So in my last post I talked about a new pair of Five Ten’s that I recently bought and I promised that I would would write a post about what I look for in climbing shoes. When I started climbing, my first pair of shoes were La Sportiva Miura Vs’s. For a beginner I spoiled myself because when people start out climbing they normally go for a cheaper, more relaxed shoe, until they get better. I couldn’t resist buying these shoes because I actually got them for a good price. I scored my Miura’s at an REI Garage Sale for only $50. For those of you who aren’t familiar with and REI Garage Sale it is basically a big sale for all REI Co-Op members who can buy items that have been returned to the store for a lesser price. On each item there is a tag that states why the item has been returned. The Miura’s were returned because they were too small for the last person. They were in brand new condition and fit me perfect so I scored. At the time I was still new to climbing and didn’t really know how to properly fit a shoe but the salesman at REI reassured me that they fit. I actually still wear the shoes to this day.
So because I spoiled myself with a shoe as aggressive as the Miura’s I didn’t realize how hard it would be for me to switch shoes. For my birthday I decided to treat myself to a new pair of climbing shoes to help save the life of my Miura’s. Now that I am a very experienced climber I know more about what to look for in shoes and what I was after. I originally bought a pair of Five Ten Rogue’s because I loved the way they felt on my feet and I loved how they were relaxed. I wanted to go with a relaxed shoe because I wanted a shoe that would be good at smearing on the wall since that is hard to do that with an aggressive shoe. My friend advised me not to buy the shoes because I wasn’t going to like the way they felt.
Well I will admit he was right and I was wrong. I wore the shoes to the gym the next day and I had such a hard time climbing in them. My feet were slipping on chips, my foot was moving around way too much in the shoe and I hated the gap it left between my foot and the wall. One of the men setting a wall over heard me and came down to look at my new shoes. I told him about my other shoes and what I was looking for and he told me that I needed more of an aggressive shoe. I should have listened in the first place! He also noticed that the shoe was at least a half size too big and that’s why I kept slipping. He gave me some really good advice I only wish I had known before hand.
I went back to REI the next day to return my shoes and look at other pairs. The salesman and I talked forever about climbing shoes. It was pretty awesome and the fact that I think that’s awesome is one of many reasons why I’m single. The salesman redirected me to a pair of Five Ten Anasazi’s . The pair is very similar but the shoe is a lot tighter around the heel which is better for control, the top part of the shoe is padded for added comfort and there is a slight arch in the shoe making it more moderate. The shoe also fits super super tight which is good. I know that they’ll stretch over time so the way they fit now is perfect. If the shoes is very uncomfortable it fits right. I also love the fact that the shoe has straps instead of laces. That is the one thing I look for when buying shoes. I just really hate laces. Some people prefer them but it’s really all about preference. When I took the shoes to the gym I really loved everything about them even more. I almost love them as much as my Miura’s and I can honestly almost compare the two. The most important part of shoes is to love almost everything about them. They are what’s going to help you climb better and will go with you on many adventures and journeys so be good to them.