I just got post :) I have a new sponsor. I quit my contract with Boreal. (For all kinds or reasons) But not the one you'd think of first: shitty rubber. I have to say I was pretty satisfied with the rubber. And now I saw they even improved into really really sticky stuff. The shoes even stuck together on, let's say, gravity :)
As advice I'd always say that you should wear the shoes that suits and fits you best. So it can be that you don't buy 5.10, La Sportiva, Evolv or Boreal but suddenly walk around on Mad Rocks.
Shoe manufacturers get the issue that people tend to buy more and more a shoes that feels comfortable. And that is, especially to beginners, the best advice you can give.
Wearing shoes that are too big or worse too tight can cause trouble later on when you're finally a 'rotten old stinky climber' and have toes that your local pedicure doesn't want to touch anymore.
And that is one of the things my new sponsor, 5.10, keeps on hammering on. On the box of every pair of climbing shoes it says: "Don't fit your shoes too tight".
And that, together with the 8 other points is critical to climbing-shoe fitting and shopping.
Here the other 8 points:
- Street shoes size is only a starting point
- Rock shoes are unique, no two designs fit alike. Generally, softer shoes perform best with a snug fit. Stiffer shoes can be worn looser.
- Eliminate dead space but don't fit so tight as to create hot spots.
- Climbing shoes should not be uncomfortably tight, otherwise tears might keep you from seeing micro edges.
- Feet swell during the day, from 1/2 size to a full size. Try on shoes in the afternoon if possible.
- Synthetic uppers won't stretch - you'll have the same fit in 6 months. You should have no hot sports when you are up on your toes.
- Lined leather shoes stretch up to 1/3 size after a break in period of about 10 pitches.
- Unlined leather shoes will stretch up to 1 full size.
Now you know how to fit your shoes.
Time to find the right shoes. For me as iceclimber, boulderer, sportsclimber, semi-crack-climber, multipitch climber, routesetter and alpine climber is it not too easy to find a pair of shoes that always do what I need them to do: stick onto the wall whatever I climb and still stay comfortable.
I prefer a toe-down shoe in any case and I love heelhooking so the heel needs to be tight enough. Now they need to be comfortable but technical. Not too hard, not too soft on the rubber and the sole and as I sweat a lot (ielgh) they need to be lined so I don't 'slip' inside my shoes. I have pretty wide 'trouble' feet so they need to be quite wide at the front.
I guess I found what I need: a versatile shoe that is precise and has a snug fit: Quantum.
I just got them, so tonight will be the first try-out. I'll tell you later what I find of these shoes.
So far this is what others write about the new Quantum:
James Pearson: "Hmmm, maybe this picture can explain a little... my Quantum collection, 3 sizes, boulder, routes, and big wall – these days they are all I wear."
DPM Climbing: "Right out of the box, these shoes fit perfectly: super-snug, but not painful. The lack of dead air in the heel was a welcome change from most shoes for me. Even the laces, which I normally hate, were awesome. The ridged laces stay put when you pull them tight so you don’t have to battle to keep it snug at every pull."
Klimmuur Den Haag: "De enige schoen in de lijst met veters voor extra precisie. Dit is de opvolger van de klassieke Anasazi Lace. Maar nu asymetrisch en met een downturn, voor nog meer gevoel en druk op de grote teen."
Backcountry.com: "I don't give 5 stars to gear often unless it's really deserving, but the 5.10 Quantum deserves the 5/5.Based on the popular 5.10 Anasazi, the Quantum adds a downturned profile, low volume heel cup and the amazingly sticky and tactile Stealth Mystique to it's previous popular design. These shoes are freaking weapons. I've climbed on them for a few weeks now and I have really nothing but praise for them. The aggressive turn of the shoe make tackling overhanging and technical routes a breeze, and they edge like a fiend on slab and tiny little features. They even jam in cracks relatively well. I haven't put these through a maneuver yet where I was left wanting more out of a shoe."