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Best Shoes for Indoor Climbing

Learn what kind of shoes to wear for indoor rock climbing from expert Cliff Simanski in this Howcast video.


All right everyone. Right now I'm going to talk to you a little bit about some of the different climbing shoes that you have available for climbing here in the gym.

This shoe right here is a pretty good beginner level shoe. You're going to notice that the bottom of the shoe is one continuous piece of rubber. That means that this shoe is pretty stiff. It gives you a lot of support from your toes all the way through your heels. As a beginner it's a great way to really practice getting some extra support, give you a little bit of bonus when you are stepping on really small edges.

The lace-up closure system as well, allows for a wider range of adjustability. You don't have to worry about sizing the climbing shoe down too tight. You can always snug up those laces so it's kind of a good way to just get yourself comfortable with what it feels like to have a climbing shoe on.

This shoe here is a little bit more of an intermediate level shoe. It's also a women specific shoe, which often means that the toe box of the climbing shoe is a little bit narrower. Also, the heel on the back is slightly lower volume. It doesn't come up quite as far on the heel. Something else to consider. This shoe, you'll notice, will also offer some of the similar support that you had with that first shoe that I demonstrated to you.

It has a different closure system. These Velcro straps allow for a bit more adjustability, not quite as much as the laces, but it does make the shoe a little bit easier to get on and off without having to untie the shoe and retie it every time. A little bit more flexibility, but you still have some of that stiffness to give you some support throughout your whole foot.

This type of shoe here, slightly more aggressive, and you'll notice the closure system is not. It's just a slipper. You pop this shoe on your foot, and just the size of it is going to hold that shoe in place. Typically, these slippers are going to fit a little tighter compared to one of the shoes that has a Velcro or a lacing type system.

These slippers, one of the benefits is that they're typically very sensitive. They're going to be really flexible, which allows you to really use your foot to kind of pull in on some holds, a little bit more articulate with how you're stepping on things. You can really feel through the rubber the type of hold that your foot is making contact with, and really get a good idea about where that weight is being distributed.

A very sensitive shoe, great for more types of climbing. A little bit more advanced stuff, some steeper terrain as well. Not a bad shoe for really any level of climber. Maybe the intermediate and advanced type climbers would benefit more from those type of features.

Finally, this shoe here is known as the Laforteza solution, which is a very aggressive shoe. You'll notice the angle of the shoe as it's kind of down cambered, meaning that that toe is pointing down. That shape is what really allows you to pull in on climbing holds, particularly as the terrain starts to get steeper.

You'll notice there's two pieces of rubber. It's not one continuous piece anymore, which really allows that flexibility of you to bend your foot in the shoe. Some other features also include this additional rubber on the toe to allow you to pull in on your toe doing certain moves like toe hooks, and similarly with the heel, all this additional rubber really allows you to use that heel to be able to pull and really change your body position as well.

The closure system is similar with the Velcro. It just has this more of a unique type of a tightening system that allows you to really change exactly how that foot is going to fit inside the shoe. They usually fit a little bit tighter. They're not going to be as comfortable as one of those beginner or intermediate level shoes. Performance wise you'll certainly notice a substantial difference when you start getting into some steeper or technical terrain.

That's a good rundown for some climbing shoes to consider when you're making a purchase to come climbing.

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