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When to upgrade to more aggressive shoes
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zeta-prime


Jul 1, 2013, 6:03 PM
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When to upgrade to more aggressive shoes
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Hi, I have been climbing for about 4 months now and I boulder at about a v4 level and top rope at a 5.10b. I plan to get into lead/sport climbing in the near future. I am currently climbing with coyote 5.10s and since I've been doing plenty of overhangs and steep inclines I thought I would maybe get a pair of more aggressive shoes. Also my parents are asking me would I would like for my birthday and this came to mind.

I was told to be very confident about my footwork before getting downturned shoes since the soles could get worn away very quickly. I was wondering if my level of climbing is high enough for an aggressive pair like testarossa's or miuras or if I should just hold off until I get better.

Thanks for your input!


feetfirst


Jul 1, 2013, 6:22 PM
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Re: [zeta-prime] When to upgrade to more aggressive shoes [In reply to]
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Best bet is always to just go try shoes on, I went from Coyotes to Evolv Bandits VS and I love them. They do start to smell, being Evolves and all...


theextremist04


Jul 1, 2013, 8:37 PM
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Re: [zeta-prime] When to upgrade to more aggressive shoes [In reply to]
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zeta-prime wrote:
Hi, I have been climbing for about 4 months now and I boulder at about a v4 level and top rope at a 5.10b. I plan to get into lead/sport climbing in the near future. I am currently climbing with coyote 5.10s and since I've been doing plenty of overhangs and steep inclines I thought I would maybe get a pair of more aggressive shoes. Also my parents are asking me would I would like for my birthday and this came to mind.

I was told to be very confident about my footwork before getting downturned shoes since the soles could get worn away very quickly. I was wondering if my level of climbing is high enough for an aggressive pair like testarossa's or miuras or if I should just hold off until I get better.

Thanks for your input!
You'll know when your shoes start holding you back. It'll probably happen somewhere around hard 5.12, if not harder. Wait for your current pair to wear out, get them resoled, and then get a more aggressive pair to go along with them.


lena_chita
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Jul 2, 2013, 8:32 AM
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Re: [zeta-prime] When to upgrade to more aggressive shoes [In reply to]
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zeta-prime wrote:
Hi, I have been climbing for about 4 months now and I boulder at about a v4 level and top rope at a 5.10b. I plan to get into lead/sport climbing in the near future. I am currently climbing with coyote 5.10s and since I've been doing plenty of overhangs and steep inclines I thought I would maybe get a pair of more aggressive shoes. Also my parents are asking me would I would like for my birthday and this came to mind.

I was told to be very confident about my footwork before getting downturned shoes since the soles could get worn away very quickly. I was wondering if my level of climbing is high enough for an aggressive pair like testarossa's or miuras or if I should just hold off until I get better.

Thanks for your input!


While Coyotes are designed to be comfortable beginner/intermediate shoes, there is no specific level of climbing at which you should switch to down-turned shoes. It really depends on the kind of climbing you do, and the kind of shoe fit you are comfortable with.

Some people climb 5.13-5.14 without ever going to down-turned shoes. On the flip side, i have seen plenty of Testarossa's on 5.10-sport-hangdoggers.

Have you even tried the Testarossas or Muiras for fit? They fit very differently than the Coyotes, and are different from each other, too. It would take some getting used to...

Bottom line, IMO, is that if you have an option of getting a new pair of shoes as a gift, and there is no other gear that you need more at this point (maybe rope or quickdraws, if you are getting into sport climbing?), it would not hurt to try on a bunch of different shoes, including more down-turned ones, and find something more precise than Coyotes. After 4 months of climbing, they are probably close to wearing out, anyway. But there is also nothing wrong with sticking with your Coyotes for now, if you discover that nothing else fits you in a way that you like. You can definitely climb harder than 5.10b in Coyotes.


zeta-prime


Jul 2, 2013, 1:21 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] When to upgrade to more aggressive shoes [In reply to]
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In reply to:
While Coyotes are designed to be comfortable beginner/intermediate shoes, there is no specific level of climbing at which you should switch to down-turned shoes. It really depends on the kind of climbing you do, and the kind of shoe fit you are comfortable with.

Some people climb 5.13-5.14 without ever going to down-turned shoes. On the flip side, i have seen plenty of Testarossa's on 5.10-sport-hangdoggers.

