Groovy tips for climbers // Part 1 // Shoes
Shoes can become a climber’s hell. If they don’t massacre your feet, the chances are they will gas you out with their stench.
Here are some Womenclimb tips to help you with these common climbing shoe problems:
This must be done from new! Keep a small bottle of antibacterial liquid in your shoes. Each time you put your shoes on smear your feet in the antic liquid first, then slip on your rock boots. It will help to keep that terrible stench to a minimum. (Particularly problematic shoes seem to be evolv… We love the shoes though …!)
2) Rock it in the Bath ! *
When you first get your shoes and they’re really tight, pop your shoes on in the bath- this should help to mould your shoes to the shape of your feet! Wear them for an hour or two like this. Dry them out using newspaper in an airy place – not on top of the radiator!
Probably best to avoid any kind of soaps /detergents and also avoid hot water, as this may degrade the material. *Do this at your own risk, it has been tried by one of our women and she informs us that it did the trick with no detrimental affect to her shoes. However we can’t guarantee that your shoes won’t be affected, so make your own judgment about this one.
If your shoes have already reached extreme stench levels then try out some Friendly Foot. The friendly folk at Friendly Foot have sent us some to review, so watch this space or sign up for our Newsletter now, it’s FREE and we’ll let you know when the review is out. You can buy Friendly Foot at Boardroom Climbing Centre in Queensferry.
4) Clip, Clip, Clip
You’d be surprised how much pain a mere toenail can inflict on a foot in a rock boot. Cut your toenails and keep the clippers close for those unexpected skin cutting moments.
Imagine a block of sweaty mature cheddar wrapped up in a bag in the sun for a few days…. The same thing happens to your rock shoes! Use a small carabiner to hang your shoes from your bag and air them after climbing.
6) (Wo)Men’s Range
There’s nothing to say that women can’t wear ‘men’s’ shoes. Quite often the marketing is just there to try and direct you to what the brands think you want.. (Pink anyone? !!!). Let’s face it, is there really always a difference between men’s and women’s feet?? We think not and that’s because we wear ‘men’s’ shoes ourselves!
7) Get some clogs
There’s nothing worse than hanging around at the bottom of the crag or a route at the wall while your partner ambles her way up a route and casually sets up a belay, leaving you at the bottom in agony with tight shoes pinching your toes. Carry a pair or clogs or comfy & lightweight slip on shoes on a carabiner and swap over when you’ve done your climbing.
Help to save your rock shoes by wiping off the detritus from the crag as regularly as possible. Carry a small towel, bar towel or piece of carpet with you to stand on in your shoes. You’ll stop the grit entrenching itself in your boots and also assist your climbing by keeping them dirt free. Even better, attach a piece of elastic to your towel and you can quickly pop it onto the back of your harness and keep it with you at all times. Can you spot the bar towel in our picture?
9) Try before you Buy
Most climbing walls will have sessions where shoe manufacturers let you come and try out their shoes. Give them a go and see how they fit before you go for the jugular and buy a pair of your own.
10) Long Route, Big Shoe
Everybody has done it… gone on a long multi-pitch route in their smallest, tightest fitting shoes. Our advice… DON’T! Unless you’re dead set on ticking off something really hard or pushing your grade, it probably won’t make much difference outdoors whether you wear supremely tight fitting shoes compared to a pair of well worn comfort monsters. Obviously you may only have one pair of shoes, but as you climb more, your first pair is likely to become baggy, so you can resign these to long outdoor sessions and keep your tight shoes for when you really need them.
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