/ First Climbing Shoes (climbing at 6a+)
I'm a relatively new climber at my local gym i go every week for around 3 hours, i have been borrowing shoes from the gym and though it might be time to get my own as they have highly suggested it. as a beginner they recommended me getting cheap beginner shoes from sports shop own brands, however after researching the shoes people seem to be saying that due to their shape and rubber compounds they aren't really any good for climbing higher than 5c, I'm already climbing consistently at around a 6a+ to 6b+ range so I've come here for help, what not too expensive I'm looking at under £60 climbing shoes would you recommend me getting, it would help to get a list of different ones to seek out and try on before i buy them of course.
Rock and run often have loads of deals on. My partner got a pairof 5.10 gambits for £30 and having worn them I was well impressed. The other option is decathlon. Don't sweat it too much anyway and get whatever fits and is cheap. If you enjoy climbing you'll have worn them out 3x over before it matters.
Edit: my mates who has climbed for goin on 15 years loves his pair of these: https://www.ultimateoutdoors.com/mens/150387-la-sportiva-men-s-tarantula-climbing-shoe-assorted.html
£60 so bang on budget and very similar to a sportiva katana which an excellent shoe.
I can onsight 7a+ in beginners shoes, your gym grades may vary!
So you have a few options:
- The La Sportiva Tarantula(ce) on sale
- Decathlon (not the cheapest ones!). The 20 quid climbing shoes are rubbish but if you get the old model Vertika you'll be fine (I've known people climbing 8a in these). It's on sale for 54.99 now:
- Other shoes on sale
As a beginner remember that your footwork might be a bit sloppy, so the rubber on more "advanced" shoes will wear out faster. Something like Tarantula would be perfect and not hold you back.
Most importantly, get the pair that fits your feet best.
> Edit: my mates who has climbed for goin on 15 years loves his pair of these: https://www.ultimateoutdoors.com/mens/150387-la-sportiva-men-s-tarantula-climbing-shoe-assorted.html
> £60 so bang on budget and very similar to a sportiva katana which an excellent shoe.
Just looked at these, as I like tarantulas. And the one pair they have left is in my size. Shame the price increases by 10 quid from their advertised price when I add it to the shopping cart.
I'd suggest going to a climbing shop if you can and trying on a few pairs. A pair of "beginner" shoes that fit your foot shape will probably work batter than a random shoe chosen without trying it on. No matter how good the shoe is if it doesn't fit properly then it won't work.
You might have to pay a little more than £60. If this is really not an option then I would suggest getting the very cheapest pair you can, if they don't fit properly then they are unlikely to be worse than anything else.
In my opinion, I woudn't bother with a cheap beginner shoe (like the tarantulace), as you probably won't be able to use small foot holds because they won't have a powerful enough toe.
If you want to progress quickly, you'll need a shoe that can allow you to use small footholds and subsequently develop your footwork. Otherwise you may well develop bad habits, namely pulling with your arms instead of using all the footholds, speaking from experience.
If some of the more expensive decathlon ones fit you, they could be a good shout.
But don't take my word for it, check out this article by Neil Gresham: https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/skills/series/neil_gresham_technique_and_training/technique_-_choosing_your_footwear-10488
You've been climbing a long time though Jim and can probably compensate by already having good footwork and being able to compensate with strength and technique when the shoes are not quite up to scratch. IMO a novice having a pair of half decent shoes is more likely to encourage and enhance good footwork. That doesn't mean expensive and very tight fitting.
If you're willing to raise your price limit to "under £70", it might be worth looking at something like the Evolv Defy (Bananafingers has the 2017 model for £66.80).
Standard "if they fit your foot shape" caveat, but they're comfy and sensitive.
Definitely take a trip to somewhere and try them on. Buy some that fit snug around your whole foot and that just pushes against the end of your big toe so it's OK to walk in but a bit painful. They should then relax to be comfy and not limit your climbing. I bought some Scarpa Maestro which were excellent and were on sale at about £80 so a bit above your budget. There's Scarpa Cobra that can be had for £70 ish in places and they look pretty good but there's lots in that 70-80 range if you can manage it. Where do you live? or where do you visit now and again? (Someone could recommend a wall or shop with a good range)
Its amazing anyone was able to climb anything with the shoes of 20+ years ago!
Indeed but you can apply that to any technology in any sport. Formula 1 is a good example. People with talent will always excel in their era but as things develop then equipment and specific training become more relevant
> I can onsight 7a+ in beginners shoes, your gym grades may vary!
For me to climb 7a on sight everything and especially the shoes would have to be just right.
> There's Scarpa Cobra that can be had for £70 ish in places and they look pretty good
They're smashing, I love them. Comfy (the suede does stretch a lot), not much of a downturn, nice precise toe. They're my current trad (and grit bouldering) shoes.
Second the Cobra here - excellent shoe if it fits you.
> In my opinion, I woudn't bother with a cheap beginner shoe (like the tarantulace), as you probably won't be able to use small foot holds because they won't have a powerful enough toe.
> If you want to progress quickly, you'll need a shoe that can allow you to use small footholds and subsequently develop your footwork. Otherwise you may well develop bad habits, namely pulling with your arms instead of using all the footholds, speaking from experience.
I couldn't help noticing that your profile says you've been climbing less than a year! I'm not sure what experience you're talking about?
Look on eBay and buy a second hand pair that look pretty new. Aim to spend about £15 - that way if they're uncomfortable you haven't lost much. At the grades you're climbing all that matters is that they don't hurt your feet.
exactly what I said above, having rubbish footwork (in part) because I had rubbish floppy shoes for a good while. That's the experience I'm talking about.
Maybe with your oodles of experience you've forgotten what it's like to be new to climbing
I'm climbing in Tarantulace and I wouldn't describe them as a "cheap, beginner" shoe. From my experience they should be fine until you get to the more serious grades.
I can't see why I can't use small footholds or develop my footwork in them.
There is quite a lot on line in praise of the Tarantulace, especially as being a bit of a bargain.
I would associate "floppy" shoes with "ill-fitting" shoes. For example, I didn't like the La Sportiva Mythos. But, that's down to fit as I've seen someone solo a very hard route in them.
My advice to the OP is to go with fit and feel. But, unfortunately, you can never really tell until you've climbed a bit in them and got used to a new shoe. From that point of view it's not a good idea to splash out on an expensive pair unless you're sure about them.
In any case, I wouldn't trust your advice to avoid inexpensive shoes on the grounds that they are fundamentally inadequate.
> You've been climbing a long time though Jim and can probably compensate by already having good footwork and being able to compensate with strength and technique when the shoes are not quite up to scratch. IMO a novice having a pair of half decent shoes is more likely to encourage and enhance good footwork. That doesn't mean expensive and very tight fitting.
I agree, but I don't think it contradicts Jim's post. The thing is most good general purpose climbing shoes are now marketed as 'beginner' shoes, or 'entry level'.
I would avoid the own brand ones, but at the same time I doubt you need anything too technical.
The Tarantuala lace are a decent shoe, work pretty well, but mine did delaminate sooner than they should.
Small technological gain I would say for climbing shoes. I climbed up to 7b/+ in 80's shoes 90's shoes and much the same now in 'modern' shoes!
Fires et made a huge difference on grit and I daresay the aggressive downturns may be crucial for some very steep hard stuff but generally most shoes will do most things
Agree... amazing shoes
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