uncomfortable in climbing shoes. I thought it was the same for everyone. My second toe is considerably bigger than my first and my third is a similar side to my first toe, making wearing shoes more uncomfortable than most. I’ve reached a point where I don’t want to go through the pain of breaking in another pair of shoes, for them to still remain painful afterwards (albeit less much less painful).
Does anyone have any advice on some stiff soled climbing shoes that would be more bearable?
I had the 5.10 Anasazi LVs, which once broken in (after a period of 6 months) were painful but okay. I recently bought a new pair (now made by Adidas) and I knew the sizing was off, but it seems like by a lot more than I thought?
I have also owned 5.10 verdons, blancos, las sportiva tarantulas and boreal spiders. None of these seem to do the trick.
Do I just suck it up and climb on or is there a better option? Any help is greatly appreciated!
I’ve looked at some posts made in the past, but they all seem largely outdated (a lot of the shoes aren’t in circulation anymore), so I was wondering if there’s anything in the last ten years!
La Sportiva TC Pro. Comfortable and very stiff across the foot. If they can be used by Honnold for his Free Solo they are clearly technical enough for any route I might attempt even in my dreams. I bought a pair after suffering big toe pain from a weeks sport climbing. So far dead impressed, comfortable from the start, I don’t need to keep taking them off. Definitely the way ahead for me.
If the Trarantulas are hurting you then it will be a struggle as they are designed to be long day, easy to wear shoes. I would ask where you are buying your shoes as too many with this issue are taking their chances buying online. Locally we have Crag X at our indoor wall who will let you try it all on and do a couple of easy indoor boulders to get a feel for them. After trying on nearly every shoe I found Cinderella's slipper and went to the bal.... crags.
My toes are similar and I've stuck with the Anasazi VCS for years, without any real problems. There are previous threads dealing with the sizing of the new Adidas Anasazis. I think you need to go up a full size. For my next pair though I'll switch to the Unparallel equivalent - which would be the Uprise VCS. There's an LV version of this. But I'll be trying them on in the shop first, to get a good idea of the sizing.
I don't have Morton's (or Greek) toes, but I do have Roman toes, where the first three are the same length. I use Evolve Royales which, although billed as beginners shoes, are stiff and narrow with rounded toes plus a bit of stretch in them.
Have you tried any Sportiva? I have Morton's toe too. Worn Katana velcro for best part of a decade and they were usually a good fit for me, (though the last pair I had were a slightly tighter fit despite being exact same size as previous 3 or 4 pairs I owned.)
Recently moved across to Sportiva Skwarma because I wanted a more downturned shoe (having given up on a pair of Scarpa VSR because they were still absolute agony after a month or more.) The Skwarma fit me really well too. Straight from the off.
Also have a pair of Sportiva Miura Velcro on the go at the moment (as they were SO cheap at Decathlon) they also fit me pretty well. Just get the sizing right is my tuppence worth... I'm a street shoe size 9 to 9.5 UK. The Skwarma are size 8UK. Perfect fit. The Miura are size 9 UK. Would have preferred to have them in an 8.5 but they didn't have them in stock. Happy shopping!
I've suffered from a Morton's Neuroma in the past and my feet are quite broad with a large second toe. For the last few years I've found that the broad lasts used by Scarpa have been the most comfortable - Vector V, Force etc and they have done me well.
I think the problem with almost all modern shoes is they are asymetric lasted (even if only slightly) and/or force the toes to crimp to some degree.
I have foot problems (Moreton's Neuroma, arthritic joints, very straight feet and low arches) and find even the most 'comfortable' modern shoes painful.
I use an old pair of Scarpa Vantage which I keep getting resoled for climbing outside and Boreal Ballets for walls. The Scarpas are no longer made, though you might find a second hand pair on ebay but you can still get Ballets if you hunt around online.
The Ballets are a bit 'old skool' but if Johnny Dawes could climb E9 in them then realistically it isn't the shoes that will hold you back!
There are several models from Ocun that have very low asymmetry and so are ideal for morton's toe.
The Crest QC is a more moderate model: https://www.alpinetrek.co.uk/ocun-crest-qc-climbing-shoes-bf/
The Pearl LU is a more advanced model: https://www.alpinetrek.co.uk/ocun-pearl-lu-climbing-shoes/
Hope this helps!
I have Mortons.
Depending on heel width, try either Sportiva (wider heel) or Red Chili (narrower heel) My heels are narrow so I stick with the chilis although for some reason they are hard to find in shops to try on. I think the margins on chilis must be lower than for other shoes which is why shops rarely have any in stock.
When I had Moreton's neuroma, I could barely walk never mind contemplate climbing. I ended up getting cryosurgery done privately in Sheffield. The guy said he had lots of climbers and ballet dancers as patients!
I have very pronounced Morton's toe and also quite wide forefoot and narrow heel.
For 20 years the only shoes that fitted ok were 5.10 anasazis, lace and velcro. The new VCS is an improvement, especially in the heel. Tenaya Masai are pretty similar and fit ok. But I recently went to a Bristol shop that stocked some brands that I hadn't tried before. I tried on virtually everything new to me. Black Diamond Shadow were the surprise find. The key thing is that the toe box has got some height to it so that my second and third toe have got room to rise and sort of crimp, so that my big toe becomes the furthest forward of them all.
They took a few sessions of breaking in, and I planned to keep them for best, but they are so much better for me than my other shoes that I have to use them all the time now. In fact they are so much better, when I climb in my other shoes it feels like I'm wearing clogs.
Shoes fit is so personal, but I hope that might help you for options.
> I have very pronounced Morton's toe and also quite wide forefoot and narrow heel.
> Black Diamond Shadow were the surprise find. The key thing is that the toe box has got some height to it so that my second and third toe have got room to rise and sort of crimp, so that my big toe becomes the furthest forward of them all.
I have a similar foot shape and found the same with the Anasazi Pro (pre Adidas re-size). However, the roomy toe box was a bit of a disadvantage when it came to tiny pockets on limestone. Brilliant indoors though.
Sportiva mythos would work well. Boreal do a similar shape shoe, dark blue, the name escapes me.
Neither is super technical but if they fit they will work way better than shoes that don't.
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