Bouldering or urban climbing has become an increasingly popular sport in recent years. It is a year-round sport, both in summer and winter. You can climb in a special hall or on rocks in the field. When it comes to climbing equipment, the most important thing is special shoes. If you’ve only been climbing for a short time, it’s worth finding out which shoes are right for you. So do climbing shoes make a difference? And what is the difference?
So do climbing shoes make a difference? Of course, they do, because a beginner should have different shoes from an advanced climber. There are many types of climbing shoes, they differ in detail and also in the shape of the sole.
How to choose your first climbing shoes?
There are many models of climbing shoes on the market, also for beginners, the choice of the first pair of shoes is not easy. However, there are a few things to keep in mind, and then you’ll see if you do climbing shoes make a difference. Choosing shoes will be much easier when:
- To begin with, it is advisable to try on a few different pairs, the more comfortable and better fitting the better
- Climbing shoes need to fit very well. But not too tight, the right shoe size means much better precision when climbing
- Shoes for beginners should have a flat sole because at this stage we won’t use more complicated moves like heel hang or other
- Very expensive shoes are not always a good option to start with, as the more specialized the shoes for climbing at heavier levels, the harder it will be for you to use them at the start. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts here, as our skills increase we will be able to choose the right shoes for this.
- Laced or Velcro shoes? Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer as to which boots are better. It may be a matter of taste or comfort, and it may depend on what kind of climbing we do. The most important thing is the fit of the shoe, and the matter of the type of attachment depends on our preferences.
If you are new to climbing and are looking for the right shoes, these few tips should make your choice of shoes easier. Do climbing shoes make a difference? It’s worth paying attention to this right from the start, as the right choice of shoes is crucial.
Leather or synthetic shoes?
Climbing shoes will stretch over time as they fit tightly against the leather and are under constant stress. However, the degree to which a shoe ‘breaks in’ will vary depending on what materials they are made from. So we have a choice of shoes made from natural leather, artificial leather, and breathable synthetic fabric:
1) Natural leather shoes:
- Fit the foot better
- Good air permeability
- Less unpleasant odor
- More “break-in”
- More difficult to clean
- They can have a higher price
2) Synthetic fabric shoes:
- More resistant to deformation
- Some models can be washed in a washing machine
- More likely to give off an unpleasant odor
- It May fit the foot slightly less well
- It May have a lower price
First choose a model with the right shoes and material and details that interest you, then adjust the size. Remember that climbing shoes need to fit properly, sometimes smaller than your everyday shoe size. Then you will also know if the climbing shoes make a difference, it is important to approach this subject.
What are the differences between a shoe for a beginner and an advanced climber?
Each company that produces climbing shoes offers models for beginners, people more or less advanced. Most often they are structurally simple, i.e. more delicate materials or a flat sole, to facilitate the implementation of this unusual sport at the beginning. Here are some of the differences between a beginner’s shoe and an advanced shoe:
- The sole of a beginner’s climbing shoe is usually straight, not asymmetrical. The latter is more bent with a specific shape.
- In the beginner model, the tips are slightly rounded, and not as aggressive as in the advanced models. Aggressive tips are sharpened more and allow you to stand on micro edges and in small, shallow holes.
- Beginner’s shoes have a differently contoured heel. Beginners will not need hooks or heels for their climbing levels.
- Depending on the manufacturer, other, cheaper rubber for the sole may be used, which may wear faster, but it is not a rule.
- Advanced shoes may have a more rubber-encased toe, which may mean that they have less taping.
All these features have an impact on whom the shoe is for, what roads it is suitable for, how much it costs, and, most importantly, whether it is comfortable. So we know if you do climbing shoes make a difference, what it is, and what type of shoe is suitable for the beginning of our climbing adventure.
If you are a beginner and do not want to choose a model by feeling, it is best to ask someone who already has experience in climbing or operating in the store for advice. If you are wondering whether bouldering is an expensive sport then you need to make sure to read our new post “Is Bouldering Expensive? – (Make It Cheaper)“.
In Summary – Do Climbing Shoes Make A Difference? – (Tips For Beginners)
We already know that there are many models of shoes on the climbing market and that others will be suitable for a beginner and others for an advanced person. Whether you do climbing shoes make a difference depends, of course, on several things.
From what materials they are made of, the type of soles, and the level of the routes on which we climb. If we have only recently climbed, it is worth paying attention to these few tips above, it will make it easier for us to buy the right shoes for us.