Have you even tried the Testarossas or Muiras for fit? They fit very differently than the Coyotes, and are different from each other, too. It would take some getting used to...

Bottom line, IMO, is that if you have an option of getting a new pair of shoes as a gift, and there is no other gear that you need more at this point (maybe rope or quickdraws, if you are getting into sport climbing?), it would not hurt to try on a bunch of different shoes, including more down-turned ones, and find something more precise than Coyotes. After 4 months of climbing, they are probably close to wearing out, anyway. But there is also nothing wrong with sticking with your Coyotes for now, if you discover that nothing else fits you in a way that you like. You can definitely climb harder than 5.10b in Coyotes.

Thank you this was very helpful. I'll see if there's any other equipment that may be more useful to me at the moment and I'll try on a few different pairs of downturned shoes.


brinosaur


Jul 17, 2013, 8:15 AM
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Re: [zeta-prime] When to upgrade to more aggressive shoes [In reply to]
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Rather than focusing on a downturn, just try a get a perfectly fitting shoe. 99% (arbitrary number for effect) of folks buy shoes that are too large/comfortable for their first pair. A poorly fitted shoe will flex and roll about, limiting your ability to smear, edge, or other aspects of technical footwork.

My advice: get another cheap pair of shoes, but be sure the fit is perfect. Toes slightly curled, no air pockets, no baggy fit, etc. Fight the urge to fit too tightly though -- too tight, and you risk damaging the shoe - toe knuckles can create hotspots in the leather which can be worn through quickly. Downturns do work for some, but developing good footwork (which takes practice, effort, and TIME) is far more important than an expensive pair of shoes can ever be. Plus, downturned shoes are not as versatile - climbing overhangs is perfectly fine in flat shoes, but good luck trying the majority of cracks or slabs in a pair of Solutions or Shamans.

PS. The bandits have been ace in my experience. Great edging, great in cracks, and cheap. I've gotten plenty of hard sends wearing them. The color sucks, though.


distantThunder


Jul 20, 2013, 10:18 PM
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Re: [zeta-prime] When to upgrade to more aggressive shoes [In reply to]
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+1
last comment got it right IMO.
in terms of footwear ... the search for better climbing - is the search for shoes that have an excellent fit to your foot.

dT


justroberto


Jul 23, 2013, 9:37 PM
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Re: [brinosaur] When to upgrade to more aggressive shoes [In reply to]
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brinosaur wrote:
99% (arbitrary number for effect) of folks buy shoes that are too large/comfortable for their first pair.

I wouldn't be surprised if most beginners actually got shoes that were too tight, buying into the myth that it helps you climb harder. I do agree that at four months, buying spendy shoes is overkill. Evolv Defys are good (relatively) inexpensive ones.

To the OP, just keep in mind when trying on new shoes, all-leather shoes will stretch more than synthetic, which probably won't feel much different after a month than they did when you bought them. With one notable exception (my favorite shoe by far - Scarpa Spectro, may you rest in peace) my cragging shoes have, unintentionally, been synthetic, while all-day shoes have all been leather.


brinosaur


Jul 24, 2013, 6:08 AM
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Re: [justroberto] When to upgrade to more aggressive shoes [In reply to]
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I've sold plenty of climbing shoes to plenty of first time buyers -- it's very difficult to convince customers that climbing shoes are NOT supposed to fit like sneakers. I don't think I ever sold a single pair that was too tight to a brand new climber. I would see many of these same customers in basic technique classes a few weeks later complaining that their shoes were too loose. Lots of baggy mythos, Defys, Rogues, and Madrocks here.

The too-tight crowd tends to be relatively new climbers who are shopping for their second or third pair of shoes, usually Solutions or the like. Never first time buyers.


DemolitionRed


Jul 27, 2013, 2:01 PM
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Re: [brinosaur] When to upgrade to more aggressive shoes [In reply to]
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I have seen the opposite when in climbing shops. I have seen assistants trying to fit a tiny slipper onto someone with feet the size of Cinderella's ugly sister. I have actually walked up to customers and said, 'don't let the assistant convince you that you need to be in pain before you can climb. You really don't!'

My shoes are fairly flat and would be ideal for a beginner. They have stretched a little over time but they are incredibly comfortable and I don't need to take them off whilst I belay. My climbing improves all the time, regardless of my shoes being so comfortable.

Remember, shoes are only as good as the climber wearing them.


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